The Pros and Cons of Living in Orlando
When talking about central Florida, it’s nearly impossible not to mention Orlando, FL, a unique and lively city nestled in the heart of the Sunshine State. While Orlando may be known for its theme parks, there’s plenty more to discover about this city beyond Disney World and Universal Studios.
From its exciting nightlife to gorgeous lakes, living in Orlando offers the perfect balance of entertainment, convenience, and natural beauty. However, like any place, there will be a few challenges unique to life in Florida’s fourth-largest city. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of living in Orlando, including:
- Pro: The attractions and theme parks
- Con: The tourists
- Pro: The job market
- Con: The humidity
- Pro: The cost of living
- Con: The schools
- Pro: The transportation
- Con: Low minimum wage
Let’s get started!
Pro: The attractions and theme parks
Okay, so maybe Orlando isn’t all about the attractions—but they’re definitely part of the city’s appeal. This FL city is home to a number of exciting spots beloved by both tourists and residents, including:
- Walt Disney World
- Universal Studios
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Crayola Experience Orlando
- Madame Tussauds
If you’re a fan of amusement parks, lively entertainment, and pop culture, Orlando is one of the best places to be. Not only that, but actually living in the city makes the process of visiting these parks infinitely easier. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on vacation, residents can simply hop in the car and make a day trip to these hotspots.
The best part? Florida residents get discounts to a number of these places—including 30% to 40% off Walt Disney World tickets. Not a bad reason to live here!
Con: The tourists
Of course, with the thrilling activities comes the tourists who want to experience them. When you live in Orlando, you’ll have to get used to the hordes of visitors that touch down in the city year-round, plus a slew of snowbirds in the winter.
More specifically, it’s estimated that approximately 76 million tourists visit each year. While tourism is essential to this city’s economy, it can make daily life just a little trickier for locals, especially downtown. Most notably, residents can expect:
- Increased traffic
- Long lines for attractions and businesses
- Inexperienced drivers
- Large crowds
That being said, many residents do enjoy the experience of feeling like a professional in a sea of tourists. While visitors walk around aimlessly trying to figure out where they are, you’ll be able to cruise right by knowing all the ins and outs of this popular city. Plus, if you have guests visiting, you’ll be able to show them around with ease.
This can also largely depend on which neighborhoods in Orlando you are thinking about living in, so be sure to do some research on traffic conditions in particular neighborhoods and your future commute before relocating here.
Pro: The job market
As noted above, tourism has allowed the economy here to flourish. Orlando’s bustling restaurant business and essential hospitality industry mean residents never have a hard time finding some line of work in this vibrant city.
That being said, the job market has more to offer than just tourism. Central Florida offers a booming economy with jobs in a number of different fields, including:
- Digital media
- Software design
- Film and television production
In fact, some of this FL city’s largest employers include:
- Lockheed Martin: The Lockheed Martin facility has a number of military training programs and simulations.
- Hospitals: Orlando Health and Florida Hospital are two major nonprofit healthcare facilities that employ a large number of residents in the area. The VA Hospital and Nemours Children’s Hospital contribute to the employment of healthcare workers in the city as well.
- Disney World and Universal Studios: Disney and Universal offer more employment opportunities than their parks. This Florida city is home to a number of film, television, and video game productions where talented artists and software developers find their footing in the entertainment industry.
Furthermore, the average monthly salary for workers who live in Orlando is about $3,000—which is slightly above the national average.
Whether you want to work at a restaurant in downtown Orlando or in one of its many theme parks, finding a job here should be easier than in other parts of the country.
Con: The humidity
While Florida boasts warm temperatures and sunshine most of the year, this doesn’t mean the weather is necessarily a pro in Orlando. Many people who live in central Florida find the year-round humidity to be overbearing. In fact, the average daily humidity here is over 74% and rarely dips below 50% even on dryer days. Florida’s coldest month is January, with average temperatures ranging between 50 and 71 degrees. During the hottest month of August, temperatures range from 76 degrees to a whopping 92 degrees.
Don’t worry, though—most apartments, workplaces, and restaurants you’ll spend time in will include air conditioning, so you’ll have a place to beat the heat when it gets too overwhelming.
If the humidity doesn’t bother you, the hurricane season might. Hurricane season in Florida lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30 every year. Heavy rains and harsh winds can be expected during this time, particularly from August to October. While central Florida tends to experience less damage than the coastal cities, Orlando has been hit by 77 hurricanes since 1930.
If you want to live here and aren’t too concerned by rain and humidity, Florida’s weather may be a pro in your book. As a Floridian, you’ll never have to worry about snowstorms, frigid temperatures, and foreboding winters. That kind of life might be worth the risk of humid and hurricane-prone weather!
Pro: The cost of living
One of the biggest advantages of living in Orlando is the affordable cost of living. While the city earns a score of 104.1 (compared to the national average of 100) on the cost of living index, it’s important to consider the fact that you’re living in a major city. Many other large metropolitan areas of the United States boast much higher scores on this index, such as:
- Miami: 123.1
- New York City: 187.2
- Los Angeles: 173.3
On the other hand, if you live in this city, you can expect the same urban conveniences and lively surroundings without breaking the bank. Perhaps one of the most important factors that contribute to this low cost of living is the housing market. The median price of a home in Orlando is $294,400—well below the average price in Miami, which is $450,000.
Basically, if you’re looking to live in a big-city environment with small-town prices, Orlando is the place to be. Other categories that factor into the low cost of living include expenses like groceries, healthcare, and transportation. Plus, Florida residents don’t have to pay state income tax, so that means more money in your pockets at the end of the day.
Con: The schools
Unfortunately, this city does not earn high merits in terms of the public school system. While it’s certainly not the worst place in the U.S. in the realm of education, there is room for improvement.
On average, Orlando schools are in the bottom 50% of all Florida public schools and scored lower than the statewide average in both math and reading proficiency.
That being said, Orlando does have a promising position when it comes to higher education. The city is home to the University of Central Florida, a four-year public college with a 75% graduation rate. This means Orlando may be a better place for young professionals looking to advance their education and career, rather than families with young children.
Pro: The transportation
When you think of Florida, you probably assume you’ll need a car—but not in this city. While the city isn’t necessarily walkable, there are a number of public transportation options available to help you navigate your daily life, including:
- The Lynx public bus system
- The commuter SunRail
- The LYMMO
- The Greyhound Bus
- The Amtrak
In fact, Orlando was actually ranked as Florida’s second-best city for public transportation—just behind Miami. Just be sure to look into potential neighborhoods to ensure it’s served by public transportation before you leave your car behind.
If you do plan on bringing a car when you relocate, do note that gas prices are exceptionally low in Florida compared to the rest of the United States, with a gallon of gas running you as little as $2.79. Registration is another affordable aspect of owning a car in Florida, only costing $28 for one year or $56 for two years.
The only place where you may spend a little extra money in Orlando is your car insurance. While some providers offer full coverage as low as $825 per year, the average cost of an auto insurance policy in this city is $1,862. This is higher than the national average of $1,674 per year.
Con: Low minimum wage
While the cost of living may be cheap, it does come at a price. The minimum wage in Orlando, Florida is a bit lower than many other major cities in the United States—standing at $8.56 per hour in 2021.
While the federal minimum wage is even lower than this, at $7.25 per hour, this still pales in comparison to cities with a $15 an hour minimum. That being said, the city of Orlando does plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by the year 2026 based on inflation predictions.
Find your affordable home in Orlando, FL
Orlando, FL, is a great place to live, but navigating the real estate and apartment rental market can be tricky if you’re a newcomer. Fortunately, Landing is here to change that.
With Landing, it’s easy to find a new apartment that perfectly fits your needs. With flexible leasing options, fully furnished apartments, and even pet-friendly homes, Landing has a place for every future Orlando local. We’ll even help you decide which neighborhood in the Orlando area will best fit your needs. Get started on your next adventure today with Landing and browse our network of furnished apartments in Orlando today!