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Orlando Short Sales: Five Things to Know When Buying Real Estate

Few would argue that Orlando, Florida is a great place to call home. With some of the best entertainment venues in America, it's also home to historic and ethnic neighborhoods as well as world-class shopping and outdoor sports. As in the rest of the U.S., Orlando short sales and foreclosures have been on the rise, but this vibrant Central Florida city is still a real estate gem. Here are five things you should know if you're planning to buy a home in Orlando.

Fact #1: Historic Neighborhoods Abound - If you've never lived in Orlando, you may have an image of Mickey Mouse as your neighbor. Walt Disney World is actually in nearby Lake Buena Vista, and Orlando is more than the sum of its theme parks. Beautiful historic neighborhoods can be found throughout the city, with two of the most popular being College Park and Thornton Park.

Thornton Park, with its chic lofts and Craftsman bungalows, is a bustling neighborhood near downtown Orlando. If you love being a short walk from great restaurants but also surrounded by green space, Thornton Park is the place to buy. College Park, also a downtown neighborhood, offers lovely vintage homes within a trendy shopping and entertainment district.

Fact #2: The Market's Perfect for First Time Buyers - Orlando real estate experts report most real estate sales for first quarter 2009 were first time buyers purchasing properties in foreclosure. Most real estate markets are experiencing foreclosures, and in Orlando short sales and distressed properties are also appearing. The only upside to this down market is that first time homebuyers can find real bargains, as homes facing foreclosure are being sold for far less than they would have a year ago.

Fact #3: Central Orlando's Only Part of the Picture - The city of Orlando itself has a population of about two hundred thousand, but the metropolitan area, made up of dozens of suburbs, boasts a population of close to two million. What that means for someone hoping to purchase in Orlando is a wide variety of neighborhoods, school districts and amenities available. Broaden your home search to include Orlando area suburbs to find what you want in a price range you can afford.

Fact #4: Orlando's Infinitely Entertaining - Okay, let's admit it - Orlando's just plain fun! Where else can you visit Busch Gardens, Wet n' Wild and Gatorland all in the same weekend? For residents who prefer their fun at grown-up venues, Orlando Museum of Art and the Orange County Regional History Center are wonderful ways to spend an afternoon.

There's no shortage of ethnic cuisine, funky neighborhood boutiques or world-class shopping malls, either. There's a reason Orlando's seen enormous growth in the past decade - the appeal of the area is too hard to resist!

Fact #5: Orlando's an Outdoor Recreation Paradise - This sunny metropolis is committed to providing outdoor recreation opportunities for all ages. The metro area is ringed with bicycle paths, encouraging commuters to save the environment while keeping fit. Dozens of top-flight golf courses beckon hometown golfers as well as enthusiasts from around the world.

Wakeboarding, waterskiing and fantastic bass fishing keep Orlando residents on the water. Whether your sport is beach volleyball, windsurfing or tennis, you'll find a plenty of places to play in Orlando. Year-round beautiful weather, well-planned venues and an abundance of beaches make Orlando the perfect place for outdoor sports enthusiasts to call home.

Retirees hoping to relax in the sun, first-time homebuyers looking for a bargain Orlando short sale and families longing to be closer to the action can all find an ideal home in Orlando. Find a great real estate agent and start shopping; we're ready to welcome you to Central Florida's "Magic City"!

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