Some things I heard on the plan from a lady moving from Orlando - Follow up to "Will gators eat my kids?"
September 29, 2010 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Some things I heard on the plan from a lady moving from Orlando - Follow up to "Will gators eat my kids?" question

The hive mind was very helpful on my previous question(s) regarding a pending move to Florida.

The good news is I got the job and am now faced with the move itself. With that I have some more specific questions:

If I work around 482 and S John Young Parkway...
Where should I look for a home? Last time I got a lot of great suggestions, but given the work address, any insight on where to avoid due to tolls, crime, traffic, etc. would be great.

Schools:
What are some of the better schools in the area?
We are leaning toward private Christian schools. Are there any Christian schools you would recommend in the area?
Are there any public / charter schools that we should really consider before paying for private school?

Moving:
We are moving from Southern Missouri to Orlando
We are leaning toward using PODS for moving because of the flexibility it provides. (They store it until we are ready for it.)
I would like to hire people to help me unload them once we are there. Do you have any suggestions for services that could help?

Some things I heard on the plan from a lady moving from Orlando:
Can you give me insight to the reality of these statements?
"Chinese Drywall" - There apparently is some area of Orlando down by Kissemme where defective drywall was used and it creates some kind of problem. Is this true? How do I avoid it?

Swimming pools can "pop out of the ground" - She said don't buy a home if the pool doesn't have water in it. She said if a pool stands empty in Florida long it can raise out of the ground. True? Why?

If you dig down 3 feet, you find water - This may be an exaggeration, but how much of one?

Thank you!
J
posted by jseven to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Just a quick thought related to your PODS comment...we were headed down the same path during a recent move, but we ended up going with Pack Rat, which was a much better value for us. Just something to think about.
posted by brandman at 11:13 AM on September 29, 2010


That's true about the pool, and so far as I know, it's true everywhere. "Pop out of the ground" perhaps overstates the case, but the weight of the water does work to maintain the pool's structural integrity.

Obviously you'd be having a qualified inspector evaluate the property first, who would surely note such a problem.
posted by ErikaB at 11:18 AM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Chinese Drywall"

Florida is notorious for lax and corrupt building inspection standards. And there was indeed a recent controversy about Chinese drywall not adhering to proper standards.

Swimming pools can "pop out of the ground"

Yes, it's true that with older construction or lax construction or maintenance, the lack of the weight of water in a pool may allow the pool to "float" or "pop." It's pretty rare, but it happens.

This is just a case where you have to do you due diligence when inspecting a home.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:20 AM on September 29, 2010


re: Chinese drywall. There are reports of drywall used in the Southeast venting off toxic gasses that cause health problems and corrode wiring and fixtures. I don't know if it's been reported in your area or not. I heard most of the reports came from post-Katrina rebuilding.

re: swimming pools. an empty swimming pool in the ground is like a boat in the water. Pressure from the outside pushes it up out of the ground. The more water in the ground, the more pressure. If you keep the pool full, the weight of the water neutralizes the external pressure. Of course, pool construction matters here.
posted by reverend cuttle at 11:21 AM on September 29, 2010


Where to live. Hrm. Zoom out on Google Maps some, and Pine Castle, Edgewood, Conway are pretty decent areas. The area you work is dense with traffic. Sorry.

Schools: Orange County has some really great public schools. Find an "A" level school on the county's web site. Look for the area it serves. (This will eat time. Sorry.)

Around here, I've hired "Two Men and a Truck" twice. It sounds informal, but I think it's really a franchise.

Pools what? Never heard of "popping out of the ground" or anything untoward, except abandoned houses and the county's war against mosquitoes there.

There was a problem with drywall, all over the US, for houses built in one or two years. Your realtor knows what to look for, so ask.

There *are* a lot of lakes here. Go to Google Maps again and zoom out. These are not marshlands (for the most part), but the soil is largely sand and limestone, which make underground rivers and cave systems, which sometimes collapse and form sinkholes, and then become lakes. This isn't something you should worry about. The time scale here is hundreds of years. My point is, the ground is firm, and when it isn't, it's a hole, not muddy water.

Finally, one of our secrets is how great our library system is in Orange County. Get a library card. Enshrine it. There are branches all over, and they will deliver books to your doorstep. For FREE.
posted by cmiller at 11:26 AM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


We've used ABF twice for our cross country moves. They're pretty much awesome. The first time was their PODS-type service, and the second time we got a trailer. (You're only charged for the space you use in the trailer). They can store both types for you.


For help loading and unloading, I've used Movinghelp.com twice also. It's nice because your money is in escrow until the job is done.
posted by WowLookStars at 11:54 AM on September 29, 2010


Re the Chinese drywall:

My understanding is that there was a short-term shortage of domestic sourced drywall a couple years ago, to which builders responded by importing a lot of Chinese drywall, which did indeed have the problems described above.

However, my take was that this was a short term problem - only buildings built within a pretty narrow time window would suffer from it - and that if a given building has that drywall, it should have made itself obvious by now. So it seems unlikely to catch you up, but nontheless it is indeed a real issue and you should be aware. Whoever inspects your potential house could doubtless tell you more, and will be able to make sure you're okay if it comes to that.
posted by Naberius at 12:00 PM on September 29, 2010


jseven: "Where should I look for a home?"

If I worked in that area, I would look in the area around Dr. Phillips and Wallace, 2 miles east and a mile north. The area on Sand Lake around Dr. Phillips is nice, with a Whole Foods and a lot of places to eat. Go up Wallace and it is mostly nicer homes there, and there is a really nice YMCA on the corner.

jseven: "Are there any Christian schools you would recommend in the area?"

I can't, but it would be helpful to know what grades you are talking about.

jseven: "Swimming pools can "pop out of the ground" - She said don't buy a home if the pool doesn't have water in it. She said if a pool stands empty in Florida long it can raise out of the ground. True? Why?"

This is technically true everywhere. The problem is that if the ground gets saturated, the empty pool acts like a big boat and floats out of the ground. In Florida the ground is always saturated, because it is at sea level and is a peninsula.

jseven: "If you dig down 3 feet, you find water - This may be an exaggeration, but how much of one?"

It's not. Because we are at sea level and surrounded by water, the water table is very high. Because of this every neighborhood has ponds and lakes where the developers dug up fill dirt and the hole filled with water.
posted by I am the Walrus at 12:00 PM on September 29, 2010


Florida is notorious for lax and corrupt building inspection standards.

Excuse me, cite? After Hurricane Andrew in '92 the building codes and the inspections for them are rather arduous. Did I miss a meeting where they became lax again? Because they sure weren't lax when I got my last house... The Chinese Drywall incident was not confined or originated in Florida and as we had dramatic expansion under the boom we too had some episodes of it.

You're coming from ole' Miss, so I'm not going to lecture you on humidity and mugginess. The plus is we get less of it than Miami as we're more north, the negative is we still get it as we're about your latitude or lower.

SR 482 (a/k/a and more commonly, Sand Lake Road) at John Young puts you somewhere either industrial or touristy. Note that Central Florida had no money to build roads when they went from being an orange grove town to a Disney supporting city -- so every good highway is a toll road.

3 feet under water is a bit of an exxageration but keep in mind there are no basements in Florida. I don't know if you have any in Miss. As you go further south the sea level rises but the Kissimmee/Orlando area is fairly well on solid, if not endless, ground. The occasional sink hole would disagree with me..

I do not have much experience residentially with the Sand Lake/John Yong area, but I expect you may want to qualify your commute against the quality of life for your kids. Not that there may not be great stuff there, but I'm more used to seeing the private academieis -- suburbubia, what have you, more north and north east of that area.
posted by cavalier at 12:00 PM on September 29, 2010


Looks like you'd be working right by me! The traffic in this area kind of blows, but there's really no way around it -- John Young and Sand Lake are both just busy roads.

My co-workers who don't hate their commute live in Hunter's Creek or Southchase, Dr. Phillips, or near downtown Orlando (Conway, Delaney Park, and Wadeview Park). We've been all over downtown and are now in Baldwin Park; my commute is generally around 30 minutes.

While there are probably plenty of tempting houses on the market there, avoid the Pine Hills and MetroWest areas. Metrowest is getting better, but it still borders Pine Hills (or Crime Hills, as it's often called.)

Better schools in the area: As far as public schools in Orange County, Winter Park High School is well-regarded, as are Glenridge Middle and Audubon Elementary, which feed into WPHS. Boone HS and Blankner (K-8) are very good schools, too. Dr. Phillips HS has an outstanding arts program and good athletics, as well. Catholic schools in town are excellent, especially Holy Family and St. Charles Borromeo. As far as private Christian schools, all I've got is that a friend has her kids at the First Academy and is very happy there, though the school itself is in a sketchy area.

Moving: I've had great luck using 2 Men and a Truck (the location on Michigan) for our last couple of in-town moves

I'll second cmiller -- the Orange County library system is AWESOME.

And since I missed your first question, we take our dog to the dog park a few times a week and she practically lives in the lake there. There are signs warning you about gators, but we haven't seen any.
posted by ThatSomething at 12:00 PM on September 29, 2010


Thank you Walrus, I completely blanked on Doc Phillips being near there. Great choice. I would lean closer to there and away from MetroWest.
posted by cavalier at 12:01 PM on September 29, 2010


I used to live in the Doctor Phillips area and it was a nice enough part of Orlando, limited crime, close to I-4 but you wouldn't have to take it for work. You can pretty much find all levels of housing along Apopka Vineland Rd between Conroy and Winter Garden. The uber-rich gated communities like Isleworth and Cypress Point down to low-middle class like Sand Lake Hills. Doctor Phillips high school is one of the better schools in Orlando, although I don't know about elementary and middle. I went to Lake Highland Prep, a private school downtown with very good academics and a moderate Christian influence.
posted by Durin's Bane at 1:08 PM on September 29, 2010


In your area, tolls are going to be inevitable from time to time. You are by the airport and near touristy things. John Young and I-4 is a common bottleneck, so plan accordingly if you have to be at that exit during rush hour.

It's not uncommon to accidentally get on a toll ramp while finding your way around and there are times when it's worth it to get on the 408, 528, or 417 (I seldom use the turnpike as a shortcut). Get a SunPass - it's a toll transponder that goes in your car. Aside from the convenience, you'll also have a cheaper toll rate.

School-wise, you're in Orange County, which is HUGE. The quality of the schools varies quite a bit.

Re: the Orange County library system - if you have a Nook, you can checkout e-books.
posted by Wossname at 1:58 PM on September 29, 2010


Also, I second the recommendations for settling near Dr. Phillips.
posted by Wossname at 2:02 PM on September 29, 2010


[few comments removed, your options are 1. answer the question without being jerks 2. do not answer the question.]
posted by jessamyn at 5:35 PM on September 29, 2010


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