One of the members of the Moving to Orlando Facebook group, Nicole Rose, recently posted about her experiences finding rentals in Orlando. It was such a great post, I asked her permission to repost it here.
We are originally from NY but have been living in Houston for 3 years. Moving from our parents’ houses in NY, to our own apartment in Houston, we quickly learned what our standards, expectations, and criteria are for apartment living. We learned we do not want anyone living above us, and only one next to us (top floor corner units limit noise levels). There must be ample parking (preferably a reserved spot), some sort of security and/or cameras on property, a package room, and washer and dryer must be in the unit.
We applied those to our search for an Orlando area apartment. We looked online for weeks before coming down to Orlando (June 2) to look at places in person. I am a visual person and need to physically see the space before I can commit to it (I knew I could not commit and move “site unseen.”). We looked at places in Maitland, Baldwin Park, Lake Nona, Clermont, Dr. Phillips, Hamlin, and Windermere.
Ultimately, after driving through neighborhoods and getting the vibe of each area, we felt Maitland & Claremont were too far, Baldwin Park was gorgeous but people complained about the limited parking at apartment complexes, and Lake Nona had too many planes flying over for our comfort. We loved Hamlin & Windermere, and we liked Dr. Phillips (but felt Dr. Phillips was just too close to tourism for our “everyday lifestyle”). We chose a complex in Windermere and are happy with the choice! I thought it would be helpful to give a review of our tour experiences with our “top 3” complexes. (Just an FYI tip – We learned that complexes with MORE than 3 levels must have an elevator, anything 3 levels or less is not required to have an elevator).
The Addison at Windermere
The Addison At Windermere – This is the apartment complex we chose! It is a beautiful complex (only 2 years old). It is next to a beautiful residential neighborhood (“Independence”) and you feel like you’re in a suburban neighborhood, and not in the land of tourism. Publix is RIGHT behind it (as well as a shopping strip of restaurants and such).
The leasing office team was great (responsive, kind & professional). We were allowed an in-person tour (with a mask on). They have elevators. The units are updated. Carpet was in the living room and bedrooms (hardwood in kitchen, and tiles in bathrooms). The kitchen was beautiful, with nice appliances and farmhouse sink. Washer and dryer in unit. Closet space/storage was great. Courtesy officer on-site (patrols at night). The clubhouse is awesome (cameras here, and resident events held 2-4 times monthly)! Pool table, poker tables, a gym, yoga room, and a tanning bed. Nice swimming pool! Package room with lockers (cameras in here). Lake / walking trail behind the complex. Dog park and kids play gym on site. No assigned parking, but there were ample spaces. Garages are available to rent for $175 a month (we rented one).
Our 2 bed 2 bath (top floor, corner unit) is 1123 square feet at $1600/month. Netted balcony! Pest control (once a week), valet trash (5 days a week), water (by usage), internet (century link or spectrum), electric is with Duke. Renters insurance – whoever you want to use. We felt “home” here and are excited to start our Florida journey with them!
Lakewalk at Hamlin
Lakewalk at Hamlin (I believe 2 yrs old) – We almost chose this complex. Great area, near nice suburban neighborhood (again you do not feel like you are in tourism land). VERY up & coming, things being built right now, right across the road (this could mean construction noise, and construction traffic over the next year – something to keep in mind?). Publix is right down the road.
What killed this place for us was parking, it is all first come first serve (no assigned). They do have parking lots behind the buildings, but they can be a walk, depending on where your unit is located. The other option is parallel parking on the street, which looked like it would fill up very fast. They do have garages you can rent, but not all buildings have them attached, and again, it could be quite a walk to your unit.
Overall, the complex itself is very nice. We did not get to tour the clubhouse/gym/pool but the pictures online look great. We did a “self-guided” tour (with mask on, they open the unit for you and you tour it yourself, then you can call with questions) of the Tilden floor plan (2/2 at 1240 sq ft). Spacious balcony, but no netting. It would have been $1805 monthly. NO ELEVATORS (keep in mind, they are 3 floors).
Units are updated, hardwood throughout, tile in bathrooms and carpet in bedrooms. The kitchen was beautiful, nice appliances, and a farmhouse sink. Washer and dryer in unit. Closet space/storage was good. Courtesy officer on-site (patrols at night). Package room with lockers (cameras here). Lake right behind the clubhouse. Pest control, valet trash, water (by usage), internet (only spectrum), electric is with Duke. Renters insurance – whoever you want to use. If you don’t care too much about the parking situation / a walk to your unit, this could be a great option for you!
Hanover – Dr. Phillips
Hanover Dr. Phillips (Brand New!) – Talk about LUXURY! This place was stunning. We fell in love. It was like living in a luxury hotel. The complex prides itself on resident experience and happiness. The staff is TOP NOTCH! They truly want their residents to be nothing but happy. HOWEVER, you are in THE HEART of tourism, and getting in and out of this complex could be a nightmare (no traffic light at the immediate entrance!). If you do not care much about traffic, and living your “day to day” life in the land of tourism, this place is AMAZING.
Centrally located to just about everything. The BEST clubhouse we have ever seen (cameras here). It is fully equipped with activities, a theater room, state of the art gym, resort-style saltwater pool, tanning decks, dog park. You name it, it has it all! They do have elevators. The package room has cameras. No security guard or courtesy officer. BUT, they do have a company that comes in to enforce parking (they check parking stickers). They are not there for safety and patrol, but their presence on the property could be a deterrent for theft.
Complex regulates parking by assigning you to a zone (the spots are not assigned, but the regulating prevents overcrowding – you will always have a spot by your unit). We were allowed an in-person tour (with a mask on). We toured the “F” floor plan (2/2 at 1207 sq ft – after specials would be around $1880 monthly).
The units are STUNNING. Great use of space, completely updated. Hardwood flooring throughout, tiles in the bathroom. The kitchen was beautiful, nice appliances, and a farmhouse-style sink (with slight divider). Washer and dryer in unit. Ample storage. Pest control (once a week), valet trash, water (by usage), internet (AT&T or National WiFi), electric is with Duke. Renters insurance – whoever you want to use. We honestly wanted to call this place home, but when it came down to it, it was just too close to tourism traffic for our liking. But if you are okay with that, make sure you highly consider them!