As the popularity of living in Downtown Orlando has continued to grow, so too have the prices for buying and renting homes. The vast majority of residences right in the Downtown area are priced outside the affordability limits for the middle class. But before you give up on your dream of living within walking distance of your Downtown job, here are a few things to consider.
If you’re like most of the Central Floridians who commute via car to their job in Downtown Orlando, you’re probably well aware of the hassle and expense of parking. If you’re not lucky enough to have your parking compensated by your employer, you could be spending upwards of $100/month to Park Downtown.
And that’s just counting your work commute. If you frequent the Downtown Orlando social scene after work or on weekends, you could be paying an extra $50/month for parking. If you live downtown, you’ll most likely have at least one parking space. And Downtown Orlando is a very walkable city. It takes less than 15 minutes to walk from one end to the other. And if that proves too far, you have the option of taking the Free LYNX LYMMO Bus that runs every 15 minutes.
From experience, both walking and public transportation are infinitely better (and less stressful) options than trying to find public parking in Downtown Orlando.
Save on Gas and Car Maintenance
Granted, gas prices aren’t as high as they once were, but there’s certainly savings to be had if you can leave the car at home and commute to work via foot, bike, or public transportation.
The cost of commuting to work can be estimated using the IRS Mileage Rate of $0.54 per mile (2016). If your commute is about 10 miles to Downtown Orlando from Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, or the Dr. Phillips area, you could be spending $2,700/year or $225/month on car maintenance and fuel.
In round numbers, the financial benefit you’d get by living downtown and not having to pay for parking, gas, and car maintenance is $375/month. And that doesn’t even factor in the time you’d be saving!
Other Cost Factors
Having that extra $375/month will help offset the premium you’ll have to pay to Rent in Downtown Orlando. But it will also help those interested in buying. Property Taxes in Downtown Orlando are higher on average than surrounding areas. For a $200,000 home you’ll pay about $60/month more on property taxes if you live in Downtown Orlando. Another popular deterrent for living in Downtown Orlando is the high cost of Homeowner’s Association Fees (HOA Fees). In Orlando Condo Critic’s article, “Why Are HOA Fees So High?” we break down what’s included and compare them to the costs of homeownership for single family residences. To summarize, the difference in costs for home maintenance in condos versus single family homes is nearly a wash.
Keep these figures in mind before writing off an opportunity to live in Downtown Orlando. For more statistics on Affordable Living in Downtown Orlando, click here.