Ask Me Monday – 9/30/2013
October 1, 2013 by Scott Parker
Hi Friends! Welcome to my new series called “Ask Me Monday”. The following questions were sent to me on Monday 9/30/13 via the Facebook page, Twitter or Google +. I hope you keep your questions coming!
Are you renting your house? What was required-first, last months rent, security deposit, etc.? This is a great question. We chose to rent our house, as we moved here sight unseen. This was a tough decision for us as we had built our dream home in Texas just 5 years earlier. We did a lot of research with several realty websites and apps. While researching homes, we also made phone calls to local realtors. We were lucky enough to find a great realtor, Thomas Scott. Thomas understood our circumstances, and even knowing that there was no commission in this rental for him, he was kind enough to do a video walk through of the home for us. The customer service that Thomas provided us will not be forgotten and when we are ready to purchase our next home we will be contacting him first. As for our rental agreement, it required first month, last month and a pet deposit be paid. We were also required to have a credit check and background check completed. Renting is not for everyone, however we are very happy with our circumstances and we love our landlords. They have been great with us.
How is the job market in FL and h ow much of a factor in finding a position did it play in your decision to move? I am a remote employee for my employer, so job market did not play a part in our decision to move. With that said, my wife is a teacher and we knew that she would be seeking employment. My wife is a middle school teacher in English and History/Social Studies. She was able to secure an interview via Skype prior to our move and had 2 interviews the first week we lived here. She had a job secured by the end of the first week living in Florida. Now to your question about the job market in Florida. When we were researching for our move earlier this year there was an article in the Orlando Business Journal back in January that stated that the job outlook for Orlando in 2013 looked good. In this article, 130 companies were polled and 89 percent said they were hiring. With that said, there was a recent article in the Orlando Sentinel which stated Metro Orlando’s median pay ranks last among the nation’s 50 biggest metropolitan areas, and it has the largest share of jobs — 37 percent — paying less than $25,000 a year. That’s nearly twice the rate of Las Vegas, another city built on tourism. What does all of this tell you? Research, Research, Research….and think about finding a great head hunter!
Where is a good place to take a 9 year old Trick or Treating when she’s never been before? This question is very timely and it’s something our family is about to face as we spend our first Halloween in Florida. I’m sure most will say take your kid to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Yes, your kids receive tons of candy at this event, but the cost of that extra admission for each person can deter a family from attending. For our family, we will probably trick or treat in our own neighborhood. There are several surround areas that are having Halloween festivals. A few of these festivals occur the Saturday before Halloween and a few will happen on Thursday, October 31st. Here are a few events going on around the many areas of Orlando. Winter Park, FL – Pumpkins & Munchkins in Shady Park Winter Garden, FL – Halloweenfest 2013 Kissimmee, FL – Green Meadows Farm Ooky Spooky Haunted House I’m sure there are tons other locations that can be found with little research on the internet!
Is Space Mountain scary for someone who doesn’t like roller coasters? I would say Yes. If you don’t like roller coasters, this one though not the tallest and the fastest, does have a scare factor. First, it’s dark. Isn’t everything scary in the dark? Second, the seating for Space Mountain is individual seating. That’s night, no one beside you to hold your hand. Do I think you should ride it? Yes, I do. I am a believer that everything should try something once. If you don’t like it, you never have to do it again. An example of that would be my 10 year old it. He was scared, he rode it and said he would never ride it again. On the opposite end of the spectrum is my 8 year old. He rode it and now he never wants to ride it over and over.
What made you choose the neighborhood you are living in? Location, Location, Location! We visited Orlando the Summer of 2012 for one week. We did not visit any theme parks. Wait, that’s a lie. We did spend 1 day at Sea World, but only because we were provided free passes. Anyway, during that week we took our handy dandy map and drove and drove and drove. Where did we drive to you ask. Well, even though we were a year out from our plunge date, we took looked at houses for sale and for rent. We drove to these houses in our price range to see what our money was getting us and to see the area that these houses were in. At the end of the week we had our top 3 areas, with the Oviedo area being at the top. The driving factor for that decision was schools for our kids and schools for Kristi to teach in. We also liked that it was 30 minutes from the parks and not in tourist central.
Which AP did you sign up for… SeaWorld/Combo, Universal, Walt Disney World with or w/o the water parks included? Our family chose to go with the Premium Annual Pass. This pass provides us access to all 4 parks whenever we want, along with access to both water parks and free parking. On a side note, we also purchased Tables in Wonderland. We have not purchased any annual passes to other parks, heck we haven’t even visited any parks other than Disney.
Would you keep your same annual passes when it is time to renew or will you adjust the passes to better fit your family’s needs? As of today, yes, it is our intention to keep the Premium Annual Pass. It works for us. When the kids are older (and taller) we will revisit this.
What monorail is your favorite? My favorite monorail is Monorail Gold, only because it’s the first monorail we road after we took the plunge!
What was the ah-ha moment that made you all decide to “Plunge”? Believe it or not, we never had an “ah-ha” moment. I had lived at Ft Myers Beach, FL every Summer from the age of 7 until now. I have always known that I would be a Floridian from early on, I just did not know when. When Kristi and I started dating, she would join me and my family at the beach. She has said from that first summer we spent at Ft Myers Beach she knew that our family would live in Florida. In December, 2012 we made the conscious decision to make this dream come true. There is no good time to uproot your family and there would always be a reason to wait and do it. We said no more waiting and did it.
What do you miss the most from Texas? OK, in case friends and family are reading this, I will say I miss them the most. If they are not reading this, I miss TEX MEX the most. Oh what I wouldn’t give for really good Tex Mex!