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Buying-to-Let in Orlando: Which Neighborhoods Promise the Highest ROI

Those who’ve never tried themselves as real estate investors are likely to believe this process is rocket science. And let’s face it: there are many reasons to think so. After all, one needs to analyze the market, choose the right time and location, as well as negotiate a good deal. But the truth is that although smart investments usually require a prior analysis, one doesn’t need to have special education to get a good value for their money. In nearly all cases, a number of expert articles would be enough. By a good chance, you’ve already found one of such. Read on to learn all the ins and outs of investing in rental properties in Orlando.

Why Investing in Orlando?

Apart from being a dream destination for tourists (thanks to Disney World, beautiful beaches, and Florida weather), Orlando is also a good choice for investors. In fact, it’s been ranked among the top cities for real estate investment (this year, Orlando has been named the second-best location for rental investments in the country). This can be explained by a simple fact: during 2016, rental prices in Orlando have been growing twice as fast as in other US cities, and the trend is gaining momentum.

What’s more, the local job market has been growing tremendously in the last few years. It makes young professionals flock to the City Beautiful more actively than ever before. It goes without saying that such a flow of young talent drives the demand for rental properties. And there’s no need to explain that high demand for rentals means low vacancy rates and better custom offers for landlords.

But most importantly, Orlando boasts the second-highest rental yield in the US. According to the research of, the expected rental yield in Orlando is 8.12%, which is almost twice as high as in San Francisco. All these reasons make it clear why buying-to-let in Orlando is considered a smart move in the investors’ community.

Most Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods


Median rental price: $1,582/mo
Median purchase price: $274,707

People are flocking to Kissimmee for a number of reasons – the atmosphere of Old Florida, theme parks, and the unspoiled beauty of nature. If you come here and spend some time outdoors, you’ll surely understand why locals call Kissimmee the most natural side of Orlando. Kissimmee is a good option for those who want to invest in relatively affordable properties but get a significant ROI afterward.

Central Business District

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Median purchase price: n/a

Another part of the city that is attractive to potential investors is the Central Business District of Orlando. At the moment, the expected rental yield for properties downtown is not the highest in the city, but there are grounds to assume the situation will change tremendously in the next years. As the local job market is growing twice as fast as in other US cities, plenty of young specialists are relocating to Orlando and get their corner offices in skyscrapers downtown. Given this, the demand for rentals in the area is expected to skyrocket soon.

Investment opportunities in Orlando, FL

Winter Park

Median rental price: 1,674/mo
Median purchase price: $361,278

Commonly referred to as a comfortable alternative to the hustle of downtown, Winter Park is a popular choice for families with kids. Located north of downtown Orlando, Winter Park features the city’s most exclusive real estate. This part of Orlando is especially good for dining, outdoor activities, and on-foot exploration. However, Winter Park is also great for real estate investments. As local rental prices are above the city’s average, it promises potential landlords good ROI and relatively low vacancy rates.

College Park

Median rental price: 1,764/mo
Median purchase price: n/a

Located just northwest of downtown, College Park is deservedly considered one of the most family-friendly parts of the city. The majority of local properties are mid-century ranch homes and tidy bungalows. The area is stuffed with upscale restaurants, bars, and shops, which is one more reason why locals choose to reside here. Consider investing in College Park if you prefer renting out to families rather than other categories of tenants.

Thornton Park

Median rental price: $1,842/mo
Median purchase price: n/a

Just a few blocks away from Orlando downtown lies the neighborhood that’s relaxed and hip and urban all at one time. Thanks to its centric location, residents of Thornton Park can enjoy the proximity of the city’s best food and culture spots. According to city guides, Thornton Park is a destination of choice for those looking for a relaxed lifestyle, a moderate pace of life, and a so-called European feel. From the perspective of real estate investment, Thornton Park cannot boast the highest rental yield at the moment. However, it’s projected to improve soon as the local job market is booming, lots of young professionals are coming to Orlando, which drives the demand for long-term rentals in proximity to downtown.

Lake Nona

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Median purchase price: n/a

Welcome to the neighborhood of the future. Lake Nona is a notorious innovation center due to the proximity of numerous educational institutions and high-tech companies. The neighborhood also hosts numerous hospitals and medical centers. Consequently, the area is populated by a very skilled and highly qualified workforce: engineers, software developers, and medics. The neighborhood was part of the Cisco pilot smart city project, where the introduction of new technologies was aimed to establish a sustainable urban environment and connect residents in new productive ways. Lake Nona consists of innovation hubs, diverse offices, and business innovation centers. Therefore investing in the neighborhood is a good idea until the city runs out of innovations.

Audubon Park

Median rental price: n/a
Median purchase price: n/a

This neighborhood is one of the sweetest spots to live in Orlando. It was continuously ranked as the best place to buy a house in Orlando as well as one of the best places to raise a family. It is comprised of small single-family homes and compact condos. There is plenty of parks and green zones to have a picnic or walk the dog. The area has great public school schools and a few extraordinary private and public schools. The crime rate is one of the lowest in the county. The majority of the population is middle-class and holds college degrees. Audubon Park perfectly suits the need for a young family of professionals or a retiring couple. The property prices are still quite low, so hurry up and cash in.

Colonial Town Center

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A balanced and reputable neighborhood, perfect for a careful investor. The district is filled with a mix of commercial and residential property. It is also a main public space, for community gatherings, and celebrations That include a parade on Cinco de Mayo, New York eve festivities, fireworks on the 4th of July, etc. Colonial Plaza is the main shopping center in the area, containing a variety of shops and entertainment venues. Colonial Town is frequently patrolled and considered to be one of the safest. It is also well connected to the city and the world, having an airport and numerous easily accessible interstate nearby.   

Metro West

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Median purchase price:n/a

Metro West is a diverse community that offers potential investors all types of delicious property: various apartments, condominiums, townhouses spread across the beautiful scenery. The award-winning landscapes and well-planned streets make the district one of the most beautiful places to live in Orlando. It also won numerous awards for safety and crime prevention. No wonder that the neighborhood is rapidly developing, constantly adding new residential complexes and condos to the inventory. Every part of the Metro West provides an iconic view of the city. By all means, this is an upscale neighborhood and you can expect a significantly higher return on in.

South Eola

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Median purchase price: n/a

Very urban, pedestrian, and bike-friendly area, close to the central business district and uptown. The majority of home occupants are renting out their homes and employed in the nearby financial and investment firms. The housing market is very diverse offering not only luxurious condos but also affordable apartments for career starters. South Eola is considered one of the best areas for millennials, due to the reasonable rental prices, a great variety of bars, restaurants, and shopping centers. There are also pockets of single-family homes and quiet residential areas, for those who want to be in the center of life, but prefer tranquil suburban settings.      

What’s Next?

Seems like my job here is done. I have listed top Orlando neighborhoods for real estate investments and provided the most recent statistics on each one. The rest is up to you. And although I encourage you to be geared towards the neighborhoods from the list, make sure to keep open-minded and not to cross out good deals from other neighborhoods right away. After all, each property is unique, and you never know where your perfect deal will come from.

Not sure that Orlando, FL, is your final choice? I want to consider more options before making the final decision. Then you should take a look at other major cities. I performed a detailed analysis of the rental market in NYC, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Houston, and other major cities in the country. Don’t limit your choice as you never know where the best investment opportunity will find you.

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  1. Thanks for the post, I recently came into some extra money and have been wanting to invest in more property. Do you know about investment opportunities in the Charlotte NC area? Thanks