Thanks for sticking around! I’m doing a lot better since my last post. I’m taking care of the things I have control over, working on what still needs to be done, making time to enjoy life here, and not stewing over the rest so much! Just those changes in mindset have helped so much. And I’m excited to get back to sharing more here on the blog.

I’m really looking forward to talking about the neighborhood and house we ended up choosing! But I’d like to continue discussing some of the other areas we looked at first. Next up are Buenaventura Lakes and Meadow Woods.

Before getting into it, if you haven’t read this post about one of the first areas we looked at, you might want to go back and do that now. In that article I discussed exactly what it was we were looking for during our house hunting, which might be good to keep in mind. Also, please remember the caveats about my opinions I mentioned in that piece. Our thoughts on these areas were our own and based solely on what we were able to see in our limited time visiting. Your opinions may vary!

Buenaventura Lakes (aka BVL) and Meadow Woods are two areas south of Orlando proper and east of the parks. They are east of the Florida Turnpike and just north and south of 417.

Let me state up front that compared to Indian Wells, the last area I wrote about, these neighborhoods encompass a much larger territory. Indian Wells was basically just a large subdivision. BVL and Meadow Woods are over 15 square miles! The upside is there’s a lot of variety to the subdivisions here. The downside is the things I may say aren’t necessarily true for everything here. Some places we looked at were better than others. Some were a lot worse. So you can’t really judge these areas as a whole. If this is a place you might want to live, you’ll need to go see each house available for sale and judge its surroundings individually. Which is why I’ll focus mainly on the bigger picture here.

That said, these two areas had several options that met a lot of our criteria. Most prices were in our range. There was a variety of sizes. Some had pools. The area was near my wife’s job. And both 417 and Osceola Parkway, which go through the neighborhoods, take you straight to Disney property.

Of the two, we had more concerns about Buenaventura Lakes. Most of the houses we saw felt a little too close for comfort. But out bigger worry was the layout of the area itself. As I already said, this is a big place. But there are really only two main roads into and out of it. There are a lot of houses here, a lot of people — and only limited access for all their cars. It felt like traffic might be an issue if everyone leaves for school and work around the same time. Meadow Woods felt much more “open” with several roads available for access.

Another admittedly more aesthetic problem I had with BVL was that it fell a little closed off. As you enter some of the main roads, the houses on either side of you are blocked off with walls… walls that seem to go on and on! Sure, you don’t want your subdivision open to a major road. But with limited roads in, it felt like the entire neighborhood was walled off.

Despite those issues, BVL and Meadow Woods were on our watchlist until the very end. Assuming traffic wouldn’t be as bad as we feared, they were convenient to the places we wanted to go. Houses were available at several different price points, giving us options to choose from for what we would have to pay each month. And there were some fairly nice homes here.

What made this area so frustrating from a house hunting perspective was never knowing what you were going to get when heading to a showing. You might see a major fixer upper with a lakefront view, a move-in ready beauty boxed in on all sides by your very, very close neighbors, or something in between you could make work. In other words, you couldn’t cross it off your list of places to consider when looking at listings — you had to go check it out every time just in case!

That’s it for this time. In the next neighborhood watch, we’re going to go way outside what we considered our Disney driving distance comfort zone… to an area where we ended up making an offer anyway!