Thursday, 1 April 2010

Thursday 1st April, 2010

Just a quick note today: I'm planning to jump into the jacuzzi shortly. Can't believe I've been here five days and haven't tried it yet.

This morning Hubby Dearest, youngest and I went househunting in the company of our "Realtor", Alan Martin, an ex-pat Brit. On our last trip to Orlando three years ago we discovered that Florida properties were not only extremely cheap to buy, but in great demand as holiday rentals. We decided then to sell our rental bungalow in Thundersley and use the proceeds to pay off the mortage and buy a beautiful villa with a pool close to the Disney parks. Unfortunately the UK property market thwarted our plans so we went back to renting the bungalow, planning to try again sometime when the market picks up. But in the meantime it seemed sensible to look around and see how the land lies while were were in Florida, and Alan was very obliging.

We viewed a four-bedroomed villa in Clermont in beautiful condition which I would have bought there and then had I had the cash, then a slightly tatty home near that first one where the front door opened to the pool area. Then our favourite - a two storey five bedroomed home in Davenport which, at $260,000 (£180,000) was rather at the top end of our expected price range. We then returned to Kissimmee, nearer to the theme parks, and saw a home which the long-term tenants had trashed and emptied, but interestingly the next home we saw was furnished and in perfect condition, and had exactly the same floor plan plus a large pool and spa so we were able to see how the first one should have looked. At $225,000 (£150,000) that last one was our favourite, and the one most likely to generate a good income.

I've said this often before, but I love American houses. I love open floor plans, cathedral ceilings, walk-in closets in the bedrooms and walk-in pantries in the kitchen, garages big enough to put the car in, separate laundry rooms, and both a lounge and family room.

We had lunch at the New York China Buffet which is within walking distance of our resort. It was an all-you-can-eat buffet, and cost less than $40. I love American Chinese, and not just because there is so much of it and so much variety. There are things we can't get in the UK - honey chicken and fortune cookies spring to mind.

We then spent the afternoon round pool no. 2, for a change (not heated to quite the same level as pool no. 1) where I topped-up my sunburn, and in the evening HD and I returned to Wal-mart to top up the larder.

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