Should I Be Worried About The Toxic Waste Sites in Orlando, Florida

Unfortunately, there are six known toxic waste sites in the Orlando metropolitan area.  The good news is that most have been cleaned up to meet the remediation standards of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  You can see the superfund sites in orlando fllocations of the toxic waste sites for yourself using our MoveMap.  In this blog post we’ll discuss three of these, telling you why it’s a designated Superfund site and what its cleanup status is.

According to the EPA, the City Industries site is a one acre former hazardous waste recycling compound located at 3920 Forsyth Rd Orlando, FL 32792.  The site was abandoned years ago, but when operational, City Industries Inc. handled and disposed of a variety of waste chemicals some of the chemicals were disposed of improperly, leading to on-site soil and groundwater contamination with volatile organic compounds.  In 1983, the state of Florida actually ordered City Industries to cease operation, at which point the compound was abandoned.  Around 1,200 barrels of hazardous waste and thousands of gallons of sludge (in holding tanks) were simply left on the site.  The property was added to the National Priority List (NPL) in 1989, making it eligible for cleanup.  After being added to the list, the EPA treated over 1,600 tons of contaminated soil and built a ground water pump and treatment system.  The site has been reclaimed and the area is now used for commercial and retail space.

The Chevron Chemical Co site located at 3100 Orange Blossom Tr. Orlando, FL 32804 consists of around 4 acres of industrial property where groundwater and soil contamination has occurred.  A variety of activities took place at the Chevron center and the EPA identified several contaminants of concern which include pesticides, volatile organic compounds (such as xylene) and metals. Fortunately, the EPA took action to clean up the site they state that the level of contamination at the property does not pose a threat to people living nearby.  In 1991 & 1992 the Chevron demolished all buildings on the property.  They also removed around 18,000 tons of soil which was contaminated with pesticides and treated ground water during the excavation.  Ground water monitoring wells were also installed to keep tabs on the contamination. Monitoring and cleanup operations are ongoing.

General Dynamics is situated in Longwood at 1333 North US Highway 17/92 Longwood, FL 32750.  Circuit boards and other electronics were manufactured on the property from the mid ‘60s to the early ‘80s.  Currently, the site is unoccupied and has been placed on the National Priority List due to soil and groundwater contamination.  From an environmental perspective, the area is fairly complicated since another manufacturing facility called Sprague Electric Company has also contributed to groundwater and soil contamination in the region.  The EPA believes the groundwater plumes from the two sites may have merged.  Fortunately, they do not believe the site currently represents a threat to people living and working nearby. However, the activities performed on the property have damaged the environment.  The surficial and part of the Floridan (deeper) aquifers have been contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE) and this groundwater contamination could threaten the City of Winter Spring’s public water supply if not dealt with.  The plume has not become an issue yet and Winter Springs routinely checks its water supply for contamination. In terms of cleanup progress, the Sprague Site has been worked on and monitored for years, but the site investigation and cleanup efforts for General Dynamics are just getting underway.

While sites containing hazardous chemicals are scary and undesirable to live near they are also a part of our modern society, whether we like it or not.  The best thing we can do to protect our families and allay our fears is simply to educate ourselves.  If you’re concerned about Superfund, AKA toxic waste, sites in your area, we encourage you to take a look at our MoveMap and see if there are any sites located near your home.   After that, you can check out the EPA’s website which contains detailed information on all Superfund sites and contaminants present at each of them.

Expert Tips To Help You Find A Great Real Estate Agent

Most people only speak with one real estate agent, even though a lot of experts say you should interview at least a few. So, how do you pick a good one, and how do you select prospective agents to interview in the first place?tips on finding a great real estate agent

Let’s start with the selection process, after all there are about 9,500 real estate agents in Orlando to choose from. Here are three ways to narrow the field.

First, personal referrals are a tried and true method of selecting a prospective real estate agent. Most of us probably know someone that has purchased or sold real estate in the last six months or so. Ask your friends, family or co-workers who they used and what they thought of them. Second, if you are new to the area or cannot get a good personal referral try review sites like Yelp or Angie’s List. Third, try Googling your neighborhood or town for real estate such as “Orlando real estate” to see who pops up. Odds are, an agent that shows up in these results is tech savvy and it likely means more experienced.

Now that you have a few agents to interview what should you look for in a good agent? Ask them questions about their qualifications:

“How long have you been in real estate?”
“How many homes do you sell each year?”

What is a good answer to these questions is hard to say. Let’s face it someone who has only been in real estate for a year may be a much better fit for you than someone who has been around for ages. If a more direct connection with your agent is what you are looking for, you may not want a big team that sells 50 or 100 properties a year. If you like the team approach, then you may not want to speak with an agent that works alone. I do think if an agent is selling fewer than six properties a year they may not be very “in touch” with the market. Here in Orlando, a huge percentage of the real estate agents sold fewer than two properties last year. Ask about the market, and see what they can tell you about what is going on in your area.

If you are selling ask them to put together a comparative market analysis (CMA) and check out the properties they are comparing to your home. Try not to list with an agent just because they gave you the highest value for your property. Buying or selling, you want an agent that asks you questions too. If they don’t know what your situation is, how can they know how to best help you? Keep this in mind too. Once you select a real estate agent, you may be working closely with them for several weeks or even several months. Ask yourself if this is someone you want to spend that much time working with.

The 5 Fastest Growing Cities in Florida

Whether you like living in a highly populated city or not, it is no secret that larger cities often times have a lot more to offer. In regards to economic growth of a particular area there is a direct correlation between the growth rate of a city and floridas fastest growing citiessuch things as higher employment rates and better housing markets among many other positive benefits. The nice thing about population growth in a particular area is the hidden driving factors like a new industry or large business moving in or it may be just a desirable cost effective area to live.  Whatever the reason is, just remember that if you want to benefit from a booming city than the earlier you jump on board the better.  Florida has many great cities but here is a list of 5 of Florida’s fastest growing cities.

1. Orlando

First and foremost and probably the largest city in the state, Orlando, known by the locals as “The city beautiful” with a population growth rate of 1.82% and a fantastic unemployment rate of 5.76% which is several points below the national average.

2. Cape Coral

Second is a smaller town of Cape Coral which is direct neighbors to the more well-known town Fort Myers.  The population growth rate of Cape Coral is currently around 2.41% and yet still a low unemployment rate of 6.22%.  Surprisingly this city was one of the hardest hit during the economic housing fall, good to see its coming back.

3. Palm Bay

Next we are brought to Palm Bay, Florida, while on the east coast this is a great beach city having a population increase of around 1.53% and an unemployment rate at 6.6%.  The average income in this town is right above $60,000 which could be greatly supported by such companies like NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and soon to be Northrop Grumman.

4. North Port

Coming in at number four would be North Port, Florida a location that piggy backs the more well-known metropolitan area Sarasota.  North Port is in a wonderful area on the west coast with white sand beaches, turquoise colored water and beautiful sunsets.  This town has boasted a 1.42% population growth rate along with a 6% unemployment rate.

5. Windermere

Back to the intercostal geographic area, this small town in Orange County Florida known for its rather large houses and the Arnold Palmer golf tournament Windermere makes the ranking at number five.  With about a 29% population growth since the year 2000 this has been a substantial increase even according the national level.  More known for its original basketball super star Shaquille O’Neal and golf legend Tiger Woods there is no question this is a very desirable city to live in.

Sure, getting on board with a city that is up and coming has its benefits but it wouldn’t be your first priority unless you were looking for purely investment purposes.  On the other hand you may be in a community that is growing with excellent supporting industry and opportunity.  If you are looking for more information on these communities I suggest using the tools offered on