ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — People living in Orlo Vista are weighing the options for their future.
Nearly a year after Hurricane Ian ripped through the neighborhood flooding homes, some are deciding whether to stay or give in to investors and buyers trying to cash in.
Channel 9 found dozens of for-sale signs across the neighborhood and they’re not staying up for long.
Orlo Vista was deemed a flood zone and the community saw the impacts when almost all the homes were damaged after Hurricane Ian.
We found that’s actually playing a part in making this neighborhood a dream location for families but also investors.
Clarence Lester Sr. said he’s seen his Orlo Vista neighborhood change a few times since the ‘80s.
“This is a life,” Lester said. “This is a good location.”
Lester remembers the original homeowners who left their homes to their children.
“Then the hurricane came,” Lester said. “And it changed again, and people got flooded out. Those they sold out to investors and investors, some of them sold back out to people that want to move back home.”
Channel 9 looked up records on the Orange County Property Appraiser’s site and found in the last three months more than 20 homes were sold in Orlo Vista. A majority went to LLCs or larger groups.
We asked Orlo Vista’s commissioner if he is concerned the neighborhood will lose its community.
“I think it’s too soon to tell,” Commissioner Mike Scott said. “You know, just because someone buys a home through an LLC or company does necessarily mean they’re an investor.”
" It doesn’t bother me,” Lester said. “I like to meet new people and experience new cultures and everything.”
Channel 9 spoke with a Realtor who told said buyers are swarming Orlo Vista because of what happened after the storm.
The county is spending millions to fix the flooding issues and home renovations have increased property values.
“I love it because of that too,” Lester said.
The realtor said the lack of HOA fees also makes it appealing for investors.
Lester plans to hold onto this home even with the daily calls he receives from interested buyers.
“I’m not going to sell out, " Lester said. “I’m going to stay right here.”
Commissioner Scott added that he has asked his team to look into what limits or changes can be added to help mitigate the rise of rental properties and the low availability of homes.
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