Brent's Blog / / Theme Park News, Orlando News, Real Estate News

The Oasis Club at ChampionsGate held its Grand Opening last night. This awesome clubhouse is located next to The Retreat at ChampionsGate vacation home community.

Lennar Executives together with representatives from ICON Management and guest speakers Darlene Bradley, Mayor of the City of Davenport, and John Newstreet, Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, were on hand for the reception and ribbon cutting ceremony attended by ChampionsGate Owners, the Lennar Sales Team, members of the Real Estate community including myself, and a handful of visitors currently vacationing in The Retreat at ChampionsGate.

The Oasis Club is a groundbreaking amenity center including a Fitness Center and Aerobic Room, Game Room, Kids Play Room, Movie Theater, Business Center, Grille and Bar, Tiki Bar, Heated Pools, Lazy River, Childrens Water Playground, Sand Volleyball, and more.

A concierge will be available from 8am - 10pm daily with matching hours for Resort Guests. The pools will be open from 10am - 10pm. Homeowners will be able to access the Fitness Center and Locker Rooms from 5am-12am. A daily activities calendar is available.

Lennar's ChampionsGate currently features 5 unique neighborhoods - The Retreat at ChampionsGate Luxury Short Term Vacation Rental Homes, The Country Club at ChampionsGate and The Estates at ChampionsGate Single Family Homes, The Champions Club Carriage Homes/Condos, and The Vistas at ChampionsGate Golf and Short Term Vacation Villas.

For ChampionsGate Sales Assistance please call me at (407) 506-7857.

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on January 25th, 2015 4:08 PM
It was a busy morning in Orlando!

The Orlando Eye is one step closer to completion as it reached a major milestone today with the installation of its first capsule.




Weighing in at approximately 6,600 pounds a piece, or the average weight of an Indian elephant, each air conditioned capsule will accommodate up to 15 riders. A special shaft and hanger system attached to the roof will allow standing or sitting. 30 passenger capsules will be installed in all allowing for 450 total possible guests at one time.

The Orlando Eye observation wheel stands at an impressive 400 feet tall and is located between International Drive and Universal Boulevard just south of Sand Lake Road in the heart of the Orlando attractions area. Interactive tablets will provide guests with information on the sweeping 360 degree view.

Additional Merlin Entertainments brands, Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE, will also be part of the complex known as I-Drive 360, Home of The Orlando Eye. Opening is scheduled for Spring. A number of restaurants and bars including Yard House, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Outback Steakhouse, and Tin Roof are already open.

Further up I-Drive another new attraction was also making headlines. Orlando Mayor, officials, and executives were joined by hundreds of visitors, the media, and invited guests at Fun Spot America - Orlando for a ceremonial groundbreaking of the all new Gator Spot by Gatorland.


Gatorland + Fun Spot = Gator Spot! The 15,000 sq. ft. facility is a joint-venture between the two local theme parks.

Gator Spot at Fun Spot America will showcase an array of alligators up to 12 feet, a rare leucistic “white” alligator, and numerous crocodiles as well as provide up-close encounters, photo opportunities, a gift shop, and more. Admission will be just $6 per person adult or child.


Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on January 20th, 2015 4:46 PM

Orlando City Soccer Club releases regular season schedule for first Major League Soccer season

Orlando City Soccer Club will face off against fellow 2015 MLS expansion team New York City FC in their historic first MLS game on Sunday, March 8th at 5 PM. Two international stars will also be making a MLS debut - Orlando City's Kaka (Brazil) versus New York's David Villa (Spain). The match will be the Lions' first home game of the season to be contested in the newly renovated Citrus Bowl where the team will play out all 17 home games on their 2015 regular season schedule. Orlando will move to a brand new soccer specific stadium for 2016. Following is the Lions' home game schedule together with initial broadcast information.

Sunday, March 8, 2015 5:00PM EDT
Broadcast: ESPN2

Saturday, March 21, 2015 7:30PM EDT
Broadcast: FOX (WOFL)

Friday, April 3, 2015 7:00PM EDT
Broadcast: UniMas

Sunday, April 26, 2015 7:00PM EDT
Broadcast: Fox Sports 1

Friday, May 8, 2015 8:00PM EDT
Broadcast: UniMas

Sunday, May 17, 2015 5:00PM EDT
Broadcast: ESPN2

Saturday, May 30, 2015 7:30PM EDT
Broadcast: FOX (WOFL)

Sunday, June 14, 2015 7:00PM EDT
Broadcast: Fox Sports 1

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 7:30PM EDT
Broadcast: FOX (WOFL)

Saturday, July 11, 2015 7:30PM EDT
Broadcast: FOX (WOFL)

Sunday, July 19, 2015 TBD
Broadcast: Fox Sports 1

Saturday, August 1, 2015 7:30PM EDT
Broadcast: FOX (WOFL)

Saturday, August 8, 2015 7:30PM EDT
Broadcast: FOX (WOFL)

Saturday, August 29, 2015 7:30PM EDT
Broadcast: FOX (WOFL)

Sunday, September 13, 2015 7:00PM EDT
Broadcast: Fox Sports 1

Saturday, October 3, 2015 7:30PM EDT
Broadcast: FOX (WOFL)

Friday, October 16, 2015 7:00PM EDT
Broadcast: UniMas

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on January 7th, 2015 4:31 PM

So, you are visiting Orlando for vacation. My child is _ years old/_ inches tall. Does he/she need a car seat? What is the Florida Car Seat Law? Is there a Booster Law? What about taxis? …..

Effective January 1, 2015 the Florida Car Seat Law has changed, or, as has been popularly reported in media, there is a “New Booster Law” which took effect.

The Child Restraint Requirements can be found here in Chapter 316 Section 613 of the Florida Statutes.

They read as follows:


The 2014 Florida Statutes



Chapter 316



316.613 Child restraint requirements.

(1)(a) Every operator of a motor vehicle as defined in this section, while transporting a child in a motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, shall, if the child is 5 years of age or younger, provide for protection of the child by properly using a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device.

1. For children aged through 3 years, such restraint device must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat.

2. For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a child booster seat may be used. However, the requirement to use a child restraint device under this subparagraph does not apply when a safety belt is used as required in s. 316.614(4)(a) and the child:

a. Is being transported gratuitously by an operator who is not a member of the child’s immediate family;

b. Is being transported in a medical emergency situation involving the child; or

c. Has a medical condition that necessitates an exception as evidenced by appropriate documentation from a health care professional.

(b) The department shall provide notice of the requirement for child restraint devices, which notice shall accompany the delivery of each motor vehicle license tag.

(2) As used in this section, the term “motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle as defined in s. 316.003 that is operated on the roadways, streets, and highways of the state. The term does not include:

(a) A school bus as defined in s. 316.003(45).

(b) A bus used for the transportation of persons for compensation, other than a bus regularly used to transport children to or from school, as defined in s. 316.615(1)(b), or in conjunction with school activities.

(c) A farm tractor or implement of husbandry.

(d) A truck having a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds.

(e) A motorcycle, moped, or bicycle.

(3) The failure to provide and use a child passenger restraint shall not be considered comparative negligence, nor shall such failure be admissible as evidence in the trial of any civil action with regard to negligence.

(4) It is the legislative intent that all state, county, and local law enforcement agencies, and safety councils, in recognition of the problems with child death and injury from unrestrained occupancy in motor vehicles, conduct a continuing safety and public awareness campaign as to the magnitude of the problem.

(5) Any person who violates this section commits a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318 and shall have 3 points assessed against his or her driver license as set forth in s. 322.27. In lieu of the penalty specified in s. 318.18 and the assessment of points, a person who violates this section may elect, with the court’s approval, to participate in a child restraint safety program approved by the chief judge of the circuit in which the violation occurs, and, upon completing such program, the penalty specified in chapter 318 and associated costs may be waived at the court’s discretion and the assessment of points shall be waived. The child restraint safety program must use a course approved by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and the fee for the course must bear a reasonable relationship to the cost of providing the course.

(6) The child restraint requirements imposed by this section do not apply to a chauffeur-driven taxi, limousine, sedan, van, bus, motor coach, or other passenger vehicle if the operator and the motor vehicle are hired and used for the transportation of persons for compensation. It is the obligation and responsibility of the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for a child’s welfare as defined in s. 39.01 to comply with the requirements of this section.

History.—s. 1, ch. 82-58; s. 1, ch. 86-49; s. 2, ch. 87-200; s. 2, ch. 91-136; s. 28, ch. 94-306; s. 903, ch. 95-148; s. 35, ch. 96-350; s. 56, ch. 99-8; s. 240, ch. 99-248; s. 1, ch. 99-316; s. 18, ch. 2000-313; s. 40, ch. 2005-164; s. 9, ch. 2008-176; s. 14, ch. 2011-66; s. 13, ch. 2012-181; s. 53, ch. 2014-224; s. 1, ch. 2014-226.



What does this mean and how is this different?

In summary, children 0-3 years old should be in a car seat. Children aged 4 and 5 should be in a car seat or a booster seat. Previously, the law only necessitated car seats for children through age 3. 4 and 5 year olds could, legally, be restrained with a seat belt only. You can see the additions and deletions to FS 316.613 by reading the Enrolled version on the Bill here. Originally submitted versions with stronger requirements did not pass.

The advice?

In this case, there is a difference between the minimum you have to do and the minimum you should do. Most parents would likely agree that both the old version of the law, and the new, are weak. The lawful requirement in Florida falls short of widely accepted standards for child passenger safety. Parents are advised to follow “safety first” and common sense by employing the method best suited based on the child’s age/height/weight. Click here for a Child Safety Seat Brochure from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. These recommendations meet and exceed the Florida law and serve as a better guideline for safety.

I additionally recommend verifying any laws in question by visiting the official site of the Florida Legislature.

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on January 6th, 2015 10:52 AM

Orlando City To Face NYCFC In Home Opener Week 1

ORLANDO – December 19, 2014 – Orlando City Soccer Club will open its inaugural Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign against fellow expansion club and Eastern Conference rivals New York City FC (NYCFC) at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on March 8, 2015 the League announced today.  Season tickets are available at or by calling 1-855-ORL-CITY.

Scheduled to kick-off at 5:00 p.m. ET, the marquee match-up will feature international superstars Kaká, David Villa and Frank Lampard, who will compete in their first-ever MLS match alongside League veterans Aurélien Collin, Amobi Okugo, Donovan Ricketts, and others.

Additionally, the opening fixture between MLS’ newest teams will be in the national spotlight, airing on ESPN2.

“Our fans have been waiting for this day for years and so have we,” said Orlando City Founder and President Phil Rawlins. “This is the first opportunity of many to show a national television audience why the City Beautiful is the ‘Soccer Capital of the South.’ Let’s fill the bowl!”

“The fact that we’re going to play our first MLS game at home in front of our fans is a great present,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “Obviously playing against New York City FC is going to be special as well – two expansion teams and all the hype around having Kaká, David Villa and Frank Lampard here. It’s a great first fixture and it should be a very special night for everybody.”

Orlando City will also play in Montreal Impact's home opener on Saturday, March 28 at Olympic Stadium.

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on December 19th, 2014 11:56 AM
The following debut pricing has been released for Minto's new Festival Resort located just a few short miles from Walt Disney World.

Nestled within 200 acres of beautiful natural Florida woodlands and lakes, the private gated neighborhoods of Festival offer resort living with your choice from a variety of spacious townhome floor plans together with attraction-quality amenities at Downtown Festival including a heated resort pool, kids waterpark elements, mini golf, a general store, bar & grill, ice cream parlor, and arcade.

The resort vacation villas/townhomes at Festival include a private screened lanai and gas heated plunge pool.

Contact me at for a brochure together with floor plans and the latest availability.

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on December 16th, 2014 10:06 AM
In celebration of my new Facebook page Brent Ferry, Realtor / Orlando, FL and as a ‘thank you’ to my fans, I’m giving away some official Disney Frozen merchandise straight from the Walt Disney World Resort just in time for the holidays. The lucky winner will be able to choose an authentic Sven plush, authentic Olaf plus, an Anna doll, or an Elsa doll. Photos and entry information can be found by visiting my Facebook page, Brent Ferry, Realtor / Orlando, FL. Deadline to enter is midnight Dec. 14, 2014. 
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on December 10th, 2014 10:31 PM
Sonoma Resort in Kissimmee, FL is now open!

Also known at Sonoma at Tapestry, Sonoma Resort is a new community by Park Square Homes.

Sonoma Resort falls under Park Square's "Resort Communities" designation and will be marketed and sold as vacation homes with short-term rental approval. The resort is also attractive for residential buyers as part of the overall Tapestry community which is a collection of several neighborhoods by various Builders.

Sonoma at Tapestry is located at 2454-2468 West Carroll Street, Kissimmee, FL 34741 less than 2 miles to the popular "The Loop" shopping and dining area as well as the Osceola Parkway for easy access into Disney. The community is also convenient to 192 near mile marker 15. Sonoma Resort borders Shingle Creek Regional Park to the west.

The community features Park Square Homes' Pacific collection of 4 to 7 bedroom floor plans ranging from 1,835 sq.ft. to 4,110 sq.ft. on 50' or 70' homesites.

Grand Opening pricing is from $354,900.

For the best deals on a new home in Sonoma Resort, call me today at 407-506-7857. I offer Buyer rebates on all new construction in Tapestry.

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on December 5th, 2014 10:47 AM
When Lennar's newest vacation home community, Storey Lake, opened for pre-sale at the end of July, demand was high and all units in the 6 buildings offered during the initial offering quickly sold out. No lots have been made available since...UNTIL NOW!

I have received advanced notice that an additional building (6 individual units) will be opened for sale on December 17th.

Call me immediately at 407-506-7857 to be placed on the priority list for your chance to buy in this next pre-construction release. Time is of the essence for those who want to get in during the earliest stages of this exciting new resort community. Don't delay. The faster you reply, the better your chances. Call me now.

For more information on Storey Lake go to You can also learn more and follow updates about the community on Facebook.
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on December 4th, 2014 3:53 PM

Pulte Homes is building new vacation homes at Windsor at Westside with floor plans up to 9 bedrooms.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Dec. 01, 2014 – Gutted with foreclosures during the downturn, Orlando's vacation-home market is making a comeback with big-name homebuilders rolling out neighborhoods of six-, seven- and eight-bedroom pool homes.

The communities, which are popping up within about 5 miles of the Walt Disney World area, come with resort-style lazy rivers, water guns, water slides and Tiki bars.

The new line of vacation homes differs from those built during the pre-recession days, because cheaper land prices now allow builders to spread out the vacation hacienda with fully equipped houses and townhomes in traditional-looking neighborhoods. In years past, developers stacked up floors of two- and three-bedroom condominiums in order to sell more units and cover the higher land costs.

"Definitely at the peak, you would have had to build multi-story condos to make the economics work for what you were paying for the land," said Sean Strickler, vice president of Pulte Homes for North Florida. "Land prices are back, but they're not as high as they were."

Another factor driving the new, amped-up vacation homes is an increase in South American visitors to Central Florida, who tend to travel with extended family and who are interested in investing in income-producing rentals, developers say. Prices typically range from the low $200s for townhome-style units to the high $400s for more expansive, detached houses.

Orlando's visitor volume reached 59.2 million last year, up 27 percent from 2009. International visitor traffic increased 45 percent to 4.8 million, according to the Orlando Convention and Visitors Bureau. Strickler said the Orlando area still gets its share of European tourists who travel in smaller numbers, but more tourists are coming from Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Colombia – and those vacationers often prefer staying at a house with plenty of room for the entire family to relax.

In addition, increasingly popular websites marketing vacation homes have popularized trips based at a house instead of a hotel., and are among the specialty sites that book houses, allowing searches by bedroom count and the number of people who can sleep in a house. Even travel-booking service recently began offering vacation homes as an option to hotels.

Buyers can still face the struggle of finding property managers who adequately vet short-term renters, keep the property in good shape and don't overcharge.

Kissimmee property manager Nigel Worrall, who has written several books on vacation rentals, cautioned buyers to steer clear if they cannot cover most of the mortgage costs themselves, or at least half of the payments.

"The bottom line is that anyone thinking of buying a vacation home should not be doing so if they need rental income to make ends meet," said Worrall, co-owner of Florida Leisure Vacation Homes Inc. "They certainly should not be doing so because someone else makes a promise to them that they will not be able to keep."

When the housing market crashed starting in 2007, the vacation-rental market was hit particularly hard with investors walking away from mortgages as the amount of visitors to the region slowed. Orlando-area vacation-home rentals have been slower to emerge from the recession than hotels because many of the second homes were "less than ideal" vacation properties and ultimately fell into foreclosure, said Steve Trover, chief executive officer of All-Star Vacation Homes in Kissimmee.

During the last year, the market has shifted.

The combination of increased demand and more affordable land prices has drawn Pulte Homes, KB Home, Minto Communities, Lennar, Beazer Homes and Park Square Homes into the mega-house vacation-rental scene after years of construction standstill.

Pulte announced plans last month for its Windsor at Westside community off U.S. Highway 192 in the Kissimmee area. For $475,000, buyers can get nine bedrooms and six bathrooms in a single-family house outfitted with a private pool, granite finishes, stainless-steel appliances and tile roof.

Minto recently purchased 200 acres southwest of Celebration and is underway on the Festival community of 500 townhomes, which will have as many as five bedrooms and optional "pass-through" doors connecting two units.

"Tourism is up and the propensity for buyers to come to Orlando is greater than ever. Now you see larger numbers of guests who like to share entertainment space," Minto Communities Senior Vice President William Bullock said.

Even though the first models are not slated to open until March or April, Minto has been marketing Festival at buyer trade shows – primarily in Europe and South America.

Copyright © 2014 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.), Mary Shanklin. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The above article appeared yesterday in The Orlando Sentinel. Here at, I have been promoting the mentioned Builders and their newest communities since their announcements. In the case of KB Home/Compass Bay, that means for several years when the first phase of that community opened. New construction sales there resumed this spring after a long hiatus. Others like Windsor at Westside (just opened) and Festival (coming soon) truly are brand new.

For some, like Minto Communities/Festival, the article is appropriately titled "Homebuilders enter vacation-house business". For others, it would be better stated as Homebuilders re-enter vacation-house business. We have seen many of these Builders in the short-term rental area before.

Pulte Homes, in example, whose new Windsor at Westside community is featured, is no stranger to the vacation home market. Their Windsor Palms community was one of the pioneers for Disney area vacation home communities offerings condos, townhomes, and single family pool homes, and, perhaps more importantly, featuring a resort pool and community clubhouse facilities unseen at the time. Their Windsor Hills and Vista Cay Resorts are two of the most well known and popularly visited rental communities out there.

There is no doubt that Windsor at Westside which offers 4-5 bedroom vacation townhomes and 6-9 bedroom pool homes will continue the tradition of excellence including amenities which once again build upon its predecessors and are sure to wow Owners and Guests.

(You can learn more about Windsor at Westside on my website here and on my Facebook page at Windsor at Westside is NOW SELLING! Call me today at (407) 506-7857 to secure your homesite. Get in on the ground floor with special Phase 1 pricing in addition to a choice of lots closest to the planned amenity center.)

Lennar Homes, too, is a proven vacation home builder. Their Paradise Palms Resort is another top rental choice. And, while not mentioned in the article, their ChampionsGate community, and all new Storey Lake resort, are good examples of the more spread out "traditional-looking neighborhoods" mentioned. These communities mix both short-term rental and primary residences in large scale planned developments. Lennar's communities also capitalize by featuring their own groundbreaking resort-style amenities (see the Paradise Palms Clubhouse, the highly anticipated Oasis Clubhouse at The Retreat at ChampionsGate, and Storey Lake's planned Resort Club).

The Retreat at ChampionsGate is also an example of the industry trend talked about in the article toward larger more modern homes. The Retreat's 8 bedroom Maui floor plan has been the community's best seller.

I would be pleased to assist anyone with a new vacation home purchase from any of the mentioned Builders: Pulte Homes (Windsor at Westside), KB Home (Compass Bay), Minto Communities (Festival), Lennar (Paradise Palms [closeout], ChampionsGate, Storey Lake), Beazer Homes (West Haven) or Park Square Homes (Solterra [also D.R. Horton], Bella Vida, Veranda Palms, and others).

I have been assisting Buyers with new construction in the vacation home market since 2005. Contact me today at (407) 506-7857 or for more information on any Disney area rental community.

I offer exclusive incentives on all new construction purchases to help you maximize your investment as well as added services like complimentary photo updates of your home's construction and access to reputable Property Management.

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on December 2nd, 2014 9:09 AM


My Favorite Blogs:

Sites That Link to This Blog: