If all you want out of a place to live is proximity to Mickey Mouse and Disney Princesses, Poinciana will have an almost magnetic appeal. The settlement is less than 40 miles from Disney World. Take heart, however. If giant mice, honey-addicted bears, and constant hordes of tourists aren't your thing, Poinciana still has plenty to offer (and most tourists like to stay closer to Disney anyway).
Despite its beginnings as a destination for people in the retirement years, Poinciana's population has a median age of just 35 years young. The average household consists of 3.13 (whatever the .13 means). Quite a few have children, so if you have crumb snatchers, you won't be an oddball in a sea of empty nesters.
Real estate here is relatively expensive. The relative means you will thank your lucky stars for the prices if you hail from someplace like New York City or Los Angeles. If you're hoping for prices around or less than the national average, though, you probably won't find that here. Though rents can exceed national averages in some areas, you can also find some apartments for rent that blend right in with the country's average and won't bleed you dry for cash.
About 40 percent of the population here are renters, so property owners are pretty familiar with the difference between good tenant material and a gut-wrenching eviction waiting to happen. Don't expect fast talking and a Colgate smile to get you that all bills paid apartment you want. Instead, you'll need to show up with proof of income and good employment and rental history references. Take your checkbook, so you can plunk down at least one month's rent when you find the apartment of your dreams, and brace yourself for a credit check. Most landlords want to rent to people with good credit, but because of the area's 20-percent vacancy rate, you might negotiate your way in despite credit blemishes. This is especially true if you have pay stubs that demonstrate your ability to pay and you're willing to offer extra in the way of a deposit. You know what they say about money talking and all that jazz.
Poinciana isn't separated into distinct neighborhoods like many other communities are. Instead, the divisions here are much more subtle. The settlement is described as having several villages, however, so you can get some idea of how much it will cost to live in various parts of town. The dividing lines are not easy to see, so visiting one village may feel pretty much like visiting just about any other part of this settlement.
Poinciana Village 1: This village has a population mostly made up of families without children, though you'll still find close to 3,000 households with those tiny creatures. As far as housing is concerned, you'll find a lot of single-family homes and townhomes interspersed with small apartment buildings and smaller apartment complexes. The cost of living here and the crime rates are relatively low. $$
Poinciana Village 2: Poinciana Village 2 has a population reaching into the 30,000s and a number of households with children. Even in this community, however, families without children outnumber those with little tykes. In fact, about 4,000 households have little crumb snatchers running around versus the more than 6,000 that do not. Crime rates here can be a bit higher than in some other parts of town, but you can find deals on apartments to rent.$$$
Poinciana Village 3: What can anyone say about this part of town? It offers single-family homes, townhomes, and some apartment rentals and is a pretty decent place to raise a family because of its lower crime rates and relatively low cost of living.$$$
Solvita: This area is designated for the older set. If you're at least 55 years old and hoping to live the good life with a wide range of amenities, including indoor jogging tracks, fishing, golf, lighted tennis courts, and concierge services, this one is for you. Don't expect to find a bunch of apartment complexes, though. This wooded community offers a lot of single-family homes and townhomes. It even has some villas. Apartment buildings? Not so much. $$$$
When you choose this community, expect to look around and see lots of newer residences. This area doesn't have a lot of older homes, though you will find some that were built in the 70s and 90s. Most homes are owner occupied, but thanks to the area's higher vacancy rates and seasonal renters, you'll find good company with other renters and see new faces from time to time.
If you're not moving to the area as part of your retirement master plan, you will have to get back and forth to work. Commute times depend on which village you call home but tend to hover around 45 minutes to an hour each way. The longer commute times are probably responsible for their fair share of blood pressure spikes, and road rage rears its ugly head, even here in suburbia. If you're like 75 percent of people in this settlement, you'll find yourself shelling out the big bucks for fuel and driving to work alone. However, if you're outgoing and willing to rub elbows with your fellow man and sit rather close to your neighbors, you might get in on some carpool action like about 20 percent of residents do.
Poinciana is diverse and has residents in wide range of occupations. You'll find both white-collar and blue-collar workers here. Some primary occupational areas include sales, management, and manufacturing. Many professionals call this community home as well.