Why Disney's Residential Community Is a Bad Buy


The magical allure of living in a Disney-themed community can be irresistible for fans dreaming of a fairytale lifestyle. Disney's new venture, Storyliving, promises to deliver an enchanting experience complete with distinctively designed spaces and unique amenities. However, before deciding to live happily ever after in one of these communities, it's crucial to consider the potential drawbacks that might disrupt the magic. This blog explores why investing in Disney's residential communities may not be as enchanting as it appears.

The High Cost of Fairytales: Potential Downsides of Disney's Residential Communities

Disney's Storyliving communities, such as the upcoming Asteria in North Carolina and Cotino in California, are positioned as premium living options with price tags to match. These communities are designed to offer a luxury lifestyle infused with Disney's signature charm. However, the enchanting experience comes with a hefty cost, and potential homeowners need to be aware of several factors that could affect their living situation and financial well-being.

The Price of Living Inside the Disney Bubble

Disney's Storyliving homes, like those planned for Asteria and Cotino, are marketed at prices well above the average housing market. For example, while the average home price in Pittsboro, North Carolina, is around $534,931, the starting price for homes in Asteria is estimated to be around $1.05 million. This significant markup is attributed to the premium Disney branding and the exclusive amenities offered.

Comparatively, in Central Florida, near Orlando—home to Disney World and a robust real estate market—the average price for a similar type of house in non-Disney communities can be considerably less expensive. For instance, in Orlando, a comparable single-family home may range from $300,000 to $600,000, depending on the exact location and amenities. This stark difference in pricing highlights the premium you pay for the Disney name and experience, which may not necessarily translate into a similarly high return on investment.

Limited Personalization: One Size Does Not Fit All

Living in a Storyliving community means adhering to Disney's detailed and stringent guidelines for architecture and landscaping. These rules can include restrictions on exterior paint colors, types of window frames, and even the specific landscaping plants you can use. Such regulations ensure that the community maintains a cohesive and immersive Disney theme but at the cost of personal creativity and freedom.

In contrast, other communities near Disney often offer more flexibility for homeowners to personalize their property to reflect their style and preferences fully. This freedom allows homeowners to make changes that could enhance their home's value and appeal to a broader audience, something that can be restricted in a themed community like Disney's.

Consider Your Long-Term Investment

While the initial allure of living in a Disney community may be strong, potential homeowners should consider the long-term implications, particularly concerning resale value. The unique and niche nature of Disney's Storyliving might not appeal to the broader housing market, which could limit future buyers and negatively impact the property's resale value. This is a significant factor to consider, especially when investing such a large amount in a home.

In comparison, homes in more traditional communities often appeal to a wider audience, making them easier to sell and potentially more likely to appreciate. This broader appeal can be crucial for homeowners looking to make a sound financial investment that grows over time.

Alternatives to Disney's Residential Communities

Living near Disney World offers a magical experience, but choosing a home in Storyliving communities might not be the best fit for everyone. Here, we discuss the advantages of considering thriving communities near Disney that provide not just proximity but also a greater variety of benefits.

Why Location Matters More: Location is a crucial aspect of real estate investment, and homes located near Disney World but outside the exclusive Storyliving communities offer an attractive blend of accessibility and freedom. These areas provide easy access to all the theme parks and attractions of the Orlando area, ensuring that the magic of Disney is just a short drive away without the limitations and rules imposed by Disney's residential projects. Living outside these communities means enjoying a regular lifestyle with the added perk of Disney’s proximity.

More Bang for Your Buck: Homes near Disney that are not part of the Disney-branded communities typically offer more space and more property for your investment. For the price of a small home in a Storyliving community, you might be able to purchase a larger home or even a property with significant land in the surrounding areas. This means more room for personal touches, expansions, family growth, and potentially a better overall investment.

The diverse housing options available outside Disney's curated neighborhoods allow for a broader selection of home styles and prices. Whether you’re looking for a cozy cottage, a spacious family home, or a luxurious estate, the areas surrounding Disney World cater to a wide range of preferences and budgets.

Unique Qualities and Character Worth Exploring: The communities surrounding Orlando are rich in character and offer a sense of community that themed, planned developments sometimes lack. From the vibrant downtown areas filled with arts and culture to the peaceful, tree-lined suburbs, each neighborhood offers its unique charm and advantages. Places like Windermere, Baldwin Park, and Lake Nona not only provide proximity to Disney but also boast their established communities with excellent schools, local festivals, and community activities that foster a sense of belonging and community spirit.

Check out 10 Nice Towns to Live in near Disney World! 

Find Your Perfect Home Near Disney! 

While Disney’s Storyliving communities offer a unique lifestyle, the alternatives just outside Disney World present compelling benefits. These communities offer better value, more freedom, and a diverse range of housing options—all within easy reach of the magic of Disney. 

Choosing to explore these areas offers more than just a home. You also become part of a vibrant community that enriches your life.

If you are interested in exploring what the Orlando area has to offer beyond the Disney bubble, Florida Realty Marketplace is here to guide you through the vast real estate options. From charming historic neighborhoods to modern suburban developments, let us help you find the home that truly fits your needs and dreams.

See Current Homes for Sale Near Disney!

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