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Sanford, the county seat of Seminole County, FL, is conveniently located between Downtown Orlando and Daytona Beach. Covering an area of nearly 27 square miles and with a population of around 61,500, this bustling city is a dynamic economic and employment center in the region.

Sanford has all the urban conveniences you can ask for, but it’s far from the typical large city. Known as the “Historic Waterfront Gateway City”, Sanford provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, both on water and on land, as well as a rich cultural life with historic attractions, entertainment venues, and community events.

Sanford is a gateway to Central Florida’s top destinations, including the world-famous theme parks and attractions in Orlando and the beautiful beaches of Daytona Beach. But the best things about the city are found right at home. Found on the south shore of Lake Monroe and the head of the St. Johns River, it boasts miles of gorgeous waterfront that serves as an active community hub and center of activities for locals and visitors.

A brief history of Sanford, FL

The area where Sanford now sits was the site of Fort Mellon, a US Army post during the Seminole Wars of the 1830s. It later grew into the town of Mellonville, which became the first seat of Orange County.

In the 1870s, the land west of Mellonville was purchased and developed by Henry Shelton Sanford. In 1877, the city of Sanford was incorporated, and six years later, Mellonville was annexed to it. The city became a stop for the South Florida Railroad, as well as a port for commercial steamboat services, and was named the county seat when Seminole County was established in 1913.

The city was mostly agricultural from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. With the coming of the Sanford US Naval Air Station in the 1940s, however, it gradually transformed into a residential and commercial community. The air station was closed in 1969, and in its place, Sanford’s International Airport was built.

Real estate in Sanford, FL

Homes in Sanford are widely varied. You’ll find everything, from stunning mansions and estates to standard sized homes in need of some TLC, and everything in-between. There’s also a smattering of condos and townhomes in various sizes and prices. Spanish/Mediterranean is a popular architectural style, but you’ll also find Colonial, Craftsman, contemporary, and more.

The most desirable properties are those found along Lake Monroe. In addition to gorgeous views and the tranquil lakeside atmosphere, many of these homes also come with a private dock from where you can sail into the lake for some fishing or a little sailing adventure. You’ll find waterfront estates and single-family homes, as well as condos and townhomes with nearby marinas.

Golf homes around Mayfair Country Club, Sanford’s only golf course, are also in high demand, featuring spacious living areas, great views, and the best access to the greens.

There’s also a number of equestrian properties with large open spaces and easy access to community riding and biking trails. Some come with a barn and other features needed for your very own horse farm.

Living in Sanford, FL

  • Education

Sanford is served by the Seminole County Public Schools district, one of the highest rated school districts in Florida. Sanford students are zoned to around 27 elementary, middle, and high schools, including a number of charter schools.

The city is home to the main campus of Seminole State College of Florida, which offers several degree and graduate programs.

  • Recreation

Lake Monroe plays an essential role in defining the Sanford lifestyle. In addition to water activities, the waterfront is also the main community hub and the site of Historic Downtown Sanford, where you’ll find numerous restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment venues.

The award-winning Sanford RiverWalk is a multi-use pedestrian trail of nearly five miles, lined with a unique collection of shops and restaurants. There are a host of parks around the city, including the waterfront Fort Mellon Park, where you’ll find picnic areas with barbeque grills, playgrounds, a splash pad, a fitness trail, and more.

  • Culture and events

Sanford has two historic districts, the Commercial Historic District and the Old Sanford Residential Historic District, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also known as Historic Downtown Sanford, the Commercial Historic District is home to vintage brick buildings that houses shops, restaurants, art galleries, bars, and other establishments. It’s also the site of the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, the city’s premier live performance and theater venue. The district hosts various community events, including a weekly Farmer’s Market and a monthly street party dubbed Alive After Five.

The Sanford Residential Historic District features around 434 historic homes and buildings showcasing the various architectural trends in different eras of the city’s history.

Make Sanford, FL your home with Central Florida’s top Realtors

Mel Bernstein and our team at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty team are your best real estate guides in Sanford and the rest of Seminole County. Ranked the top performer in luxury real estate in 2019, we are the local experts to call for your home buying and selling needs in the area. Contact us today at 407.810.4726 or send an email to today!

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