So you have decided you're moving to Lakeland FL. Great choice and yes Lakeland FL is looking forward to your arrival. What can you expect to find? What will a quality home cost? Let's take a look at the current market conditions and a few reasons why the Lakeland area is such a great choice.
Lakeland is located just east of Tampa Florida. On a normal day it will take about 35 minutes to drive from the intersection of US-98 and Interstate-4 to Downtown Tampa. Some more great news is that portion of your drive will also be toll free. There are some residents in southern Lakeland who are better off paying a toll but I personally just use the 570 (Polk Parkway Toll Road) as an option is there is a slowdown on I-4. The 570 allows you to go from west to east of Lakeland around it's southern portion.
Quite a few residents even drive from Lakeland to the Orlando area daily. I go there quite myself for a number of reasons. Disney takes as little as 30 minutes depending on what part of it you are going to. Downtown Orlando can be reached in 45 minutes if traffic is just perfect. Of course it is rarely perfect especially during dense traffic times aka rush hour. Normally the first slowdown you will come to is US-27 and you can lessen its' impact by being in the left lane.
For me I like south Lakeland the best. Most people agree which is why there are more communities to the south of I-4. The northern portion of the city does have its' advantages but it seems a little more rural. The mall is just north of I-4 off of US-98 and there are a lot of options for about 2-3 miles as you go northward. As you may know US-98 goes all of the way through Florida toward Mobile Alabama follow it eastward and you actually end up at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach Florida.
Most of the gated communities are located in the southern portion of the city. Although the mall is to the north there are places to shop spread out all over the southern portion. FL-37 is where you will find just about everything you could possibly want. However what you need is always much closer to home. Just to the south of the city is Bartow which is the home of the Polk County Seat.
The traditional single family homes in Lakeland Florida had a mean selling price last month of $255,000. 420 of them sold and the most expensive home sold for $1,750,000. Those are pretty affordable numbers compared to many of the communities around Orlando and Tampa. Plus it is just prettier here. Two cities to the east are Auburndale and Winter Haven Florida. Both exceptional choices that are filled with lakes and affordable housing. Winter Haven is known as a a great area for retirees and those who love lakes.
Lakeland also has a few townhome and condo communities to choose from. Quite a few of the local college students reside in these communities. If you are interested in a townhome or a condo you may want to start looking as soon as possible. Normally only around 25 of these (combined) are for sale at any given time. The median price will run around $164,000. Normally condos will make up about 2/3 of the market.
Mobile homes and/or manufactured homes are a viable option for many people moving to this area. Around 50 of them are normally available. There are several mobile home communities but very few south of the 570. You may want to focus your search in North Lakeland.
At some point you are going to want professional assistance. By that I mean a professional full time realtor. Depending on how you are going to fund your purchase a mortgage company will also likely be involved. We have decades of experience buying and selling homes all over Central Florida and I actually live here. If you are moving here this website is a treasure trove filled with information and photos of the area. I suggest you take a little bit of time to look it over. Simply hover your mouse over the cities in the menu above and that will get you started. We know the area very well and I wrote every word, took every photo on this website. I am confident we will serve you well. Reach out to us today if you are moving to Lakeland FL.