Lakeland, Florida is a unique city, with thirty-eight named lakes within the city’s limits and many more unnamed ones dotting the city and surrounding area. These lakes give Lakeland a very distinct scenic charm, as swans and other wildlife congregate in many of the larger bodies of water.
For Lakeland’s 100,000 residents, this natural beauty is only one of the many reasons to call Lakeland home. And for anyone looking to buy a home, it’s just one of many contributing factors that make Lakeland a great place to live.
So here’s information about the real estate market in Lakeland, as well as tips to get a mortgage in Lakeland, Florida.
Real Estate in Lakeland
Compared to some of the surrounding areas, Lakeland’s real estate prices are relatively low, and haven’t recovered as much from the great recession as other cities near Tampa Bay. But strong improvement in Lakeland’s housing market, and predictions of continued improvement, means Lakeland is still a great place to buy a home.
Zillow lists the median home price in Lakeland at $128,000, which is significantly lower than the $175,300 median in Florida and $188,900 median nationwide. However, those low prices don’t necessarily denote an unhealthy market, only a somewhat slower than average recovery from the great recession. Over the past year, home values in Lakeland have risen a healthy 9%, significantly higher than the national average of 3.3% over the same time period. Growth is expected to continue next year, with Zillow predicting a 3.5% increase in property values over the next twelve months.
Reasons Why Lakeland Property Prices Will Rise
While home values in Lakeland are currently lower than regional averages, they are certainly on the rise and expected to continue growing. Savvy buyers interested in making a purchase in Lakeland should start the process now, while prices are still low. So, here are a few reasons why home values will continue to rise in Lakeland.
#1 Location, Location, Location
Lakeland is the largest city on I-4 between Orlando and Tampa. As home prices continue to rise in both these cities, especially nearby Tampa Bay, property values in Lakeland will be driven up as well.
As a major interstate transit hub, and as Tampa Bay homes increase in value, more people will be looking to move into neighboring Lakeland to take advantage of lower prices.
#2 Scenic Beauty
As mentioned above, Lakeland is home to dozens of lakes, which gives the town a very unique natural charm. For bird and wildlife enthusiasts, Lakeland’s bodies of water make it a premier destination for spotting numerous rare and beautiful species.
In addition to beautiful lakes, Lakeland is an easy drive from some of the best beaches in the world, providing access to Florida’s amazing coasts without the higher prices associated with coastal cities.
#3 Diversified Economy
The regional economy in Lakeland is more diverse than many Floridian cities, with its major focus on industry and agricultural, and less focus on tourism. As a transportation hub on I-4, Lakeland is very important to cattle, mining, and citrus operations in the area, historically serving as a citrus epicenter for the surrounding region. Since jobs in Lakeland aren’t primarily based on tourism, the city’s economy is more stable, and offers attractive opportunities for individuals looking for a simpler pace of life.
Getting a Mortgage in Lakeland, Florida
Since Lakeland is a wonderful city to buy a home, we also want to give you some tips to get a mortgage in Lakeland.
The sooner you start gearing your finances toward qualifying for a mortgage, the more you could save in interest over the course of the loan. It’s important, therefore, to start working with a Lakeland mortgage loan originator as soon as possible, even if you are only thinking about buying a home in the future.
When you meet with your mortgage loan originator, you should learn about down payment options that are applicable to your specific needs, closing costs you can expect to pay, and possible ways to lower your interest rate by raising your credit score.
Also when you meet with your mortgage originator, you can pre-qualify for a home loan, which will allow you to immediately start working with a Realtor to find a home. Then as you search for a home, you can go through the longer process of being pre-approved for a home mortgage.
Once you are pre-approved for a mortgage, the lender submits your application to underwriting, along with all of the supporting documentation. After meeting the remaining conditions, you will receive a “clear to close”, and the lender will send the paperwork for closing to the title company/closing agent.
Marimark Mortgage is a Lakeland, Florida mortgage broker, serving the needs of borrowers in all of Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.