Lakeland Offers Budget-Friendly Florida Dirt

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Editor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 34th city on the list — Mesa, Arizona. This week, we look at Lakeland, Florida, and found three great homes — all for less than $500,000.

“Lakeland is nestled safely in the middle of Florida, far away from weather-beaten coasts,” MoneyWise said. “The climate is warm and mild all year, and the cost of living requires an income of only $39,000. This is a family-friendly town that is home to a hospital and 17 healthcare centers.”


Price: $109,900

Located in the popular Casa Loma community, which was developed around Scott Lake, this three-bedroom, two-bath condo has 1,425 square feet of living space, making it a great spot for the downsizers who still want to host family.

Inside, the home has been upgraded and updated, with wood floors and tile floors throughout, an updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, and more.

Outside, there is plenty of parking, as well as lots of community amenities, including two swimming pools, tennis courts, walking paths, and well-maintained grounds.

The home is listed by Gate Arty with Keller Williams Realty.


Price: $237,000

For a mere $100 more a month, residents in this subdivision have access to two heated swimming pools, four tennis courts, two clubhouses, cable television, two spas, a gym, a barbecue area, shuffleboard and more.

And this three-bedroom, two bath home packs in a lot in its 1,800 square foot floor plan, too, from three generous bedrooms to a Florida room that extends the common areas by 180 feet when you retract the sliding doors behind the wall. Outside, the curb appeal is off the charts (and award-winning). In the backyard, a patio with a retractable awning overlooks a well-maintained and planned flower bed.

Inside, two queen-sized bedrooms flank a shared bathroom, and the master suite boasts a walk-in closet, two sinks, and a separate shower. The eat-in kitchen features a bartop and granite countertops, and is open to the living areas.

Practicalities were also taken care of, with new hurricane windows, a hurricane-protected larger (and higher) garage door, and a newer roof and air conditioning.

The home is listed by Yvonne Wherrett with Contempo Real Estate.


Price: $449,900

If you’re looking for something with even more amenities and room, our final option comes in at 2,750 square feet and is perched at the 11th green.

A former model home, the three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath listing offers finishes you won’t see in the first two homes, like marble flooring that is usually only seen in luxury hotels.

The great room features a built-in entertainment center that can accommodate most TVs, and is wired for surround sound and music throughout the home.

An oversized kitchen is open to the family room, and features stainless steel appliances, a Sub-Zero refrigerator, island, and loads of counter and cabinet space. The windows in the breakfast area give you great views of the pool, lanai and hot tub, as well as the golf course.

A master suite has plenty of room for a sitting area, and the guest rooms are located on the other side of the home.

The home also comes with a full equity golf and country club membership, meaning that golf course you can see from your pool is also your playground.

The home is listed by Pat Jones with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Olive Branch.