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22 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Lakeland, Florida in 2024

Welcome to the city of Lakeland, Florida, affectionately known as Swan City for its delightful association with majestic swans dating back to 1923. Nestled east of Tampa, this vibrant metropolis is the largest city in Polk County and offers an irresistible blend of modern amenities and small-town charm.

Boasting a population of over 115,000 and a steady growth rate, Lakeland has become a sought-after destination for individuals and families seeking an affordable and picturesque place to call home.

Moving to Lakeland, Florida

In this article, we invite you to delve into the heart of Lakeland, uncovering 22 essential aspects that make this city a compelling choice for your next chapter.

From its thriving job market and attractive cost of living to a plethora of recreational opportunities surrounding its captivating lakes, Lakeland leaves little to be desired.

Join us on this journey as we explore the many reasons why Lakeland, Florida, continues to capture the hearts of its residents and beckon newcomers from near and far.

Whether you're drawn to its history, intrigued by its lively entertainment scene, or simply seeking a welcoming community, Lakeland promises a life brimming with opportunities and cherished memories.

Let's begin our discovery of this Swan City's secrets and treasures.

Downtown Lakeland Florida on Lake Mirror

It is the largest city in Polk County and the 22nd largest in Florida

As the largest city in Polk County, Lakeland boasts a population of approximately 115,685 people as of 2020.

With a growing rate of 1.33%, it is becoming an increasingly popular destination for those seeking a vibrant community with a small-town feel.

The city's diverse population adds to its cultural richness and offers a welcoming environment for newcomers.

Lakeland's affordable, with a cost of living lower than the national and state averages

Lakeland's affordability is a significant draw for many residents.

The overall cost of living is lower than both the national and state averages, making it one of the most budget-friendly places to live in Florida.

This financial advantage allows residents to enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank.

The average cost of living for a single person is $1,927, and for a family of four, it's $4,318

To gauge the cost of living more precisely, here are some averages for different household types - For a single person, the total cost with rent is around $1,927, and without rent, it is $786.

A family of four can expect a total cost with rent to be $4,318, and without rent, it is $2,415.

These figures showcase Lakeland's affordability and make it an attractive option for families and individuals alike.

Lakeland is known for its 38 lakes, offering various outdoor activities like hiking, boating, and fishing

Lakeland's 38 lakes are a defining feature of the city, offering an abundance of outdoor activities. Residents can explore hiking trails, enjoy boating, indulge in fishing, and experience the beauty of nature right within the city.

Among the various lakes, Lake Parker, covering approximately 2,200 acres, is the largest in Lakeland.

Lake Hollingsworth, spanning 354 acres, is a prime spot for fishing and outdoor recreation, especially for those near Florida Southern College.

Lake Mirror in Lakeland Florida

Lakeland's job market is growing, with a 2.9% increase in the past year and an unemployment rate below the national average

The job market in Lakeland is on the rise, with a 2.9% increase in the past year.

The city's unemployment rate stands below the national average, offering ample opportunities for job seekers.

Key industries like healthcare, logistics, and retail contribute to the diverse job market, providing various career options for residents.

Major companies like Publix, Lakeland Regional Health, GEICO, Amazon Air Hub & Distribution, and Saddle Creek Logistics Services are located in Lakeland

Lakeland houses several major companies, further enhancing its employment opportunities.

Notable corporations such as Publix, Lakeland Regional Health, GEICO, Amazon Air Hub & Distribution, and Saddle Creek Logistics Services create a thriving business environment, attracting skilled professionals from diverse fields.

The average base salary in Lakeland is $57,698 per year

The average base salary in Lakeland is $57,698 per year, translating to approximately $27 per hour.

This income level allows residents to lead a comfortable life while taking advantage of the city's affordable cost of living.

The housing market is also on the rise, with an average home price of $340,000

The housing market in Lakeland is witnessing a surge due to its population growth.

With a balanced market where supply meets demand, both buyers and sellers find opportunities in Lakeland's real estate market.

The average home price has seen a 15% increase since last year, reflecting the city's desirability as a place to live and invest in property.

Some popular neighborhoods in Lakeland include South Lake Morton Historic District, Cleveland Heights, Lake Somerset, and Lake Beulah

Several appealing neighborhoods are scattered throughout Lakeland, catering to diverse preferences.

Areas like South Lake Morton Historic District, Cleveland Heights, Lake Somerset, and Lake Beulah offer a mix of historic charm, scenic beauty, and modern amenities to suit varying lifestyles.

Historic Downtown Lakeland Florida

The city is near major cities like Tampa and Orlando, making it a convenient location

Lakeland's strategic location near major cities like Tampa and Orlando adds to its allure.

With Tampa a mere 40-minute drive away, residents can easily access urban attractions while enjoying the tranquility of Lakeland's suburban environment.

Lakeland is car-dependent, but public transportation options like Citrus Connection, Uber, and Lyft are available

While Lakeland is car-dependent, it provides various public transportation options for those without private vehicles.

Citrus Connection, the public transit system in Polk County, offers bus services that connect residents to various locations within the county.

Additionally, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are prevalent and affordable transportation alternatives.

Lakeland has a range of educational options, including 61 public schools and 25 private schools serving nearly 40,000 students

Lakeland's educational landscape offers numerous options for families and students.

With 61 public schools and 25 private schools serving nearly 40,000 students, the city prioritizes education and fosters a supportive learning environment.

Notable higher education institutions in Lakeland are Florida Southern College and Southeastern University

Notable higher education institutions, Florida Southern College and Southeastern University, further enrich Lakeland's educational offerings.

Florida Southern College's historical campus, featuring the world's largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, adds to the city's cultural significance.

Lakeland offers a diverse range of restaurants to try, including Nineteen 61, Love Bird Almost Famous Chicken, Red Door, Cob & Pen, and Krunchy Krab

Lakeland's diverse culinary scene features a range of must-try restaurants.

Nineteen 61 stands out for its modern Spanish and Latin American cuisine, while Love Bird Almost Famous Chicken delights with its delectable fried chicken.

Red Door offers a touch of sophistication with scenic lake views, and Cob & Pen provides a fun ambiance with craft beer and fine food.

Krunchy Krab tantalizes taste buds with flavorful seafood and chicken wings.

The city boasts abundant entertainment and nightlife options, such as Lakeland Loft, Linksters Tap Room, The Pink Piano, MINT Hookah Lounge, and more

The city's vibrant entertainment and nightlife options ensure residents never run out of activities to enjoy.

Lakeland Loft, Linksters Tap Room, The Pink Piano, MINT Hookah Lounge, and Ybor Cigars & Spirits are popular choices for a fun night out with friends or a romantic evening.

The city is within a 2-hour drive from Clearwater Beach, one of Florida's beautiful Gulf Coast beaches

The city's proximity to Clearwater Beach, just a two-hour drive away, provides a perfect escape to the beautiful Gulf Coast.

Residents can enjoy the sun, sand, and surf on one of Florida's most renowned beaches.

Lakeland's climate is warm year-round, with hot summers and short, mild winters

Lakeland's tropical climate offers warm weather year-round.

Summers are long and hot, often accompanied by brief afternoon showers, while winters are short and mild, ideal for those who prefer a warmer climate.

The city has a rich history, evident in its historic landmarks, museums, and antique shops

Lakeland's history is deeply rooted in its development as a city.

Established in 1885 by Abraham Munn, downtown Lakeland is home to many historic landmarks, including the iconic Polk Theater and the New Florida Hotel.

The city's historical significance extends to its association with the Detroit Tigers' spring training.

Lakeland's Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium serves as a training ground for the major league team, enhancing the city's reputation as a baseball haven.

Lakeland is a popular destination for retirees due to its affordable living, warm climate, and recreational opportunities

Lakeland's welcoming environment and affordable living make it an appealing destination for retirees seeking a comfortable and vibrant retirement experience.

The absence of state income tax in Florida is a financial advantage for residents in Lakeland

The absence of state income tax in Florida provides residents of Lakeland with added financial benefits, allowing them to retain more of their income.

The city has a variety of golf courses, making it an attractive destination for golfers

Golf enthusiasts will find plenty to enjoy in Lakeland, with approximately 26 golf courses within the city and an additional 18 courses within a 20-mile radius.

Lakeland is also known as Swan City due to its historic association with royal swans

Lakeland, also known as Swan City, takes pride in its historic association with royal swans dating back to 1923. The lakes of Lakeland are home to these elegant creatures, lovingly considered the 'people's pets.'

This unique feature adds to the city's charm, allowing residents to enjoy picturesque views and serene encounters with the graceful swans throughout the day.

Bottom Line

Lakeland, Florida, stands out as an extraordinary city, boasting a plethora of beautiful and distinctive features. With so much to offer, it is an absolute gem that you and your family wouldn't want to miss.

Affordable and brimming with enticing job opportunities, Lakeland allows you to embrace the lifestyle you've always envisioned, while reveling in its warm ambiance and the allure of its lakeside living.

Moreover, the city boasts a diverse array of schools, including a couple of exceptional and unique colleges.

Regarded as one of the best places to reside in Florida, Lakeland promises a life of fulfillment and contentment.

Conveniently situated just a short drive away from both Tampa and Orlando, it strikes the perfect balance between peaceful suburban living and easy access to vibrant urban attractions.

If you're considering relocating to Lakeland, Florida, we're here to assist. Reach out to us now, and let us connect you with a dedicated Realtor who can help you embark on your exciting journey to call Lakeland your new home.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

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