Rent to Own Homes in Lakeland
The below results are primarily rent to own homes in Polk County, FL:
If you drive from Tampa to Orlando, you will come across a smaller town named Lakeland somewhere in the middle. This southern Florida city is located just west of Winter Haven and is home to Lake Morton, Lake Parker and some smaller lakes. While the lakes are great places to spend time with family or to get your exercise in, they’re also great places to enjoy a large population of beautiful white swans.
As a vital part of Polk County, this city also gives residents easy access to the Circle B Bar Reserve. The protected land within the reserve represents some of the most beautiful terrain the state has to offer, and educational resources are kept on site for visitors to enjoy. Other city amenities include the Lakeland Municipal Airport, the Lakeland Public Library and the dedicated Lakeland Police Department. For higher education, Florida Southern College represents the city well with a collection of buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
If you visit Lakeland and stick around for too long, you’ll realize that sports are a big part of the local culture. From cheering on the Florida Marine Raiders at the Lakeland Center to giving an extra round of applause for the Lakeland Flying Tigers, there’s always an exciting game to attend or to discuss.
Buying a Home in Lakeland
You will find the occasional Lakeland home selling for $500,000 or more, but the median listing price for the city is around $200,000 most of the time. The median sales price is closer to $150,000, so don’t assume that you have to pay full ask for a home that meets your needs. It’s common for homebuyers to pay around $100 per square foot, but you can find better deals if you’re persistent and you work closely with real estate professionals who understand the Lakeland housing market. Most schools in the city are rated highly, so you don’t have to choose your neighborhood based on the schools that your children may attend.
Popular Neighborhoods in Lakeland
If you want to purchase a home with some acreage and don’t mind living on the outer edge of town, head to the Evans Acres neighborhood near the border to Polk City. You’ll find large lots with cozy houses dotting roadways that don’t see a lot of traffic. If you want some added security without sacrificing the acreage, go to the Turkey Creek gated community, which is located in this same general neighborhood. You may find the lots slightly smaller, but the houses are newer and have many modern upgrades.
The general rule for buying a home in Lakeland is to stay to the north or to the south, since the city’s center has a much higher crime rate. You’ll find some affordable neighborhoods around Ewell Road in the south, and this is a family-friendly area known for low crime rates and easy access to public schools.
Buying vs. Rent to Own Homes
Buying a home is one of the most exciting experiences you will have as an adult, but it’s also an experience that takes a lot of advance preparation. You have to make sure that your credit report is as clean as possible and that your credit score is high enough to command an affordable interest rate. In most cases, you need to save up a sizable down payment as well.
If you’re ready to purchase a home but aren’t quite finished with that advance preparation, consider renting your way to homeownership. You start out renting a home that you eventually want to buy, and you secure your home loan when you’re ready to make that final transition. This is a slower path to homeownership, but it allows you to live in your home now without worries that another buyer will get their finances in order first.
Cost of Living in Lakeland
The housing index in Lakeland is often 30-50 percent lower than the national average, and that drives the overall cost of living down significantly. The majority of homeowners pay average prices for utilities and transportation, and most stores offer goods and services at average prices as well. When you put it all together, you have a cost of living that is up to 30 percent lower than the national average. If you want to purchase a larger home without investing more money, Lakeland’s housing market may fit your needs.
If you don’t enjoy living in the big city, you may fit right in with Lakeland residents. Located between Tampa and Orlando, this southern Florida city offers some beautiful homes with acreage as well as affordable residential areas with low crime rates. There are a few large lakes well stocked with fluffy white swans, so you always have a great place to take a walk, picnic with your family or pose for pictures. For families, Lakeland also offers quality public schools within easy reach of most residential areas.
Rent to Own Realtors
When it comes to contracts, there are usually plenty of loopholes. You don’t want to be blindsided because your counterpart in a rent to own deal knows them better than you do.
A realtor might be the logical person to ask for help with a real estate deal, but instead, you should consult with a lawyer to ensure that your lease-option contract benefits you just as much as it benefits the other party.
Realtors likely will not want to help you with a lease-option because they don’t make a lot of money off of them – at least, they don’t make a lot of money until the end of the lease, and that isn’t a guarantee.
Regardless, a lawyer will have more accurate information about your contracts anyway.
About Our Listings
Financially, buying apartments, houses or any other types of properties makes sense when compared to renting. You're paying roughly the same amount per month for your mortgage that you would to rent the same type of home. However, there are obstacles that make that process difficult to attain, like minimum down payments and bad credit. Those barriers prevent banks from ending up having to sell foreclosed homes.
Nonetheless, those barriers shouldn’t stop you from owning your own condo or townhouse. Through rent to buy and lease to purchase programs with no credit check, you could start working toward owning a house.
A lot of people who rent to own by owner take advantage of Rent to Own Lab’s free listings. Search our website for cheap lease-purchase or lease-option properties near me and see if rent to own could be the right option.