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Old 05-13-2011, 01:28 PM
 
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I am being transferred from MI to Florida - my new office will be in Lakeland - my wife and I would appreciate any information we can get on the area. What is it like (urban? rural? big city? small town?) - we've been doing some research online, but know that insight from real people who live in/near the area can be invaluable! We have two young children and will be looking to rent for the first year or so. We've been advised to check out Lakeland Highlands and Willow Oak... but can't seem to find apartment listings for "lakeland highlands" is that a separate city or just an area of Lakeland? I'd like my drive to work to be 30 mins or less. We will be heading down to visit the area in a few weeks and would love any reccomendations/insights you would share! THANK YOU!
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Tampa
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Lakeland isn't urban like a lot of cities, but it definitely has a downtown core. You could call it a large town or a small city; it has a population just shy of 95,000. Despite its proximity to Tampa and Orlando, it remains relatively contained and self-sufficient. Lakeland Highlands is either a part of town or an unincorporated part of Polk County--I'm not entirely positive--but it's definitely not its own town. It's located south of the Polk Parkway and east of Florida Avenue. The only Willow Oak area I know of is along Florida 60 between Mulberry and the county line. I thought that area was mostly rural, but I guess they might have built it up by now.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmn610 View Post
I am being transferred from MI to Florida - my new office will be in Lakeland - my wife and I would appreciate any information we can get on the area. What is it like (urban? rural? big city? small town?) - we've been doing some research online, but know that insight from real people who live in/near the area can be invaluable! We have two young children and will be looking to rent for the first year or so. We've been advised to check out Lakeland Highlands and Willow Oak... but can't seem to find apartment listings for "lakeland highlands" is that a separate city or just an area of Lakeland? I'd like my drive to work to be 30 mins or less. We will be heading down to visit the area in a few weeks and would love any reccomendations/insights you would share! THANK YOU!
Hi! To add to what ferret posted, Lakeland Highlands is a good area to live, I believe the zip code is 33813. My husband and I lived in Lakeland for two years a few years ago before moving to Manatee County. We found it to be a clean beautiful town, with mostly friendly and happy people. Very community oriented and a lot of wonderful parks, recreation and family friendly events. To sum up neighborhoods, best parts to live are southside downtown, and neighborhoods further south, there are many communities to the south of town. Also, there are nice neighborhoods on the north side of Lakeland, but I am talking a few miles NORTH of downtown, not the immediate northside (that part is ghetto. I am not familiar with "Willow Oak?"

There are nice apartments on the southwest of downtown side near Lakeside Village - check around there for listings (sorry, I forget the names and they have built some new ones since I left). I think most anywhere you live in Lakeland you would be within 30 minutes of wherever you work.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:26 AM
 
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Thank you both! We are excited above the move and at the same time, overwhelmed by the idea of starting from scratch in an area we've never seen! But, lots of people do it, so I'm sure everything will be great! I appreciate your insights! It's a relief to know that Lakeland is a nice place to live and work! We spoke with a property manager who reccomended we try the "village at lake highland apartments" - we're headed to FL in June to check out the area for ourselves. Thanks again!
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:25 PM
 
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Rural.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:34 PM
 
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Default Possible move from Altlanta area to Lakeland

Hi there everyone: I have lived in several places in Florida over the years, but never in the Lakeland area. My family and I are having a hard time in deciding to leave the Atlanta area for Lakeland, as my husband lost his job recently. We do have an offer in Lakeland, BUT, I keep reading the crime rate is pretty high and growth is very slow coming. It looks like Lakeland has quite a bit for it's size, but for instance, chains like Barnes and Noble are not there, Costco, Whole Foods market all seem to be located in and around Brandon. I guess it's what you are used to having around you. I am fortunate to have a larger variety of things here. Plus, I am concerned about finding a safe rental community. We called the lakeland PD for more info on safe neighborhoods, and they haven't returned our call as of yet. I know realtors hardly ever will tell you the real truth, that's why I'm hoping the knowledgeable folks on this board would have some realistic input. I'd appreciate any help you could spare! Thank you
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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Polk County schools are some of the worst in the state.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LK128 View Post
Hi there everyone: I have lived in several places in Florida over the years, but never in the Lakeland area. My family and I are having a hard time in deciding to leave the Atlanta area for Lakeland, as my husband lost his job recently. We do have an offer in Lakeland, BUT, I keep reading the crime rate is pretty high and growth is very slow coming. It looks like Lakeland has quite a bit for it's size, but for instance, chains like Barnes and Noble are not there, Costco, Whole Foods market all seem to be located in and around Brandon. I guess it's what you are used to having around you. I am fortunate to have a larger variety of things here. Plus, I am concerned about finding a safe rental community. We called the lakeland PD for more info on safe neighborhoods, and they haven't returned our call as of yet. I know realtors hardly ever will tell you the real truth, that's why I'm hoping the knowledgeable folks on this board would have some realistic input. I'd appreciate any help you could spare! Thank you
See my post above. It's a nice little city. Bookstores are closing everywhere, not just Lakeland. There are plenty of grocery options, and Tampa and Orlando are not that far if you really MUST have Whole Foods, etc. Contrary to the above poster, there are decent schools there, as well as great magnet schools. I doubt PD will call you, you will have to check the crime maps. You can do a search on this forum for Lakeland posts. It's really beautiful there, and if you choose the right neighborhood I seriously doubt you will be unhappy. Remember, you can't compare a little city of under 100,000 to a big city like Atlanta.

Good luck!
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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I can tell you one thing from living at Village at Lakeland Highlands, the walls there are very thin. The structure of the building are really poor because you can hear and feel literally everything especially if you live below people who walk really hard and heavy, and neary kids who play in the breeze way and run up and down the stairs. Parking is terrible when they are neary full capacity and you will know by the number of parking spots that are available and diminsh. You can hear people talking in the bathroom and kids crying if there are any kids. I heard my neighbors kid crying for an hour straight below me and the neighbors having sex....really distrubing. They are kind of expensive for the quality. Pros: The location and look of the place is nice, the 9 ft ceilings are great, the space and storage available is great as well. I couldn't be more happier to move because I am not used to hearing all those noises in an apartment. Good Luck and Happy hunting.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:40 AM
 
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Thanks JMBell3 for the insight. In fact the Highlands was actually one place we considered. Ah, the joy of renting, lol - I remember some of the things you described when we had rented in other areas of Florida years ago. In my experience, the management usually falls short of doing much of anything. The thin walls they can't fix obviously, but I do know what you mean. Not to be graphic, but I did live in one apt. where you could also hear someone using the John upstairs literally, and it wasn't a cheap rental either, so I can totally relate to what your'e saying. With the economy and real estate market the way it is, one has to consider either losing their house for a move/new job or carrying the mortgage and a new rent if you couldn't rent your home. Used to be when you got a job offer that you could actually sell or rent your home and be done with it. I did call a rental agent in Lakeland and asked about a particular house for rent. I had left my name and number and told her I was from out of state, etc. and she never called back. I called again, and the woman wasn't helpful at all and I had to drag the information out of her! She wouldn't even offer up any other listings they had. I then asked about other places, like townhomes and she mentioned one community, but said she had nothing for rent in there. Then I checked their website and they did indeed have a couple for rent. I've never experienced that before, ever. What gives? They will not tell you about an area being good or bad, that is the only thing they make clear. They talk about "steering" not being allowed, but I'd swear they did it to me! I'm not trying to make a comparison to the city of Atlanta to Lakeland, as I do not live in the city, live in Metro Atlanta. It is nice and has lots to do, you don't have to go downtown Atlanta for things either, which is good. I have heard, like the one post on here describe Lakeland as rural. I talked to a few folks who lived in South Florida who moved to Lakeland, and they like it, but they also hated Broward County. So I suppose they like it rural. I guess it depends on what you're looking for. At this point, we might just stay here.
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