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Old 03-02-2011, 07:49 AM
1 posts, read 1,599 times
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My wife & I are considering a new job offer for me which will mean a move towards Orlando for an interim period so that we can both commute. She will continue to work in Tampa but I will have to commute to Orlando.

We are looking at somewhere in Lakeland or Winter Haven, does anyone know of nice, safe areas in these places or recommendations for places?

We need to be within good reach of I-4 but the area is also critical.


Last edited by kiwirst; 03-02-2011 at 08:01 AM..
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:10 PM
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We have one person who lived in Lakeland hopefully she will see your request. You can do a search on Lakeland to see other posts. IIRC she recommended living around downtown in some of the older homes. I could be wrong about that though.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:06 AM
Location: Lakeland, FL
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There are two distnict differences between North and South Lakeland (divided by Hwy 92 or Memorial Blvd.). North Lakeland is more rural, but closer to I-4. South Lakeland is wayyyy more progressive, with much more to do, and better schools. The commute to I-4 is very easy from South Lakeland using the Polk Parkway (Toll Road 570). Crime is consistently down in Lakeland and all of Polk County; we have a very proactive Sheriff (Grady Judd). Check for housing in zip codes 33812 and 33813.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:14 PM
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If you are looking to rent, we stayed at Carlton Arms when we first arrived and were very happy there. It is a gated community with a guard on the gate and guards that go through the area throughout the day and night. There are 2 that I know of in Lakeland, the one on the north side is closer to Rte. 4 and is just off N. Florida. The other one is down on Sheppard which is quite the hike to Rte. 4. I know there are other equally nice apt. complexes in the area, but this is the one I stayed in before I bought a house and it worked out well for us.
If you are looking to buy, there are lots of nice communities. The thing that surprised us was how many areas within city limits had ceptic tanks. We are not fans of ceptic tanks. Out by the airport, there is at least one community right off Polk Parkway that has city water/city sewer. There is one community right across from Publix on Airport that has a guarded, gated community and another on the other side of the parkway that does not have a gate or a guard but is still a nice community. The prices are really low right now, too. It is 37 miles to the airport in Tampa from this location. It is 44 miles to Kissimmee from this location. And out by the airport, you can watch the airshow from your own yard, and see the fireworks. They say the airshow is the second largest in the country.
Call a good, local real estate agent. I used one from out of town who showed me houses in the worst areas of town. I changed to a local agent who showed me just what I was looking for, nice houses in safe communities. What a difference a local agent makes.
The Ledger is the local paper for Lakeland and the following is a link to a 12/10 crime map. I picked a place outside the heavier crime areas.
Lakeland Crime Map | TheLedger.com
Good luck to you in your move.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:03 AM
Location: Tampa Bay Area
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Lake Hollingsworth area of Lakeland is nice.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:27 AM
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South Lakeland is much nicer and safer than North Lakeland, but it is also further from I-4, and driving through Lakeland at rush hour takes time. Fortunately, you can jump on the Parkway and make it quickly to I-4 in both directions, skipping a lot of the traffic. That will add a few bucks to your commute each day, but it might be worth it... Winter Haven will shift 15-20 minutes of the commute to your wife, but it has several nice, safe areas.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:44 AM
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I agree about Lake Hollingsworth and the south side of Lakeland in general being a very nice place to live. The Polk Parkway is very good at connecting with I-4, my husband used to commute to Tampa from the southside of downtown taking the Parkway to I-4, and his commute was about 45 minutes in rush hour to downtown.
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