Lake Wales is located almost in the center of the Florida peninsula, on the Lake Wales Ridge which is the highest land in the entire state. Even though it's not on the coast, it has its own lake, and is close enough to salt water to satisfy its approximately 12,000 residents. Lake Wales Ridge State Forest encompasses the sandy highlands and offers protection for many of Florida's rare plants and animals.
Lake Wales, FL is a great place for affordable rent-to-own homes! With a median household income of over $48,145 and a median rent of $883, the Lake Wales, FL rent-to-own market is more affordable than the traditional housing market which has shown tremendous growth across the U.S. and with it, aggressive competition for home purchases. With the current housing shortage trend it can make it harder to become a homeowner, including in Lake Wales, FL. This means higher than average down payments for homes and higher qualification standards for conventional home loans. With a rent-to-own property, tenants are also buyers. You can live in the house for a set amount of time before you purchase it, meaning that you get to know the house, your neighbors, and your community before making the final purchase. This enables you and your family to make the right choice based on both information and experience. Rent-to-own is also a great alternative way to get into a home if you have bad credit or don't have enough saved for a down payment.
Lake Wales, FL is seeing rapid growth and Lake Wales, FL's' housing market remains optimal with an average home price that is -17% below the 2023 national average. Lake Wales, FL is part of Polk county and taxes are an important factor to consider when purchasing a home whether through rent to own or a traditional purchase. The average tax rate as of 2023 for county Polk is 0.9% which is below the national average, which is 0.99%.
Bok Tower Gardens! Whimsical Bok Tower Gardens is the pride of Lake Wales. The Singing Tower, built on the highest hill in the area by Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward William Bok as a bird sanctuary, was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge in 1929. The clock tower carillons play two concerts each day, and its bells are heard every half hour. The mansion and grounds are open to the public, and today, the gardens are a favorite spot for weddings.
A shopper's paradise! A wide variety of small retail shops and regional businesses dot the town, while the Eagle Ridge Mall houses modern department stores. The Main Street program promotes local endeavors like Treasured Friends Gift Shop and Camp Mack's River Resort.
Reasonable housing! Lake Wales home prices have risen 16.1 percent over the past year, and predictions are for another increase of almost five percent next year. The median home value is $105,100, and home prices are considered reasonable for the area. Look for rent to own property with large, well-tended yards on pleasant residential streets. If you rent a house in the City Center neighborhood, you can walk to the twice monthly Farmers Market and to the Fourth Saturday Car Show.
Financial benefits! Lake Wales has a very reasonable cost of living. The property tax rate is one of the lowest in the country, with the annual bill on a $200,000 home less than $2,000. This small town with a population of about 12,000 is known as a friendly place. Be sure to visit The Grove House to sample local citrus juices, and then head out to Spook Hill, where it is said you can watch cars roll uphill!
Central location! Lake Wales is only about a 90-minute drive from Disney World, but there's plenty to do right here, including all-season skydiving at the Florida Skydiving Center and the historic Chalet Suzanne.
Comfortable lifestyle! The Depot Museum and Cultural Center, a distinctive pink stucco and brick rail station built in 1928, will tell you all about Lake Wales History. But, if you'd rather be outdoors, you can walk, run or bike along more than two-mile paved path known as the Lake Wales Trailway.
Art and architecture! The Lake Wales Arts Council sponsors a community art show every spring. A self-guided walking tour highlights distinctive architecture of homes and buildings constructed during the past century. Many of the buildings are listed on historic registers. If you have dreams of being on stage, become involved with the Lake Wales Little Theatre, which schedules live productions throughout the year.