Is Lake Wales, Florida the Right Place for You?

Are you contemplating a move to Lake Wales, Florida? This lush locale offers a lifestyle that is nothing short of charming and inviting. Nestled in the heartland of Florida, Lake Wales presents a unique blend of small-town atmosphere and big-city amenities. As you evaluate this potential home away from home, there are a few key areas to consider: the cost of living, the quality of life, employment and education opportunities, healthcare and infrastructure, and the real estate market. This piece aims to present a detailed overview of these aspects, enabling you to make an informed decision about calling Lake Wales your home.

Living Cost in Lake Wales, Florida

Living Cost in Lake Wales, Florida

Lake Wales, Florida, like any locale, has its unique costs of living that factor into a person’s decision on whether or not to relocate. Overall, it offers a lower cost of living than the United States average, making it an attractive destination for many homeowners or renters seeking affordability.

Housing Expenses

Housing costs are one of the first considerations when moving, and Lake Wales offers cheaper housing options compared to many other parts of the country. The median home price in Lake Wales is significantly lower than the national median, providing an economic advantage for those looking to buy real estate. For renters, the cost of apartments and homes for rent also tend to be lower than the national average.

Grocery Costs

Next on the list are groceries, a basic necessity for everyone. Fortunately, the grocery prices in Lake Wales are lower than the nationwide average. A basket of groceries that would cost $100 in an average US city would be cheaper in Lake Wales. Prices for staples like dairy, meat, and fresh produce are generally affordable, presenting another advantage in terms of living costs.

Healthcare Costs

Healthcare costs are another significant part of the financial picture. It’s worth noting that healthcare costs in Lake Wales generally fall below the national average. This might make it a good choice for retirees or those with regular healthcare needs. It’s advisable to research local healthcare providers and insurance possibilities to ensure all healthcare needs can be met adequately.


Florida is one of the few states in the US without a state income tax. This can result in considerable savings for those earning income in the state. However, sales tax and property tax rates are worth considering. Florida’s state sales tax is 6%, with some counties adding a local option sales tax on top of this. Property-tax rates in Florida vary by location, but the average is lower than most states.


Finally, utility costs can shape the cost of living significantly. In Lake Wales, utility costs, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage, are around the national average. These costs can rise during the peak summer months due to air conditioning usage so it’s advisable to prepare for potentially higher costs between June and September.

The affordable nature of living in Lake Wales, Florida is largely due to lower than average costs in several important areas such as housing, healthcare, and groceries. This makes the region a very appealing option for those considering relocation or retirement. Additionally, the absence of state income tax and reasonable utility costs contribute to the economic viability of this location. When it comes to finances, Lake Wales, Florida undoubtedly has much to offer prospective residents.

Quality of Life in Lake Wales, Florida

Experience the Tropical Climate of Lake Wales, Florida

The warm, tropical climate of Lake Wales, Florida is a big part of its charm. With average temperatures hovering around 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit, the region is popular for its hot, humid summers and pleasantly mild winters. In July, expect to bask in the height of summer heat, while winter brings a respite with temperatures in a comfortable 50-degree range. This perennially warm climate is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to leave behind the harsh winters of the North.

Social Amenities and Recreational Activities in Lake Wales

As a relatively small community, Lake Wales provides various amenities that promote a high standard of living. The city boasts a good number of parks, gyms, restaurants, museums, shopping centers, and other businesses that cater to the varied needs of its inhabitants. The lake itself is a major draw, offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and water sports. Recreational activities are reinforced by the presence of golf courses, biking trails, and parks. Bok Tower Gardens, a prime tourist destination, provides scenic landscapes for relaxation, and Spook Hill attracts those intrigued by its legendary optical illusion.

Community Involvement in Lake Wales

Lake Wales displays a strong sense of community with residents actively involved in various community-wide initiatives. Year-round events such as community festivals, farmer’s markets, and holiday parades bring residents together, fostering a sense of unity and community spirit. Volunteer and charity work are common, with numerous organizations needing support. The local government is also known to actively seek input from residents on major community initiatives, adding to the strong sense of civic participation and societal connection.

Safety Considerations in Lake Wales

When thinking about relocating to Lake Wales, Florida, safety is a crucial factor to consider. Lake Wales’ crime rate, as compiled by the FBI, tends to be slightly above the state average. However, these crime rates are primarily driven by property crimes such as burglaries and theft, while violent crimes are relatively less frequent. The local police department is diligent and uses contemporary methods to maintain peace and order in the community. They are also keen on employing community policing strategies to strengthen cooperation between officials and residents. Before making a decision to move, it is advisable for potential inhabitants to familiarize themselves with the various neighborhoods and consult recent crime statistics specific to Lake Wales.

Education and Employment Opportunities in Lake Wales, Florida

Education Opportunities in Lake Wales, Florida

For those with a family or planning to start one, Lake Wales offers a variety of educational opportunities. The city boasts a robust set of public, charter, and private schools, ensuring all educational needs are covered. The notable Lake Wales Charter School System comprises six schools ranging from elementary to high school level.

Elementary schools in the city, such as Spook Hill Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary, and Polk Avenue Elementary, boast highly skilled teaching professionals and impressive standardized test scores. For middle-grade students, McLaughlin Middle School and Fine Arts Academy provides an encompassing education with a greater emphasis on arts education. Beyond middle school, Lake Wales High School prepares students for life beyond academics, focusing on holistic skill development.

For those looking for post-secondary education opportunities, Lake Wales is home to Warner University and Webber International University. These institutions offer a wide array of programs ranging from business and education to communication, arts, and various sciences.

Employment Opportunities in Lake Wales, Florida

Though small in size, Lake Wales has a thriving economy with a variety of industries providing employment opportunities. The employment rate in Lake Wales has seen a steady increase over the years, indicating healthy job growth in the area.

The city’s economy is diverse, with industries such as healthcare, education, retail, and manufacturing contributing significantly to job creation. Major employers in Lake Wales include the Lake Wales Medical Center and the Lake Wales Charter Schools, each employing several hundred residents.

The retail sector is another significant employer, with reputable stores such as Publix Super Market, Walmart, and Lowe’s providing many job opportunities. For those with a background in manufacturing, the city has several manufacturing companies, including Citrosuco North America and Nippon Sheet Glass Co., which hire regularly.

Furthermore, Lake Wales is in close proximity to larger job markets in Orlando and Tampa, offering more employment opportunities for those willing to commute.

Job Prospects in Lake Wales, Florida

Lake Wales is a promising location when considering job prospects. The employment market in the city has seen a positive surge, enhancing by 1.9% over the recent year. Future job growth in the next ten years is projected to be an impressive 39.9%, surpassing the US average of 33.5%. This increase indicates a continuing availability of new job opportunities in various industries, promising lasting job security.

Wrapping up, Lake Wales, Florida, exhibits a strong education system coupled with a growing job market, making it an attractive option for those seeking a new place to call home. The city’s economic diversity and rising job growth highlight its potential to offer long-term, sustainable career paths for newcomers.

Healthcare and Infrastructure in Lake Wales, Florida

Healthcare Services in Lake Wales

The city of Lake Wales, Florida, owing to its rising population, has experienced a growing need for healthcare services. In response, numerous hospitals and healthcare clinics, each specializing in different healthcare domains have been established. The Lake Wales Medical Center, for instance, is a prime healthcare facility offering a wide array of services ranging from emergency care to surgery and maternity services.

Additionally, the city houses several specialist clinics and medical offices concentrating on areas such as cardiology, diagnostics, orthopedics, and family medicine. Facilities like the Bond Clinic, Central Florida Health Care Lake Wales, and Gessler Clinic are available, providing a multitude of healthcare services to address the diverse health requirements of the city’s residents.

Public Transportation Infrastructure

Lake Wales is relatively small compared to larger cities, and its public transportation system reflects this. The City of Lake Wales operates mini fixed-route transit service with two routes that serve key locations within the city, including shopping complexes, healthcare facilities, and recreational areas. The city’s public transit system also provides paratransit services for individuals with disabilities.

Long-distance travel to and from Lake Wales is facilitated by a network of highways. Additionally, Greyhound Bus Line station is located approximately a half-hour drive away in Winter Haven, providing access to an extensive interstate transport network.

Road Networks

The city is well served by a good road network system. State Roads 17 and 27 are the main roads that traverse the city, and they are well maintained and generally free from heavy traffic. Various other small roads and back streets tie the entire city together and make any point in the city quickly accessible, enhancing convenience for residents.

Digital Infrastructure

In terms of digital infrastructure, Lake Wales offers a robust telecommunication network to meet the requirements of a modern, connected society. Major service providers including Spectrum, Frontier, and AT&T offer high-speed internet services in the region. The range of offered services allows residents to choose packages that best suit their needs, from basic surfing requirements to high-data demands for streaming or working from home.

An Examination of Infrastructure and Healthcare in Lake Wales

Lake Wales, despite its relatively smaller size, offers a range of essential amenities and services. With a robust healthcare system that includes well-distributed and specialized healthcare centers, residents are assured of quality health care. Coupled with modern, efficient public transport and digital infrastructure, as well as well-kept road networks, living in Lake Wales offers a plethora of conveniences. Given these factors, Lake Wales deserves serious consideration as an option for relocation.

Real Estate Market in Lake Wales, Florida

Evaluating the Real Estate Situation in Lake Wales, Florida

The scenic town of Lake Wales, centrally located in Florida, has been attracting a significant number of people due to its thriving real estate market. The current housing market landscape is promising for both potential homeowners and renters. With such favorable real estate conditions, Lake Wales has become an increasingly attractive choice for those considering relocation.

Current Market Trends

Current real estate trends in Lake Wales suggest that the market leans towards being more buyer-friendly. But renting is still a viable and common option for those looking to move to the area. According to data from Zillow, the median home value in Lake Wales is relatively affordable compared to other parts of the state, at around $179,783. Homes are appreciating at a good pace, indicating healthy demand in the housing market.

The rental market is equally robust, with a variety of apartment complexes, condos, and single-family homes available across different price ranges. Rent usually falls in the range of $900 to $2,000 per month, depending on size, location, and amenities.

Lake Wales: A Buyer’s Market

The attractive prices and the availability of a variety of properties make Lake Wales a favorable buyer’s market. Plus, Lake Wales has a low cost of living compared to the national average, further augmenting its appeal to potential homeowners. The town also provides a variety of home styles to choose from, ranging from modern condos to historic homes.

Lake Wales: A Renter’s Market

While buying is a significant trend in Lake Wales, renting is still a common choice for many. The cost of renting can be lower than monthly mortgage payments, depending on the kind of property and its location. This makes renting an attractive option for individuals who are not ready to commit to homeownership.

The Housing Journey in Lake Wales

Potential residents considering moving to Lake Wales can expect a smooth housing journey. Real estate agents are known for their understanding of the market and strong negotiation skills. Additionally, many properties reflect Florida’s quintessential charm with palm trees, Spanish-style architecture, and lake views, making the move more appealing.

Given these positive attributes, Lake Wales’s real estate market stands out as inviting to prospective homeowners and renters alike. Its combination of affordability, variety, and charm makes it an attractive destination for relocation. Advancement opportunities are likely to continue given the steady rise of the housing market and the broader trend of people moving to smaller, more affordable cities.

So, after careful analysis of Lake Wales’ living costs, quality of life, education and employment opportunities, healthcare and infrastructure, along with the real estate market, it’s clear that it has a lot to offer. It embodies the essence of Florida living—balmy weather, vibrant community life, diversity in professional options, robust infrastructure, and a dynamic real estate landscape. Therefore, whether you’re a retiree looking for a serene locale, a working professional seeking employment diversity, or a family seeking quality education and lifestyle, Lake Wales may very well be the place you’ve been looking for. Make decisions armed with information and forward-looking perspective. After all, a move as significant as this is much more than changing addresses—it’s about creating a new chapter in life.

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