POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Many homebuyers are being priced out of homes in Tampa and Orlando. Some are now looking for the ‘American Dream’ in outlying areas like Winter Haven, Lakeland and Haines City.
Dominique Hernandez has been in the Real Estate industry for 11 years.
Hernandez is currently closing out sales for the last lots of a newer subdivision built two years ago in Winter Haven called Pinnacle Point.
The Tampa and Orlando housing markets are among the fastest growing in the country.
Hernandez, who is the Area Sales Manager for Casa Fresca Homes, says halfway between these two Metropolitan Cities; another housing boom is happening in Polk County.
“A lot of this area was citrus farms,” she said. “Because they were not as profitable, they have been taken over by larger corporations. We have come out to build single family homes in the area to bring jobs to the area and put money back into the economy.”
Until those jobs come, Dominique says residents now living in Winter Haven, Lakeland and Haines City are willing to commute to their jobs along Interstate 4 for at least an hour.
“We’re starting to see a lot of buyers under the age of 35 gravitate towards this way to start their families,” Hernandez added.
Dominique says the homebuyer migration has contributed to Polk County becoming the fastest-growing county in Florida.
“Sales have started to pick up grately and the demand is here,” She said. “ We’re nearly sold-out in the Pinnacle Point community, but it is our intro into Haines City where we will offer up to 7 different communities.”
Haines City has been rapidly growing since the last U.S. census.
Several subdivisions and a Publix Supermarket are under construction. The city is also considering adding another school to meet the demand of the population.
Dominique says buyers aren’t going that far for any home.
Each home is built to accommodate the needs of the owners and their families.
“The biggest thing that they desire right now is a yard and of course their own garage. people are tired of apartment living. “
Dominique says buyers are also getting more for their dollar.
By coming out to these outlying areas like Winter Haven, Lakeland and Haines City — builders can keep their homes between $300,000 —$450,000.
Something that Dominique says has opened up the market to even more people.
“This is why I do what I do,” said Hernandez. “This is the reason why I got into home building to be able to see families on closing day cry and say, ‘I made it!’. I obtained that American dream, I’m able to afford a house with a backyard and give my family what we’ve been looking for.”
With each lot or home sold —Dominique believes she is building up people as well as communities.
Cassa Fresca Homes have permits for more than 1,000 homes that will be completed by mid-2024.