- Avg home value: $259,646
- Avg list price: $252,000
- Home value 2021: Lake County home values have gone up 8.6% over the past year
- Avg price per sqft: $149
- Avg Mortgage Rate: 2.90%
- Area’s population: 367,118
Lake County, Florida is one of Central Florida’s natural treasures. Comprised of several cities and small towns just west of the Orlando metro area, it is perhaps best known for its unspoiled open spaces and rural landscapes. Living here means spending a lot of your time outside in the signature sunny weather, and enjoying a quiet life seemingly worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
But make no mistake. Despite Lake County’s remote vibes, you’re only ever just 35 minutes from Downtown Orlando. The I-4, Florida Turnpike and US 441 all intersect the area, making for an easy commute in any direction. Flights also arrive and depart from Leesburg International Airport and Umatilla Municipal Airport.
If you’re a nature lover, this is the place for you. Lake County is true to its namesake with more than 1,000 freshwater lakes within its bounds, making for some of the best bass fishing by far. It’s also brimming with nature preserves including Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge and Ocala National Forest, frequented by black bears, alligators and some of Florida’s rarest birds. It’s probably no surprise to learn that it’s become a beloved spot for kayakers, campers, and bird watchers alike, and the site of the annual Florida Wildlife Festival.
Lake County is all about the great outdoors. A drive through Fruitland Park and Groveland will open your eyes to miles of orange groves, many sadly destroyed in the 1989 citrus freeze. Despite this fateful turn in Florida history, the region has risen from the ashes, making way for some of the best new neighborhoods in Central Florida. You’ll find master-planned communities made for families alongside historic homes in quaint downtown districts. And in between, you’ll discover nothing but beautiful scenery as your backdrop.
Continuing its legacy, Lake County is still frequented for its wide array of u-pick farms and citrus groves, including the Showcase of Citrus and Lake Catherine Blueberries, both offering seasonal family-friendly entertainment and farm tours. More mature residents also enjoy Lakeridge Winery for its unique varietals.
Perhaps one of the most popular cities in Lake County is Clermont, neighbors with Minneola, Four Corners, Mascotte, and Monteverde. A burgeoning community with custom-built houses, it’s best known for its rolling hills—a rare occurrence in Florida’s predominantly flat topography—and the perfect grounds for its triathlon training facility, which attracts Olympic athletes from all over the world. People also come here to catch 360-degree views of eight Florida counties from the historic Citrus Tower, rent cabins on Lake Dixie, and go horseback riding in Lake Louisa State Park. Tourists also love to ascend Sugarloaf Mountain, the highest point in Florida.
If that’s not enough small-town Florida charm for you, Lake County is also chock full of old-fashioned downtown districts, including in Eustis. Perhaps most known is Mount Dora, whose romantic streets are dotted with antique stores, tea shops, and delightful bed-and-breakfasts inside colorful craftsman-style homes. Each year, thousands of visitors pour into the area to relive the days of yesteryear by staying at the historic Lakeside Inn built in 1883, catch a flight from Tavares Seaplane Base, ride the Royal Palm Railway Experience, and wander the annual Mount Dora Arts Festival. Lake County is old-world Florida living at its finest.