The entrance sign and landscaping at Traditions at Lake Ruby in Winter Haven, Florida.

The Lakeland area in Florida has several exciting and affordable communities for retirees ready to downsize.

Lakeland, Florida real estate is full of attractive homes, condos, and villas, and the area is an ideal option for active adult buyers, even for house hunters with less than $200,000 to spend. This part of Central Florida is just off Interstate 4 and close to Tampa and Orlando, providing a desirable location for a Florida retirement or a part-time snowbird lifestyle. 

These 55+ communities are especially attractive for budget-minded buyers who won’t have to sacrifice space, amenities, or social opportunities.

Cypress Lakes - Lakeland, FL

Below $100k - Mid $100s 

Cypress Lakes is a 55+ community with single-family homes well below $200k. These properties are available on a resale basis in a community that has over 1,600 homes. More than 20 models can be found at Cypress Lakes, ranging from 1,008 to 1,920 square feet with two to three bedrooms. All homes have two bathrooms, a carport or an attached one-car garage, and outdoor space in the form of a porch or a screened patio. Many homes also have dens and extra storage. 

Activities abound in the community, with clubs and groups such as a bowling league, a singles club, and a poker group. Water aerobics classes are available as well as a scrapbooking workshop and a garden club. Indoor amenities support the active lifestyle found here, and the 30,000-square-foot Big Cypress Club includes a fitness center and activity room. Outdoors, residents enjoy shuffleboard, tennis, and pickleball courts as well as a lap pool.

Then there's the golf. Residents can play the 18-hole Big Cypress South Course, a championship-level course, or tee off on the executive-level 18-hole Big Cypress North Course. There’s also a putting green, driving range, and pro shop.

Learn more information about Cypress Lakes here. 

Sandpiper Golf & Country Club - Lakeland, FL

Low $100s - High $100s 

More Lakeland homes for sale with golf privileges are available at Sandpiper Golf & Country Club, a 55+ community with a lot of luxury. This community has a clubhouse, a recreation center, a fitness center, a ballroom, and a resort-style pool and spa.

Residents enjoy playing bocce ball, shuffleboard, tennis, and horseshoes. In addition to the championship golf course, lovely trails wind through the well-landscaped community, providing a view of the players as they concentrate on their next shot. Plenty of social functions and community activities also keep residents busy. 

Sandpiper Golf & Country Club offers single-family homes and attached villas. The villas are two-bedroom models with one or two bathrooms, offering retirees a great option for downsizing. The single-family homes have open floor plans, backyard space, and two to three bedrooms with one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half bathrooms. Attached one- or two-car garages are included.

Learn more information about Sandpiper Golf & Country Club here. 

Highlands Ridge - Avon Park, FL

Low $100s - Mid $300s 

Buyers looking for new construction homes for under $200k will find some great possibilities at Highlands Ridge, located a half-hour from Lakeland in Avon Park. This community has both new and resale homes in a variety of models that are both single-family homes and attached villas.

Attached homes have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a den, and attached two-car garages. They are between 1,467 and 1,750 square feet with gourmet kitchens and outdoor lanais. Single-family homes come in 10 different floor plans with two or three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and attached two- or two-and-a-half-car garages. These homes start at 1,742 square feet and go to 2,243 square feet. 

Two 18-hole golf courses are at Highlands Ridge, and residents can invest in a membership plan or simply pay as they play. The community features two clubhouses with pro shops, restaurants, and outdoor patios for social gatherings. There is also a wellness center and a day spa as well as pools, tennis courts, and pickleball courts. Residents love the 240-acre lake on the property, which includes a boat ramp and slips. 

Learn more information about Highlands Ridge here. 

Traditions at Lake Ruby - Winter Haven, FL

High $100s - Mid $200s 

Traditions at Lake Ruby is a 55+ community in Winter Haven with new and resale homes priced under $200k. Winter Haven is close to Lakeland and Orlando and is becoming a growing destination for people seeking a warm and affordable Florida retirement.

Buyers can select a home in the Estates Collection, which includes five models with two to four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. These homes range from 1,582 to 2,032 square feet. The Executive Collection has larger homes, but many still fall under the $200k budget. There are five models with 1,779 to 2,599 square feet and two to four bedrooms. These single-family homes have two or three bathrooms and attached two- or three-car garages.

The community's 19,000-square-foot clubhouse includes a fitness center and dance studio as well as a card room, library, and space for billiards. Outside, there’s a resort-style pool, half basketball court, and tennis, shuffleboard, and bocce ball courts. Boat docks are available for residents who love the water, and residents get together for regular movie nights and fitness classes.

Learn more information about Traditions at Lake Ruby here.

Foxwood Lake Estates - Lakeland, FL

Below $100k - Mid $100s 

There’s plenty to enjoy about living at Foxwood Lake Estates, a 55+ community in Lakeland that’s close to art museums and shopping as well as fishing lakes. This is an affordable and active community, with 545 single-family homes that are all resale properties. They have between 828 and 1,536 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached one- or two-car garages. 

Painting classes, pancake breakfasts, potluck suppers, and other social activities are frequently held at Foxwood Lake Estates. The community has a large clubhouse with an indoor sauna, fitness center, billiards room, and plenty of meeting rooms. Outside the clubhouse, residents gather around the pool, enjoy the hot tub, and get together on the tennis and shuffleboard courts. Plenty of neighborhood paths and trails are excellent for walking, biking, and jogging. 

Learn more information about Foxwood Lake Estates here.