REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY

REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY

Sees Growth in Polk County

BY LAVERNE STEVENS

Real Estate professionals in Polk County are seeing positive growth and an increase in sales over the last year. Polk County is a attractive place to live, run a small business, or be part of a large corporation. The land mass within Polk County’s boundaries allows it to be home base for many desirable amenities, creating a comfortable living environment with a lot of choices. Polk County is centrally located in the state within a driving time of 45 minutes from Tampa and 60 minutes from Orlando. It is well endowed with public parks, educational opportunities, hospitals, libraries, entertainment, festivals, motels and hotels, Amtrak train station, Greyhound bus stations, and airport facilities, small businesses and full scale large industries.

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Licensed Real Estate Broker Steve Baron and Broker Sales Associate Jack Myers are partners in BARON Myers Realty located in a quiet park setting in Historic Auburndale at 304 East Park Street. The company originally began when Jack’s mother, Mary M. Myers, opened the office in 1983 in the Baynard Building. This is an independent, full service real estate office. Myers feels the real estate market in Polk County is growing in a good direction. “I think we are going back to a stable market, said Myers.” BARON Myers works with people who are first time buyers, relocation buyers and investors looking for foreclosures. They also have commercial and rental listings.

Renee Butler Realtor® and Broker/Owner of Brokers Realty of CFI located at 1142 1st St. S., Winter Haven sees the real estate picture in Polk County having a positive improvement that will continue into the future due to the entertainment and education amenities, and growth in industries that are available. “Hold on for the ride. We are climbing the mountain. Everybody be prepared,” said Renee. “Interest rates are low, and low sale prices constitute happy homeowners.” Broker Realty is expanding, with offices opening in Davenport and Lakeland coming soon. Property listings ranged from $15,000 to $1.8 million in 2013. They cover east, west, north and south in Polk County.

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Tony Fridovich is the Broker/Owner of the RE/MAX Paramount Properties® franchise located at 2600 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland. His company offers full service and all ranges of pricing for residential property sales, residential property management and leasing, as well as commercial investment and land sales. Fridovich has a positive outlook for real estate in Polk County. “There are still foreclosures coming on the market, although lenders are now fixing up these properties to sell at higher prices. Prices are starting to edge up slowly and I think as that happens, more people will be able to put their homes on the market. We’re finally seeing mid-range priced home sales increase.”

Greg Ruthven, CCIM is president of The Ruthvens warehouse leasing company, 41 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland. His father, Joe L. Ruthven, started the business fifty-five years ago. They own three million square feet of warehouse space in Polk County comprised of 80 buildings. By leasing, a business owner does not tie up his cash assets in buying property. This also gives them more flexibility to lease a larger warehouse to accommodate business growth as it occurs. Greg Ruthven sees a bright outlook for future growth in Polk County due to Lakeland’s prime location between Tampa and Orlando. The Ruthvens have seen a 7 % increase in business since last year. Greg said, “Since we own the real estate, we have flexibility to make immediate decisions.”

3810 DF FINALA wide diversity of properties are available in Polk County. There are still plenty of agricultural lands to accommodate citrus and the thriving cow/calf industry in Polk County. High end neighborhoods are located throughout Polk County with beautiful expansive homes. Affordable mid-priced homes are available for first-time buyers. There is a wide selection of mobile home parks scattered all through the county. The growth of new shopping centers and malls offer many small business opportunities.

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