Lakeland Blog News and Upcoming Events

Welcome to Lakeland Florida

Damion Boyce


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Sandpiper Golf Community

by Damion Boyce

Sandpiper community in Lakeland is a 55+ gated golf community located in sunny central Florida.  Every Winter people across the country and Canada discover the mild climate in central Florida is the best place to spend the colder months on vacation or all year long.  Many residents enjoy the semi private 18 hole golf course designed and built in 1987 by golf course architect Steve Smyers.

Sandpiper Lakeland



  More than 50 planned activities and events

  for the residents of the community...




Sandpiper Homes

The community consists of more than 1,000 homes.  The majority of the houses in the subdivision are block construction.  This beautiful community was originally developed in the late 1980's and 1990's.  Sandpiper has become one of the nicest and largest 55+ communities in central Florida.  Visit Sandpiper real estate to see a list of all homes currently for sale in the neighborhood.  There are two other communities in Lakeland that you may be interested in learning about Highland Fairways and Colonnades which are also designated as 55+ communities.


Residents enjoy a convenient location near Interstate 4 in Lakeland, Florida.  Grocery stores and restaurants are located minutes away including Lakeland's primary hospital, Lakeland Regional Medical Center.  Lakeland is centrally located between two major airports in Tampa and Orlando.

Property Owners Association

Residents of the community own their home and lot.  Sandpiper Golf and Country Club has a homeowners association or property owners' association made up of the property owners of Sandpiper.  Membership in the association by a residential buyer is a condition of purchase.  The $300 quarterly maintenance fee covers the use of clubhouse with fully equipped kitchen, tennis courts, pool, spa, fitness room and shuffleboard courts.  According to the Sandpiper Property Owners Association, the community continues to be a safe place to live due to the presence of its CAP (Citizen's Assisted Patrol) Program patrolling 7 days a week, a very active Neighborhood Watch Program, and contracted security patrolling evenings.

Sandpiper Golf

The golf course is a semi private 18 hole Florida golf course offering a variety of demanding holes.   Sandpiper Golf Course is not owned by the property owners' association.  The Sandpiper POA and Sandpiper Golf course work together through contract to make the the community a great place to live and play golf year round.

Sandpiper Lifestyle

According to the property owners' association, there are more than 50 planned activities and events for the residence of the community on a regular basis.  50 clubs are steered and supported by an active social committee covering interests of every kind including card games, sports and community affairs.  These events are organized and promoted by an active group of homeowners within the Sandpiper community who believe an active community is a healthier and happy community.

Lakeland Homes For Sale

by Damion Boyce

Be the First to Find Your Perfect Home

The perfect home for you in Lakeland may be for sale right now.  However, it could sell to someone else before you see it or even know about it.  Some properties are sold before they hit the market.  Some of the best properties are not in the MLS at all.  If you know what you are looking for, including the general location and price range, simple call us and we will go find it for you.  We have sold thousands of properties in Lakeland and have many past clients we depend upon to help us locate the perfect home when the opportunity comes available.  We have past clients who were once first time buyers who are thinking of moving to a larger home.  We have past clients who downsized and retired who may be looking to move back up north.  We have past clients who relocated to Lakeland and will be relocating to a new city soon.  Our profession consists of selling properties, but our job description is more like matchmaking buyers and sellers.  Sometimes we use the MLS and the internet.  We also use our experience and list of contacts and clients we have made over the past 25 years.

Lakeland Mayfaire by-the-Lake

Image:  Mayfaire By-the-Lake 2013

The Best Place to Search For Lakeland Homes For Sale

Where is the best place to find properties actively for sale in Lakeland?  The largest and most popular real estate sites have become more about selling information than houses.  A local IDX site will show you the active properties for sale with a simple mapping software so you know where the property is and 15 to 30 photos to help you understand the condition of the interior and exterior.  We have set up this type of site for your convenience Lakeland Homes For Sale.

Real Estate Seller's Market in Lakeland

Lakeland, Florida is going through another seller's market where multiple offers are common.  Some buyers refuse to enter into a bidding war.  Some buyers feel like they don't have a choice.  Here at you will find some homes for sale that are not in the MLS plus all of the properties that are in the MLS.  Many homes for sale in Lakeland last only a few days on the market with multiple offers generated much of the time for the best properties.  Sellers can expect to sell their property for appraised value along with more favorable terms in the sales contract.  Contact our team to learn more about escrow deposits, post occupancy and other terms which should be considered when negotiating the sale of residential property.

Today's Real Estate Values in Lakeland

The residential real estate values in Lakeland have begun to increase during the first quarter of the year.  One contributing factor is the increased demand.  Low interest rates and increased consumer confidence continue to motivate buyers and investors to purchase homes in the central Florida area.  Investors from around the country have focused on this area to invest large amounts of capital expecting a continued increase in values for years to come.  Research and timing are important to maximizing your investment in real estate.  We have a free automated service which enables you to monitor the homes for sale in your neighborhood and their sold to list price ratio.


by Damion Boyce

Colonnades is a 55+ gated community located in Lakeland surrounded by the natural beauty of central Florida.  The residents of Colonnades enjoy the warm, relaxing lifestyle that can only be found in the heart of central Florida.

Colonnades Lake




      "Live the good life in the Colonnades."




Colonnades Homes

Colonnades was developed by Florida Leisure Communities in 1985 and was originally intended to be a mobile home park.  The community was started with the sale of 45 mobile homes.  The developer then built and finished the community with another 315 site built homes featuring 8 popular floor plans including Meadowbrook II, Biltmore, and Glenwood.  Near the end of 1990's,  Florida Leisure Communities had built one of the nicest affordable retirement communities in central Florida.  FLC also developed a sister community in north Lakeland called Highland Fairways featuring an 18 hole golf course.  Later, FLC would develop a third gated subdivision, Carillon Lakes, designed to attract a slightly younger group of homeowners.  See Colonnades homes for sale.  Interested in other 55+ communities in Lakeland? Be sure to check out Sandpiper.


Colonnades' 10,000 square foot clubhouse is the center of activities in the community.  There you will find lively games including billiards, dancing, crafts, card games and Bingo! Exterior activities include a large heated swimming pool and spa, and shuffleboard.  Multiple outdoor grills accommodate parties or events attended by residents throughout the community.  Stay young and fit by utilizing the fitness center or by walking throughout the private streets of the gated subdivision.   See activities at Colonnades.


Colonnades is located in south Lakeland approximately 5 minutes from Lakeland Linder Regional Airport which is home to the world famous Sun n Fun Fly-in.  Lakeland is just an hour from popular attractions including Disney, Universal Studios, Sea World and Busch Gardens.


Highland Fairways

by Damion Boyce

Highland Fairways is a 55+ gated golf community located in sunny central Florida.  Every winter people across the country and Canada discover the mild climate in central Florida is the best place to spend the colder months on vacation or all year long.  Many residents enjoy the private, year-round golf course.

Highland Fairways



 "Life at Highland Fairways feels like a vacation every day of the year."



Highland Fairways Homes

The land for this beautiful community was originally purchased in 1985 and developed by Florida Leisure Communities.  The plan was to build a large mobile home community.  Those plans changed after the first 60 homes were sold.  The developer then built and finished the community with another 600 site built homes featuring 10 floor plans including the Rob Roy, McKenzie, Fairway VI, Essex III, and the Castlebay.  Near the end of 1990's,  one of the nicest and largest 55+ communities in central Florida was complete.  Later, the developer completed several other beautiful communities such as Colonnades and Carillon Lakes.  See Highland Fairways Homes for sale.  Golfers should also consider Sandpiper which is also a 55+ community in Lakeland.


Residents enjoy a convenient location near Interstate 4 in Lakeland, Florida.  Grocery stores and restaurants are located minutes away including Lakeland's primary hospital, Lakeland Regional Medical Center.  Lakeland is centrally located between two major airports in Tampa and Orlando.

Homeowners Association

Residents of the community own their home and lot.  The monthly homeowners association fee includes mowing of each individual lot plus the common area maintenance and landscaping throughout the community.  The monthly HOA fee also covers the two gated entrances to the community and use of the clubhouse, tennis courts, pool, spa, fitness room and shuffleboard courts.

Highland Fairways Golf

The golf course is an 18 hole executive length privately funded course.  Resident golfers can pay to play or become a golf equity member.  The Highland Fairways golf club is just one reason why so many residents consider this community the perfect place to vacation or retire. 


HELOCs Unlocked: What is a HELOC All About?

by Damion Boyce

HELOCHELOC, in fact, stands for Home Equity Line of Credit. But what is a HELOC all about? For those living in the Lakeland real estate area, is it a good option?

Obtaining a HELOC is similar to taking out a second mortgage on your home, but obtaining the funds themselves is more like using your credit card. Generally, a limit is set as to how much money the homeowner can get on their line of credit. This limit is determined by such things as your credit history, your income and debt, the value of your home, and the amount you still owe on it.

A HELOC is a good way to get money for such items as ongoing medical bills or college tuition, since they let the homeowner get a lump sum as needed. The HELOC is then paid off in monthly payments in the fashion of a credit card with a minimum balance due. There's also the option to pay more or even all of the balance off, eliminating interest charges.

Interest rates for a HELOC are based on the Prime Rate, often with an added "margin" which is actually an increase in the interest rate. While interest rates are usually lower for a HELOC than for a regular bank loan or credit card loan, the rates are usually higher than those for a first mortgage.

Interest paid on a HELOC is often tax deductible (talk to your tax person to be sure), and there are usually no closing costs. There may, however, be an annual fee, so ask questions when you shop for your HELOC.

If the equity you have available on your Lakeland real estate gets too low for you to take out more money from your credit line, the bank may have the option to freeze your HELOC. It should also be noted that some banks have been accused of using "automated valuations" to unfairly determine the equity in your home as being lower than previously thought. At this point, they may again freeze your line of credit. If you were planning on this money to make a payment, the freeze on your account could become a huge problem.

Another way of getting into trouble with a HELOC is by taking out more money from your line of credit that you can readily repay. Don't forget, your home is the collateral for this money and if you can't pay it back, you're putting your family's home on the line.

There are lots of options available for homeowners. Whether you want to stay where you are and perhaps get a HELOC, buy a new home, or sell the one you're in, The Boyce Team can help you decide what's best for you. Contact Damion Boyce today and set up an appointment to see how they can help you.



Florida's Liquid Sunshine a Big Winner

by Damion Boyce

Florida's Liquid SunshineIn a recent taste test of orange juice, conducted by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, Florida's liquid sunshine was the big winner. The top three winners of the taste test all have connections to the Lakeland area. 

Just so you know, Americans drink over 1.6 billion gallons of orange juice every year. Much of this liquid sunshine is made from Florida oranges, best known for their juiciness, unlike California oranges, which are good "eating oranges". 

And the Winners Are:

Natalie's Orchid Island Juice Company Gourmet Pasteurized Orange Juice easily took first place. Made of 100% Florida orange juice, Orchid Island juice is squeezed, pasteurized and shipped, never frozen or stored for later. No wonder one of it's winning points was its "fresh-squeezed" taste.

Based in Fort Pierce, the Orchid Island Juice Company recently helped Central Florida and Lakeland non-profits raise thousands of dollars for the Special Olympics and Camp Aurora by providing juice for the 25-mile Paddler's Challenge as well as a kayak that was raffled off.

Florida's Natural Premium Home Squeezed Orange Juice came in second place. This company is based in Lake Wales, one of Lakeland's neighbors, where visitors get a chance to see how juice is made, buy juice and other souvenirs and get a taste of this winner.

Noble Organic Juice, with its "smooth" taste, came in third. Noble Juice is based in nearby Winter Haven and produces the popular Blue Lake Citrus Brand of juice. It is 100 percent organic orange juice and even the bottle you buy it in is organic. It's made from 100 percent corn!

Another winner in the Lakeland area is The Boyce Team. While not known for producing orange juice, they do produce great real estate deals. Whether you have a house to sell or want to buy a home, contact Damion Boyce to learn how they can help you buy or sell a home in the land of liquid sunshine.





SnacksKeller Williams Realty of Lakeland Takes Up the Cause of Treats for Troops

Keller Williams Realty of Lakeland recently took up the cause of Treats for Troops in an effort to collect items to be sent to American troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Donations Pour in From Lakeland Association of Realtors Members

Local realtors were eager to contribute to the cause, and over $5,000 worth of non-perishable food and personal hygiene items were collected. These were put into ziplock bags by members of the Keller Williams office including Eleni McLean, chair/coordinator of the event known as RED DAY, along with volunteers Evelyn Broxterman and Kristi Lawrence.

Over 600 bags of goodies were prepared. Some bags contained personal items such as shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, razors, and playing cards. Other bags contained snack foods including beef jerky, granola bars, pretzels, tea bags, and candy.

Some Lakeland community members also contributed letters of thanks to the troops to be included in the bags, while members of the Lakeland Association of Realtors also donated cash to this great cause.

Treats for Troops Sends Packages to Troops Overseas

Lands O' Lakes-based Treats for Troops receives the prepared bags from contributors and ships them to the troops. They spend an estimated $60,000 per month on shipping costs alone, so the hundreds of dollars that Lakeland realtors contributed in cash was greatly appreciated by Treats for Troops.

Packages Arrive in Afghanistan and Iraq

Packages are a welcome arrival for the troops. But the giving doesn't always stop there. Troops often hand out the candy they receive from Treats for Troops to local children where they are stationed because, according to Eleni McLean, "Many of these kids have never seen candy."

Plans are now in the works for Keller Williams of Lakeland to collect ongoing contributions, in hopes of having another shipment ready to go in July.

Damion Boyce and The Boyce Team are members of the Keller Williams of Lakeland office and would welcome your business. See what the Boyce Team is all about or contact Damion Boyce to learn more about the Lakeland area.



New Signs of the Times Popping Up in Downtown Lakeland

by Damion Boyce

SignIf you've been in or near downtown Lakeland lately, you may be seeing some new signs of the times popping up in downtown Lakeland. The new signs are designed to help visitors find their way to and around downtown Lakeland a bit more easily.


The price for the 50 new signs, including 20 in a "You Are Here" style with maps to downtown restaurants, cultural and educational spots and businesses, is $63,860, including installation. Bunting Graphics of Pennsylvania won the bid to create and install the signs.


Most of the "You Are Here" signs will be installed on lampposts while six other signs in the area simply point the way to downtown. These directional signs will appear on major streets near downtown including near Lake Morton and Lake Wire.


In an effort to make the downtown area more visitor-friendly, there will also be 16 "Welcome" signs around the edge of the area.For those wanting a place to park while they shop, eat, or enjoy some of the beautiful art and parks in downtown Lakeland, there will be six signs to help visitors find parking.


So why not spend some time exploring downtown Lakeland, perhaps having lunch at a restaurant with sidewalk seating, enjoying the swan and butterfly art (as well as a variety of sculptures that line the streets), and shopping for antiques or other specialty items for sale in the downtown area?


Downtown Lakeland has a way of attracting people and making them want to stay forever. When that happens to you, contact Damion Boyce to help you find the perfect home in the perfect city, Lakeland. The Boyce Team has lots of lovely Lakeland homes to show and sell, and one is sure to be just right for you and your family.

Military PersonnelFirst-time home buyers in the Lakeland area who are also qualified service members will be happy to learn they now have an extra year to use the Home Buyers Tax Credit. Even though the original credit expired at the end of April, 2010 for non-military personnel, the good news is that those serving in the United States armed services may still be able to get the tax credit till the end of April, 2011.


For the purpose of this new tax credit, the government is defining "qualified service members" as those who are a "member of the uniformed services of the U.S. military, a member of the Foreign Service of the U.S., or an employee of the intelligence community." For service members who were on "official extended duty outside the U.S. for at least 90 days between January 1, 2009 and May 1, 2010" you may still be able to use the tax credit.


There are a couple of other criteria that home buyers must meet as well, including:


Income Limits: Single taxpayers can only have income of $125,000 while married couples filing joint returns may have income of $225,000.


First-Time Home Buyer: To get the $8,000 tax credit, home buyers must fit the definition of first-time home buyers. This means they cannot have owned their principle residence during the past three years prior to the new home purchase. For married couples, both people must qualify.


Repeat Tax Buyer Credit: Even if you've owned your primary residence during the last three years, you may still be able to apply for a different tax credit, the Repeat Home Buyer Tax Credit, worth up to $6,500.


While non-service home buyers must stay in their newly purchased home for a minimum of three years after receiving the Home Buyer Tax Credit to avoid having to pay it back, military personnel who sell due to official government-ordered extended duty are exempt from this recapture rule.


For military service personnel in the Lakeland area who want to take advantage of this extended credit, contact Damion Boyce to see if you qualify. The Boyce Team appreciates all the service that our military personnel do for this country and have homes listed in Lakeland and the surrounding area that are sure to be just the right fit.



MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire By-the-Lake - What's Not to Love?

by Damion Boyce

Polk Museum of ArtWhat happens every Mother's Day weekend in Lakeland? Well, of course, mothers all over the county are celebrating their happy day. But it's also the weekend for MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire By-the-Lake and 2010 is no exception. Mayfaire By-the-Lake, one of Central Florida's biggest and oldest outdoor art festivals, is scheduled for May 8th and 9th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day on the shores of Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland, Florida.


Over 180 artists will be showing their wares which include everything from jewelery to paintings to sculptures. Food artists will also be there with a variety of goodies available for purchase and there will be live performances on the Lakeland Public Library lawn throughout the weekend by local musicians, dancers and other artists.


Don't worry about parking. It's free at Florida Southern College at the corner of Johnson and McDonald. Free shuttles are also available to take you from the parking area to the festival. More free shuttles known as MayFerrys will also be on hand to take passengers around Lake Morton and up to the Museum during festival hours.


And don't think the kids are being left out. There will be a free Art Tent and Kids Zone in the Museum parking lot with free hands-on art activities for all ability levels. For a small fee kids can also play in the bounce house and scale the rock climbing wall.


If 4 p.m. is way too early for you to stop enjoying the party, there's also Mayfaire Saturday Night & Festival of Arts & Athletes from 5 to 11 p.m. on Saturday. It's also free and features the Mayfaire Classic 5k race and fireworks at 9 p.m. Bring your own picnic or purchase food items from the vendors that will be on hand. All this is on the Lake Mirror Promenade, just 2 short blocks north of Mayfaire By-the-Lake.


Can't wait for the free festival on Saturday and Sunday? Well, for $35 at the gate, $20 for museum members or $30 in advance, you can attend the Mayfaire Kick-Off Party on Friday, the 7th at 5:30 p.m. on the Lakeland Public Library lawn. There will be an open bar and Texas Cattle Company hors d'oeuvres for attendees.


If you'd like to live close to all the excitement that is Lakeland, contact Damion Boyce to find you the perfect home in this great city, or learn more about the Boyce Team.



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Contact Information

The Boyce Team
Keller Williams Realty Lakeland
218 E Pine Street
Lakeland FL 33801
Fax: (863) 577-1240