Lake County home prices shocking, scaring away potential buyers

Payton Easley is looking to buy a home in Lake County. 

"I'm looking to move back home to find a house," she said, "and just have something that's mine, permanently, not just be throwing money away in rent."

The problem is, she's not sure if she can afford it. 

"When I find something in my price range it's like falling to pieces or like doesn't have septic or well or anything, and when something is in my price range, I can't get insurance on it because it needs a roof or something like that, it's way too old."

Realtors say, "Welcome to Lake County in 2023," where interest rates and home prices have shocked many aspiring homeowners. 

"Well, as the inventory went down, the prices went up. We have the new highway up here, we're becoming more and more of a bedroom community to Orlando. Especially down in Clermont and up here in Mount Dora with the new [State Road] 429 extension. So people just really want to move here," said Barry Blake, with Garden Gate LPT Realty.

Realtors say that Lake County is no longer a cheaper alternative to Orange, Seminole, or Volusia counties when people look for a home in the Orlando suburbs. The median home price in Lake County is now about $370,000 dollars. While homes in Orange and Seminole counties both hover around $403,000, Volusia County comes in at a relatively affordable $345,000.

Realtors say Lake County homes under $300,000 are getting sold the fastest, and investors are snapping up a lot of them. They say buyers may have to lower their expectations if they're dead-set on moving to Lake County.

"I would say you might be giving up city water. You might be on a well. Then you may have to maintain a well, might have to maintain a septic tank instead of city sewer. But if you're willing to go out a little bit, that's what you get. It's cheaper to live, too. Honestly, the expenses are less," Blake said.

Realtors say they don't see home prices in Lake County coming down anytime soon, but falling interest rates over the coming months or years could make it easier for more people to buy homes there.