Willow Oak is located near the world's largest deposit of phosphate rock, which covers a total of 500,000 acres and contributes to 25 percent of the world's phosphate supply. Willow Oak is also surrounded by more than 625,000 acres of farmland, the second largest amount in the state of Florida.
Willow Oak, with a population of 6,700, is located at the southwestern edge of Lakeland, Florida and is considered part of the Lakeland-Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area. Try saying that ten times fast. Highway 60 cuts a wide path through the bottom edge of Willow Oak. If you're looking for a new place to live that's laid back and quiet, Willow Oak will provide that for you, and then some. That's how people here like it, though. There might not be much going on when it comes to nightlife options in this census designated place that's almost exclusively residential, but you will find lower prices for rental homes and some beautiful scenery. There are also plenty of fun things to do during the day. If you are itching for a night out on the town, all is not lost. Head about 15 minutes north into Lakeland and party away. Then come back home to peaceful Willow Oak to recoup.
Moving to Willow Oak
There are a lot of rental houses in Willow Oak proper, and if you keep your eyes peeled you can find a larger single-family home to rent in one of the many planned neighborhoods around town. The trick is to remain flexible in your options when moving here, and move as quickly as possible when something comes up for rent because a lot of people living in Lakeland have their eyes on the comparatively lower rental prices in Willow Oak, but you're laid back like everybody else is here, right? So you're not so worried about it because you know that with the proper amount of time spent looking for rental houses -- about four weeks -- and some crack research, you'll find yourself some good deals on home rentals. Just don't expect to find something that offers all bills paid because that's not really on Willow Oak's real estate menu. However, you may be able to find places that include some utilities paid.
Many of the rental homes here are run by property managers who will want to conduct a thorough background and credit check before you move in, so make sure you bring along your state ID or driver's license, social security number, proof of income and a detailed rental history when you meet with a potential landlord for the first time so they can complete that search. You also may want to consider hiring a moving company because it stays hot -- like, really hot -- in Willow Oak for most of the year. After all, you're in sunny Florida now.
Willow Oak Neighborhoods
Willow Oak is small enough that there aren't any proper neighborhoods here with distinct names and looks. This community is more like one long, rolling suburb without a lot of differences aesthetically from end to end, but there are quite a few places where you can find a home rental in Willow Oak. Remember, it's not boring; it's laid back!
Around Willow Oak
South: The area near Alafia River Reserve and south of Highway 60 is full of detached homes -- some individually owned and others for rent. A majority of the houses here were built prior to 20 years ago and do not have that cookie-cutter, nuclear home look. Many homes at the end of Turner Rd. have fenced yards but not a lot of trees or landscaping. You'll also find a good number of duplexes for rent as well as some mobile homes. There just aren't any apartment buildings or complexes here in this rural-ish part of town. El Rancho Mexicano is your only option for dining out here.
Central/East: Duplexes are the name of the rental game in this part of Willow Oak, found north of Highway 60 and west of Bailey Rd. There are also some older apartment buildings, a wide range of detached houses for rent and a large planned neighborhood called Reflections West with newer single-family homes for rent just north of Shepherd Rd. No shopping and no restaurants in this area.
Housing Complexes in Willow Oak
Imperial Lakes Blvd: There are several planned neighborhoods off this long, winding street in east Willow Oak. Large, newer single-family homes are available here as well as quite a few townhomes, but the majority of detached houses in this part of town tend to be individually owned and lived in. The good news is if you do find a rental home, you'll have a private landlord.
Carlton Arms South: Here you can find efficiencies, studios, 1 bedroom apartments, 2 bedroom apartments and townhomes for rent with 26 unique floor plans from which to choose. Amenities of this large apartment community include free water and sewer, free basic cable TV and monthly pest control included in the rent, two large swimming pools, two clubhouses for private events, lighted tennis courts, renovated fitness center, covered parking, freshwater fishing and a car care center.
Water Oak: This is a large community of town houses for rent on the eastern edge of town. There are one and two bedroom floor plans with washer and dryer hookups, central air conditioning, patios and private parking spaces. There is a Walmart Supercenter nearby and you can do your shopping at Imperial Lakes Plaza, which is anchored by a Publix grocery store so you're never too far away from eating one of its famous sub sandwiches. Thank goodness for that!
Living in Willow Oak
Life in Willow Oak may seem on the slow side to those coming from a metropolis, but that's part of its charm. Still, don't worry about being bored, there's plenty of things to fill out your day here. Shoot a game of pool and take home a bottle of spirits at the Twilight Zone Lounge or go play outdoors at the Alafia River Reserve. Take in an 18-hole round of golf and stay for dinner at the Imperial Oak Country Club on the eastern edge of Willow Oak. Learn new skills and start a career in medical coding at the Fortis Institute. Try indoor rock climbing, scuba diving or beach volleyball at Off the Wall Adventures, or grab a bite to eat with friends at Hungry Howie's Pizza and Subs. There may not be a lot to do in Willow Oak when it comes to a night out on the town but there is plenty here to keep you comfortable close to home.