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Unread 12-07-2012, 03:29 PM
 
26 posts, read 51,262 times
Reputation: 17
Default The Best Family Suburbs near Jacksonville, FL

Hello,
My husband and I are considering moving to the Jacksonville area for his job. We have two kids: one in middle school and one in high school. We want a small (population less than 20,000 would be ideal) family community with great schools, low crime, many families (we are in our 40's), and friendly. Our budget is above $600K. I am just a little nervous because I have heard of families who moved to FL and bought homes and unknowingly moved into retirement subdivisions. I just need to pick a somewhat affluent town with mostly families with young kids. Any advise will be appreciated! Thank you!!
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Unread 12-07-2012, 03:40 PM
 
152 posts, read 87,155 times
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My daughter and her husband are both physicians. They live in Orange Park...Fleming Island. I would begin my search there.
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Unread 12-07-2012, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Amelia Island
1,546 posts, read 1,139,459 times
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Where is his job location? That will narrow things down a little. Saying the Jacksonville area is a little vague as Jacksonville is one of the largest cities in the US (land size wise).
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Unread 12-07-2012, 05:39 PM
 
26 posts, read 51,262 times
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The job will be in downtown in Jacksonville. Thank you!
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Unread 12-07-2012, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Florida
589 posts, read 288,308 times
Reputation: 392
Commuting into downtown Jax, from Orange Park can be a GIANT pain in the rear. I'd think seriously, before fighting that mess, each morning and evening.

You've got a nice budget, that should allow for good location, good schools, and a manageable commute.

Why not try to get as close to the beach as you can? That's one of the primary things that makes Jax a special place.

I recommed the city of Atlantic Beach, and its surrounding area. It's a very nice livable city. About the population size that you're looking for, and with very good schools, and a low crime rate. The commute into downtown from there wouldn't be too bad either.

Check out homes in the Oceanwalk, or Selva Marina subdivisions. Queens Harbor is just outside Atlantic Beach, and is a very nice Country Club, with fantastic home deals, right now.

If I wasn't stuck where I am right now, due to the real estate market, I'd be in one of those areas already.

Good Luck.
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Unread 12-07-2012, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,430 posts, read 3,683,498 times
Reputation: 776
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmliza View Post
Hello,
My husband and I are considering moving to the Jacksonville area for his job. We have two kids: one in middle school and one in high school. We want a small (population less than 20,000 would be ideal) family community with great schools, low crime, many families (we are in our 40's), and friendly. Our budget is above $600K. I am just a little nervous because I have heard of families who moved to FL and bought homes and unknowingly moved into retirement subdivisions. I just need to pick a somewhat affluent town with mostly families with young kids. Any advise will be appreciated! Thank you!!
It doesn't really work like that here.

Jacksonville is sprawling, and there aren't really any independent "towns" in the Jax area. Besides Downtown and a handful of historic neighborhoods, the area is mostly one huge suburb.

The closest thing to what you describe might be Fernandina Beach. It's a good 45 minutes + away though. That's a seperate town.

However, all your criteria can be found (sans the small town part) in a number of distinctive neighborhoods much closer to your work, which have their own independent little town feel, per se.

Check out the Avondale, San Marco, and Ortega neighborhoods. All are upper income, but within your budget. All are older, historic areas with lots of parks and character. Avondale and San Marco, especially, have their own little town squares (sort of), and are a center for culture, activities, dining, etc. San Marco and Avondale are about 5-15 minutes from Downtown, depending, and Ortega is about 15 minutes.

Details, details . . .

Avondale (half of the Riverside & Avondale historic district)

www.riverside-avondale.com

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/art...hoods-avondale

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/art...ale-photo-tour





San Marco

www.mysanmarco.com

www.smpsjax.com

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/art...ring-san-marco

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/art...n-marco-square







Ortega

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/art...-ortega-forest

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/art...ortega-village

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/art...toric-district




Last edited by fsu813; 12-07-2012 at 06:30 PM..
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Unread 12-07-2012, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
451 posts, read 259,012 times
Reputation: 1171
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmliza View Post
Hello,
My husband and I are considering moving to the Jacksonville area for his job. We have two kids: one in middle school and one in high school. We want a small (population less than 20,000 would be ideal) family community with great schools, low crime, many families (we are in our 40's), and friendly. Our budget is above $600K. I am just a little nervous because I have heard of families who moved to FL and bought homes and unknowingly moved into retirement subdivisions. I just need to pick a somewhat affluent town with mostly families with young kids. Any advise will be appreciated! Thank you!!
Ponte Vedra would be your best option for your price range and desire of A+ rated schools.
There are several excellent communities located there and I don't believe any of them are retirement
communities. (Marsh Landing, Sawgrass, The Players Club The Plantation and Olde Ponte Vedra)
Riverside/Avondale, San Marco and Ortega are great communities but none of them have the same
quality schools that St. Johns County/Ponte Vedra has. Unless your willing to pay tuition and go the
private school route. St Johns county is the highest rated school system in the entire state of FL.
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Unread 12-07-2012, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Florida
589 posts, read 288,308 times
Reputation: 392
[quote=fsu813;27252836]It doesn't really work like that here.

Jacksonville is sprawling, and there aren't really any independent "towns" in the Jax area. Besides Downtown and a handful of historic neighborhoods, the area is mostly one huge suburb.

The closest thing to what you describe might be Fernandina Beach. It's a good 45 minutes + away though. That's a seperate town.

However, all your criteria can be found (sans the small town part) in a number of distinctive neighborhoods much closer to your work, which have their own independent little town feel, per se.

Check out the Avondale, San Marco, and Ortega neighborhoods. All are upper income, but within your budget. All are older, historic areas with lots of parks and character. Avondale and San Marco, especially, have their own little town squares (sort of), and are a center for culture, activities, dining, etc. San Marco and Avondale are about 5-15 minutes from Downtown, depending, and Ortega is about 15 minutes.

Details, details . . .

Avondale (half of the Riverside & Avondale historic district)

www.riverside-avondale.com

Urban Neighborhoods: Avondale | Metro Jacksonville

Shoppes of Avondale Photo Tour | Metro Jacksonville





San Marco

www.mysanmarco.com

www.smpsjax.com

Urban Neighborhoods: Touring San Marco | Metro Jacksonville

Walkable Commercial Districts: San Marco Square | Metro Jacksonville







Ortega

Suburban Jacksonville: Ortega Forest | Metro Jacksonville

Walkable Commercial Districts: Ortega Village | Metro Jacksonville

Old Ortega Historic District | Metro Jacksonville


Earth to FSU

OP mentioned good schools being a top priority.

None of your suggestions make any sense, considering the quality of the public high schools that serve these areas. (Englewood, Wolfson, Lee)

And given the fact that the OP's children are already past the magnet schools entry point, magnets wouldn't be an option (particularly for their high school student)unless they are a military family.

Your comment regarding 'no independent small towns in the area', is also misinformed. Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Ponte Vedra, Orange Park, Yulee, all fit this description, and are within commuting distance to downtown.

I'm surprised you didn't recommend The Landing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Last edited by Nomad58; 12-07-2012 at 09:33 PM..
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Unread 12-07-2012, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Florida
166 posts, read 165,610 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmliza View Post
Hello,
My husband and I are considering moving to the Jacksonville area for his job. We have two kids: one in middle school and one in high school. We want a small (population less than 20,000 would be ideal) family community with great schools, low crime, many families (we are in our 40's), and friendly. Our budget is above $600K. I am just a little nervous because I have heard of families who moved to FL and bought homes and unknowingly moved into retirement subdivisions. I just need to pick a somewhat affluent town with mostly families with young kids. Any advise will be appreciated! Thank you!!
Sounds like you need to look into St. Johns. #1 rated school system and pretty safe, especially if you find a gated community. There are lots of subdivisions to look at with homes varying anywhere from the $200-800k range, and with your price point you should be able to find a pretty nice house or better yet rent first and build a new one.

I don't know of many retirement subdivisions around here, and that's interesting to hear as most retirement subdivisions have a minimum age for residents (i.e. must be 55+ to move there).

Commute to downtown is 25-40 minutes depending on when you leave.
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Unread 12-08-2012, 06:40 AM
 
207 posts, read 143,806 times
Reputation: 111
I'd check out Marsh Landing in Ponte Vedra, Coastal Oaks in Nocatee, and maybe a few neighborhoods off of 210 (although your budget is well above the normal house price for 210), or some neighborhoods down in World Golf Village (King and Bear).

The above will be your typical more cookie cutter style suburbs.

If you're considering sending your kids to private schools and want to live in an older more historic district, like fsu813 said, Avondale and Ortega would be a good fit. Your budget also could get you into Epping Forest, although I don't know how family friendly that neighborhood is.

But like everyone has said, if you're doing public schools, you need to be looking at St Johns County (I work downtown and a lot of people move specifically into St Johns County to send their kids to public schools).
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