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Old 02-04-2013, 10:28 AM
 
35 posts, read 39,754 times
Reputation: 40

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Hi everyone,

I'm an active 66 y.o. woman currently living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. A year ago I thought that San Miguel might answer my need to live on a limited budget in a great climate, but I couldn't know how worried I would become about access to healthcare services. Most everything down here is self-pay. Expat insurance policies are out of my range, and while I'm covered for something like a broken ankle by the national healthcare system here, that care would be rudimentary at best.

Aging has its priorities and I'm now considering returning to the states for access to my Medicare coverage.

Years ago my family made the usual trek from the New York/New Jersey area to Florida. I graduated high school in Miami and have life long friends in Tampa, Coconut Grove, and Tamarac. I know the flora & fauna of South Florida well, but I'm looking at northeast Florida as giving me some (if only minor) relief from the incredible humidity of south Florida. Am I wrong? <grin>

I've been reading threads here diligently and suspect the cost of living (expensive anywhere in the continental U.S.) in Jacksonville - and some of its neighborhoods, might work for me.

Some information:

While highly educated, I'll be considered poor, so I won't be looking at neighborhoods that are 'trendy'. While I'm not averse to picking up a part-time, low wage job to make ends meet, I'd like to stay 'retired' on a slender budget.

Moving on.

Over a lifetime, I've become an urbanite. I enjoy living in walkable communities where I can duck down the street to pick up a gallon of milk, get to know my neighbors and local vendors, and volunteer in my community. I like being around all age groups. Actually the sound of kids laughing, dogs barking, and cyclists whizzing by is music to my ears.The sounds that would annoy or frighten me are: frat boys and/or gunshots. Yes, with my budget I'm walking a thin line between cheap college apartments and the ghetto, but that's why I'm coming to y'all for help. <smile>

I suppose I'm an "internationalist" too, in that I'd love a neighborhood like the one where I lived in San Francisco years ago: a Russian, Viet Namese, and Italian restaurant within a couple of blocks, a radically diverse population from all over the globe. I know northeast Florida isn't much like *that*, but I'd like to get as close as possible in the neighborhood I choose.

So, I'll be looking for an efficiency at the $400 mark in a four-plex or less. [Sigh, I know that means no pool and it's a horrifying thought, but there it is.]

I've read every thread on the areas of San Marcos, Riverside and Springfield and, considering my age and my preferences, am hoping that some of you can point to me where I might focus?

Which of the three can provide my best shot at the impossible:

A pretty 'hood where it's safe to walk?
Non-trendy so a $400 efficiency that's not roach-infested is a possibility?
A diverse population in terms of color and income and age?

Thank you so much for reading this post. I've tried to give you the pertinent information without boring you to tears, but if you have questions, please: ask away.

My ignorance about Jacksonville is boundless. Your collective wisdom? Priceless.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:21 PM
 
196 posts, read 377,511 times
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From the sound of things, Riverside would be the perfect spot for you! Very walkable and eclectic with a lot of old homes that serve as duplexes/quadplexes. Your budget is defintely small, however, I think in this area you could find something that could work for for you.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,530 posts, read 7,482,110 times
Reputation: 904
Which of the three can provide my best shot at the impossible:

A pretty 'hood where it's safe to walk?

All three are fine to take a leisurly stroll in.

Non-trendy so a $400 efficiency that's not roach-infested is a possibility?

Trendy and affordable are not necessarily opposites. You can find $400-$500 small apartments in the Riverside half of the Riverside & Avondale historic district, as well as the Springfield historic district. There certainly aren't many, but they're out there.

A diverse population in terms of color and income and age?

Again, both Riverside and the Springfield historic district offers this. All types of people and socioeconomic status.

The main difference between these 2 neighborhoods is (a) Riverside has many more apartments, and thus has many people. (b) Riverside also has far, far more businesses and commericial activity, and (c) Riverside is nearing the end of it's "transitional" neighborhood label, while the Springfield historic district is in the middle of that process.

Both are eclectic, creative, and diverse communtiies, with many parks, walkable/bikeable streets, border Downtown and all it's amenties and happenings, and both have virtaully identical crime rate (not bad, but being aware of your surrondings, not leaving your ipad on the dashboard, and other common sense thinking is needed. Neither are dangerous areas for your average joe).

San Marco is more posh, less diverse, and more expensive.

Riverside & Avondale: www.riverside-avondale.com
Springfield historic district: www.myspringfield.org and www.sparcouncil.org
San Marco www.mysanmarco.com and www.smpsjax.com
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
7,302 posts, read 7,951,855 times
Reputation: 4260
As others have said, Riverside is your best bet. Good luck to you!
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,530 posts, read 7,482,110 times
Reputation: 904
I looked a little for you, to see what what out there currently:

Here's a few in the Spingfield historic district:
Large 1 Bed/1Bath Apartment
Springfield water included
Large 1/1 in Historic Springfield

Here's a few in Riverside:

Adorable One Bedroom One Bath with Hardwood Floors
2050 Dellwood #3-Great Riverside 4-Plex for Rent!
Large Spacious Riverside Apartment

All in decent to good locations. : ) There is hope!
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:09 AM
 
35 posts, read 39,754 times
Reputation: 40
Thank you, everyone.

Based on your advice and the research I've been doing it does look like Riverside is my best choice. Thanks in particular to you fsu813 for researching a few apartments at what you consider to be safe addresses. That at least gives me a clue.

In my research on Riverside I've come across a couple of things I wonder if someone can clear up? The first was that the 5 Points area is a little bit dicey in terms of crime, personal safety, etc. Any info?

The other is that when I try to google images of Riverside's urban core for shops, I come up with stuff that looks kind of desolate. Does someone have another source I should visit?

Also, based on my criteria, if you had to select a six square block area to look for a $400 studio in a two or four-plex in Riverside, which blocks would you outline?

Last, I won't be the first person to say that the folks on city-data across the United States are doing a wonderful public service by letting their communities become better known - but I can certainly say that with a *huge* amount of enthusiasm!

Thanks again.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,530 posts, read 7,482,110 times
Reputation: 904
You need to be more flexible to find what you're looking for.

(a) If you have a true $400 budget, there may be zero options for you in any of the neighborhoods places discussed.

(b) 5 Points is fine. It's a commerical district in the neighborhood.

(c) There is no once source for commerical listings in the Riverside neighborhood. The commercial activity if relatively vibrant.

(d) You'll be very lucky to find a $400/mo anywhere in Riverside, or San Marco or Springfield historuc district for that matter. There seems to be some options at $450, but very few if any at $400. So looking within a 6 block area of any of these neighborhoods is fruitless. In these 3 neighborhoods combined there will only be a handful of decent apartments under $450, so take what you can get. They're all varying degrees of popular, eclectic, diverse, walkable, with positive quality-of-life and very close to Downtown, and eachother for that matter.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:15 PM
 
178 posts, read 295,314 times
Reputation: 132
Sundreamer - We live in 5 Points and we love it. If you want to know more about various neighborhoods and see photos, I recommend MetroJacksonville.com. Click on the 'neighborhoods' tab and choose among the many that you see. Also, if you go to Craigslist, Jacksonville, apartments and in the search window type Riverside (or Avodale, Springfield), and fill in the $$ amount, you can search apartments that way. Another way to search is Zillow.com and enter 32204 or 32205 for zip. You can filter that by price as well. Good luck.

Five Points may be considered the "commercial district" but the commerce part consists of the only supermarket in Riverside/Avondale, many restaurants of all cuisines and prices, unique shops, a wonderful museum and gardens, a movie theatre (with a neat history), Riverside Arts Market with entertainment and over 100 vendors including food, produce and handmade items, a YMCA, two beautiful parks, and lots more coming soon.

Metro Jacksonville | Covering Downtown Jacksonville FL, Northeast Florida, Jacksonville Transit, History, Neighborhoods, Photos

Last edited by JaxLiving; 02-06-2013 at 03:23 PM..
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Nampa, ID
12 posts, read 17,337 times
Reputation: 19
I would also vote for Riverside. For affordability, Springfield is probably the least expensive, but it is also an area that, while they are definitely working on it and have made a lot of progress, it still has a ways to go in terms of "being restored" and has a much higher crime rate. Riverside is pretty with nice people and many, many places you can travel to on foot.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:01 PM
 
2,137 posts, read 3,258,433 times
Reputation: 3077
You could probably find a nice single wide off of Timaquana for $350 or so.
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