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Old 12-27-2013, 03:38 PM
 
8 posts, read 6,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williamwebb1986 View Post
I just completed a house rental search in Duval County/Jacksonville and found that in some of the nicer medium income areas $1200 will get you a 1100 - 1300 sq ft 3br/1.5-2ba 2 car garage home on a smaller lot on average.
The closer to the beach you get the less sq footage you get
We're less worried about square footage than about actual location. Which areas are the good ones?
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville
2,295 posts, read 2,402,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nazthegreat1 View Post
Im not huge into golfing, but he is so Im sure that will be awesome for him. The BIGGEST thing Im concerned about is crime, which might sound silly since I live in Seattle but some of the things Ive read on these forums paint a nasty picture about Jacksonville... and Im not one to take things at face value. Ask a criminal about the crime and of course they're gonna say its bad, and vice versa.

I mostly want to know which area is the safest to LIVE in. I love all kinds of foods and am not too picky so Im sure to find some favorite places right off the bat, and I read enough about the beach to get excited for that. It will be a welcome change to get out of the grey and depressing weather here. The only thing Im concerned about in terms of bugs are anything thats poisonous... yeah, Im one of those overprotective moms.

Also, Im 26 and hubby is 33... what are some family friendly areas we could go to take the kiddos but still have fun for ourselves, too?
Hate to be a broken record but this is still not specific enough for me to really narrow down the options. Unless you're being very strict about safety (i.e., you want security to a standard that very few neighborhoods in the country can offer) most of Jax is fine. You should be asking what neighborhoods NOT to live in, and those would mostly be (very broadly) north of downtown and in the western half of Arlington.

Family-friendly can be Fleming Island, Julington Creek, Ponte Vedra, Nocatee and other far-flung suburban master-planned communities, or an inner-ring suburb that's centrally located and walkable like San Marco, or at the beaches, or near the Town Center. Seriously lots of options. Gated communities and country clubs of various price points also sprinkled throughout the city.

I believe Jax has the second-most golf courses in the country (after Myrtle Beach) and you can play year-round.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:55 AM
 
8 posts, read 6,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
Hate to be a broken record but this is still not specific enough for me to really narrow down the options. Unless you're being very strict about safety (i.e., you want security to a standard that very few neighborhoods in the country can offer) most of Jax is fine. You should be asking what neighborhoods NOT to live in, and those would mostly be (very broadly) north of downtown and in the western half of Arlington.

Family-friendly can be Fleming Island, Julington Creek, Ponte Vedra, Nocatee and other far-flung suburban master-planned communities, or an inner-ring suburb that's centrally located and walkable like San Marco, or at the beaches, or near the Town Center. Seriously lots of options. Gated communities and country clubs of various price points also sprinkled throughout the city.

I believe Jax has the second-most golf courses in the country (after Myrtle Beach) and you can play year-round.
You're right, I should've asked where not to live... thats a better answer. Husband will be working fairly close to the airport I believe, so I think he is looking for something in the Northside. I know Ive read that it just depends on where in the Northside you live, and Ive seen some pretty nice looking planned communities (online) that seem like they'd generally be pretty safe. Thanks for the tip on where NOT to live though, Im sure that will help a lot in the decision.
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:48 PM
 
36 posts, read 29,580 times
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As in any city, there are bad and good areas. For Jacksonville, I would stay away from the North west area. You will not be able to find a house at the beach for $1200/month but there are good areas of Hodges and Kernan that are close to the beach, major traffic routes and shopping and that are safe. Julington creek is a very safe area that are close to jump on I-95 to get your husband to work and you might find a smaller house for the money stated. If this is a long term move, I would consider looking at st. John's county since the school district is far better than Duval ( julington creek is St. John's)

Get prepared for summers that are HOT, HOT and HOTTER, very hummid and muggy for months at end. Buy plenty of bug spray and you will be happy. Welcome to Florida!
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Amelia Island
1,705 posts, read 1,528,781 times
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Yulee, Fernandina Beach is a short trip from the airport......we are on Amelia Isalnd and can make the airport on most days in 35 minutes. School system is A rated and ranked not to far below St Johns which is the best in the state.


As many have said Jacksonville is HUGE.....the largest city in the US land wise with pockets of suburban density all over the place. My advice and please take it with a grain of salt is rent, rent, rent for your first year. There is a big diffence both culturally and geographically from the Northwest here in the south and for some it is too much to overcome.

There is nothing wrong with this area but everywhere in the US is different and a lot of people don't realize this when they leave their geographic area........it is going to be completely opposite from what you are used to.

Good luck and take your time it is a bit overwhelming at first..........the next thing you know you'll be stopping by the roadside boiled peanut stands and slapping Salt Life decals on the car
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:51 PM
 
754 posts, read 672,656 times
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Does the weather in summer feel cooler in the beach towns (Ponte Verda) than in a suburb like Julington?

Also, if one is used to the culture in Tampa suburbs (frequent visits but have not lived there), would you say Jacksonville is similar enough? I know it's not the same, but, if one is fine with Tampa (I like new/clean/slower pace of life than northeast, and friendly people), would you say adjustment should not be too difficult to Jacksonville suburbs?
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:39 AM
 
Location: roaming about Allegheny City
655 posts, read 356,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nazthegreat1 View Post
Hi, Im new here. My husband just got a job offer and we are moving to Jacksonville at the end of January. Im born and raised in Seattle, WA and have never been to the east coast, so I have no idea what to expect. Ive read so many bad things about the bugs and crime etc. that I though it might be a good idea for me to ask the actual community for some advice. Can you guys tell me what Jacksonville is REALLY like, especially in comparison to Seattle (if at all possible). We have a year old, and another on the way and so we are trying to find the safest neighborhood with the lowest crime rate... where would that be?

Any help would be VERY appreciated. Thanks!
I used to live in Jax, and I lived there for quite some time (over a decade), so I think I can offer you some valid advice. Concerning crime, most of it is concentrated on the Northside, the Westside, and Arlington/Regency (Regency is in sharp decline.). Orange Park (outside of the city, in Clay County) and Southside are low crime more or less, although they are the absolute worst case of suburban sprawl, and considering you're from Seattle, which is a very progressive place, I expect you won't appreciate the socially regressive, often severely religious (especially Southern Baptist) mindset you will most likely encounter amongst your neighbors. Mandarin is better, it's more progressive, it's very safe, it's suburban, and it's more diverse; it's pretty affluent, too. Jacksonville beach isn't unsafe, but they do have a fair amount of crime, mostly because of all the bars located there. However, I don't think it's the best place to raise a family, because it's just so busy. Ponte Vedra Beach, in St. Johns County, directly southeast of Jax, is extremely safe, but also very, very expensive; it's one of the most affluent communities in the entire state of FL. Keep in mind that none of these areas are anything like Seattle in any way.

You're from Seattle, so as I said earlier, I expect you're used to a diverse, cosmopolitan, liberal mindset. You can indeed find this in Jacksonville, actually--and in safe areas, as well. Riverside, Avalon, and San Marco are all very safe, diverse, progressive, great places to raise a family. Riverside has a myriad of interesting shoppes and quite a few cool eateries (especially European Street, or E-Street as it's called in Jax; San Marco has one as well). These areas also have an eclectic set of people; they're very diverse. It's sort of like Brooklyn in the middle of Jacksonville. Also, the built architecture is pretty cool. Many people built many interesting houses, and some true mansions, in the early years of the 20th century here. I lived in a really cool 1920s Craftsman style home in 2004 in Riverside, in an apartment, and it was a fun experience. So if you're going to move to Jacksonville, and you want a safe area that's also a diverse, progressive place to live, definitely check out Riverside, Avalon, and San Marco.
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:26 PM
 
Location: 32082
190 posts, read 73,517 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hip Priest View Post
So if you're going to move to Jacksonville, and you want a safe area that's also a diverse, progressive place to live, definitely check out Riverside, Avalon, and San Marco.
On my recent house hunting trip down in Jacksonville I visited Riverside and San Marco but where the heck is Avalon?
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:01 PM
 
Location: roaming about Allegheny City
655 posts, read 356,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williamwebb1986 View Post
On my recent house hunting trip down in Jacksonville I visited Riverside and San Marco but where the heck is Avalon?
Oh, sorry. I meant to type Avondale, not Avalon. Avondale is directly west of Riverside. It's a diverse (Riverside and Avondale, although more so Riverside, are Jax's "gayborhood"), mainly residential area with really cool architecture--there are a lot of nice homes from the early 20th century, which you generally don't find in Jax. It's walkable to Riverside and all the shoppes and restaurants, since it's right next door. Avondale is a little more upscale than Riverside, but one can still find affordable rent there. Housing is another story. Unless a person wants a very small house, homes in Avondale are very pricey by Jax standards. But, it's a pretty cool neighborhood, and if I were to move back to Jax, it would be at the very top of my list of places to live.
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
2,829 posts, read 7,458,970 times
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nazthegreat1 ... as it's been said, Jacksonville is huge -- depending which route is taken, it can take almost an hour to drive from the northern border to the southern border of the city. So, although Clay County, St. Johns County, Southside, (and many areas in between) are all great areas, it's doubtful your husband would want to do such long commutes.

I currently live on the Northside and there are some nice neighborhoods here (more so, in my opinion, east of River City Marketplace which is just east of the airport) as well as in Yulee and Fernandina (just a bit north of the airport in Nassau County). I'm pretty sure you can find a house in your price range.

I've never been to Seattle, so I can't help you there with comparison. As for bugs here, unless you live in a rural secluded uninhabited cabin, you won't be crunching bugs under foot with every step. In fact, at least in my experience, you will probably rarely see any or many except for occasional spiders or ants (which I'm sure Seattle has). An uninvited "guest" might be a palmetto -- it would be unfair not to mention those disgusting flying cockroaches -- but most people here are bug-conscious and maintain some sort of pest control which helps keep those things down to few-and-far-between.

It would also be unfair not to mention the anoles - the little lizards that run all over the place. They are totally harmless and frankly I think they're cute. They prefer to be where the moisture is (which is generally outside), and they are no danger to your little one.

Although I've never lived west of the Mississippi, I have lived in the Northeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Carolinas, and by far I love the "First Coast" best of all. Life is slower and more laid-back and for me, much more enjoyable (that old cliche about stopping to smell the roses).

Although I enjoy mountain hikes and views, I don't miss them because here there are beach walks with their spectacular views and many other kinds of environments to hike through - state parks, community parks, recreational parks and playgrounds.

There are many, many family-friendly things to do here - almost too many to even start to list them, but just on the Northside alone are the Jacksonville Zoo and Catty Shack Ranch and Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens. As well, there are a number of playgroups so that families with little ones have an opportunity to meet others (a sample listing is here: Playgroups | Jax4Kids ).

And as for shopping and restaurants, just about everything is here (no Macy's, but plenty of other department stores). River City Marketplace (Northside) has everything except Home Depot (but Lowes is at River City), Target, Kohls, and JoAnns (Michaels at River City), but they are nearby in Yulee. For books, a little travel is required. Downtown historic Fernandina has two great stores; also there's Chamblin (two locations, one downtown and one south Jax); and "big box" Books-A-Million (3 locations) and Barnes & Noble (2 locations). Although the Duval County library systems has had some hiccups, all-n-all I think the library system is good (I like the main library downtown).

As for downtown Jacksonville, I can't compare it to Seattle, but in my opinion it's an easy city to travel through and navigate. It can be a little sleepy during non-business hours and when there are no events, but slowly that is changing. But when there are events, the city definitely is awake. We enjoy the monthly Art Walks (first Wednesday every month ... "Art" Walk is almost a misnomer because it's much more than that since "art" can be defined in many ways and appeal to all ages and tastes). The Gator Bowl festivities have already started (Gator Bowl Parade tomorrow Dec. 31th with the Gator Bowl Game on New Years). And a favorite annual event is the Lighted Boat Parade and Fireworks held every year the Saturday after Thanksgiving. There's also the Riverside Arts Market held every Saturday (except during January and February). Not to be missed and to be visited more than once.

I don't know what Seattle living is like, but of all the places I've lived, I've never spent so much time doing things outdoors as I do here. Frankly I'm a wimp and I don't care for the so-called "winter" temps that can be as low as the 50s and 60s during the day and 30s and 40s at night (I shiver when it's 55), but winter is short (and no snow) and I'll soon be back in shorts, t-shirts, and flipflops.
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