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Old 03-02-2007, 05:18 PM
8 posts, read 40,084 times
Reputation: 20


I will be relocating to the Gainesville area within the next 1-2 years. My wife will be attending school in Gainesville and I am most likely going to be working in the greater Jacksonville area. Can anyone recommend a nice town/area between these 2 cities where we may want to consider moving? I currently have a 61 mile commute to my current job so I wouldn't mind a similar commute. I have 3 daughters (7,4, and 5 months) and would like to find someplace nice (small town feel with decent access to services). We homeschool our 7 year old presently so I am not hugely concerned with the local school systems.

AS far as housing costs go, we would be looking for homes priced in the mid 200's for say 1800 sq feet and 3 bedrooms.

Any advice folks may be able to offer would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 03-02-2007, 07:24 PM
Location: On the road
27 posts, read 156,058 times
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Keystone Heights is small area but gives you both convenient access to Gainesville and Jax. Lake City area is larger, and 30 min run to Gainesville, and about 60 minutes center of Jax. Alachua is just north of Gainesville and growing fast. We chose Lake City, no impact fees yet, right size, and access to I 10 and I 75 for travel.
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:59 PM
Location: SE Florida
9,367 posts, read 25,215,139 times
Reputation: 9454
I don't know about good schools, you could check out Palatka, Green Cove Springs. A mapquest will show you towns between the two. Only downside to living halfway is that, depending on the flexibility of your job and your wife's class schedule, schlepping the kids to afterschool activities or picking them up when sick at school could present a problem.

The area between Jax and Gainesville is gorgeous, though.
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Old 04-21-2007, 10:41 AM
5 posts, read 46,874 times
Reputation: 12
Post We want to commute to both Gainesville & Jacksonville

Hello Locals,
I am brand new to this nice forum. Actually it's the first forum I have joined ever. I'm sure you will be able to solve this dilemma for me.

My husband and I will be relocating to the Jacksonville / Gainesville Area. I will work in Gainesville and he will work in Jacksonville. (I'm sure you have heard this one before. I am not really sure yet how to find answers on this forum so I will simply ask you all, for now.)

Any MapQuester would think Rt. 301 would be ideal for both commuters however, in reading some postings I gather that Rt. 301 and the towns like Waldo, Starke, & Lawtey are all pretty run down and even dangerous.

We don't have children so that is not an issue - but please help us know where we could start out with a nice rental so each of us could comfortable commute to these two great towns.

WIsh it could be 30 minutes for each but it seems we won't be able to get around a one hour commute each.

Thank you for any adbice you may have.
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Old 04-21-2007, 12:51 PM
Location: a primitive state
11,395 posts, read 24,456,213 times
Reputation: 17477
I have a friend who was in the same situation. She commuted to G'ville from J'ville four days a week on 301, though she tried other routes for variety.

The intervening towns along 301 are not "run down" but Starke, in particular, takes forever to drive through. 301 itself is an easy drive as it is 4-lane and not terribly busy.

What would make sense is to live right in Starke. Some people don't like it because it's not filled with "sophisticated upper class white people", but if I were in your shoes I'd look closely at it. I drive through there fairly often and enjoy driving through the some of the residential side streets near 301. There are some fabulous historic homes there. The downtown has great potential, if you like old downtowns and think they should be invested in.

Essentially, the town is a gem in the rough. It's just a matter of time till the mainstream figures it out.
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Old 04-22-2007, 06:14 AM
5 posts, read 46,874 times
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Default Thanks, Starke & one more question - Train?

Thank you so much Ellie,
I really appreciate you taking the time to clarify those sentiments about Starke - I was hoping to hear as much!

Also, since we are relocating I think renting is a better start for us than buying at first. The commute is more important right now.

Coming from upstate New York where there are lots of old little towns. And they grow on you. As long as it is safe.

One more question:
Is there any other transportation between Jacksonville & Gainesville besides car commute? Like Train, say?
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Old 04-22-2007, 06:22 AM
5 posts, read 46,874 times
Reputation: 12
Default One more thing - Ellie

I totally agree. Investing in, and giving a face-lift to, any and all towns along Rt 301 would be a goal that would really excite me and suit me on so many levels. Having never seen it in person - even on the map - it so obviously makes sense as a project.
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:53 AM
Location: a primitive state
11,395 posts, read 24,456,213 times
Reputation: 17477
Originally Posted by perkjcp View Post

One more question:
Is there any other transportation between Jacksonville & Gainesville besides car commute? Like Train, say?
Unfortunately not, no trains. North Florida in particular doesn't have the population density to support a commuter line, though the AmTrack did run through there once. I'm just not sure which stations are still open.

I think Starke is as safe as any town its size in the area. Some people are already starting to open cute restaurants, etc. there and getting good support.

As far as rentals, you may have to find a local real estate agent to help you find something.
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:50 PM
5 posts, read 33,959 times
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Starke IS a safe town. I have lived here for 30 years. Only moving away (to St. Augustine) for less than a year. I came back to Starke because it is the only place I feel safe at.

Starke is about 30-35 minutes away from Gainesville, and that depends on which part of Gainesville you are traveling too. Jacksonville is 55-70 minutes away, depending on which part of Jacksonville you go to. My husband frequently drives to Jacksonville for work and doesn't mind the commute. On the weekends, we spend time either in Starke, in Gainesville, Palatka, and Doctors Inlet.

Prices are not bad here, and I really don't understand people that pay thousands of dollars to live in cracker-jack houses or apartments in big cities when they can have so much more house in the country.

Here is an example of what size house you are looking for...
http://media.reliancenetwork.com/dyna_images/mls/985/371438.jpg (broken link)
4 bedroom 2 bath for 195,000$

Here is another.
http://media.reliancenetwork.com/dyna_images/mls/985/290355.jpg (broken link)
3 bedroom 2 bath for 226,900$

Or if you want to get frisky...which I have seen studio apartments in NY going for this....
http://media.reliancenetwork.com/dyna_images/mls/985/370751.jpg (broken link)

We are affordable without being trashy! Do we have trailer parks...yes, but as of last count they are starting to fade away. Do we have apartments, yes - some are low-income housing, there are plans for condos in the future. We offer downtown living, historic living, waterfront living, country club living, rural living, and suburbs. I myself live in the rural setting and couldn't love it more.

Schools: We have 2 elementary schools, one middle (6-8), and one high school. I attended the schools myself and so is my daughter. We do not have any F or D schools, I don't think we have any C schools...but the Florida School Grades have not came out yet for this year.

Shopping: Super Wal-Mart, Bealls Outlet, Cato’s Fashion, Dollar Store, Family Dollar, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy. Food - Save-A-Lot, Winn-Dixie, Food Lion, and Wal-Mart.

Eating: Fast Food: Whataburger, Subway (2), Popeye’s, Taco Bell, Captain D's, McDonalds, KFC, Wendy’s, Hardees, Checkers, Sonic, Krystal’s, Powell's Dairy Freeze (which is historic). Dine-in: Cowboys Steakhouse, Western Steer, Sugar Tree Cafe (which is so not a cafe), Whale Tales, Laredo’s (Mexican), Oriental Buffet, Sonny’s BBQ, Cedar River Seafood.

Notice there was no Applebee’s or Roadhouse or Olive Garden. Well those are in Gainesville, Palatka, Jacksonville, Lake City, and Doctors Inlet. Not that far of a drive for a night out if you ask me...because eating out shouldn't be a nightly thing anyways...it’s meant to be a treat!

Traffic: Yes, during lunch time and on Friday afternoons the traffic on 301 is rough! Lunchtime because of the mad dash to get food in the allotted time for workers and high school kids, Friday because it is the weekend and people are heading home from work and heading out to dine (party) at the same time. Naturally it is hectic. But, the question is...is there a massive wait time in these traffic delays...NO WHERE NEAR what it is trying to get down University Ave, Newberry Rd, or Archer Rd - all in Gainesville- when it is rush hour (daily) there. Don't get me started on Jacksonville. As far as Gainesville is also concerned, they become a Mecca city when there is a Gator game in house...streets are crowded and restaurants are too.

Crime: Hardly ever have a murder here. Once maybe every 3 years…IF THAT! Most crime we have here is theft, and that is mainly one family member, friend, to another…and the occasional worker stealing from their company.

Speed Trap: No we are NOT a speed trap. I am tired of hearing that. AAA put up two billboards in town alerting drivers to the speed traps in Lawtey and Waldo…NOT STARKE! Quite frankly, if you do the speed limit in those two towns, you won’t get a ticket…amazing!!!

I would HIGHLY recommend the move to Starke…for anyone. I have successfully brought my in-laws to Starke, from Jacksonville, and they couldn’t be happier. My sister-in-law on the other hand…couldn’t stand not having a mall (Sears, Body Shop, Victoria’s Secret) nearby, or the ability to hang at the Comedy Club or other nightclubs every night…so she moved back to Jacksonville.

So honestly, if you don’t mind the quiet, quaint living…day-to-day…Starke is perfect for you because you can always have a little fun partying it up on the weekends in the nearby larger cities.
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:55 PM
5 posts, read 33,959 times
Reputation: 12
As far as rental properties (and housing without an agent) goes... (and a neat little way to get some more information about Starke)...look over our newspaper .... YES we have a local one. It is printed and goes on sale every Thursday. Here is the link for the online version.

Bradford County Telegraph
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