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Old 12-21-2010, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Orange Park
16 posts, read 36,973 times
Reputation: 21

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I know there are many people who check out this forum because you are considering relocating to Jacksonville. Check out this article I wrote on www.outandaboutinjax.com all about the top reasons to relocate to Jacksonville! Please feel free to forward to anyone who may be considering a move here. Or if you already live here, see if you agree with all the reasons I listed that Jacksonville is one of the top cities in the country to live!
Out and About in Jax: Considering Relocating to Jacksonville?
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:17 PM
 
Location: AL for now
360 posts, read 1,534,363 times
Reputation: 454
Default Thanks; an interesting read...

Three things that concern me as I consider relocation to Jax:

- Property tax rates on some homes seem to be 2% or more of value. (I pay under 0.5% here. ) How stable (or unstable) are they? Can the local gov't raise rates to balance their budget? Where can I research the law and or tax rates?

- Homeowners' insurance: prohibitively $$$? hard to obtain in certain locations?

- the QUALITY of the homes, especially with the hurricane potential. I moved from CA to AL, so I know about the price differential, but I've found a corresponding decrease in quality here. I don't know if it's just that AL contractors are not up to par (there is very little in the way of licensing and/or building inspections here... ), or is it more of a general trend that new homes aren't built as well as older homes? I prefer a newer home (post 1980s) but after having to remedy several issues with my 1999-built home here, I'm not sure how wise it is to try a newer home again, or even to buy at all. Do any locals have an opinion on the city/county building inspections? (Are there inspections done in unincorporated areas?) Does shoddy construction pass inspection?

Thanks for any info!
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:46 PM
 
25 posts, read 53,463 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherBravesFan View Post
Three things that concern me as I consider relocation to Jax:

- Property tax rates on some homes seem to be 2% or more of value. (I pay under 0.5% here. ) How stable (or unstable) are they? Can the local gov't raise rates to balance their budget? Where can I research the law and or tax rates?

- Homeowners' insurance: prohibitively $$$? hard to obtain in certain locations?

- the QUALITY of the homes, especially with the hurricane potential. I moved from CA to AL, so I know about the price differential, but I've found a corresponding decrease in quality here. I don't know if it's just that AL contractors are not up to par (there is very little in the way of licensing and/or building inspections here... ), or is it more of a general trend that new homes aren't built as well as older homes? I prefer a newer home (post 1980s) but after having to remedy several issues with my 1999-built home here, I'm not sure how wise it is to try a newer home again, or even to buy at all. Do any locals have an opinion on the city/county building inspections? (Are there inspections done in unincorporated areas?) Does shoddy construction pass inspection?

Thanks for any info!

Its my expierence that states that dont have State Income Tax have higher property tax rates. I currently am paying about 2.7% in Houston. It was as high as 2.9% at one time. Yes, they can jack up the rate and if appropriate (or not sometimes) jack up your appraisal and get a double whammy!! In Houston. my values have gone up consistantly 10% every year for the past 8 years.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:54 PM
 
Location: AL for now
360 posts, read 1,534,363 times
Reputation: 454
Unhappy Jaymanbikes, that's what I'm afraid of...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaymanbikes View Post
Its my expierence that states that dont have State Income Tax have higher property tax rates. I currently am paying about 2.7% in Houston. It was as high as 2.9% at one time. Yes, they can jack up the rate and if appropriate (or not sometimes) jack up your appraisal and get a double whammy!! In Houston. my values have gone up consistantly 10% every year for the past 8 years.
I knew property taxes were bad in TX; that's one of the reasons (besides the ugly terrain, sorry) I didn't retire there...
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:18 AM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,079 posts, read 6,122,162 times
Reputation: 934
Milage rate is 18.3926 in City of Jacksonville. Jax Beach and Baldwin are slightly higher (19) and everywhere else in the metro is slightly lower. This includes taxes for operation of schools, operation of government, water management, and FL inland navigation. If your house is worth $100,000, they'll take 60-70% of that to calculate taxable value (on average...if you are waterfront or gated community they'll try to soak you for as much as possible). So 18.3926 mil on $70K is $1,287.482 or about 1.3%. Even if they assess your taxes using the full value of your house (which in this economy it is probably closer to full value of your 2007 homevalue since they can only decrease a certain amount each year and they are trying to avoid doing that because of a budget crunch...just fight them), then the highest percentage you'll pay in property taxes is 1.84%. It will be less than that, though with all of the homestead exemptions, etc.

Quality of homes here depends on how much you're willing to pay. Home prices here are much higher than Alabama's, but there seems to be a breakpoint in quality construction. I'm the wrong person to ask because I don't think I can say what I believe without offending someone, but be prepared to spend a little dough for quality.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,528 posts, read 8,287,894 times
Reputation: 914
it just depends on the area i think
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,617 posts, read 21,521,356 times
Reputation: 6794
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherBravesFan View Post
Three things that concern me as I consider relocation to Jax:

- Property tax rates on some homes seem to be 2% or more of value. (I pay under 0.5% here. ) How stable (or unstable) are they? Can the local gov't raise rates to balance their budget? Where can I research the law and or tax rates?

- Homeowners' insurance: prohibitively $$$? hard to obtain in certain locations?

- the QUALITY of the homes, especially with the hurricane potential. I moved from CA to AL, so I know about the price differential, but I've found a corresponding decrease in quality here. I don't know if it's just that AL contractors are not up to par (there is very little in the way of licensing and/or building inspections here... ), or is it more of a general trend that new homes aren't built as well as older homes? I prefer a newer home (post 1980s) but after having to remedy several issues with my 1999-built home here, I'm not sure how wise it is to try a newer home again, or even to buy at all. Do any locals have an opinion on the city/county building inspections? (Are there inspections done in unincorporated areas?) Does shoddy construction pass inspection?

Thanks for any info!
We're a metro area with several counties - and the tax rates are different in each. You can't tell what you'll pay here in property taxes solely on the basis of what people say they're paying. Because we have something called the Save Our Homes Amendment (like Prop13 in California). So for people who've owned their houses for a while - their tax increases have been limited (no matter how much the value of your house goes up - your assessment can't go up by - if I recall correctly - the CPI or 3% - whichever is lower). OTOH - any new buyer will pay taxes on the current full value of the house. So step 1 is to figure out what the tax appraiser thinks it's worth - and apply the tax rate in the area to the house you're looking at.

Second - apart from your appraisals - the tax people can raise tax rates on everyone at any time for just about anything. So - even if your appraisal stays the same - your taxes can go up. The State of Florida and most of our metro areas have high credit ratings. Expect politicians here to keep those high credit ratings by keeping taxes in line with expenditures best they can without running a big risk of not being re-elected.

Overall - I think about 1.5-2% of appraised value would be a good guesstimate for property taxes.

Homeowners' insurance is a big problem here. Most decent big insurance companies have left the state - leaving us with a lot of new crummy undercapitalized companies - and the state pool (Citizens).

Which is why - IMO - construction is important. There has been a lot of junky construction here in NE Florida - just about forever (the NE Florida homebuilders were/are a powerful lobby group that sought to exempt houses here from codes enforced elsewhere in Florida).. Things have started to change here very recently though. Buy/build a block house with a hip roof built to current code and you will most likely be okay up to a cat 4 or more storm. Note that this kind of construction isn't necessarily high end. There are very low end builders who build this like - and very high end builders who don't.

Also note that in certain parts of the metro area - even if you never have to deal with a storm - the termites will kill you in terms of stick construction. Robyn
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:06 PM
 
Location: AL for now
360 posts, read 1,534,363 times
Reputation: 454
Smile Thanks, Robyn55!

Good info and advice on the concrete block construction. Where I'm from, no one really does concrete block, and the few CB homes I've seen were older (1950s era) and very modest. I saw a newspaper article about one spec builder in San Diego doing a few styrofoam/poured concrete homes a few years back; not sure how well built they ended up being or their price point, but I don't think the building costs were anticipated to be more than 5-10% higher than stick-built. They were touting their superior insulation qualities and resulting lower energy bills.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,617 posts, read 21,521,356 times
Reputation: 6794
In earthquake places like California - block would - for the most part - be a no-no. Because - in earthquakes - you need a house that can sway - not stand rigid and crack and fall down. Different strokes for different folks who live in different areas. Robyn
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:25 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,079 posts, read 6,122,162 times
Reputation: 934
I finally read the whole review. You sound passionate about the city, like I am . When it comes to nitty gritty info/facts, I would perhaps do a little more research. I don't think I need go into detail because generally, you're right, but being the perfectionist/historian I am I noticed a few fallacies. If I was relocating, I wouldn't know what the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts necessarily is, or what it means to have UNF. I would discuss Fabio Mechetti, some symphony history or milestones, and some important facts about UNF that would paint the picture. I also loathe modern masterplanned communities, so you almost completely lost me in the very beginning (be careful there).
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