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Old 01-11-2008, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Jax
8,200 posts, read 35,448,792 times
Reputation: 3442

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Wow - 2 very different choices!

New houses are nice, not much to worry about - just move right in and decorate. But if you're a fan of older homes, well, then I think you have to go for the real thing.

Avondale/Ortega would be my vote hands down given the details you've provided. It sounds like you can afford a home in Avondale/Ortega that would be in good shape (not a fixer-upper), so that makes the choice even easier, IMO.

The "charming older established neighborhood" is a limited commodity in Jacksonville, they aren't making any more of 'em! From an investment standpoint, Avondale/Ortega is likely to give you a greater return in the long run (the houses there are worth more per sq ft than the new developments right now and that's how it usually is).

As for schools, St. John's Country Day is on that side of the river and it is excellent (and it's K-12 too).

So there's my 2 cents!
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:51 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,287 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PJPK View Post
Hi everyone,

My husband and 2 year old are moving to Jax in March. We've been looking at houses like crazy and are at the end of our rope! My family lives in Fleming Island and my husband will be working on the westside, so initally we were sticking with Eagle Harbor.

However, we have started looking at Ortega and Avondale and really love both of the areas. We can afford a pretty decent house in the nicest part of either area, but nothing like what we can afford in Eagle Harbor- which would be the nicest part of Eagle Harbor. In Ortega or Avondale, the houses would either be much smaller or need a lot of work.

Obviously, we know the areas are very different so it's become hard to decide.

We love Ortega but are afraid it might be a little "older" or stuffier. We're both just under 30. However, we love the Yacht Club (also not sure if it's stuffy- although we know we can get a membership pretty easily) and feel like it's a pretty safe area. And we have seen a good amount of kids there.

We also love Avondale, and feel like the houses have so much more character- which we are used to as we have been living abroad for many years. But we'd get very little lawn and are not sure if the area is a bit too close to less safe areas. Of course, as I said we would be buying in what I believe is one of the nicest parts of Avondale.

The 3rd option is still Eagle Harbor. We feel like this is the "easy" option. Big house, little crime, etc. BUT, we actually are on the fence on the whole McMansion thing- as well as about having one of the most expensive houses in the whole neighborhood with very little character. And while I am sure that our neighbors would be friendly and welcoming, we would be pretty far from anything going on in town. And while I'm at it, we've also had our heart set on sending our kids to Bolles.

So, I know all 3 are nice, but can anyone give me some new insight?? We're on such a tight schedule, we will actually have to make an offer by early next week!

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
Hi.
My wife and I this morning had the near identical questions that you posted two years ago. And we also just returned from several years overseas (France).
We'd really appreciate your advice about what you've discovered, re: Ortega-Avondale-Eagle Harbor. We're now in Ponte Vedra and trying to decide whether to move.
Thanks! Have a great morning.
Hak
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:28 AM
 
154 posts, read 323,868 times
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Avondale #1, Ortega #2, Eagle Harbor #3

You will appreciate the savings on commuting as well as the savings to get to Bowles. I think the construction would be better in the homes in Avondale & Ortega plus a little more centrally located for doing fun things.
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
6 posts, read 12,229 times
Reputation: 10
We are on the Bolles route as well with our kids at RPDS in Riverside. We have lived out in the burbs and in San Marco. Both have benefits, but the riverside/avondale/san marco areas have a great community. Check into San Marco while searching and consider waterfront if possible! Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,528 posts, read 8,275,366 times
Reputation: 914
Avondale & Ortega are great. I prefer Avondale. Here's some helpful info.

Historic Riverside & Avondale make up the largest continous Historic district in the U.S., I believe, and sit right next to eachother (4-7 miles away from Downtown depending on where you are). Perhaps the most popular neighborhood to visit in the entire city, they have very nice parks, cafes, botiques, restuarnts, shopping, the arts, nightlife, weekly festivals, etc all with-in walking distance. There are 3 main hubs of commerical activity. Avondale is bit more posh, where as Riverside is a bit more funky. They both border the river as well. These areas are almost completely gentrified, so homes can go from 150k to Millions. A good mix of larger homes, bungalows, and plenty of apartments.

Here are some helpful links:

Riverside Photo Tour
Neighborhoods | Metro Jacksonville
Five Points in Riverside Neighborhoods | Metro Jacksonville
Riverside Park Neighborhoods | Metro Jacksonville
Park & King in Riverside Neighborhoods | Metro Jacksonville
Riverside Art Market Culture | Metro Jacksonville
Memorial Park Neighborhoods | Metro Jacksonville
Park & King in Riverside (older) Neighborhoods | Metro Jacksonville
The Riverwalk Neighborhoods | Metro Jacksonville
Avondale Photo Tour Neighborhoods | Metro Jacksonville
Boone Park Neighborhoods | Metro Jacksonville
Willow Branch Park Neighborhoods | Metro Jacksonville
The Shoppes of Avondale in Avondale Neighborhoods | Metro Jacksonville
Riverside Arts Market - Jacksonville, FL
Though not techincally, most people see this area as part of Avondale as well: A Walk Down Herschel Street | Metro Jacksonville


Riverside & Avondales predominant neighborhood organization is : Riverside Avondale Preservation. SPAR & RAP are the two best neighborhood organizations in the city, the rest pale in comparison. Of the two, RAP's is clearly the best.

Ortega is upper income as well, simlar to Avondale, but is more suburbish, with larger lots and not as walkable destinations (ie, not nearly as much you can simply walk to). It's a semi-historic neighbrohood, with tons of huge mature trees and tranquil winding roads.

Oretga Pictorial http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2008-feb-exploring-ortega

Don't get it confused with Ortega Farms, which is more standard middle-class to lowe middle-class 'burbs and not very simialar to Ortega (thus is not nearly desirable).




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Old 01-21-2010, 02:48 PM
 
5 posts, read 19,147 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewLew View Post
Here is some very quick advise for you
1. Eagle Harbor will ALWAYS have homes for sale. You will always have competition for resale. That can hurt in the end. Especially if you say you can afford some of the nicest homes. Honestly, if you rented and thought about it for 6 months, I bet a lot of the Eagle Harbor large homes would still be for sale.
2. Avondale has older homes...thus, more maintenance. However, the large homes in Avondale sell much faster...less competition, and many downtown professionals/doctors from St. Vincent's etc. live there.. Kids should attend private school. It's Duval County, not Clay.
3. Ortega...if you can purchase in the absolute most desireable area, it's very nice, but overpriced. Not as safe either.

Depending on where your husband will be working, the traffic by Eagle Harbor/Fleming Island/Wells Rd/220 etc. might drive him insane.

Good luck.
Hello, We might be coming from Denver. Could you elaborate on "It's Duval County, not Clay." regarding the school districts? Our kids are 10 and 12. Avondale looks and sounds beautiful and unique. Thanks fo much for your time.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,528 posts, read 8,275,366 times
Reputation: 914
Duval County schools have a stigma to some people. The surronding counties of Clay & St. Johns are seen as better overall school districts. And in totality, they are.

However, over 2/3rds of Duval County Schools did received an A or B rating most recently, and overall the School District received a solid B.

The major issues are with the High Schools. While there are very good highschools, there are many that chronically underprefrom drastically. While good students are produced from these D & F rated schools, many more students do not perfrom well. There is probably a corrolation between school performance and family involvment though (ie, a student would do just fine practically anywhere if they are motivated and have involved parents).

Thus the relative high number of lower performing High Schools drag down the District in ratings.

Here are some media stories about Duval Schools:

Individual School's Grades: http://www.duvalschools.org/reseval/...ch%20Alpha.pdf

Story: Most School Grades Up, But State Flunks 8 In Duval County - Education News Story - WJXT Jacksonville (http://www.news4jax.com/education/16819360/detail.html - broken link)
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