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Old 12-04-2015, 10:44 AM
 
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Can anyone weigh in on either of these neighborhoods? We are moving to Jacksonville in May so we have spent quite a bit of time researching the area. We have narrowed our search to the St. Johns area, mostly due to the reputation of the schools and being a family friendly area. We really like Durbin Crossing, St John's Forest and South Hampton Golf . We have seen some really nice larger homes on larger lots in the last two neighborhoods. My concern is I also see a lot of foreclosures. Is this an indicator the neighborhoods are declining and should we steer away from them?? We have twin 4th graders and currently live in a neighborhood swarming with kids. We hope to find a similar environment in Jacksonville. We are wanting to stay been $400-$500, and preferably closer to $400K. Our home in Texas is 4000 sf and also hope to find something between 3600-4000 sf. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:46 AM
 
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There seem to be quite a few foreclosures in the South Hampton neighborhood, which is just a slight red flag in terms of future property values. I live in Durbin and haven't seen many foreclosures here, at least not recently. All three are nice neighborhoods, you probably couldn't go wrong with either. I know S. Hampton has a new, larger amenity center with a large pool. The Durbin amenity center, while very nice, is terribly small. The two pools are very nice though. Can't speak much to SJF, we crossed them off our list due to the internet service provider (Litestream).
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Old 12-04-2015, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
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In the over $400k and especially the $500k price range - I would avoid the 210 corridor and look in Ponte Vedra Beach (east of the ICW). I think your property values will hold up better - and the school situation will be more stable down the road (because we're pretty much "built out" here). You may wind up with a house that is somewhat older (like 10-20 years old) that needs some or more than some work - and perhaps has fewer sf than you're looking for - but I honestly think it's worth it. Robyn
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Old 12-04-2015, 09:06 PM
 
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I lived on 210 for 7.5 years in St. Johns Golf and Country Club (SJGCC) so am partial to that neighborhood on the 210 corridor and personally did not consider any of the aforementioned. You certainly could get a decent lot and sq ft in your price range there and a golf community, if that interests you.

With that said, I know several very happy families in Durbin Crossing and another good friend in South Hampton. My friend's house in South Hampton is beautiful and I know they have a brand new pool/amenity center and no CDD's. My friend has talked about "the feel" of the neighborhood in South Hampton in a negative way though in the past. Perhaps that correlates to the number of foreclosures/rentals you are seeing there. It feeds to Timberlin Creek which is well liked. Had I been given a choice in schools, I think I would have preferred Timberlin (K-5) over Liberty Pines Academy (LPA K-8) where SJGCC and SJF go. I know a couple of families in SJGCC that submitted waivers for the children to attend Timberlin instead of the zoned LPA. I am not a fan of K-8 personally, but I know I am in the minority as it seems to be the new trend.

All of the schools in northern SJC are bursting at the seams and the road (210) was just (took almost 2 yrs) widened to 6 lanes from the 95 exit to just past SJGCC. There were many factors to our move, but the explosive growth was certainly a consideration for us. Any of those neighborhoods will be "swarming with kids" but I would consider expanding my search with that budget. Have you spent any good amount of time these neighborhoods? There is definitely something to be said for the "feel" you get. Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
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WRT St. Johns Golf and Country Club - we played golf there a few times last year when the Valley Course at the TPC (our home course) was closed for renovations (6+ months). We got paired with local residents on some occasions. And most were unhappy with the golf situation then. Because - IIRC - the developer sold the course to "outside interests" and they were pretty much operating it as a public course. It was very crowded when we played there. Because the fees were very low and the tee times were only 8 minutes apart. At least one resident said there was talk in the community about a group of residents getting together and trying to buy the golf course - making it "semi-private" (something that residents in Cimarrone did a year or so ago). Note that I don't know what the current situation is. And that although the course was crowded - it was always in pretty good shape (especially the greens).

A few observations when it comes to golf. If someone wants to play golf - I recommend doing a bunch of homework in terms of golf courses. We have lots of them - and they are all different. Whether or not you want to play golf - I'd look into the relationship between the HOA and any golf course located within the HOA (again - the relationship can vary from one place to the next). Also - I would avoid buying a lot on a golf course. Because there are no guarantees about what might happen to any golf course 10-20 years down the road. Robyn
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