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Old 03-19-2018, 07:42 AM
 
2 posts, read 1,536 times
Reputation: 10

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Good morning all!

My husband and I have a summer home on Cape Cod and are looking for a year-round home in Florida. We have lived in San Jose CA, Scottsdale AZ, Boston MA, Connecticut, Richmond VA, Charleston SC, and Greenville SC. We LOVED Scottsdale because of the weather and constant things to do but it was too far from the ocean and the crazy nightlife is not something we are into. We also loved living in Charleston, but couldn't get past that "trespassers from the North" mindset.

We are both 28, work from home, and make a combined total of 130k a year. We have two dogs that are our "kids" and would really enjoy a dog-friendly place where we can take them everywhere that has boutique pet shops and good grooming. We have found Amelia Island, and so far it looks like it checks all of the boxes, but I would love to hear some opinions.

First, as a young married couple with no kids, what does the social scene look like? I looked up the demographics and it looks like there's a fair amount of youngish families not just retirees but for someone that lives there, what are your observations?

Is it dog-friendly?

We do plan to have kids in the next 5 years or so and would love to hear both experiences, what it is like living here as a young active couple as well as what it is like to raise young kids here.

For housing, we really would like to avoid developments and planned communities. What should we expect to pay for a smaller home (3 bed 1500 sqft) that's in the more historic area with charm and character? Any neighborhoods to avoid?

Tell me about storms on the island. Hurricanes? Does most everyone have a generator?

AND YES: we are planning to visit in October. I just feel like we stumbled on a beautiful little gem of a place to live and we are so excited to hear more.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:37 PM
 
384 posts, read 345,959 times
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First, as a young married couple with no kids, what does the social scene look like? ..............You will be young for the island. The island is largely retired folks but not totally. Not sure what you mean by social scene. Lots of churches if you like that. Bars, yes a lot will cater to an older crowd but there are ones with the younger group. I see a lot of young people at the gyms around town. You won't be alone but when my kids come to visit who are in there mid-thirties they think it is fairly old centric.


I looked up the demographics and it looks like there's a fair amount of youngish families not just retirees but for someone that lives there, what are your observations? ..........................- yes there are young families, not like they don't exist. I think most young families have trouble finding an affordable place here so it is not like we are overrun with them. Financially you are ahead of many locals.

Is it dog-friendly?............... To say it is dog friendly is an understatement. More like dog crazy.

We do plan to have kids in the next 5 years or so and would love to hear both experiences, what it is like living here as a young active couple as well as what it is like to raise young kids here................I did not raise my children here but based on what I see, this would be an excellent place to raise a family. I would have happiy raised my kids here.

For housing, we really would like to avoid developments and planned communities. What should we expect to pay for a smaller home (3 bed 1500 sqft) that's in the more historic area with charm and character?......hmm well this is variable depending on exactly where you are or what your looking for. 1500sqft is actually not that small a home in the charming area. They are putting new homes up in that area for 330-450K these are stand alone homes not in a development. There are occasional fixer uppers that pop up. Be careful of buying one in the historic district as it can quickly spiral into some very expensive upgrades. In general I think you should plan on spending around $350k


Any neighborhoods to avoid?....................... People will tell you there are. The area known locally as the hood is bordered by lime st, 8th st, 14th st, beech st. This is in the north center of the island and was traditionally a black neighborhood. It is now more mixed, a lot mexican families, some white folks are moving in and building. I would not use the term avoid though, that implies a lot. It is poorer, lots of rentals, lots of older black folk scraping by on social security, lots of mexicans working hard for little money. Some of it looks very sketchy. In truth I have found it is the more vibrant area of the island. Most of the kids live here and while at first I might have hesitated to walk through the area at night I have since found that to be an unwarranted fear. The whole island appears to be quite safe regardless of how wealthy people are.

Tell me about storms on the island. Hurricanes?...... Yes they have them. The marina is currently still closed as it was nearly ruined last year.

Does most everyone have a generator?.........I do not know. Be a good idea though
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Old 03-21-2018, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Amelia Island
3,105 posts, read 4,174,059 times
Reputation: 3257
From a resident and not a local (we have only been here 29 years) I would agree with everything squarpeg hit upon.

The median age continues to climb as more retirees are discovering Amelia Island.

My daughters attend elementary school here and the number of children living on island continues to shrink very slowly...........massive growth that somehow can't be described without you thinking I am exaggerating is happening off island and schools will soon become an issue in the coming years (not enough).

As a price point of on island homes I would say $200 a square foot is a reasonable cost basis for new and existing housing on island.

The areas mentioned between 8th and 14th are transitioning very rapidly as it has literally become a buyers market and listings do not last long on island. It is nothing for a listing to last two weeks........I have seen numerous go under contract in two days.

You would be hard pressed to find a home needing extensive renovation for under 150k.

Last but not least, Amelia Island is dog crazy, people not only have one but two or three and there are several restaurants that welcome them on their outside patios.

A group has just been formed that is trying to find an alternative to having dogs remain on leash on the beach. They are working towards having a small section of Beach designated leash free.

Not to turn you away from Amelia but the San Marco, Avondale and Riverside areas of Jacksonville have a much younger vibe if that is a deal breaker.

Good luck!

Last edited by JBtwinz; 03-21-2018 at 02:48 PM..
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:03 PM
 
1 posts, read 534 times
Reputation: 10
So did you do it!? My husband I have have been looking to move south from Jersey for years and Amelia “checks all of our boxes” too! We may go for it this fall! Would love to hear about your experience!
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Amelia Island
3,105 posts, read 4,174,059 times
Reputation: 3257
Not sure if they did move with only two posts registered but fast forward a year and prices of homes on island have escalated dramatically and the demographics (age) continue to climb as retirees increase their percentage as residents on island.

Good luck and welcome!
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