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Old 03-26-2008, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Windermere, FL
37 posts, read 114,163 times
Reputation: 23

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Hi there,

I've been reading as many posts as I can from other people who've asked about relocation related subjects. What I can't seem to find is this:

Is there a community or communities that is:
a) safe
b) you can get to all major shopping (both big box, groceries and upscale) within 15 minutes drive time - same for chain and upscale restaurants, movies, etc.
c) and has really good public schools.

Perhaps a pipe dream but if anyone has any suggestions?

I would like to relocate to the Jacksonville area with my two young kids but am not sure where to focus my 2 day trip. I was planning on looking at Orange Park, though are there specific areas I should concentrate on more than others? I was also going to check out some areas of St. Augustine, Mandarin, and World Golf Village.

We will be renting for a year before we purchase and our budget is about $1,300 per month (we are open to townhomes if they are sprinkled into single home communities, would prefer not to live in townhome only communities).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-26-2008, 04:40 PM
 
702 posts, read 2,176,478 times
Reputation: 299
How large of a home are you needing in this budget? Is there anything you should be close to? My immediate response would be Flemming Island
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
4,620 posts, read 14,913,558 times
Reputation: 4620
Another factor to consider, which would help narrow down your choices, is the commute. Crossing the St Johns River during rush hour can be a headache. Additional factors: do you want to be close to the beach or does that matter? and how far from downtown Jacksonville do you want to be?
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Windermere, FL
37 posts, read 114,163 times
Reputation: 23
Hi there,
Thanks for your responses. I forgot to mention that I work from home, so commuting isn't a big deal. I would love not to drive more than 15 minutes to all shopping and restaurants. The beach is nice but as long as I'm no more than 30-40 minutes away from it, I'm good.
The size of the house is a 3/2 or at least 1,800 sq.ft.

I looked today for child molesters/predators in the OP area and they mostly seem to be clustered around Middleburg... so prefer not to be anywhere near there... I realize they travel but I prefer not to live right in the middle of such a huge cluster of them.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Jax
8,200 posts, read 35,333,293 times
Reputation: 3441
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindquist22 View Post

Is there a community or communities that is:
a) safe
b) you can get to all major shopping (both big box, groceries and upscale) within 15 minutes drive time - same for chain and upscale restaurants, movies, etc.
c) and has really good public schools.

Perhaps a pipe dream but if anyone has any suggestions?

I would like to relocate to the Jacksonville area with my two young kids but am not sure where to focus my 2 day trip. I was planning on looking at Orange Park, though are there specific areas I should concentrate on more than others? I was also going to check out some areas of St. Augustine, Mandarin, and World Golf Village.
All the places you mentioned are nice and all have some of what you're looking for, but no place is perfect, as you know.

"Safe" can change neighborhood-by-neighborhood, so you can find "safe" communities in all of the 3 counties you are looking at, and you can find unsafe parts as well. Considering that you are willing to pay a decent amount for rent ($1300/mo.), you have entry into some very nice rental areas and will not need to worry too much that you'll end up somewhere dangerous. Sometimes people come on the forum and have very limited funds for renting and it can pose a problem and limit their options...your options are very open at $1300/mo.

Getting to all the major shopping within a 15 minute drive....now you're starting to target in on some areas . I think this requirement knocks out World Golf Village - it is quite a distance from shopping of nearly all kinds. St. Augustine has a fair amount of shopping, but they are still lacking in a lot of what you're probably looking for. Mandarin has everything you need and chains, it just doesn't have the upscale.

"Upscale" is still a hot commodity in Jacksonville! We don't have a lot of upscale. We have some cute upscale communities like Avondale and San Marco and they have boutiques and restaurants that could be considered upscale, and in Saint Johns county we have Ponte Vedra. Then we have the new Saint Johns Town Center, and this is probably the biggest concentration of upscale that we have right now anywhere in NorthEast Florida. This is located on the Southside of Jacksonville. The neighborhoods which have immediate access to the Saint Johns Town Center are: Intracoastal West, Gate Parkway, Deerwood, and Baymeadows. These are the neighborhoods that will put you within 15 minutes of the SJTC.

Really good public schools.....well, this is Florida after all, so "really good" is going to be relative . Of the four choices you listed in your post, all four have good schools and you could probably be happy with any. So of your choices, it's kind of a level playing field. If you look elsewhere in Jacksonville, such as near the SJTC, you are probably looking at A-rated elementary and middle schools but the high school level can pose a problem, so the age of your children may play a deciding role there.

Hope that helps shed some light and helps you to plan your 2-day trip .
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
4,620 posts, read 14,913,558 times
Reputation: 4620
Take a drive through Mandarin and perhaps check out Julington Creek Plantation (from I-295 south on San Jose Blvd (aka Rt 13). Also, on the other side of the St Johns River, take a drive south on Rt 17 and look at Fleming Island ... Harbor Island, Pace Island (gated), Oak Creek, Eagle Harbor, Fleming Island Plantation. Also, go west on Rt 220 from 17 and there are a number of neighborhoods between Fleming Island and Doctors Inlet.
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Middleburg, FL
754 posts, read 2,802,888 times
Reputation: 443
The suggestions above are good ones. After reading the original post, the first things to immediately pop into my mind were the Fleming Island/Eagle Harbor sections of Orange Park; Julington Creek; and the Twin Lakes Academy area of Jax (around Baymeadows/9A).
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Tallahassee, FL
5 posts, read 14,490 times
Reputation: 13
check out east arlington/intracoastal west. it's only about 15 minutes from the beach, 20 minutes to downtown, 15-20 minutes to the town center, and very close to publix, superwalmart, supertarget, kohls, bj's, etc... elementary schools in the area are good: sabal palm, alimacani, kernan are all top rated. Landmark and the newish school off Kernan are pretty good middle schools. Sandalwood High is not the best, but there are always magnet schools you could apply for.
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:33 PM
 
24 posts, read 131,853 times
Reputation: 22
Default Two words: Fleming Island

I've live din Clay County for nearly 23 years. We moved to a house in the Oakcreek subdivision in 1998. This neighborhood is squeezed in between Eagle Harbor and Pace Island, on US-17.

The schools in Clay County are outstanding. My wife is now an administrator in Duval County, but she taught and was an assistant principal in Clay for about 18 years. Her last assignment was at Fleming Island Elementary (in Eagle Harbor) and it's one of the top schools in the state.

Right nearby, we've seen retail growth that's more like and explosion. Since we moved there in 98, we have seen Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Stein Mart and Kohl's open in the area. A new movie theatre is under construction. There are enough restaurants (chains and smaller, local places) that we no longer have to do the Wells Road-Orange Park run to have a decent dinner. We have Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday, Longhorn, O'Charlies, Chilis, and IHOP right around the corner. In addition to Walmart's grocery aisles, there's Winn Dixie and Publix right up the street.

This is in addition to a pile of other conveniences right nearby (two drug stores, post office, pizza, Chinese take-out, every fast food chain you can imagine.

There is a fabulous YMCA family center in Fleming Island Plantation, with one of the biggest fitness facilities you've ever seen. Clay County Library Headquarters is right nearby. Four great elementary schools and a high school.

The St. John's River. Two incredible golf courses (Eagle harbor and Fleming Plantation).

Housing can be a bit pricey in some of the snottier developments, but if you look around, you can find some real gems. i can tell you in my neighborhood, the houses that do hit the market don't last...the asking prices tend to be more moderate than EH, Fleming Plantation or Pace Island, but I'd still take my neighborhood over those three.
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:25 PM
 
10 posts, read 43,340 times
Reputation: 14
Belle Rive, Deer Creek, Hampton Park,
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