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Old 07-20-2019, 01:01 PM
 
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[SIZE=3][/SIZE][SIZE=3]My family and I are considering a move to St. Johns area inthe next year or two. My husband wasjust down there on business and spent a little time exploring the western areasnear the river. He wasn’t as enthusedwith the area as he thought he would be. He said it seemed a little run down. We are planning a quick trip next month to look around more and try toget a better feel for the area and tour some new housing developments. Are there any areas you guys would suggestthat we look at to get a better idea of the area to help us make ourdecision? Currently our children are 6 and10, into swimming and soccer and we would be looking to spend about 400-650k ona 4 bedroom home. Thank you in advance.[/SIZE]
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:18 PM
 
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400-650 for a 4 bedroom will get you a lot of house in pretty much any of those areas. Some areas likely do appear "run down" next to the flashy new developments going in nearby. There is also a lot of construction going on related to businesses and the surrounding areas so I see it as getting in at the beginning of a revitalization.

I just moved here in May and have driven all over and visited almost every community in the last two months. I personally prefer SJC closer to the river than the beach but that is my personal preference. Since you are looking to compare, I would suggest Nocatee, Beacon Lake, Shearwater and Rivertown. That is basically a straight shot from beach to river along CR210.
It will also give you a good feel of the construction going on in addition to seeing some newer businesses and some older ones. They are each going to have different feels and focus. I strongly suggest visiting the welcome center in each and don't just do a drive through or visit only the models. That will give a bigger sense of everything that goes on in the communities and the full range of amenities.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 40yoPirate View Post
400-650 for a 4 bedroom will get you a lot of house in pretty much any of those areas. Some areas likely do appear "run down" next to the flashy new developments going in nearby. There is also a lot of construction going on related to businesses and the surrounding areas so I see it as getting in at the beginning of a revitalization.

I just moved here in May and have driven all over and visited almost every community in the last two months. I personally prefer SJC closer to the river than the beach but that is my personal preference. Since you are looking to compare, I would suggest Nocatee, Beacon Lake, Shearwater and Rivertown. That is basically a straight shot from beach to river along CR210.
It will also give you a good feel of the construction going on in addition to seeing some newer businesses and some older ones. They are each going to have different feels and focus. I strongly suggest visiting the welcome center in each and don't just do a drive through or visit only the models. That will give a bigger sense of everything that goes on in the communities and the full range of amenities.

I'm not the OP but it is good to hear those neighborhoods mentioned. Those are exactly the 4 neighborhoods I am very interested in as I try to relocate my family down there, hopefully in the next ~6 months or so. I haven't determined if the increased costs and congestion are worth it to be in Nocatee. I think I prefer the side more towards the river and Rivertown is really intriguing to me.
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jmucapsfan07 View Post
I'm not the OP but it is good to hear those neighborhoods mentioned. Those are exactly the 4 neighborhoods I am very interested in as I try to relocate my family down there, hopefully in the next ~6 months or so. I haven't determined if the increased costs and congestion are worth it to be in Nocatee. I think I prefer the side more towards the river and Rivertown is really intriguing to me.
Personally I did not like Nocatee. Its just too big and over the top for me. That said, I know people who live in Nocatee and love it so it's a personal taste thing. It is an impressive place, just not my speed.

Beacon Lake is nice but just not the corner of the county I think I am looking to live in.

Shearwater has a really nice pool and community center and they did a good job making it feel spread out.

Rivertown's proximity to the river is a big one for me. I really like the feel of route 13 along the river and seeing the river through the trees all the time is a plus for me.

Right now I am renting in WGV while I house hunt. I do like being closer to St Augustine but it is true what you will read that there is not as much "civilization" down here. That being said it is not as far away as people make it sound, I think it just depends on where you are coming from and what you are used to. It is 15-20 miles and 15-20 minutes to most anything from here. I am from Northern VA so I am used to the 15-20 minutes, just used to it being 5 miles instead. It is also not as congested and crowded as along 210.

The same applies to traffic. I hear all the time how horrible it is but frankly I don't see it. Granted I don't commute every day but I do make trips into Jacksonville and up to the northside weekly if not a few times a week and other than one stretch of construction traffic I haven't seen anything that I would consider "commuter traffic". Again, I am from Northern Virginia so ...
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:50 AM
 
13 posts, read 9,617 times
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Originally Posted by 40yoPirate View Post
Personally I did not like Nocatee. Its just too big and over the top for me. That said, I know people who live in Nocatee and love it so it's a personal taste thing. It is an impressive place, just not my speed.

Beacon Lake is nice but just not the corner of the county I think I am looking to live in.

Shearwater has a really nice pool and community center and they did a good job making it feel spread out.

Rivertown's proximity to the river is a big one for me. I really like the feel of route 13 along the river and seeing the river through the trees all the time is a plus for me.

Right now I am renting in WGV while I house hunt. I do like being closer to St Augustine but it is true what you will read that there is not as much "civilization" down here. That being said it is not as far away as people make it sound, I think it just depends on where you are coming from and what you are used to. It is 15-20 miles and 15-20 minutes to most anything from here. I am from Northern VA so I am used to the 15-20 minutes, just used to it being 5 miles instead. It is also not as congested and crowded as along 210.

The same applies to traffic. I hear all the time how horrible it is but frankly I don't see it. Granted I don't commute every day but I do make trips into Jacksonville and up to the northside weekly if not a few times a week and other than one stretch of construction traffic I haven't seen anything that I would consider "commuter traffic". Again, I am from Northern Virginia so ...
I am from Northern VA as well and what you describe is one of the many things that is so appealing about the area. Your comments about Rivertown are why it is probably #1 of my list on where I'd like to eventually buy property. A lot about Nocatee seems amazing for a family, but I am also worried about it feeling like too much as well.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:21 PM
 
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Thanks everyone.. just the info I was looking for. We have heard horrors of the traffic and we will be coming from N. Va as well, so I'm sure it won't be so bad. We will certainly check out the neighborhoods mentioned when we visit in a few weeks.
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jmucapsfan07 View Post
I am from Northern VA as well and what you describe is one of the many things that is so appealing about the area. Your comments about Rivertown are why it is probably #1 of my list on where I'd like to eventually buy property. A lot about Nocatee seems amazing for a family, but I am also worried about it feeling like too much as well.
IMO Nocatee is the king of CDD communities in the area. If it's too much for you I wouldn't just go to another local CDD community, I would go NO CDD and get bigger lot, more house. If you buy in a place that has the same level CDD as Nocatee you could end up feeling like it's 'not enough' and wonder why you are paying a CDD at all. I visited all these places and it just didn't seem worth it. That said, they are all wonderful places to come home to for the most part.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:14 AM
 
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IMO Nocatee is the king of CDD communities in the area. If it's too much for you I wouldn't just go to another local CDD community, I would go NO CDD and get bigger lot, more house. If you buy in a place that has the same level CDD as Nocatee you could end up feeling like it's 'not enough' and wonder why you are paying a CDD at all. I visited all these places and it just didn't seem worth it. That said, they are all wonderful places to come home to for the most part.
I guess I was confusing with how I worded that. I guess I meant just that the area seems so busy and crowded compared to the other neighborhoods we looked at. However, I'm sure my opinion would change even more once I (hopefully) get the opportunity to really make a decision. Rivertown is currently my favorite out of the neighborhoods I've looked at, however, I'm guessing Nocatee might fill that spot once I can look at more than just the waterpark and busier areas.
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Old 07-23-2019, 01:38 PM
 
370 posts, read 268,297 times
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Originally Posted by jmucapsfan07 View Post
I guess I was confusing with how I worded that. I guess I meant just that the area seems so busy and crowded compared to the other neighborhoods we looked at. However, I'm sure my opinion would change even more once I (hopefully) get the opportunity to really make a decision. Rivertown is currently my favorite out of the neighborhoods I've looked at, however, I'm guessing Nocatee might fill that spot once I can look at more than just the waterpark and busier areas.
I hear ya. Don't get me wrong. I liked Rivertown's location and I liked Shearwater as well. I've always been a beachy type but the tree lined stretch there along S.R. 13 has (and hopefully keeps) a rural Florida feel to it. Obviously riverfront property is very expensive and Rivertown offers a similar vibe without the high price (and less flood risk). Also, the developers at Rivertown are banking that they will be busy and crowded just like Nocatee otherwise, they wouldn't have made the investment. They aren't hoping to preserve a quiet little quaint neighborhood. Nocatee just started 10 years earlier that's all.
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:21 PM
 
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I would not think of Nocatee as a single development. Technically it may be but it is just so freakin big that to me it does not compare to anything in NOVA. I lived in Bristow, and Nocatee is more like the entire Bristow/Gainesville corridor than a single development.

Like Gromicide said about some of the CDD communities. There are some that I think are pretty high but don't feel like I am getting my money's worth without even comparing to Nocatee. To me a big benefit here are the community fitness centers. Consider what a gym membership costs in NOVA for an entire family and almost every CDD costs less. Some of the community centers are really swank like a 5-star hotel lobby with wifi and conference rooms.

One thing too about the great slides/waterparks/lazy rivers. In one community the person told me that the slide and lazy river were only open during the summer and even then on weekends. Make sure you ask and aren't expecting to hit the water slides on a Tuesday in October even though the weather is nice.
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