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Old 11-18-2019, 09:42 AM
7 posts, read 3,687 times
Reputation: 16


We are a family of 4, us in mid 30s, 4 yr old and 6 month old boys. Will be moving to JAX soon in 6 months.
I will need to commute to the Riverside area for commute. I am fine with anything up to a 45 minute commute time. So I do not really need to be very close to work, but obviously closer the better.
1)Can someone please help me out if terms of best areas/communities to liver where we can find homes between 3500-4000 sq feet, budget max 750K range?
2)One of the most important issues will be schools for my 5 yr old who will start Kindergarten in july 2020. We are especially looking at Magnet elementary schools, if any, close to area we would live. Which are the best areas to live thinking about schools?
Thanks for your help!
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:39 AM
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I can't offer much information except to say you should have plenty of options with that budget. I'm relocating to the area (St. Johns County) in 2 months or so and through my tours of neighborhoods and working with a realtor I'd say you can get that kind of house in almost any neighborhood I've seen for quite a bit less than $750k.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:56 AM
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If doing a magnet school, the school zone doesn't matter as much right? A large % of people coming to the area these days are going to St Johns county just south of Jax. This is due to the schools being good and resulting growth in tons of neighborhoods. The commute would be about 45 minutes or so to Riverside but if you are looking into magnet schools, I guess being in a great school zone doesn't matter.

Are you familiar with the area?
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:29 PM
7 posts, read 3,687 times
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Thanks for the replies. I am somewhat familiar with the area. I understand that the home address does not matter for magnet schools, but was looking for any information about which would be considered the best elementary magnet school, that would be closer to where we would live.
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:41 PM
13 posts, read 5,100 times
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I live in Palencia and commute 45min to Downtown Jax (next to Riverside) If I was to move again in the area i'd find a lot or home within the neighborhood I like it that much. You can get a home in that size and price and the area has great schools. There are actually many many neighborhoods that fit your budget. What I like about Palencia is that it's 25 minutes to the beach or old St Augustine yet commutable to Jacksonville for work or music, sports, arts.

The neighborhood has much of the original palm / live oak and has nice curvy roads so its not like a tract type development. The CDD's are steep however $4200 per year but you get several pools, tennis, fitness center and amenities at the entrance like Publix, several restaurants, gas etc.

Good luck on your move.
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Old 11-22-2019, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MNEscapee View Post
I live in Palencia .... The CDD's are steep however $4200 per year but you get several pools, tennis, fitness center
Is there a part of Palencia that has lower CDDs? I though I read about an older section maybe an unofficial South and North or something like that where the orig part has lower CDD.

Also about the CDD: Which part ($ portion) is bond that will eventually go away. How long(years) was the original bond?
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Old 11-23-2019, 07:58 PM
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With the CDD there are two parts.
1: Operations (Never ends it covers the maintenance of the amenities, streets etc.) That is $2386.00 for Marshall Creek CDD which is "Palencia"
2: Bond Portion is the part of the long term debt the CDD took out to build the pools, tennis courts, guard houses etc. It is about $2000 but does end when the bond ends. Depending on how old the property is it might have 5, 10, 20 years left. You can actually pay this off early and then you only pay the $2386 each year.

The CDD in theory can take out an entirely new bond for another 20 year term etc putting you back in hock for another chunk of debt payment.

Palencia is the Marshall Creek CDD and what you may hear of as "Palencia North" is the Sweetwater CDD. That is a side of the neighborhood with alot of Lennar and Emerald homes and while it is a separate neiborhood, it shares ammenities with Marshall Creek and also Marshall Creek shares Sweetwater owned features like the Fitness Center.

Many of the Sweetwater properties had their "Bond" portion paid by the builder so i'm guessing if you are hearing of lower cost CDD properties in Palencia North its because the bond is paid off. There is still a $2000 or $2200 per year Operating side of the CDD that will never end.

Sweetwater also did just refinance a bond and added debt to it to build out some parks etc. That extended the term of the Bond Portion for owners in that CDD and for those who paid off their bond portion it gave them a yearly increase of I think $150 to cover the new debt.

So if you are thinking of Palencia I guess you could assume $2400-$4400 per year in CDD costs depending on the state of the bond side of the property in question.
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Old 12-28-2019, 07:14 AM
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We live in a great neighborhood in Ponte Vedra Beach. No CDD, no HOA. Without those two financial obligations you may be able to afford more. Taxes in St Johns are lower, schools are very good and we are five minutes to the beach.
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Old 12-28-2019, 07:43 AM
Location: Ponte Vedra
110 posts, read 86,433 times
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I agree with AnnieCt! PVB is the only area in St. Johns county that is NOT rezoning schools, experiencing major overcrowding and will hold value even if the market shifts. HOWEVER - since you are looking at magnet schools, Duval county has so much to offer but it will depend on what you want? If you want larger lots and maybe a home that can be updated then, Mandarin and areas near the river which will send your commute through the San Marco route may be appealing. If you want older homes with classic charm, San Marco and Ortega may be options. If you want newer and larger but a small lot is ok, then almost any part of St. Johns county and southeast Duval will work. I personally LOVE Jax Golf and CC, but the homes often need updating (new kitchen, baths and floors and that will run $100k, but house prices are about $500k-650k for a larger home with nice lot.) PVB still holds my heart and for that price, I would caution you not to fall into the spell of some of the new CDD neighborhoods that look so great and then end up being not what you want - they are harder to resell if you decide to move because the builders are still there and you will likely lose money if you moved within 5 years. Palencia is one of my favorites too but their CDD is not one that will get paid off because Hines put the bulk of the fees into Opps and Maintenance which is permanent (not the bond portion which can be paid off). Also if you look into Palencia, I highly suggest Marshall Creek CDD because they are the more custom larger homes and the North Palencia homes are tract homes built by large builders like Lennar and Emerald - nice for sure and cheaper CDDs but not the same feel as the original Palencia homes.
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Old 12-28-2019, 01:33 PM
7 posts, read 3,687 times
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Question about the Ponte Veda Beach area. With the recent hurricane threats, I am wondering if homes that were close to the beaches were affected in any way? That is one of my wife's concerns about living near the beach
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