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Old 05-04-2008, 01:49 PM
47 posts, read 144,803 times
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I have been reading these posts for about 2 weeks now, and I must say I have never read more helpful posts. You guys are really helpful thanks in advance. My wife 2 kids (9 & 4 ) are planning on moving. We are really undecided on where though. We have lived in Seattle Washington for almost 20 years now and enjoy it. My parents live in CLearwater Fl. and visiting them 2-3 times a year has been great. We love the sun and outdoor lifestyle. I surf a little bit and would love to do it much more. I also love beach volleyball. I am a teacher and my wife is a nurse. A few questions
1. Is the surf any good in or around(within reasonable driving range) Jacksonville?
2. Areas to live with kids (schools, shopping,beach etc..) under 270,000
3. Safe areas ( crime)
Any helpful information would be so helpful. We are really scared to do this. We have been to Jacksonville only once,although we are planning a trip down there this summer, and we were mostly hanging around the Neptune beach are and it was not bad. We really want a beach type niegborhood where we can ride bikes and surf. We are really a beach family at heart. Thank you so much for any help you can provide.
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:39 PM
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 33,708,202 times
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The Beaches (Atlantic/Neptune/Jacksonville beach) are very nice, I agree .

But housing is limited at the beach simply because there is not much land. It is not that deep of an area (I want to say 2-4 miles deep? And about 6 miles long?). So there is only so much land and once you go beyond that, you're "off beach" (locals refer to is as "crossing the ditch" with 'the ditch' being the Intracoastal Waterway).

This means housing prices are high there. A beach address comes at a premium, not to mention more expensive homeowner's insurance, etc.

You might find something you like for under $270k...stranger things have happened ...but I would expect your search to be on the challenging side. The last time I pulled a flyer on a house at the beach, it was priced in the high $600k range. And that was a late 1970's fixer-upper less than 2000 sq ft on barely any land....but it was 4 blocks from the ocean .

You should still look for yourself and see. You might be happy in a condo, or be willing to take on a serious fixer-upper, or find some other way to live at the beach in your price range, it's worth exploring to see what's available.

if you decide to "cross the ditch" into the "Intracoastal West" area, you'd be 5 or 6 miles from the ocean (10-15 minutes drive, max). Here, you can have your pick of homes under $270k, many of which are relatively new and in very nice neighborhoods. Just crossing that waterway changes the housing prices dramatically...but, it's not 'at the beach', of course .

You'd also be in the heart of some serious shopping, including a favorite topic of ours on the forum - the Saint Johns Town Center. Schools are generally very good at the elementary and middle school level (usually A-rated), but the high school level has some serious overcrowding that has affected the school's performance big time. One of the main high schools for the area is Sandalwood High School, which is not only the largest high school in Duval county, but the largest high school in NorthEast Florida. A new high school is in the works (opening in 2010, I believe) and will alleviate much of the overcrowding.

If you can't find what you're looking for at the beach, try the San Pablo area - it's just across the Intracoastal from the beaches and might be "beachy enough" for you . The zip for that area is 32224. If you want to expand your search on the area, add zips 32225 & 32246.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:45 AM
Location: St. Augustine FL
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As for surfing, Cali folks will say "huh? there is no surf in Florida". But there are waves that come in, and when noreasters or hurricanes blow in you can even get some overhead surf. Anywhere along the entire coastline has some ridable waves, there's usually folks out at Jax pier, and Hannah park a little to the north gets some activity, all the way done to Guana park. Further south, Sebastian Inlet has arguably some of the best waves in Florida, and of course Jupiter, but that's considerably south.

You're going to love the warm water though! Oh, and Jax beach has a lot of volleyball.
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