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Old 07-03-2009, 08:00 PM
1 posts, read 5,198 times
Reputation: 10


I recently moved back to Jacksonville after a 6 year hiatus, having previously lived in Ponte Vedra. This time around I am looking to purchase and am having the hardest time finding anything I like. In my time away I lived in a couple of newly constructed areas that had a lot of character (check out Castle Rock Colorado -awesome town) but my current renal in Avondale built in 1939 is not cutting it for me. Mostly I prefer deed restricted communities where the people are diverse but the homes have been completely homogenized (read I don't like cars on blocks as "expressive art"). Don't get me wrong, I love the area, for that matter San Marco too, but honestly it's something I prefer to visit than live in. Also, the beach is too far and traffic to heavy in the morning.

With all this, I also have come to the realization that I am not a home dweller as I am phobic of anything lawn related! So it has been quite a quest - finding a town home that is 0-5 years with an attached garage that is less than 30 mins to my downtown office and no more than 45 mins to the airport as I travel quite a bit. I also do not want anything on the Westside or Northside of town as I don't particularly don't want to be more than 20 mins to the beach.

So I have settled on the Bartram Park area. But I want to ask; is worth it or not? I mean it seems like it could go either way as far as if the market takes off or if it crumbles it may die out there. Also, would I be better suited to building or buying out there? Or is there somewhere else I should be looking? Please help as I need out of my place by October!
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:15 AM
Location: Jacksonville, FL (Mandarin)
2,455 posts, read 5,498,069 times
Reputation: 1640
Bartram Park is a great area! With easy access to I-95, I think that area will always provide a solid source of housing for people. The Mandarin schools are great. You are close to a lot of "everyday" shopping (grocery, restaurants, and light retail) and the new Baptist South hospital. I always see a lot of people walking, jogging, and riding their bikes along the Parkway. And, you definitely have a good choice of housing style along there, too. Mostly townhouses, and a few condo communities, but all of them have either a 1- or 2-car garage. All of the communities have at least a pool and workout room. The monthly fees are reasonable, considering lawn care and amenities maintenance are included. And, they're all gated/limited-access communities.

If you're concerned about pricing, try to get in on a short sale or REO property. Attached housing doesn't usually have big swings in appreciation, but could potentially crumble if the community, overall, fails. But, the "failing" part could be applied to any type of community. I'm just suggesting that you don't buy in there if you're expecting a huge return on your investment. If you can put down 20-25% on your mortgage, and can afford to leave that money in there, then you can convert that property to a rental if you needed to move. That location, alone, makes that a great place to buy.
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:13 AM
Location: Jacksonville, FL
117 posts, read 382,542 times
Reputation: 52
I'm sure there are PLENTY of sellers in Bartram Park (both homeowners and new home builders) that would love to sell you their townhome to get out from underneath their negative equity. BUT...beware of HOA/CDD fees!
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:05 PM
65 posts, read 183,209 times
Reputation: 33
Bartram park has taken a big hit in pricing due to the market so expect lots of short sales and foreclosures. Lot's of good deals to be had, but IMO iffy on holding its value due tons of short sales and foreclosures.

Have you looked at the Southside area? It's a bit more desirable, and lot closer to stores, restaurants etc. Not sure what your price range is but some condo's to consider, Tapestry Park, Villa Medici..
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:40 AM
204 posts, read 353,972 times
Reputation: 88
There are units going for half the original sales prices in Bartram Park. One of the first communities there was Stonefield, built by Beazer. The 2br-2-1/2ba townhomes were going for $160,000+ back in 2004.

It's safe to say that anyone selling one these days is taking a bath on it (the sold range in Stonefield at Bartram Park over the last year has been $80,000-130,000). The $80,000 units being short sales & bank owned, the $130,000 being actually 3br units (there was an option to close in the upstairs den/bonus room on some floorplans to make a 3rd bedroom) that are pretty heavily upgraded, like hard wood floors. These were probably $175,000+ originally.

There's a $99,900 unit listed in Stonefield right now that doesn't seem to be going anywhere at that price. It does look like you need to get down into the $80's to actually get offers..

Duval County will not include the $80,000 sales when determining tax appraisals because they're "distressed sales"... Well, they're ALL distressed sales in Stonefield until the market value returns to the $160,000+ range (or even higher since to even break even, you need to sell for over $170,000...

Luckily, it isn't taking months to get a renter if you price it right (but that means rental prices have dropped back to 2005 levels of $975-995 for the 2br/2-1/2ba 1500 sq ft units with 1-car garage)...
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