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Old 07-06-2009, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,530 posts, read 7,401,005 times
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Hello everyone. I'm moving to Jacksonville in the next few months and will be buying a house soon. I've narrowed it down to 2 neighborhoods obviously, Riverside & Springfield.

I've visited the city the past couple weeks and those are the two areas that have a unique historic feel that we like (my wife & I).

My wife & I are late twenties, have soild jobs in healthcare and can afford a house comfortabley at a little less than 200k. We would prefer a 2-story, historic house that doesn't need any major work (some work needed is fine).

I've seen information about the 2 areas and I know Riverside is more developed and renovated than Springfield. I have lived in transitional areas before, so that doesn't bother me. I have my eye on a houses in both areas, both for about 200k and in the "better" parts of the neighborhoods.

It would be VERY helpful if you could put your 2-cents into why you like a particular area or why you do not like a particular ! Also, which area has more promise?

Thanks a lot !
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,530 posts, read 7,401,005 times
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- if you have lived in a neighborhood in the gentirfication porcess before, then you have a good idea of what to expect. (ie, 3 beautiful houses, next to a couple in the middle of renovations, next to a couple that haven't been renovated yet). Most of the hard work has been done, so to speak, the the area is ripe for BOOM once the economy stablizes or improves some (a year or so probably).

- i grew up in Riverside in the late 80's and 90's and saw the transformation there, it was much further behind then than where Springfield is now. For example, i've lived in Springfield for a year and half now and i've never had 1) someone get shot and run on the front porch for help 2) domestic violence in the streets everyother night 3) two attempted muggings to me personally 4) drug dealers walking around like they own the place --------all of those things were common in Riverside in the early 90's. Now it's one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city, if not THE most, and has money and interest pouring into it like a river. I'd say Springfield is about 15 years behind where Riverside is right now, in totality. The residential and community organizations aspects are probably only 10 years behind. Most people that are familar with the overall urban core area see this coming, that's why it's gathered so much interest.

FYI: Southern Living Magazine will be showcasing Springfield in an upcoming issue which features the top "come back" neighborhoods in the South. The photographers have been in the neighborhood this past week. That should tell you something.

- Both are wise investments, as you'll defeintely at least get your money back in 5 years. Depending on how the market goes, you'll probably make money.

- The mayor has said that his last 2 years will be focused on revitalizing Downtown, which is great for both neighborhoods.

- both neighborhoods have strong and active neighborhood organizations, clubs, events, etc.

- both are very walkable and have plenty of parks. Riverside has much more desirable commerical development now, though Springfield is coming along. 2 new nice places opening in October (Uptown market on Main Street & Fusion Art and Jazz Cafe).

- I bought in Springfield b/c you can get far more for your money here now, than in Riverside, and about have the same proximity to everything. Also (obviously) b/c it's a good investment.

To each his own. You can't go wrong with either area in the long run. I kinda wanted to be there from the ground up, so to speak (even though much of the work has already been done, as i mentioned earlier).
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:23 PM
 
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I lived in Riverside for my first year in Jacksonville, just recently (a few months ago) moved. I think much of what fsu said is correct, in that there certainly is potential for improvement, both neighborhoods are close to downtown, have charm, walkability, etc. I will caution you on one thing though. Although I have no doubt Riverside is much improved, it can still be quite a rough place from time to time, street to street. Buying in that neighborhood may be a good thing, but it may also not be. The reason why I say this is there was alot of speculation in Riverside housing during the runup, and now, as prices have weakened, there are alot of foreclosures. Now that may be good because you may be able to find a good deal, but it also is risky because it won't take many empty houses falling into disrepair to send that neighborhood back to where is was in the 90s.

That said, monetarily, it is more expensive to buy in Riverside than Springfield. That is bad for Riverside in that there isn't much room for appreciation on the upside (since the move has already happened), but the good thing is reversion to a bad neighborhood may not be too likely. It seems the money has gotten a nice foothold there, especially close to the river. So the risk is greater in Riverside (higher initial cost) but the chances of it reverting aren't that high.

Springfield, on the other hand, has less risk, in that the cost is lower, but in my opinion, a much higher chance of not actually making it through the revitalization process. Check the prices on homes on the NW or E side of town if you want to know what will happen to Springfield if it reverts back. I think Springfield is a really charming area, and I love going through there in the daytime. I don't know how comfortable I would be wandering the streets after dark, though. In that situation, if I am looking at it as an investment, I would get in for a cheap as possible, and do as little as possible in fixing up the place. Keep that risk as low as possible. If Springfield makes it 10-15 years from now, and at that time you have the worst house on the street, then I would say it would be safer to dump some money in fixing the place up. On the other hand, if Springfield doesn't make it at least you aren't also out the amount you put into the place fixing it up.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,530 posts, read 7,401,005 times
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Gradywhite,

your view is typical, unfortunately.

- There are very, very few parts of Riverside that are "unsafe". "Unsafe" is relative, anyways. During the day there is no where that you would NOT be safe. During the night (dark to 10pm), there are very few areas where my wife & I wouldn't walk. Simply being aware and using common sense is 90% of it. Late at night I wouldn't feel comfortable having her with me, but i'd be just fine walking virtually whereever. Serious random crimes aren't a problem in general, and are certainly not a problem if you use common sense. No, you can't take a long walk, lolligagging at 1 am. No, you can't leave your laptop on the dashboard of your car. No, you can't leave your doors unlocked during the day and unlite at night, no you shouldn't leave the huge box to your 62" tv outside your house. If you can manage to keep those in mind you'll be just fine. If you, by chance, have a dog or an alarm, then you'll be super-duper fine. These are not exactly unusual lifestyle choices, in fact i'd hope people everywhere would adhere to these general rules. Riverside has so much investment and popularity, you'd be crazy to even suggest that there is a chance of it reverting back to 15, or even 10 years ago. It'll be Avondale in 20 years.

- Your knowledge of Springfield appears even more limited, perhaps you skipped over this that I mentioned earlier:

Southern Living Magazine will be fearturing Springfield as one of the top "Comeback Neighborhoods" in the South, the photographers have been in the neighborhood for the past few days.

There is ZERO chance it "won't make it through the revitalization process". Just depends how long. You read my estimates pertaining to time above, and since i'm extremely active in both neighbrohoods I trust my judgement on this topic. If you asked me about a random subdivision on the Southside I would have no idea, but on this subject I do. The comparison to the NW and East side is absurd, as well - they are not remotely similar areas and don't have near the resources. Just like Riverside, Historic Springfield is 100% walkable during the day and at night there are parts to avoid taking walks and parts that are just fine. Use your head, simple as that.

In general all signs point towards significant revitalization in Springfield and continued success in Riverside. In a purely financial standpoint, if you are buying in this market, 5 years from now you'll be just fine. 10 years from now you're going to make a lot of money if you sell.

One more thing, alot of people have done what Gradywhite suggested - buying cheap, not investing one dime in it, holding on to it, selling it years later. You won't make very many friends in the area if you do that. In fact, that's an obstacle to the renovation effort. Absentee landlords that don't care.

Anyways, just my 2 cents....not that i'm a member of 7 neighborhood organizations in those 2 areas, have lived in both, have family there, work there, and have done massive research on the urban core in general (Downtown, Riverside, Avondale, San Marco, & Springfield) or anything.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:31 PM
 
561 posts, read 1,863,938 times
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Riverside over Springfield, I think.

I happen to like both neighborhoods a lot, but they are apples and oranges at this point. I'm hesitant to consider much of anything "transitional" about Riverside anymore. It's just a great, gentrified neighborhood.

Conversely, Springfield is very transitional and does have some distinct problems that Riverside doesn't have anymore. Basically, Springfield has great potential for the future, whereas Riverside is living its potential right now.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:08 AM
 
76 posts, read 172,442 times
Reputation: 24
fsu,

I am sorry if I offended you in some way, as my post really wasn't addressing or attacking anything in your first post. I am merely offering my humble opinion to the OP on the risk that may be involved in Riverside and Springfield real estate.

I don't really want to get into it with you, but I will caution you that you do not understand risk at all. For you to say there is ZERO chance of Springfield not making it through the revitalization process is untrue and naive. I'm not saying it is certain to fail, nor am I even saying it is likely to fail, but I am merely making the OP aware that there is a chance, a chance that is greater in my opinion of Riverside reverting,and there are consequences for any property owner in the area if it does not succeed.

If it is not possible, then how did the neighborhood fall to where it is today? It was once a very wealthy neighborhood, that much is evident by the size and age of the homes in the area.

You are personally invested in Springfield improving. That alone gives your bias to your opinions.

I'm not saying it won't work out for you. I'm also not saying that I wouldn't invest in Springfield if the right opportunity presented itself. I think you may be right. But to go into any property in Springfield, no matter the situation, with the surety that the neighborhood will improve and therefore the value will appreciate, is the same mentality that got many, many people in trouble with the current housing situation. I'm am just reminding the OP that there is risk involved, consequences of that risk, and in order to make a good decision, he needs to be aware of it.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,530 posts, read 7,401,005 times
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nothing for a few months, now all this input! thank you.

well my wife and i have already bought a home - closed in august, a restored home for 200k. after spending days and nights in both areas we decided that springfield felt right. it has everything that we wanted in terms of style, potential, community involvment, and nice neighborly feel. i'm exhausted just keeping up with everything outside of work! my wife joined the mommies club and the womens club and i joined a couple as well which keeps us busy.

the biggest compliant i have is with 8th street and main street. they just give an awful impression to people when they drive down them and they are the main gateways to our neighborhood. seems like main street is improving now though. looking forward to the new restaurant at 3rd and main.

the biggest surprise is how many young couples are here. weve met a lot already and our child is enjoying her new playmates. another would be how cool shatytown pub and 3 layers are. there are not many businesses in the area now but the ones that are here are quality.

thanks for the advice guys, we are very happy with our choice!
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Chicago
459 posts, read 1,303,192 times
Reputation: 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by GradyWhite View Post
fsu,

I am sorry if I offended you in some way, as my post really wasn't addressing or attacking anything in your first post. I am merely offering my humble opinion to the OP on the risk that may be involved in Riverside and Springfield real estate.

I don't really want to get into it with you, but I will caution you that you do not understand risk at all. For you to say there is ZERO chance of Springfield not making it through the revitalization process is untrue and naive. I'm not saying it is certain to fail, nor am I even saying it is likely to fail, but I am merely making the OP aware that there is a chance, a chance that is greater in my opinion of Riverside reverting,and there are consequences for any property owner in the area if it does not succeed.

If it is not possible, then how did the neighborhood fall to where it is today? It was once a very wealthy neighborhood, that much is evident by the size and age of the homes in the area.

You are personally invested in Springfield improving. That alone gives your bias to your opinions.

I'm not saying it won't work out for you. I'm also not saying that I wouldn't invest in Springfield if the right opportunity presented itself. I think you may be right. But to go into any property in Springfield, no matter the situation, with the surety that the neighborhood will improve and therefore the value will appreciate, is the same mentality that got many, many people in trouble with the current housing situation. I'm am just reminding the OP that there is risk involved, consequences of that risk, and in order to make a good decision, he needs to be aware of it.
you make perfect sense with your candid and unbiased perspective. you have to realize by now that any type of post that even sniffs of negativity or a differing opinion will get you blasted. I wouldn't count on a property bought in either area an investment that is guaranteed to increase in value.
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Old 09-26-2009, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,530 posts, read 7,401,005 times
Reputation: 903
jimbo,

my not so humble opinion > his humble opinion / yours

b/c i know a lot more about the entire 'urban core' than either one of you. (ie, real estate, history, current events, upcoming projects, demographics, trends, you name it......it's my job to know what's going on in these areas.)

besides, the OP couldn't go wrong with either choice - which he made sometime ago it seems.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Chicago
459 posts, read 1,303,192 times
Reputation: 122
haha... uh, ok. how much has your home appreciated since you purchased it, again?
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