Updated Moving to Jacksonville FL Guide for 2023
Are you moving to Jacksonville Florida? You'll love living in Jacksonville Florida! We've compiled 10 of our favorite reasons why you'll love living here in sunny Jacksonville. If you'd like additional information about relocating to Jacksonville FL, just reach out and we'd be happy to help out anyway that we can!
Why you should listen to me?
- I'm LOCAL - unlike many of these guides you'll see on the web, this is written from the point of view from someone who actually lives in the city!
- I'm a REALTOR and I talk with people DAILY who are moving to Jacksonville.
- I have the direct intel from those moving to Jacksonville as to what made them choose Jacksonville.
- I have an active family, so I'm engaged and involved in the location and all that it has to offer.
- I made the same choice.... relocated to Jax from Nashville 20+ years ago, lived in Jax for 6 years, move to Asheville for 2 years, and then moved back to Jacksonville where we've been for 13+ years. So I guess technically I made the same choice twice!
Already moving to Jacksonville? Search homes for sale in Jacksonville FL
10 Reasons You'll Love the Opportunity to Relocate to Jacksonville FL
Keep in mind, there are WAY MORE reasons to live in Jacksonville than just these... In fact, we had to limit the list to get it down to 10 reasons. It wasn't easy, but these are the main standouts as we see them.
1. The Weather in Jacksonville FL
The key factor to nearly all the following reasons why you’ll love living in Jacksonville Florida, is the weather. In our Northeast Florida location, Jacksonville has a very nice temperate climate. This is code for “less extremes”.
Does it get hot? Yes, but we have a near constant sea breeze that keeps the air moving about. In fact, in the Summer months our high temps in the mid 90's, will almost always have an accompanying sea breeze - making it quite tolerable.
Does it get cold? Yes, but rarely below freezing for more than a couple hours during a few days every year. And when the temps do drop below freezing, you'll witness locals buying up all the bread and milk.... just in case you know!
Jacksonville is located above the sub-tropical line, so we do have seasonal changes. Spring starts early, about February you'll notice your landscaping starts to bud and early March you'll see the vibrant green starting to come back to all the trees and foliage around town. Summer sneaks in around late May with temperatures starting in the mid 80's and topping in the 90's during July and August. You'll welcome the cooler Fall temperature change at what always seems like just the right time around late September. Winter is mild but you'll need a jacket in the car just in case. Winter is mild and short! Just when you've almost purchased that new jacket, it's back to Spring.
2. Outdoors Lifestyle of Jacksonville Florida
If you enjoy the outdoors (and who doesn’t) you’ll love living in Jacksonville. Living outdoors is the true Florida lifestyle, and with our north Florida mild climate, you have longer access year round. Fishing, the beaches, boating, biking, swimming, kayaking, fitness activities, yard work, golf, sporting events… it’s an outdoor lovers dream location. I've known people that barely walked around the block before they moved to Jacksonville, but once relocated they soon became indoctrinated in a more fitness based culture.
It's common to see large groups of road bikers flying up and down A1A and San Jose/SR13. Many of these biking clubs have multiple tiers of groups you can join from "very beginner" to elite level cyclist. You'll see early morning and early evening runners in just about every community as well as the beach. These runners range from large groups training for many of our organized races including the Marathon, or just running for fun and fitness. Mountain bikers have great trail riding in Hanna Park. Swimming is a big sport in Jacksonville with numerous kids and adult swim teams around town. Golf is prevalent in just about every corner of Jacksonville with both public and private courses throughout the city and you'll want to visit them all! Great fishing is available on 3 major waterways: the St Johns River, the Intracoastal, and the Ocean. You won't need a boat, but it will help... go ahead and get one if you are drawn to the water like so many of us Jacksonville residents are.
3. The Beaches of Jacksonville
We have one of the absolute best beaches in all of Florida. Period. Hands down. The beach is light tan to white sand that slowly slopes into the ocean. Our beaches are wide enough that they never seem “packed” even on holiday weekends. Set up your Yeti cooler, your beach umbrella, and crack open your frosty beverage of choice… you’ll want to stay a while. Visiting the beach offers an easy way to enjoy our outdoor lifestyle and Florida culture year round. That's right, visiting the beach is not just a summer event but a year round attraction.
Have kids or prefer a more lively beach experience? Our beaches are nice and flat for sports activities like soccer, volleyball, paddleball, or throwing football. Bring your beach cruiser for miles and miles of smooth compact sand to ride from Atlantic Beach all the way down the first coast with easy rolling.
Our waves are good... not huge, but good. Good for boogie boarding, body surfing, and surfing. Wave conditions CAN be fantastic for surfing, but you'll need to scout out the locals' favorite spots and keep track of wave height with one of the many apps available.
4. Growing Economy and Jobs in Jacksonville
Jacksonville’s economy is growing and has been noted as one of the best locations for millennial to find jobs. We have a growing tech sector, large healthcare centers including Mayo Clinic, the military base and all their supporting contractors, as well as a mega port that has recently been deepened to handle the largest ships. The economy is strong and diverse. We don't have the crazy growth of Orlando or Atlanta, and that's just fine for most of us. You'll still have access to well paying jobs in many industry segments.
We've even been noted as one of the top job markets on a national level. You'll find many articles from Forbes, USA Today, etc., but here is a recent one from Indeed. Jacksonville ranked #7 best city for Job Seekers.
During the post covid years, Jacksonville has continued to be noted as a top job market with Florida's ever growing population and business center growth.
Check the latest activity by visiting the Chamber's site: www.MyJaxChamber.com
5. Top Rated Schools in Jacksonville
Jacksonville has two of the highest rated public high schools in the country. Both Stanton and Paxon routinely end up on the top 10 or top 20 list in the country. Both schools are public magnet schools that are available for any student to apply for acceptance. The school system has seen a benefit in offering Magnet schools for those who choose to push the education of their children (and who doesn't right?). You'll find "A" rated schools throughout town, but remember these schools can decline or advance in their ratings depending how they test annually. If education is important to you (and it's a great way to insure a better resale value), you should look for locations that offer "A" rated schools from elementary through middle school and on to high school.
Visit the Duval County schools website for information on zoning and top rated schools in Jacksonville: Duval Schools. After identifying the school's you'd like your children to attend, you can search Homes For Sale by School District.
St Johns County schools are some of the highest rated schools in the state of Florida. A big change happened recently with being able to enroll your child into a St Johns County school without living in the district. There is red tape involved, but ultimately you do not have to live in St Johns County to attend one of their schools.
Private schools are available throughout the city and some are nationally recognized with long standing histories of top tier education from elementary through high school. If you are considering private education, you'll need to visit each school and seriously examine the locations and the potential for commuting throughout your child's education years.
6. Affordability of Homes For Sale in Jacksonville, FL
A major draw to Jacksonville, is the affordability of living in a large Florida city. Housing prices are moderate and highly affordable for most employed persons who wish to own their own piece of Florida. You can live within 10 minutes of the beach for less than $400k, and in popular urban areas for less than $500k. Golfing communities have entry prices of mid to high $400’s and large master planned communities will typically start in the $300’s.
Jacksonville's average home price is in the mid $300's, changing constantly (updated for 2023). We see a healthy year round real estate market with the peak months being during the April, May, June, July, and August months. Slight declines till January and then it starts back up again in February. We are supported by near year round activity by people moving to Jacksonville year round for jobs, snow birds visiting and moving to Jacksonville during the mild winter months, and our active and retired military personnel moving to and from our city. We are even getting National press about being a great place to invest in real estate. Forbes real estate article.
Luxury real estate in Jacksonville is always in demand and a growing segment as our small big town has been discovered. We have exclusive golf based communities throughout Jacksonville with prices ranging from the $500's to well into the millions. You'll find luxury properties in the urban areas like San Marco, Avondale, and Riverside. Beach communities have been going through major renovations with many tear downs and rebuilds to luxury near beach homes throughout Atlantic and Neptune Beach. Ponte Vedra holds some of the highest values in the entire Jacksonville area.
7. The People of Jacksonville FL
One common tie you’ll find with people living in Jacksonville is that they have all chosen to be here due to their love of this great city. Many have moved away via military or corporate requirements but later have chosen to move back when the option was available.
It’s "easy-going" here, and so are the people. You won't find the major rush around like so many of our larger cities, but we seem to get things done. You’ll find a lot of young people have chosen to make Jacksonville their home, as well as many retired who seek shelter from the cold northern climates. Entrepreneurs, artist, military families, healthcare workers, as well as blue collar and white collar professionals are spread all over the first coast.
We are very diverse in cultures with numerous nationalities present in Jacksonville. This is great for a wide diversity of people and what they bring to the city. Food being one of our favorites to note! We have phenomenal Thai restaurants and Pho restaurants as well as Indian and Asian establishments throughout the city. Of course you'll find seafood everywhere as well as Italian and Greek.
8. Jacksonville's Location Location Location
Northern Florida has some major advantages other than just the more temperate climate. We have a great proximity to some major attractions: Orlando is just 2 hours and 15 minutes away, Savannah is 2 hours, Hilton Head is 3 hours, and Charleston is about 4 hours. You can make a trip to Atlanta or Miami in about 6 hours, and you can drive to Asheville North Carolina in less than 8 hours. Rather reach Chicago or New York? We have an international airport with all the major carriers and many direct flights.
Considering taking a cruise during the winter months to escape to an even more tropical location? No problem, we have cruise ships leaving Jacksonville or head down to Cape Canaveral just a little South of Jax and board one of the many cruise ships departing from their port.
Worried about the "H" word? (Hurricanes). Based on Jacksonville's location slightly "inward", it's harder for hurricanes to make direct landfall in Jacksonville. Also hard to just scrape by us. If you look at the tip of Florida or the Carolinas, you'll see what I mean... they kinda just stick out there with a big "hit me" sign. We do have hurricanes that come across Florida, but by the time they get here are more like a heavy storm than life threatening winds and storm surge. Either way... be cautious and be prepared.
9. Jacksonville has Something For Everyone
Want more or an urban walkable environment: You’ll want to check out some of our urban communities like Avondale, Riverside, and San Marco.
Looking for Golf Communities: We have plenty to choose from all over town including beach side golfing communities and near beach golfing communities. Search Golf Communities.
Beach living: Ride your beach cruiser or walk to the beach everyday by living at the beaches.
Lock and Leave / Low Maintenance: We have communities designed specifically for the lock and leave lifestyle.
Fishing / Boaters: Dock your boat at your own dock on the riverfront or keep it in one of our many marinas around town. Search Waterfront Homes.
Planned communities: Well landscaped and top tier amenities are available for these residents.
Equestrian communities: Yes, we even have these.
Luxury: We have luxury homes on the water and in many top communities around Jacksonville.
Search All Featured Communities
10. Big City Amenities and Small Town Feel
We have major venues like the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, the Daily’s Place open air concert venue, and the Times Union Center For the Performing Arts. We have arena football, a minor league baseball team with what looks to be a near Major League stadium, and minor league soccer: the Jacksonville Armada rounds out our teams.
Jacksonville has major employers like Fidelity, Everbank, CSX, the US military, Johnson & Johnson, Winn Dixie, Florida Blue, Acosta, Gate Petroleum, Landstar, etc. Amazon will become a major employer, and our port is growing and will undoubtedly require more workers.
Jacksonville has major health care systems including multiple hospitals, specialty care facilities, and the Mayo Clinic.
All the big city amenities, and we still have that small town feel. It’s one of those cities that you start recognizing people after only a year of living here. You’ll walk your dog and meet people within the community fairly easily. Small privateer restaurants and eateries are all over town as well as food trucks and craft cocktail hot spots…. and many are owned by your neighbors. Get out and be a part of the city and you’ll quick fall in love with this great small town as we all have!
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