7 Tips :Determining Where to Buy in Northeast Florida

Northeast Florida offers plenty of choices. You can live in the busy urban environment of Downtown Jacksonville, the peaceful, rural areas of St. Johns County or the beautiful beach community of Atlantic Beach. Looking for real estate in the largest area-wise city in the continental U.S. can be daunting. After years of helping buyers find real estate in Jacksonville, these are the questions we have found that you need to ask yourself to help you narrow down which neighborhoods of Northeast Florida will work for you and your family.

Duval and St. Johns County Duval and St. Johns County Map

Consider the Location Before Buying a House

Currently there are around 10,000 properties for sale in Northeast Florida MLS. This is a staggering figure, but fortunately you don’t have to look at all of them.

You can make your home search less stressful and more meaningful by reading these pivotal home search factors and discussing with us what you are looking for. Each factor is a different ingredient to cooking up the perfect home and neighborhood for your family. When you put them together you get your dream home and a home search that is focused on just those properties that fit your wants and needs.

1. What Are You Looking For In Your Neighborhood Landscape?


The first factor concerns the surroundings near your future home. Surroundings include natural features of the area like trees, oceans, creeks and rivers. Other options include man made amenities like sidewalks, parks, lighting, and public roads.

Waterfront of Northeast Florida

When you visit a home, try to imagine yourself living there and if the surroundings offer what your lifestyle requires. You can narrow down your choices greatly if you decide you want to become a beach person and thus be close to the ocean or you don't want to be able to see your neighbors and want land and trees all around you.

2. What Would You Like In The Neighborhood's Characteristics?

Think about characteristics of the neighborhoods like architectural design, types of housing, access to recreational amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts, and golf courses, and particular details like deed restrictions that might limit what you can do on your property.

When you come home from work is there a sport or hobby that you like do? Which, if any, characteristics of the neighborhood do you need to do this sport or hobby?

3. How Long of Commute Do You Want to Work and Services?


The second factor in choosing a location involves how far you will have to drive to essential services. Examples of services include: workplace, gas station, grocery store, restaurant, post office, bank, airport, highway and medical facilities. For others the mall, evening spots and nightlife might have a bigger pull. As your Realtor, if you let us let us know what is important to you we can point you to those areas that will satisfy your housing needs.

4. Are Schools Important to You?


If you have children or plan to start a family, schools are another important consideration. Some regions of our county offer newer, less crowded or high scoring schools than others, so research the school district. You can also investigate opportunities for daycare, private schools, after school care, and recreation for children.

We can provide you with plenty of information about test scores from the school. But we have found most parents to only be satisfied after visiting the school campus and talking to the staff of the different schools.

5. Would You Like To See The Area's Demographics?

There are other factors unique to your lifestyle that impact where you will be living. You can find on the internet the different demographic information for our area. You will see that you can look at demographic information by county or zip code. If you look at property on our website they will be a tab where you can pull up the demographic information for each property that you are interested in.

6. What Do You Want In The Home?


These are the normal questions and information you would have. What is the minimum bedroom and bathroom you are looking for? What is the minimum size of home you are looking for? It is ok if you don't know. We can show you different homes to give you an idea of each. And you can quickly figure out what will work for you. Plus you will have an idea if you want to pay for a home that has the extra room to grow into or live with the minimum for now. Please discuss these factors with your Realtor. We can advise which home will be better for resale and if the old saying "being the smallest home in the nicest neighborhood" (or vice versa) applies.

If you really want to narrow down your search then you should consider one of the following items. Depending on the price range, adding one or more of the following criteria can narrow down a list of 40 homes to under 5 homes:

  • 3 or 4 Car Garage
  • 1 Acre or more
  • View of Marsh, Golf, River, Ocean, Intracoastal or Lake
  • Pool or Heated Pool
  • Walking Distance to Beach or Shops
  • Gated Community or Golf Course Community (not all golf communities are gated)
  • 1 Story or 2 Story Home Only

7. Save Yourself The Time & Use An Experienced Realtor

realtors with experience

Our Realtors at the Phyllis Frankel Realty Group have spent decades in our area. We will be able to give you the inside, local information about the areas you are interested and be able to help you make a more informed decision about which part of Northeast Florida is right for you.

Don't make the mistake of buying your dream home only to find out that you are missing some neighborhood landscape or neighborhood characteristic that would of made you happier.


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