In northern Florida, far from the famous population centers in the south of the state, the city of Jacksonville is often overlooked as a place to experience the things Florida has to offer. With its location further north than many of the other large cities in the state, it doesn’t really seem like many of the other more leisurely cities that the state is home to.
For those who take a chance on Jacksonville, however, the long list of excellent qualities innate to the city quickly become apparent. Jacksonville is a vibrant, progressive metropolis that deserves far greater acclaim than it usually receives. So what is so great about the city of Jacksonville? Glad you asked!
In this article, we’re going to go over some of the many, many reasons Jacksonville is such a great city. We’ll be covering everything from the practical questions like living costs, crime rates and the state of the real estate market to more subjective concerns like whether or not the city is a good place to live. Let’s get into it!
Jacksonville’s cost of living
The first thing you’ll need to know about Jacksonville is its surprisingly low cost of living! With its large size, excellent job availability and excellent public transportation system, you would expect this city to be an expensive one in which to live; but it’s not! Jacksonville has one of the lowest costs of living of any large city in the state. Let’s take a closer look!
The biggest contributor to the cost of living in Jacksonville is its low housing cost. We’ll go into further detail in the following section on the real estate market, but suffice it to say that the cost of a home in Jacksonville is significantly lower than the average for the state. Rent is lower as well, which makes finding housing in Jacksonville a surprisingly affordable affair.
Other miscellaneous costs are also lower than average; fuel, groceries and other basic necessities are all priced very reasonably, considering the size of Jacksonville’s population. Utility prices are more reasonable as well, although you’ll have to plan on running air conditioning during most of the year; Florida gets pretty hot!
Jacksonville’s real estate market
Are you curious as to the state of the real estate market in Jacksonville? Then you’ve come to the right place! Jacksonville’s real estate market is booming but highly accessible, with a low median housing cost but high turnover. If you are looking for a great market to invest in, the Jacksonville real estate market might just be the place to do that!
The median house cost in Jacksonville is an attractive $180,000, with many houses selling for even less. While this low median home cost may make it seem like Jacksonville’s real estate market is stagnant, that couldn’t be further from the truth! On the Jacksonville housing market, houses stay on the market for an amount of time far less than the national average.
Part of the reason for this attractively low average home price is the recent storm that shook the city to its core: hurricane Dorian. While hurricane Dorian did not end up hitting Jacksonville with full force, the instability that the mandatory evacuation order, school closures and widespread disruption impacted real estate values profoundly.
Those who plan on renting out property will find that, while rent prices are somewhat lower than the national and state averages, there is still a great deal of opportunity for ambitious property owners. With a median rent price of $970 a month for a two bedroom apartment, it will take a skilled hand to turn a profit, but it’s very doable.
In keeping with the universally low real estate prices elsewhere in the city, undeveloped property also fetches a lower price than in other similarly large cities. For ambitious investors, this means only one thing: profits! With a rapidly developing commercial sector, there is a great deal of opportunity for developers to turn a profit building office buildings, shopping malls and other commercial centers.
Jacksonville’s crime rates
With any large city, there are going to be certain drawbacks. For Jacksonville, that drawback is its crime rates. While not as high as many other cities with similarly sized populations, Jacksonville’s crime rates are still notably higher than the national and state average. Most of this can be attributed to the city’s large population; but unfortunate though it may be, Jacksonville’s law enforcement community must bear some of the blame.
So how bad are the crime rates, exactly? The good news is that, while still above average, they are nowhere near the astronomical numbers seen in cities like Detroit, Washington D.C. and Houston. The violent crime rate in Jacksonville is 5.9 incidents per 1,000 residents, as compared to the national average of 4.
Property crimes are also notably higher than the national median. The city of Jacksonville experiences 33.9 property crime incidents per 1,000 residents, as compared to the national median of 24. Again, while this is certainly suboptimal, considering the high crime rates in other cities of similar size, this is understandable, if not excusable.
So how should you take these figures into account when determining whether or not Jacksonville is right for you? Well, first of all, it’s important to remember that there are always certain things you can do to reduce your risk of becoming the victim of a criminal act, violent or otherwise. Keeping this in mind, it’s ultimately up to your better judgement whether or not the benefits that accompany living Jacksonville are worth the risk.
Job availability in Jacksonville
If you are willing to risk the higher than average crime rates in Jacksonville, chances are you’re doing so due to the excellent job availability. Jacksonville is a great place for job seekers, especially those with professional certifications in their field or trade. With tremendous demand for skilled professionals, there are few places in Florida better for hardworking tradesmen and women.
If you don’t have any professional experience, worry not; there are also plenty of jobs that don’t require any previous experience or certification. While these positions will undoubtedly pay less than other careers with more demanding prerequisites, many will provide you a chance at a career with great upward mobility and benefits.
Whether you are an experienced, highly qualified career man or a hardworking, driven blue collar worker, there’s no doubt you’ll find something for you in Jacksonville. This city is one of opportunity!
Things to do in Jacksonville
Despite what the previous sections of this article may have led you to believe, Jacksonville isn’t all business; there is plenty of fun to be had here too! From uproarious clubs to delicious dining and fascinating cultural attractions, the list of things to do in Jacksonville is long and diverse. There’s never a dull moment in this city!
During the day, Jacksonville boasts an impressive number of fascinating and entertaining diversions to keep you busy. Whether you’re taking in the wondrous exhibits at the Museum of Science and History or enjoying a move at the AMC theaters, there is no shortage of things to keep you busy. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even spend an evening in the Mastermind Escape Rooms!
After the sun goes down, you can enjoy a meal and drink at one of the city’s finest restaurants and bars, or partake in an evening of frenetic fun at one of Jacksonville’s many nightclubs. If you’re a gambler, you’ll find yourself well accommodated for as well; Jacksonville is home to a number of fine Casinos where you can roll the dice and court lady luck.
Whatever your tastes and preferences, after spending a day or two in Jacksonville you’ll find that the city has something for just about everyone. Whatever your social or financial status, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to find something right for you!
Jacksonville is one of the most attractive cities in the state of Florida, from numerous different perspectives. With a booming real estate market, excellent job opportunities and a surprisingly low cost of living there’s a little something here for everyone. Chances are, there’s something here for you too!
Do you think you might enjoy living in this vibrant metropolis? Why not get in touch with one of the top real estate agents in Jacksonville, and see what the city has to offer? These experienced, knowledgeable professionals will help you find the house that’s right for you, at the lowest cost possible. Before long, you might just be calling Jacksonville home!
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