Condo Mania

13 06 2005

Searching for an affordable condo? Join the line.

The desire for a more carefree lifestyle, as well as Jacksonville’s booming population and the ability to buy a home with today’s low interest rates, are converging to create huge demand for low-to mid-priced condominiums in Northeast Florida.

But, some experts in the condo business said several upcoming conversions from apartments should add several hundred more units to the condo market.

Condos are the lowest maintenance type of home to purchase. As such they attract mainly young professionals with busy lives, or empty nesters looking to downsize the living space they must maintain. The condo association — residents who each pay a monthly fee — takes care of the outside maintenance and operates the amenities.

Most condos in the lowest price ranges are older, and are located in older areas with higher density and higher crime.

Mid-priced condos usually are sold out as soon as they open.

Condos come in two types of structures — those designed as condos, and those originally designed as apartments. Most of the newer mid-range condos were converted from apartments and given updated kitchen and baths, tile flooring in all the wet areas, new plumbing and electric, new paint and possibly upgraded appliances.

The outside amenities vary with the complex. Most have a community pool, a clubhouse, a gym and some sort of walking trail. Some have added special features such as a concierge service that will water plants or take care of other chores while the homeowner is away.
Many of the apartment conversions are located near shopping, entertainment and restaurants that appeal to young professionals and empty nesters alike who maintenance-free lifestyle.

Several projects are underway to convert several hundred apartment units in Arlington, Orange Park, Southside and Baymeadows to condos within the next few months. Such conversions are taking place because of low interest rates, which make it possible for some renters to make monthly condo payments that are less than the going rent rate. But, beyond price, important factors in selecting a condo include the commute time to work, the cost, the safety, amenities of the surrounding area and compatibility with the neighbors.

While finding the right condo can be difficult, real estate professionals can help. Realtors can help a client locate the right condo based on a list of preferred criteria.





Condo Mania

12 06 2005

Searching for an affordable condo? Join the line.

The desire for a more carefree lifestyle, as well as Jacksonville’s booming population and the ability to buy a home with today’s low interest rates, are converging to create huge demand for low-to mid-priced condominiums in Northeast Florida.

But, some experts in the condo business said several upcoming conversions from apartments should add several hundred more units to the condo market.

Condos are the lowest maintenance type of home to purchase. As such they attract mainly young professionals with busy lives, or empty nesters looking to downsize the living space they must maintain. The condo association — residents who each pay a monthly fee — takes care of the outside maintenance and operates the amenities.

Most condos in the lowest price ranges are older, and are located in older areas with higher density and higher crime.

Mid-priced condos usually are sold out as soon as they open.

Condos come in two types of structures — those designed as condos, and those originally designed as apartments. Most of the newer mid-range condos were converted from apartments and given updated kitchen and baths, tile flooring in all the wet areas, new plumbing and electric, new paint and possibly upgraded appliances.

The outside amenities vary with the complex. Most have a community pool, a clubhouse, a gym and some sort of walking trail. Some have added special features such as a concierge service that will water plants or take care of other chores while the homeowner is away.
Many of the apartment conversions are located near shopping, entertainment and restaurants that appeal to young professionals and empty nesters alike who maintenance-free lifestyle.

Several projects are underway to convert several hundred apartment units in Arlington, Orange Park, Southside and Baymeadows to condos within the next few months. Such conversions are taking place because of low interest rates, which make it possible for some renters to make monthly condo payments that are less than the going rent rate. But, beyond price, important factors in selecting a condo include the commute time to work, the cost, the safety, amenities of the surrounding area and compatibility with the neighbors.

While finding the right condo can be difficult, real estate professionals can help. Realtors can help a client locate the right condo based on a list of preferred criteria.





The 50 Cleanest Cities in America

9 06 2005

The July issue of Reader’s Digest ranks 50 U.S. cities by how clean they are. Entire metropolitan areas, including surrounding counties and suburbs, were judged on data about air quality, water quality, industrial pollution (toxics) and other criteria. Representing Florida, Orlando ranked ninth and Jacksonville placed 19th, while Miami ranked 29th and Tampa placed 31st. Rankings, however, don’t indicate whether a city is “perfectly pristine or dangerously filthy,” Reader’s Digest says. Nationwide, Portland, Ore., is the cleanest of those areas ranked and Chicago is, well, the least clean

Reader’s Digest looked at metropolitan areas, which include surrounding counties and suburbs, and analyzed data by scoring each of the 50 largest cities on air quality, water quality, industrial pollution (toxics), Superfund sites, and sanitation. Here is a list of the 50 largest metro areas in America and how they compare. Higher total numbers mean a cleaner city.

NAME Air Water Toxics HazardousWaste Sanitation Total
Portland (OR) 49 50 35 32 43 44.00
San Jose 41 50 50 21 32 40.71
Buffalo 34 50 27 26 47 38.29
Columbus 24 50 31 45 NA 37.33
San Francisco 47 50 34 16 12 36.57
Denver 27 50 44 19 NA 36.17
Rochester (NY) 46 32 32 43 19 35.71
Austin 44 9 48 50 NA 34.00
Orlando 48 23 9 38 48 33.86
San Diego 13 50 46 42 14 32.57
Hartford 32 29 47 9 44 31.71
Sacramento 4 50 49 40 24 31.57
Las Vegas 12 50 40 49 7 31.43
San Antonio 42 18 42 47 8 31.00
Oklahoma City 43 1 45 41 40 30.57
Minneapolis 33 30 21 35 31 30.43
Indianapolis 23 31 33 44 27 30.29
Salt Lake City 26 50 2 14 42 30.00
Jacksonville 45 24 19 20 NA 29.50
Charlotte 28 34 22 27 28 28.71
Virginia Beach 35 17 29 33 30 28.00
Cincinnati 19 35 11 38 34 27.29
Nashville 30 14 18 46 38 27.14
Riverside (CA) 1 50 43 25 15 26.43
New Orleans 39 13 10 48 21 26.14
Milwaukee 37 10 38 38 10 25.71
Seattle 36 21 37 15 13 25.57
Baltimore 16 33 14 24 41 25.29
Miami 50 11 36 8 9 25.00
Dallas 20 28 30 31 16 24.71
Tampa 40 3 17 17 50 24.29
Memphis 22 12 24 29 46 23.86
Providence 39 8 41 7 22 23.43
Louisville 21 15 15 39 35 23.00
Washington (DC) 25 19 12 13 45 22.57
Phoenix 17 37 1 22 23 22.00
Detroit 10 27 20 10 49 21.86
Richmond 31 4 13 34 36 21.86
Cleveland 9 25 26 31 26 21.57
Atlanta 15 26 4 11 39 19.43
Houston 7 39 3 19 20 19.14
Los Angeles 2 38 28 3 17 18.29
Boston 29 7 39 5 11 18.14
Philadelphia 14 22 16 2 37 18.14
Kansas City 19 16 25 13 NA 18.00
Birmingham 8 20 8 28 33 17.86
St. Louis 5 36 6 6 25 17.00
Pittsburgh 6 5 5 23 29 11.29
New York 11 2 23 1 NA 8.33
Chicago 3 6 7 4 18 6.71

Source: Reader’s Digest





The 50 Cleanest Cities in America

8 06 2005

The July issue of Reader’s Digest ranks 50 U.S. cities by how clean they are. Entire metropolitan areas, including surrounding counties and suburbs, were judged on data about air quality, water quality, industrial pollution (toxics) and other criteria. Representing Florida, Orlando ranked ninth and Jacksonville placed 19th, while Miami ranked 29th and Tampa placed 31st. Rankings, however, don’t indicate whether a city is “perfectly pristine or dangerously filthy,” Reader’s Digest says. Nationwide, Portland, Ore., is the cleanest of those areas ranked and Chicago is, well, the least clean

Reader’s Digest looked at metropolitan areas, which include surrounding counties and suburbs, and analyzed data by scoring each of the 50 largest cities on air quality, water quality, industrial pollution (toxics), Superfund sites, and sanitation. Here is a list of the 50 largest metro areas in America and how they compare. Higher total numbers mean a cleaner city.

NAME Air Water Toxics HazardousWaste Sanitation Total
Portland (OR) 49 50 35 32 43 44.00
San Jose 41 50 50 21 32 40.71
Buffalo 34 50 27 26 47 38.29
Columbus 24 50 31 45 NA 37.33
San Francisco 47 50 34 16 12 36.57
Denver 27 50 44 19 NA 36.17
Rochester (NY) 46 32 32 43 19 35.71
Austin 44 9 48 50 NA 34.00
Orlando 48 23 9 38 48 33.86
San Diego 13 50 46 42 14 32.57
Hartford 32 29 47 9 44 31.71
Sacramento 4 50 49 40 24 31.57
Las Vegas 12 50 40 49 7 31.43
San Antonio 42 18 42 47 8 31.00
Oklahoma City 43 1 45 41 40 30.57
Minneapolis 33 30 21 35 31 30.43
Indianapolis 23 31 33 44 27 30.29
Salt Lake City 26 50 2 14 42 30.00
Jacksonville 45 24 19 20 NA 29.50
Charlotte 28 34 22 27 28 28.71
Virginia Beach 35 17 29 33 30 28.00
Cincinnati 19 35 11 38 34 27.29
Nashville 30 14 18 46 38 27.14
Riverside (CA) 1 50 43 25 15 26.43
New Orleans 39 13 10 48 21 26.14
Milwaukee 37 10 38 38 10 25.71
Seattle 36 21 37 15 13 25.57
Baltimore 16 33 14 24 41 25.29
Miami 50 11 36 8 9 25.00
Dallas 20 28 30 31 16 24.71
Tampa 40 3 17 17 50 24.29
Memphis 22 12 24 29 46 23.86
Providence 39 8 41 7 22 23.43
Louisville 21 15 15 39 35 23.00
Washington (DC) 25 19 12 13 45 22.57
Phoenix 17 37 1 22 23 22.00
Detroit 10 27 20 10 49 21.86
Richmond 31 4 13 34 36 21.86
Cleveland 9 25 26 31 26 21.57
Atlanta 15 26 4 11 39 19.43
Houston 7 39 3 19 20 19.14
Los Angeles 2 38 28 3 17 18.29
Boston 29 7 39 5 11 18.14
Philadelphia 14 22 16 2 37 18.14
Kansas City 19 16 25 13 NA 18.00
Birmingham 8 20 8 28 33 17.86
St. Louis 5 36 6 6 25 17.00
Pittsburgh 6 5 5 23 29 11.29
New York 11 2 23 1 NA 8.33
Chicago 3 6 7 4 18 6.71

Source: Reader’s Digest





Intracoastal West Neighborhood

6 06 2005

Just west of the Beaches and east of the city, the Intracoastal Waterway area is one of the more unique places in Jacksonville, and unlike any other in Northeast Florida.

Looking out over the lush, golden marshes, exotic wildlife and tranquil waters, of the area known as the Intracoastal West, you will see why it is one of the more comfortable and serene places which so many people call home.

The Intracoastal area residents enjoy a cooler climate, as well as beautiful sunrises that break over the Atlantic Ocean just a few miles east and sunrises that bounce off of the golden foliage of the winding marshes of the Intracoastal Waterway. The area is surrounded by rapidly growing parts of Jacksonville including developments such as Queen’s Harbour Yacht & Country Club, Pablo Bay, Highland Glen and Bentwater Place which are near San Pablo Road and Queen’s Harbour, Butler and Atlantic boulevards.

The neighborhoods in and around the Intracoastal area range from moderate homes starting at $175,000 to gated country-club communities with homes up to $2 million and more. The area offers quite a variety of housing options including apartments, condominiums, townhomes and houses. Some of the more extravagant developments include Bentwater Place with homes from $150,000 to $199,000, Pablo Bay which offers homes ranging from $200,000 to $299,000, and Highland Glen, which offers home from $300,000 and higher.

Easy access to just about anywhere in Jacksonville is another perk to the area. Just west of the Intracoastal is plenty of shopping, restaurants, schools and entertainment to suit the needs of many. Those who have a love for water sports have easy access to the Intracoastal for boating, kayaking, canoeing, fishing and a short drive to surf in the Atlantic Ocean.

For those looking for the close-knit community life with a touch of nature at your doorstep, the Intracoastal West area is right for you. Yet another one of Northeast Florida’s secrets, this area is a unique place to call home.


Intracoastal West

Housing Information:

Average home price: $148,017
No. of households: 27,368
2003 Population: 72,215
2008 projected population: 82,975
Percent change: 13.0%
Household disposable income: $50,437
Homes range from moderate $175,000 homes to the gated and more illustrious ones that run around $2 million and more.

Schools:

Duval County Board of Education, (904) 390-2000
Elementary: Alimacani, Abess Park, Chets Creek, Neptune Beach, San Pablo
Middle: Kernan, Duncan Fletcher
High: Sandalwood, Duncan Fletcher

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department:
Phone: (904) 630-0529
Fire Station 1: 12701 Old St. Augustine Road
Fire Station 2: 1141 Atlantic Blvd.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office:
Phone: (904) 630-0500
Nearest substation: 7100 Powers Ave., (904) 828-5463

Source: Average home value based on Scarborough self-evaluation. All other data from Demographics USA.

Source: The Times-Union





Southside Neighborhood

6 06 2005

The great thing about the Southside is that it’s much more than just a neighborhood. Maybe a better term for it would be a location. However, do not be fooled about this location. There is plenty of activity and diversity lining the streets of the Southside in Jacksonville.

Actually, the Southside has a number of neighborhoods within it ranging from north of Butler Boulevard, south of Atlantic Boulevard, east of University Boulevard and west of St. Johns Bluff Road. Lying within the borders of the area are a number of restaurants, residential areas, golf courses, schools and everything else to keep one busy. The prime location of this area allows easy access to most of Jacksonville’s attractions, and is only a short drive from Interstate 95, which leads downtown or to St. Augustine. Also, the easy access to the St. Johns River provides plenty of good fishing and water activity for those who love the outdoors.

The people of Southside represent all ages. Young adults, age 25 to 34, account for 27 percent of the population, while people age 65 and older account for 20 percent. One of the main attractions for young people to the Southside is the University of North Florida and Florida Community College of Jacksonville South Campus. UNF, one of Florida’s most rapidly growing public universities, enrolled almost 14,000 students in 2003 and FCCJ has nearly 24,000 students in its four-campus system.

The Southside also has a vast amount of retailers. Just within the Southside area there are two malls — The Avenues and Regency Square — as well as a vast amount of strip malls and restaurants in between. Basically, if someone needs something they can find it on the Southside.

Homes in the Southside start at $70,000 and reach more than $1 million. And, if a home is out of the question, the area offers an abundance of reasonably priced townhomes, condominiums and apartment complex choices. Within the many neighborhoods are several public and private elementary, middle and high schools.

Southside offers the best of Jacksonville through easy access to all major locations and boasts great neighborhoods, shopping centers, restaurants and schools. Southside is a great neighborhood for all.


Southside

Average home price: $131,054
No. of households: 12,981
2003 Population: 31,422
2008 projected population: 32,711
Percent change: 3.9%
Household disposable income: $37,370

Source: Average home value based on Scarborough self-evaluation. All other data from Demographics USA.

Duval County Fire Department:
Phone: (904) 630-0529
Fire Station 1: 9200 Hogan Road
Fire Station 2: 8275 Western Way

Jacksonville Sheriffs Office:
Phone: (904) 630-0500
Nearest substation: 7100 Powers Ave. (904) 828-5463

Schools:
Duval County Board of Education, (904) 390-2000
Elementary: Chets Creek, Twin Lakes Academy, Windy Hill, Southside Estates, Kernan Trail
Middle: Twin Lakes Academy, Kernan, Southside
High: Sandalwood

Housing Information:

Southside offers condominiums, apartments and houses. Homes in the Southside area range from $70,000 to $1 million.

Source: The Times-Union





Beauclerc Neighborhoods

6 06 2005

Straddling the eastern bank of the St. Johns River at one of its widest points and nestled between Mandarin, San Jose and Baymeadows, lies Beauclerc, an idyllic, tree-lined neighborhood conveniently located with easy access to greater Jacksonville.

Sections of the neighborhood have developed an overhanging canopy effect, with the branches of trees on opposite sides of the roadway interlocking high above, providing a shaded pathway for residents to drive and walk under.

Beauclerc homes have proven to be a great investment. Values tend to be greater than those of Jacksonville as a whole, with the average home price at $157,870.

The area’s larger lots translate into homes with more floor space and bigger yards, some encompassing more than half an acre. Though many homes date from the 1970s, most homeowners steadily have updated interiors, giving most properties a modern touch with few renovations needed.

Home styles range from traditional to contemporary to Colonial, the variety of architecture stemming from the many different builders who constructed homes through the years. Many houses feature brick construction. Homeowners’ well-manicured lawns and flower gardens full of color, nicely complement the area’s abundant trees.

With a multitude of stores and dining establishments within easy driving access, Beauclerc is centrally located for residents’ shopping needs. Beauclerc’s proximity to Interstate 295 allows residents easy access to many other parts of the city.

The St. Johns River marks the neighborhood’s border, and is convenient for recreational boating and watersports.

A number of marinas dot the area, including the Epping Forest Yacht Club, one-half mile north of the neighborhood. The club’s centerpiece is a beautiful Spanish Renaissance-style mansion, originally built by a duPont family heir in 1927.

Home buyers with children are attracted to the quality and proximity of local schools. Beauclerc also is home to The Bolles School San Jose campus. The private school, founded in 1933, serves grades 9 through 12. The area also boasts a YMCA and several public parks.

Beauclerc attracts a nice mixture of older and younger homeowners, is culturally diverse and gives residents a sense of place hard to find in other areas of the city. For buyers looking for a home in neighborhood with a nice, traditional, homey feel, Beauclerc is the perfect place.


Housing Information:

Average home price
: $157,870
No. of households: 8,723
2003 population: 20,648
2008 projected population: 21,480
Percent change: 3.9%
Household disposable income: $37,872
Source: Average home value based on Scarborough self-evaluation
All other data from Demographics USA 2003

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department: (904) 630-0529
Substation, 2948 Delor Drive
Substation, 8275 Western Way

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office: (904) 630-0500
Substation, 7100 Powers Ave., (904) 828-5463

Duval County Schools: (904) 390-2000
Elementary: Beauclerc, Crown Point, Mandarin Oaks, San Jose
Middle: Alfred I. duPont, Mandarin
High: Samuel W. Wolfson

Nearby Hospitals:
Specialty Hospital Jacksonville
4901 Richard St.
(904) 737-3120

St. Luke’s Hospital
4201 Belfort Road
(904) 296-3700

Baptist Medical Center
800 Prudential Drive
(904) 202-2000

Source: The Times-Union








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