With fantastic weather year-round, diverse restaurants, stunning city spaces, plenty of jobs, and more, moving to Jacksonville is maybe the sanest choice you’ll make in life. The city’s distinct neighborhoods are ideal for young families, professionals, and retirees. Jacksonville is slightly more affordable when compared to similar-sized US cities such as Austin and San Francisco. If you’re moving to Jacksonville, FL, and need space to keep your goods until you’ve set up your new home, our Jacksonville storage units have you covered. To help you plan your move to this bustling city, we’ve put together a handy guide that covers everything you want to know about living in Jacksonville.
1. City Overview
Did you know that Jacksonville is Florida’s most populous city and is also the largest city by area in the United States? You’ll be delighted to know moving here can be easy on your wallet too. The cost of living in Jacksonville is 9 percent lower than the Florida average. Properties are more affordable, and you may end up saving more on utilities, groceries, and entertainment. Moving to this city could be a smart financial decision.
Getting around Jacksonville is convenient, thanks to the fantastic public transportation system. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority has a significant network of bus services that link different parts of the city. Most buses here leave every 30 to 60 minutes. While still convenient, it’s best to check the bus schedule before you set off so you’re not waiting too long at the bus stop. It’s important to note that most bus routes mostly serve the downtown area, and they don’t provide service after 8 or 9 p.m. There are also water taxis, public trolleys, and ferry services connecting the city, and these are a nice way to get around town. While public transportation in Jacksonville is large and extensive, residents sometimes find it challenging to move around this large metropolis being solely dependent on public transport.
Jacksonville Skyway is a free monorail system that leaves from Rosa Park Transit Station, stopping at Hemming Park and Central Station. From here, there are two lines, stopping at various neighborhoods across the city. The Skyway is a convenient way to travel around the city, helping you beat the traffic and get to your destination quickly. Since the Skyway soars above the city, the views from the trolley are picturesque and give you a bird’s eye view of downtown Jacksonville.
Jacksonville is not the most walkable city in the U.S. and is fairly car-dependent. Biking is an option here, but the city doesn’t have the best infrastructure for bikers. Riverside and San Marco are the best neighborhoods for biking and walking.
Jacksonville has several nicknames with JAX being the most popular. Locals also refer to their beloved city as the “Bold New City of the South” and “Where Florida Begins.”
2. Real Estate Outlook
One of the top perks of living in Jacksonville is the lower cost of housing. As of May 2020, the average rent for an apartment in Jacksonville is $1218, which is a marginal increase of 0.57 percent from last year. You can rent a one-bedroom apartment for about $1051 a month, while a two-bedroom apartment will likely cost you about $1255 a month. If you’re looking to save money on rent, look for more affordable neighborhoods such as Briarwood, Eagle Point, or Beach Haven, which fall in the low- to mid-range of the renting spectrum.
In 2019, the median price of a 3-bedroom single-family home in Jacksonville was $189,000, which is 15 percent lower than the national average. Home values in Jacksonville have seen better appreciation at a quicker rate when compared to other cities across the U.S. Investing in a home here may, therefore, be an intelligent financial choice.
3. Jacksonville Communities
With more than 500 neighborhoods to choose from, ranging from bustling urban areas to quiet districts with rural appeal, Jacksonville gives you several options to find a neighborhood that suits your budget and lifestyle. Read below for our list of some great neighborhoods in Jacksonville.
If you’re looking for a big home with a spacious backyard, Orange Park is a fabulous choice. It’s only a 45-minute drive from downtown Jacksonville, yet it almost feels like you’re miles away from the hustle of the city.
An upscale neighborhood with Italian-inspired architecture, San Marco attracts young professionals, singles, and couples. Swanky restaurants and interesting boutiques are within walking distance of the homes in the area.
For young families with growing kids, Southside is a nice choice. It’s a relatively safe neighborhood with reputable schools. There are many outdoor parks and playgrounds where kids can expend their energy. Plus, you’ll find several options for property to suit your lifestyle and budget. There are plush gated communities, affordable single-family homes, condos, and apartments to help you zero in on the best housing option, perfect for your family’s needs.
When you move to a new city and are hunting for a new home, you’ll need a storage facility to keep your goods until you finalize everything. Our self-storage units can hold your belongings during your move. Once you’ve moved into your new home, use our climate-controlled storage solutions to deposit rarely used items. This will free up space in your closet or garage, and help you create more avenues for entertainment and fun in your home.
4. Things to Do
No matter how you’d like to spend your leisure time, Jacksonville has something for everyone. With more than 80,000 acres of outdoor parks, Jacksonville is home to the largest urban park system in the U.S. Make the most of the gorgeous Florida weather by spending a fun-filled day at one of the 450 parks in the city. The Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park has a splash zone for kiddos to get drenched and have fun, a playground, and 20 miles of trails. It’s one of the most popular parks in the area for families with little kids.
One of the privileges of living in Jacksonville is that you’re never far away from a scenic beach. This city has four fantastic beaches, offering plenty to do near the shore. Jacksonville Beach is a popular spot for families and young people who want to enjoy a picnic on the sandy shores or play an exciting game of beach volleyball with friends. Atlantic Beach offers high-quality surfing and is a nice place to experience the mighty whitecaps of the Atlantic Ocean. For a serene beach experience, head to the Mayport Beach. Enjoy upscale or casual dining at the many eateries here and savor the flavor of the freshest seafood, including the famed Mayport shrimp.
With more shoreline than any other city in Florida, Jacksonville is the perfect destination to explore the surrounding waterways and rivers. Spend time boating on the St. Johns River or go deep-sea fishing in coastal waters, Jacksonville gives you limitless options to explore the beautiful waters of Florida. Some of our CubeSmart facilities offer boat storage that can help save you expensive boat docking fees. Many of our storage facilities are in the vicinity of the popular beaches, making them a convenient spot to keep your boat.
Jacksonville has a thriving culinary scene with restaurants and eateries serving up a myriad of dishes, encompassing several flavors. From kid-friendly restaurants to quaint sandwich shops to local eateries serving fresh seafood delicacies and upscale bistros, Jacksonville has it all.
5. Reasons to Move to Jacksonville
One of the top reasons why many young people want to move to Jacksonville is the flourishing job market. Jacksonville is second in terms of job growth in Florida, only one spot behind the Orlando metro area. Many Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters here, meaning there’s never a lack of jobs. Finance, retail, logistics, healthcare, and hospitality sectors to name a few, always have job openings. There are also many military jobs in the Jacksonville area.
Jacksonville has excellent public schools, offering comprehensive primary schooling facilities for kids. Many institutes here provide top-notch higher education in various fields. University of North Florida, Jacksonville University, and the Art Institute of Jacksonville are well-known schools of higher education, helping shape the future of the young generation.
Who doesn’t love warm weather and bright sunshine practically every day of the year? Savor the stunning Florida weather in all its glory; its one of the top reasons why people love this city. Summers are warm and sultry, perfect for a swim at one of the city beaches or sunbathing on the Atlantic shore. Winter is mild here, and it’s never too cold to enjoy a day outdoors. Fall and spring are always pleasant, with occasional showers during the late spring.