LAX to JAX in 6/09. Need neighborhood advice.

Asked by Allison, Jacksonville, FL Mon Feb 16, 2009

My husband is in the military and we will be transferring to Jacksonville from the L.A. area around June. We would like to purchase a home rather than rent. How long are homes in the Riverside/Avondale area typically on the market and which area is more desirable? Is it possible to find a 3bd/2ba home with a nice yard in either area for under $300K? Are there any problems with either neighborhood that we should be aware of?

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Sherry Meyer, , Orange Park, FL
Tue Mar 3, 2009
Hi Allison,

I used to live in L.A.! and now I reside in Jacksonville. The Riverside/Avondale area is rich with history as well as surrounded by beautiful Oak Trees. The homes vary with regard to the size of a yard. There are definitely homes under $300K. I'd be glad to assist you. Before I can answer your last question, please call me and let me know what you mean by problems? Are you seeking whether homes are in a A-rated school district or not? Are you seeking to understand other statistics? Give me a call, and I'll be glad to help. And say hi to all my friends in L.A. Regards, Sherry (904) 651-2194 Also, please visit
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Allison Stei…, Agent, Jacksonvillle, FL
Thu Feb 26, 2009
Hi Allison -- My name is Allison too! I work with Prudential Network Realty and our office is in the heart of Avondale on St. John's Avenue. We specialize in this neighborhood. Take a look at my website and you'll see a saved search on the front page listing homes for sale from $100k - $350K. Click on the Neighborhoods of Jax tab at the top of the page, and you'll see specific information about Riverside and Avondale. You can also set up a search of your own as well as see information about schools and current events.

It's hard to answer how long homes are on the market because it really depends on how well they were priced when they were listed, the condition of the home etc... Most homes that are well priced (for today's market) and in good condition will sell within 90 days. Others that are mis-priced or need lots of work can languish on the market.

Feel free to call me on my cell at 904-252-5181 if you'd like to talk. Thanks. Allison
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Maria Johnson, , Jacksonville, FL
Tue Feb 17, 2009
Hi Allison, the city of Jacksonville offers a great relocation package for families moving into the area. I can help you get that package if you'd like it. Also, financing right now is a little tougher to get so if you need to speak to a good and reputable mortgage person, I can help you with that as well. It's good to have that done and be "pre-qualified" for the loan prior to looking at houses. Avondale and Riverside are both charming - my husband and I own a townhome there. Please e-mail me at and I will begin to send you listings in those neighborhoods. Right now is a great time to shop for a home. There are bank owned and preforeclosure homes that may get you more square footage for the money. Take care!
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Jason Lindsay, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Mon Feb 16, 2009
Hi Allison. I'm a Realtor whose office and home are located in the heart of Riverside-Avondale.
Please check out my profile on Trulia and let me know if you'd like to interview me by phone or e-mail.
I welcome your questions and hopefully can be of help to you as you search for a new home.
Sincerely, Jason Lindsay, REALTOR

P.S. Check out the following website
to get started.
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Larry Atwell, , Amelia Island, FL
Mon Feb 16, 2009
Hi Allison,
As a retired military member, I appreciate both of your service to our country. I can and will offer you the necessary insight for you to make a wise decision about the area. If you have time for house hunting leave, I can schedule a tour of homes and the area as time permits for you. If time does not permit, I can provide the background and current information that will assist you getting up to speed,until you arrive.

Let me hear from you,

PS Click on website for more information.
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Sellin' With…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Mon Feb 16, 2009

There are many great deals in Riverside/Avondale. You can find a great home for under $300. As long as you are okay with less square footage, and less closet space. Because of the age of the homes they carry so much character but also smaller in size. The homes typically have beautiful orginal hardwood floors, and it is possible to find some homes that have a larger or double lot size. You will typically have a carport or detached garaged in the back yard. If you go through VA financing, your issue will be any flaking paint (VA appraisers are strict about that) The eclectic atmosphere is great. Many of the homes have been on the market over 100 days, but like the rest of Jacksonville the invenmory is decreasing. Many of the homes have been upgraded and some have even enclosed a laundr room. There are also many short sales in the area which could allow you to purchase a home with some equity. There are more desireable parts to both Riverside and Avondale. If you want to check crime stats you can go to . It is true a Realtor can set you up on an automatic search. We have a new search system called listing book. it allows you to control where you search and all of the criteria. Hopefully you will be able to plan a trip down here to look at a few of the homes that spark your interest. Good Luck and let me know if you have any other questions.
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Blaine Rabe, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Mon Feb 16, 2009
Sure you can. Sounds like you have decided where to live, in general.

Most of all you should consider the schools. Be sure you have the Education Guide, that tells the tail.

Blaine Rabe
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Eric Cavanagh, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Mon Feb 16, 2009
Hi, Allison;

As you can see, it's going to be to your advantage to pick an agent and have them do some legwork for you. Probably the best way to do this from a distance is to get a referral from someone you know and trust and have them refer you to a local agent. Next best thing, barring that, is to visit the website of the agents you're considering and see who seems to be the most well versed on the area you are looking into. Riverside is not really my area of expertise, but the areas I am an expert in, outside of where I live, is because i had a client that was interested in that area and I studied it and became an expert.
The slow down in the housing market has had the unintended effect of thinning the ranks of Realtors until we get to the point where you are dealing with a professional that takes their profession seriously and provides superior customer service. That's the only way you stay in business through tough times. There are many qualified Realtors that will be able to help you and supply the information you desire. Talk to a few until you find one you feel comfortable with.
The bottom line about the amount of time a house stays n the market is that if it is well priced it sells quickly. If it isn't, it won't. We are already seeing neighborhoods that have turned the corner where prices have stabilized, but there are still plenty of areas where the prices need to fall a little further before the volume will pick up. Based on a thorough buyer interview, a professional Realtor will be able to direct you to the area you desire and negotiate a fair deal on the property that most closely matches what you are looking for.
It is certainly possible to find a nice home with a nice yard in the price range you have indicated, but which area is more desirable depends entirely upon what your wants and needs are, where you work, whether you have kids, pets, etc.
From now till June is certainly enough time to establish a relationship with a reputable Realtor who can get you information on the areas you are interested in (and perhaps suggest other areas you might also like), send you information and listings, and schedule houses for you to see when you visit. Feel free to visit my website and I'd be glad to help in anyway possible, including referring you to another Realtor if you are more comfortable with that.
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Tobin Bossola, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Mon Feb 16, 2009
Hello Allison,

First of all, I respect and appreciate everything every military family does for this country. Many of my customers are military. In fact, I helped a military family sell their home last year and move to San Diego.

O.k., homes in Riverside/Avondale vary for time on the market. The average for Jacksonville is a little over 90 days. It is not uncommon to see homes on the market for this long or longer in Avondale. It is possible to find a home for around $300,000 in the area. I am not sure exactly what you mean by a "nice yard", but most homes do not have much yard in the area. Would you like me to perform a search for all 3/2 homes on the market up to $300,000 in Riverside/Avondale? If so, please let me know.

Thank you,

Tobin Bossola
Vanguard GMAC Realty
(904) 910-8084
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Kim Sandberg, Agent, Ponte Vedra, FL
Mon Feb 16, 2009
Great to hear from you!
Have you been to the Jax area before? Ever stationed here in this area in the past? Just curious as to why Riverside/Avondale is your #1. Obviously there is a lot of great inventory out there and super deals so that is why I ask. Do you need to be close by to NAS or Mayport?

Let me know more about your wish list "Must haves" vs. "nice to haves" and I can easily send information on the area and what all is available for sale in your price range.

If you can email me this information including the best way to reach you (email I suppose, which is great) please do so. Meanwhile, I'll pull some general facts and trends to share with you.

Many thanks!
Kim Sandberg, REALTOR
RE/MAX Unlimited
Ph: 904-703-4715
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