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Jacksonville new construction
Jacksonville New Construction
Jacksonville Neighborhoods

When you are in the market to buy a home, you have an option to consider new construction or an existing home. There are some advantages and disadvantages of each type of home.

If you know the specific neighborhood you want to live in or the school district you want your children to attend, your buying option may be limited to existing homes that are available for sale as there may not be any new construction in the area.

When you consider buying an older home, you may be drawn to the charm of the old house with hardwood floors, wood-burning fireplaces with elaborate mantles, or unique features of the property such as wrought iron posts or staircases. One of the advantages of buying an existing home is that it is often move-in ready and you can move in without having to do worry about completing these large and often expensive projects. Other advantages of a resale home are better location, mature landscaping and trees, and larger lot sizes than those that are found in today's new home communities. There is no guess work about what your neighborhood looks like and how your neighbors take care of their homes. You can talk to the neighbors and find out what they think about their neighborhood. Yet another reason some may choose a resale home over a new construction home is the potential to add "sweat equity" to the home. Many homeowners enjoy home remodeling projects and have the ability to add significant value to the property doing home renovation. Another point to consider is the uniqueness of an older neighborhood versus a new neighborhood. Some people feel that in today's newer neighborhoods all the homes look the same, as though they were punched out with a "cookie cutter". A last point to consider is, depending upon the timing of your move or your need to be in your home by a certain date, you may have no choice but to purchase a resale home that is ready now and not a few months down the road.

Nevertheless, there may be certain disadvantages in purchasing a resale home. There might be carpet stains from children and pets. The countertops may have burn marks or chips and they may be outdated or have unattractive colors. An older home may contain anything from lead-based paints to asbestos found in the shingles or floor tiles. If the house is not updated, you may find that the kitchen cabinets are out of style and that the bathroom features are not to your liking. The utility bills of an older home may also be significantly higher than those found in newer homes. The home may not be well insulated, the windows and doors may fit poorly and have air leaks, and the kitchen appliances may not be as efficient as today's modern appliances. You may find that you need to do significant remodeling to make the existing home meet your expectation.

Some people find the allure of new construction to be too much to resist. If you are looking for the "modern look and feel" of a new home, perhaps new construction home may be the way to go. Watching your home built from the ground up can be very exciting. Seeing how each step leads to the next and knowing where all the studs and pipes are can be as rewarding as choosing your carpet, countertops, or kitchen cabinets. There is a certain satisfaction for many people to know that everything in their new home is "brand new" and that they are the first people to live in the home. Another advantage for many is the knowledge that today's appliances are more energy efficient and quieter than most older appliances. New homes have better insulation; exterior materials require less maintenance; and windows are better insulated. Heating and cooling systems in today's new homes are more energy efficient and do a much better job of eliminating hot or cold spots in the home. Another advantage of a new construction home is the way in which a new home reflects current lifestyles. Friends often gather in the kitchen and cooking becomes a group project. Most people don't want to be far from a TV or the rest of the family when they're in the kitchen. Family rooms are right next to the kitchen and eating areas to blend into a great room. Today's kitchens are often larger than those found in older homes and feature many of the time saving conveniences that today's chefs appreciate. New construction homes often feature luxurious master baths and master bedroom suites as opposed to the smaller utilitarian master bedrooms and baths found in older homes. Closets are larger and often have space saving features like built-in organizers and shoe racks. A new house will usually be wired for cable TV and high-speed Internet access, and they are built to the most current safety, fire and health building codes. Another advantage of a new construction home is the fact that new homes tend to appreciate at a faster rate in the first two to five years after purchase than do older homes. Part of this can be attributed to the fact that during the first few years you are making improvements to the house such as landscaping, fencing, window coverings etc. Another reason for the increased rate of appreciation is the fact that the builder drives the price of your house up by continually increasing the prices of the new construction homes they are selling.

You know nothing is perfect. Sometimes, not even a new house. Even though the new home may have the latest improvements, they sometimes may be installed poorly or incorrectly. Because of this reason, real estate professionals recommend a home inspection before the closing. From the home inspection report combined with your real estate agent's personal observations as well as your own, you can prepare a punch-list for the builder to address and remedy prior to the closing. Another potential downfall of new construction is the way in which the builder handles the warranty work. Some builders will go out of their way to make you homeowner quite happy while others seem to be of the opinion that if they ignore the homeowner's complaints long enough the homeowner will eventually tired of complaining and give up. This is an area where your real estate professional can assist and provide some insight. One point to consider when you may need to sell your new construction home within the first two or three years after you bought, you may want to consider buying a resale home. If the builder continues to build new homes in your neighborhood, it can be difficult for you to sell your home because the builder may be offering incentives that you as a homeowner are not able to compete with. And of course, don't forget that with a new construction home, you will have the added responsibility and expense of purchasing window coverings and installing the appliances, backyard landscaping, and fencing. Depending on the size of your home and your backyard, this can add thousands of dollars to the cost of acquiring your new home.

Regardless of whether you decide to purchase a new construction home or a re-sale home you should be represented. The sales agent at the builder.s sales office works for the builder and represents the builder, not you, the consumer. To put yourself on an even playing field you should have a Realtor looking out for your best interests. Since most builders welcome Realtors and pay their fees, it makes sense to have your Realtor on your side. Your Realtor can assist you in understanding the building process; help you choose the builder options that will provide the most appreciation and value and that are best suited to your needs and tastes. Your Realtor will also know what sets one builder apart from another. Some builders are known for quality, others for low price. Some builders make a great use of space and others always have cutting edge features. The financial strength of the builder and their reputation after the sale is another very important factor, and your Realtor can help you in this area as well. Your Realtor will accompany you when you write the contract and at the construction walk-thrus, giving you the advantage of their knowledge and expertise, as well as another set of eyes to spot any items that need to be corrected during the construction process. Your Realtor will also be there with you at closing, to review your closing documents and to answer any questions you may have. For these reasons and a host of others it is always wise to have your Realtor represent you when buying a new construction or a re-sale home. Most people think the prices of all new homes are fixed like the price of milk at the store. In the lower price ranges this may be true, but this is not necessarily true in the higher price ranges. This can be an area that your Realtor can negotiate for you. It may take the form of free upgrades, changes in floor plans, special financing or a premium lot that should have sold for more money. While the builder needs to be fair to previous buyers, your Realtor may be able to strike a better deal for you than you could. Everything in a new construction home is under warranty for a minimum of one year. This is sometimes called a .door to door. warranty or a .builders one year warranty.. It means that everything in the home is covered for one full year. Many of the structural components of the home will come with a two-year warranty. These are typically items such as a furnace, air conditioner, water heater and plumbing. Beyond that there are number of builders that offer a .10 year structural" warranty. This is either in the form of and insurance policy purchased by the builder on behalf of the buyer or the builder.s self-insurance. The 10 year warranty insures the foundation against defects for the first 10 years of the homes life. You will want to know in advance what is covered under your builders warranty and you will want to have a written copy of the warranty to read and review. Take into consideration that a large national builder will probably be able to offer more comprehensive coverage than a small local builder. On a re-sale home you can purchase something known as a "one year home warranty". This is an insurance policy that insures certain components of the home such as the heating, electrical, ventilating, and plumbing systems. If any covered item fails during the term of the policy the company will repair or replace the failed component for a minor deductible. The "one-year home warranty" can be purchased by the buyer, the seller, or it can be split between the buyer and the seller. Typically the cost of this type of warranty does not exceed $300.00. If a failed furnace would create a major financial catastrophe, it may be wise to consider the purchase of a "one-year home warranty" when purchasing a re-sale home. Whether a new construction or a resale home is in your future you will want to talk to a reputable lender before you get too far into the house hunting process. You will want to know how much of a payment you can afford and more importantly how much of a payment you will be comfortable with. While many builders offer financing, the rate may not be as good as you the rate you could get from a private lender. If you are purchasing new construction, you may want to consider getting your rate locked in since it may be many months before you actually close on your new home. There are numerous lenders that offer this type of loan program. Your Realtor can help you find a good lender. Again, whether your purchase is new construction or re-sale, get all agreements in writing. If it is not in writing it may not happen. It would be a terrible disappointment to think that you are getting the upgraded hardwood floors, only to find that you are really getting the standard vinyl. Make sure all verbal agreements are in writing. The purchase of a home is one of the largest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime, and there are many things to consider when deciding whether a new construction or a resale home is right for you. Sit down and talk to your Realtor about your questions and concerns, needs and desires. Your Realtor will be happy to show you both resale and new construction and will be able to provide insight to help you make the right decision.

Neptune Beach

The newest and smallest of the Beaches neighborhoods, Neptune Beach is approximately 2.5 square miles in area. The city of Neptune Beach is a community of approximately 7,500 located between Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville Beach. The primary focus of the community is to protect the residential nature of the city and to maintain a high quality of life. Neptune Beach public schools are highly regarded.


Convenience and location make Jacksonville's Southside a popular place to live. Centrally located, the Southside is bordered by Arlington to the north and east, St. Johns County to the south and San Marco and I-95 to the west. This is literally the southernmost area of urban Jacksonville and is in the middle of all other Jacksonville communities. Surrounded by San Jose, Arlington, Mandarin and the Beaches, Southside has the area's largest grouping of apartment communities. Many new developments are less than a year old. Many Jacksonville residents may think of the Southside as predominantly new development. This perception is understandable. Growth in the area over the last two decades has been rapid and well publicized. Neighborhoods range from working class, single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes to upscale gated and golf communities with many amenities. The area is home to a mix of architectural styles such as bungalow, contemporary, Western ranch, Tudor, traditional, farmhouse, Cape Cod, Colonial, French country, Mediterranean, Spanish, Victorian and brownstone. The city maintains an extensive network of parks all over the Southside including neighborhood, preservation, and community parks. Various parks offer a mix of playgrounds, swimming pools, trails, picnic and cooking areas, sports and multi-use fields, lighted tennis courts, concession areas and community centers. Commuting, shopping and recreation are convenient. Residents enjoy local golf courses, abundant dining and entertainment, grand shopping centers like Tinseltown and St. Johns Town Center, and easy access to the beaches via J. Turner Butler Boulevard.


Mandarin is situated in the southwest corner of Duval County. Bordered by the St. Johns River to the west and Julington Creek to the South, this quiet, suburban community extends as far north as Baymeadows Road and east to Philips Highway. In the latter part of the 1800s, Mandarin was the summer home to author Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote at length about the area with which she had fallen in love. In her book, Palmetto Leaves, readers are given a glimpse of life in 19th century Mandarin where she described in detail the natural endowments of the area. Today, the place where she spent her summers overlooking the St. Johns River is a destination for history buffs, along with the historic post office and museum at Walter Jones Historical Park. Historic significance is not the only asset Mandarin offers. Mandarin has been a popular family community for years. Quality education is a priority and real estate experts agree that Mandarin has excellent public and private schools. The community has several parks, marinas and more waterfront views than any other area in Jacksonville. Local residents enjoy Walter Jones Historical Park, Mandarin Regional Park, Losco Regional Park, Chuck Rogers Park, Flynn Park and Burnett Park.

San Marco

Another historical area, San Marco is famous for its curved streets which show off trees and scenic vistas. Bounded by Interstate 95, Philips Highway and Greenridge Road, San Marco sits on the banks of the St. John's River and originally was part of an 1818 Spanish land grant, the 350-acre parcel purchased by William McKay in 1836 and became known as Magnolia Plantation. A series of property transactions and a devastating fire in 1901 brought unprecedented development to San Marco. Telfair Stockton and William Pitkin were an integral part of the concept and character of San Marco. Combining European architecture and culture with what at that time was state-of-the-art suburban planning, these two important developers established the area in a way unique to Jacksonville at that time. The central part of San Marco with its grand square patterned after St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, and a fountain presided over by kingly lion sculptures have remained a focal point. The first residences were completed behind the square in the Marco Lake area and boasted homes in a variety of opulent styles, including Mediterranean Revival, Tudor, Georgian and Colonial. Although some have been refurbished and somewhat changed over the century, these homes retain the elegance and grace their builders intended. Many homes are within walking distance to a brick-paved road which leads to trendy shops, theaters and restaurants. Schools here are among the most respected. Two prominent medical facilities and several medical offices are right here.


Arlington has abundant waterfront property, surrounded by the St. Johns on the west and north and the Intracoastal on the east. Fort Caroline National Park overlooks the site of a former colony of French Huguenots. Jacksonville University, Jones College and a small airfield are located in Arlington. There are many apartment complexes; homes come in all styles and price ranges. Arlington has easy access to schools, churches and downtown.

Fort Caroline

Fort Caroline is located 15 miles east of downtown Jacksonville on the southern shore of the St. Johns River. It's a glimpse of old Florida with breathtaking views of the river, rolling terrain and stately oaks. Families that live in Fort Caroline take advantage of the natural surroundings by hiking, kayaking and fishing.


Northside of Jacksonville runs roughly from 20th Street north to the county border and from Interstate 295 on the west almost to the Atlantic Ocean. This is a vast area with waterways, new housing developments, and attractions, including the Anheuser Busch Brewery, the expanding Jacksonville Zoological Gardens, Huguenot Memorial Park and Little Talbot Island Park. Growth is due in part to the opening of the Dames Point Bridge in 1989, the expansion of the airport, and business activity in Imeson Industrial Park and the International Tradeport. North Jacksonville has convenient shopping, restaurants, medical facilities, schools, churches, and residential communities, and is only minutes from Downtown.


There is a renewed interest in living in the historic district of Springfield. Established in 1869, it is the city's first and, therefore, oldest subdivision. The neighborhood grew into one of the wealthiest after the Great Fire of 1901 forced many of Jacksonville's prominent citizens to relocate there. This building surge produced a variety of architectural styles that fill the area from Queen Anne, Colonial Revival and the Stick style to Prairie School, Bungalow and Mediterranean. In fact, the city's most influential architect in the first portion of the 20th century, John Klutho, resided there. Today, Springfield is experiencing a new resurgence as historic structures are adapted for modern lifestyles and new residents are embracing the concept of a real neighborhood. Many are drawn to the charm of homes that feature wrap-around porches, grand staircases and warm fireplaces. These homes are being bought and restored to their original glory. The city has begun a $25 million renovation project completely revitalizing Eighth Street and Main Street with new roadways, sidewalks, traffic lights, utilities and foliage. Parks and recreational facilities comprise almost 5 percent of Springfield's total land area.


The Westside is a large community starting just north of I-10 to Clay County, bordered on the east by I-295 and stretching west to Baker County and east to Riverside. Four small incorporated towns make up the Westside: Baldwin, Marietta, Maxville and Whitehouse. Other neighborhoods on this side of Jacksonville are Argyle, Riverside, Avondale, Ortega, Ortega Forest, Ortega Hills, Lakeshore, Venetia, Cedar Hills, Hyde Grove, Murray Hill and Normandy. Much of the area is wooded, offering hunting and outdoor activities. Both NAS Jacksonville and NAS Cecil Field are located here, as well as Herlong Airport, a small, general aviation fixed base operation. Homes and apartments are available in all sizes and price ranges. Many homes have been in families for generations. The area is close to downtown and has easy access to interstates, the airport and Beaches.


Argyle is a relatively new neighbood on the westside that saw rapid growth in the mid-1980s. Originally ranch land, Argyle has become a popular and affordable choice for middle class families settling in Jacksonville.


Bordered to the west by Highway 17 and the river to the east, between Interstate 10 to the north and the Ortega River to the south, these are well-established, historic neighborhoods on the west bank of the St. Johns River. In the early 1900s, Riverside Avenue had earned a reputation for being one of the most beautiful streets in America. Much of that distinctive architecture remains today. Riverside has become an attractive spot for young professionals who want a short commute to work. Homes include modest duplexes to elegantly restored historic residences and waterfront estates. Riverside is also a medical hub with the St. Vincent's Medical Complex and private medical offices scattered along the river. Avondale is a historic neighborhood with small boutique-type shopping, quaint streets and small-town charm. Known for the quiet, tree-lined streets, Avondale is home to hundreds of quaint bungalows and large gracious homes that retain their original gentility of the 1920s. Identifiable building styles include Prairie School, Art Deco, Classical Revival and Craftsman, among others. There are five public schools located within walking distance of both neighborhoods. There are over a dozen parks with tennis courts, softball fields, and paths for jogging, walking or biking. Its close proximity to downtown makes it a great location for short commutes.


A historic settlement just south of Riverside, Ortega is bordered on three sides by water - the St. John's River, the Cedar River and the Ortega River. Bordered on the east by the St. Johns River, to the north and west by the Ortega River and south of Riverside, this community is a peninsula on the river. Here history and nature meet in this neighborhood characterized by rivers, parks, tree-shaded home sites and an eclectic collection of spectacular architectural styles. Many antebellum homes are located right on the river and the area includes hundreds of Southern Style mansions and turn-of-the-century homes. Mediterranean Revival homes sit side-by-side with Colonial or Tudor homes. The area's schools also have a fine reputation. Convenient private schools, area churches, and small parks along the river contribute to Ortega's charm. The Florida Yacht Club and Timuquana Country Club offer private social and recreational opportunities. Worth Magazine ranked Ortega 46th among the nation's top 50 wealthiest neighborhoods. The area offers just about any style of architecture and homes range in size from average sites to stately, sprawling estates. The 1920's Ortega River Bridge is one of the oldest functioning drawbridges.

Clay County/Orange Park

With an extraordinary natural setting as a backdrop, high-rated schools, copious neighborhood amenities and lucrative job centers, Clay County has fast become one of the area's top destinations for home buyers. Some of the area's established communities include Fleming Island Plantation, Eagle Harbor, OakLeaf Plantation and other neighborhoods across the county's 601 square miles including the municipalities of Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Penney Farms and Keystone Heights. Orange Park is home to St. Johns River Community College, one of the region's major shopping malls, the Orange Park Kennel Club, country clubs, golf courses and medical facilities. Waterways are plentiful and easily accessible for boating, fishing, kayaking or jet skiing.

St. Johns County

St. John's County has become one of Florida's major growth areas. St. Johns County Public Schools were recently named by School Match, the country's largest school selection consulting firm as ranking among the top 14% of all of the nations school districts. Moreover, families are moving to St. John's County because of the natural beauty and the accessibility to many businesses and centers of employment. Its close proximity to premier shopping, grocery and specialty stores, beaches, business centers, marinas, schools, airports and family entertainment makes it one of the most sought communities in Jacksonville.

St. Johns County/Fruit Cove and Switzerland

South of Duval County, Switzerland and Fruit Cove are nestled along the east bank of the St. Johns River in St. Johns County. This area is a bedroom community for Jacksonville and St. Augustine. It is a prime location for single-family residences in a variety of subdivisions. The lack of commercial development and the preservation of the scenic Bartram Trail (Highway 13) are appealing to many residents.

St. Johns County/Ponte Vedra Beach and Sawgrass

Located in the northeast corner of St. Johns County, south of Jacksonville Beach along A1A, the community stretches along five miles of the Atlantic Ocean, aside carefully preserved wetlands. Many new apartment communities have been built in this area in the last few years. St. Johns County is the home of PGA TOUR and the ATP Association of Tennis Professionals headquarters. Annual tournaments attract people from around the world. There are more than 150 holes of golf and 60 tennis courts. Public beach access is limited.

St. Johns County/St. Augustine

The nation's oldest city, St. Augustine was founded by the Spanish in 1565, some 55 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, and 42 years before the English colonized Jamestown. Rich with history, the city has more than 50 attractions, including the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, the Spanish Quarter, the Fountain of Youth and Flagler College, and cobblestone streets. Single-family homes, condominiums and apartments are available. Features include fine dining, cafe-style eating, shopping and touring. On the outskirts of town are shopping malls and retail centers.

Nassau County/Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach

Just north of Jacksonville on I-95 is Nassau County, where Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach are located. This area is known around the globe as a resort destination with exclusive oceanfront properties and intracoastal waterfront property. Year-round residents have a variety of single family homes, apartments and condominiums to choose from at varying prices. Downtown Fernandina is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for late Victorian architecture preservation. The area features bed and breakfast inns, restaurants and recreational activities, historic Centre Street and Fort Clinch State Park. Fernandina is the home of the annual Shrimp Festival. Amelia Island Plantation hosts the annual Bausch & Lomb Championship tennis tournament. Visit the world famous Ritz-Carlton Resort or take a day cruise from downtown Fernandina.

Community Profiles County Fast Facts
Amelia Island
Fernandina Beach

Resort homes and condos to historic Victorians
Exclusive Amelia Island resort area combined with charming historic Fernandina Beach
Home sizes range from 1,400 to 4,000 square feet
Home prices range from $100,000 to over $1 million

Arlington Duval

Public school region IV
Older 1950s houses to waterfront homes
Easy access to downtown, shopping and the beaches
Home sizes range from 1,000 to 3,000 square feet
Home prices range from $45,000 to $500,000


Public school region III
Historic, charming homes in old fashioned neighborhoods with local shopping and culture
Convenient to downtown Jacksonville
Home sizes range from 900 to 4,500 square feet
Home prices range from $80,000 to over $1 million

Atlantic Beach
Neptune Beach
Jacksonville Beach

Public school region IV
Small houses and condos to beachfront estates
Home sizes range from 1,000 to 5,000 square feet
Home prices range from $90,000 to over $1 million

Ponte Vedra Beach St. Johns

Prestigious beach community
Newer single family homes and condos
Home sizes range from 1,300 to 10,000 square feet
Home prices range from $100,000 to over $1 million

San Jose

Public school region IV
Single family homes built in 1960s and 1970s, some riverfront
Home sizes range from 1,000 to 4,000 square feet
Home prices range from $50,000 to over $1 million

Intracoastal West Duval

Public school region IV
Newer single family homes; fast growing area; some waterfront
Home sizes range from 1,000 to 8,000 square feet
Home prices range from $70,000 to over $1 million

Mandarin St. Johns

Public school region IV
Single family homes built in 1970s-1990s; some riverfront
Popular family area
Home sizes range from 1,500 to 4,000 square feet
Home prices range from $100,000 to over $1 million

North Jacksonville Duval

Public school region I
Older homes and new construction; fast growing area; some riverfront
Home sizes range from 1,100 to 5,000 square feet
Home prices range from $50,000 to $1 million

Orange Park Clay

Homes built in 1970s, 1980s and new construction; some waterfront
Convenient to Mandarin and Westside
Home sizes range from 1,000 to 4,000 square feet
Home prices range from $60,000 to $650,000

San Marco Duval

Public school region V
Charming historic area with local shopping and culture along the St. Johns River
Easy access to downtown
Home sizes range from 1,200 to 6,000 square feet
Home prices range from $80,000 to $1.5 million

Southside Duval

Public school region IV & V
Diverse area with wide range of housing, from 1950s houses to exclusive gated communities
Home sizes range from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet
Home prices range from $50,000 to $1.5 million

Fruit Cove
Julington Creek
St. Johns

Newly developed, popular area just south of Jacksonville
Home sizes range from 1,500 to 5,000 square feet
Home prices range from $100,000 to over $1 million

Westside Duval

Public school region II & III
Convenient to local US Navy bases and Orange Park
Some riverfront properties available
Home sizes range from 1,000 to 3,500 square feet
Home prices range from $50,000 to $350,000

As you can see, there is a place for everyone in the greater Jacksonville area. Jacksonville has a lot to offer and I can assist you on your tour of one of America's fastest growing cities. Our neighborhoods offer a variety of options with opportunities to meet everyone’s needs. We have several exclusive neighborhoods highlighting grand estate homes, golf courses, manned gates and more. Lot sizes range from zero lot lines to 5-plus acre parcels if you prefer. Call or e-mail me for more information.

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