“Crossing the ditch” to house hunt? Why Jacksonville Beach is a buyer’s paradise…

Ann & Jeanie
Published on April 10, 2016

“Crossing the ditch” to house hunt? Why Jacksonville Beach is a buyer’s paradise…

Have you been thinking about relocating “across the ditch”? You might just be made for Jacksonville Beach if you already use this term for the Intracoastal Waterway and if not, you soon will. In today’s “Neighborhood Notes” we’re talking about buying a home in Jacksonville Beach!


Most people relocate (or stay) in the Greater Jacksonville area to escape from the hustle and bustle of a bigger city, or to warm up after decades of living in the land of snow shovels and goose feather jackets. Regardless of your motivation for relocation, Jacksonville Beach homes will fulfill all the fantasies that come with coastal living.


You immediately feel the shift from “city” or “suburbs” to bona fide “beach town” the second you cross the bridge in to Jacksonville Beach. As you drive down First Street you’ll be dodging surfer dudes with sandy boards under their arms, tricked out beach cruisers and maybe even a shirtless guy on a motorized beer cooler. This is a little beach town with a big, yet laid back, personality and the beauty of it is that it attracts demographics and housing options of all shapes and sizes.


Third Street is the major road (if it can even be called that) running North and South down Jacksonville Beach. To the North, the much more quiet and residential Neptune and Atlantic Beaches, and to the South, Ponte Vedra Beach with its sprawling homes and manicured golf courses. Along the coastline in Jacksonville Beach (on the East side of Third Street) you’ll find amenity-filled high rise condominiums, mostly new builds within the past decade or so. When the popularity of Jax Beach was on the rise, so were the buildings. Nestled between these soaring luxury buildings are Key West worthy beach bungalows of all colors and renovation potential. I think it’s these homes that give Jacksonville Beach its charm and while some are brand new and others of the historic variety, they are so charming with their porches, wood siding and tin roofs. For the HGTV-inspired “fixer upper” buyer, welcome home. There are many older properties up for grabs, especially the “Florida style” bungalows needing lots of TLC. Cue up the Jimmy Buffet songs…


On the West side of Third Street you’ll be greeted with more established neighborhoods – mostly single family one-story homes built in the 1970s or 1980s. This side of Jacksonville Beach doesn’t have as much foot or bike traffic as the East side of Third Street (and not near the people watching or entertainment value) but you’re still just a hop, skip and jump away from your feet being firmly planted in the sand. Because the foundations of these homes are in a little better condition than the truly historic homes on the East side of Third Street, these are great for the less aggressive or experienced weekend warrior that only wants to commit to some cosmetic updates.


Regardless of what side of the street you’re on, you’re all at the beach! Saturdays can be spent riding your beach cruiser up to Atlantic Beach for some grouper and grits at North Beach Fish Camp or some live jazz and martinis at Ocean 60. Maybe you want to take the kids fishing on the Jacksonville Beach Pier followed by pizzas at Mellow Mushroom. This crowd finds any excuse to throw a party, so pull up a lawn chair for the big “Opening of the Beaches” parade come late April, or pull out that picnic basket you’ve never used for a moonlight movie at the Jacksonville Beach Pavilion come Summer. The possibilities are as endless as the sun-filled, beautiful, breezy days.


One thing you’ll quickly learn about Jacksonville Beach residents is that they don’t like to leave Jacksonville Beach. While this little beach has a bit of a cult following and a true community culture, it makes for a coastal town with everything you need (did someone say Home Depot, Target AND Trader Joe’s?). Because of all the new builds, restaurants, and entertainment going in at Jacksonville Beach you also really won’t have to worry about an investment in this hood. Life can’t get much better than this, can it? I can’t wait to show you your new home in Jacksonville Beach. Surf’s up!


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