Jacksonville, which spans over 840 square miles, is the largest city by land in the continental United States. Sometimes known as Jax, the city got its name from Andrew Jackson, Florida’s military governor in 1821, when the territory became a part of the United States. Jackson was a hero of the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. He was elected the seventh president of the United States in 1828.
Apart from having an illustrious namesake, the city became famous for the Great Fire of 1901, which destroyed most of downtown Jacksonville. It was one of the largest urban fires in the country, on a par with the fires in Chicago in 1871 and in San Francisco in 1906.
Jacksonville Real Estate: The Cost of Living
Jacksonville, home to 972,313 people, is the most populous city in Florida. Despite its size, the city’s cost of living is 3.5% lower than the national average. Food and housing are 14.6% and 12.9% lower than the national average respectively. On top of that, Florida doesn’t impose any income tax, a key reason why many retirees live in the state.
Get to Know Your Neighborhoods
San Marco and Springfield are two of the most attractive neighborhoods for people who want to live close to downtown. San Marco, designed to resemble Piazza San Marco in Venice, is a charming area with great schools and a median home value of $329,718. Springfield, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, offers an array of housing choices. Its median home value is $127,158.
The suburbs of Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach offer a slower pace, but houses in these oceanfront neighborhoods are pricier. Nassau Village and Orange Park are more affordable and close enough to Jacksonville for a reasonable commute.
Plentiful Shopping Options
St. John’s Town Center, which consists of three separate outdoor malls, features hundreds of stores, including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., and Anthropologie. The Avenues Mall boasts 1.1 million square feet of indoor shopping. As an alternative, Five Points, San Marco, and Avondale cater to people looking for vintage and antique shops and specialty boutiques.
Pleasant Weather Year-Round
The city is not as susceptible to hurricane landfalls unlike other cities in Florida. Hurricane Dora, the storm that damaged Jacksonville the most, dates back to 1964. In the hot season, you can expect temperatures of 75° to above 85°F. In the cold season, temperatures range from 46° to 65°.