At 840 square miles, Jacksonville is the largest city by landmass in the country’s 48 contiguous states, but it’s not your typical large city. Instead, it’s the sum of dozens of unique communities and neighborhoods that range from urban to rural.
Like any place to live or work, Jacksonville has pros and cons, many of which its residents may classify differently depending on their likes and dislikes. In general, though, most residents and visitors can agree on the same set of plusses and minuses when it comes to living in this large city in the South.
The expert local Jacksonville movers at MoveDay offer what you need to know about the city’s ups and downs if you’re planning to relocate here or are just starting your research on topics such as Jacksonville neighborhoods or moving companies in Jacksonville.
Of the tens of thousands of people who move to Jacksonville each year, it’s probably safe to assume that many wanted to leave their snow shovels behind. Northeast Florida’s coastal area has plenty of sunshine in the winter, with high temperatures in the mid-60s and lows in the mid-40s. Freezes do happen, but they’re rare and usually not severe.
The area’s local waters are one of its main attractions and the center of its outdoor activities. Jacksonville has more than 20 miles of beaches, the state’s longest section of the St. Johns River, and a 40-mile-long Intracoastal Waterway. Add the channels and canals that are part of the waterway system, and there are more than a thousand miles of navigable water here.
Lower Cost of Living in Jacksonville, FL
Compared to national averages, Jacksonville’s housing costs and overall cost of living are lower than cities with comparable populations. The median rent is slightly above the national average, but most residents can buy homes.
Both I-95 and I-10 run through Jacksonville, making it easier to get to nearby cities. Drive times are relatively short to Orlando and Miami and the college towns of Gainesville and Tallahassee.
Jacksonville also has an international airport with direct flights to major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago.
For day trips, Jacksonville can’t be beat. Some of the best include Amelia Island to the north, St. Augustine to the south, and state parks in every direction.
With its sprawling size, Jacksonville has neighborhoods of every size and style. Some of the most popular choices are the laid-back suburbs of Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach; historical areas such as San Marco and Riverside/Avondale; charming older communities such as Springfield and Murray Hill; and the Northside and Westside neighborhoods where it’s easier to find room to spread out.
As with its neighborhoods, you’ll find all types of housing in Jacksonville. High-rise condos downtown and on the oceanfront, established areas with a mix of old and new, and brand-new planned communities with single-family homes are just a few of your choices.
Although Jacksonville’s typical winter weather is a plus, the summers may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Summers are long here and, at their height, can be oppressive. The high temperatures, which hover around 90 degrees every day in July, feel even hotter due to the constantly high humidity levels. Unless you’re on or in the water, you may decide to spend many of your summer days indoors.
Due to its location on the Florida coast, Jacksonville is often in the National Hurricane Center’s cone of probable hurricane or tropical storm tracks. While it’s been decades since the area took a direct hit from a hurricane, Jacksonville has experienced the damaging effects of several hurricanes and tropical storms (and the flooding they can bring) in recent years. New residents need to become familiar with the steps they should take to protect their property and know their evacuation routes when severe weather threatens.
With the above-mentioned severe weather to blame, homeowners’ insurance costs are soaring in Florida. If you’re buying a home in Jacksonville, investigate which flood zone you’re in and whether you’ll need a separate flood insurance policy. Even when it does cover wind damage from hurricanes, homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover floods or storm surges, nor do renters insurance policies.
Unlike cities of similar size, Jacksonville has limited choices in public transportation. It does have extensive bus service and the usual ride services such as Lyft and Uber, but there aren’t any passenger rail options that let you easily move around town. You’ll definitely need a car here, and you’ll also need to prepare for long commutes, heavy traffic, and delays due to ongoing road construction.
You should also be aware that Jacksonville ranks in the top 10 most dangerous American cities for pedestrians. There are a few attractive, walkable neighborhoods in Jacksonville, but the city’s streets give cars the lion’s share of space and access.
Jacksonville residents don’t earn as much on average as people in other large American cities. If you’re moving from your current location in search of a higher salary and want to be in Florida, your chances of finding a higher-paying job are much better in places such as Miami or West Palm Beach.
At MoveDay, we think of every detail to ensure your move is a smooth and affordable process. The pros at MoveDay have you covered with a variety of services to suit any need for your Jacksonville move including full-service packing and unpacking, labor only moving help or if you need to store your belongings safely and securely with MoveDay’s 24/7 video monitoring security.
Our state-of the art facility has a variety of flexible options for any need, including short or long term storage in Jacksonville that will protect delicate items in climate controlled environments!
We know you have your choice of Jacksonville moving companies, so at MoveDay, we go above and beyond to ensure your move is efficient and affordable. We offer complete price transparency with no hidden costs, well-trained and fully vetted moving crews, flexible scheduling, and customized moving services that meet your needs.