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Renter's Guide to Jacksonville
Jacksonville rests comfortably in northern Florida on the banks of the St. Johns River, one of the few rivers in the world that actually flows north. Known as the City of Parks, Jacksonville residents comprise the youngest city population in Florida with an average age of just 35 years.
Living in Jacksonville, residents are keenly aware of the city’s longstanding culture of film and music. In 1956, Jacksonville hosted one of Elvis Presley’s first concerts in the historic Florida Theater. Since then, Jacksonville has helped launch careers of such illustrious music legends as Southern Rock, The Allman Brothers Band and many others.
With 840 sq. miles, Jacksonville is the largest city in the US in terms of landmass. Just 140 miles from Orlando, FL, and 138.91 miles from Savannah, GA, 30 major cities now have direct flights to Jacksonville.
With an average of 221 sunny days per year and lovely blue skies year-round, the weather in Jacksonville in ideal. The city has a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers and mild winters. The coldest month is January with an average low of 42.5. The hottest month is July when the average high temperature is 90 degrees.
Jacksonville, FL Demographics
- Total Population867,313
Female 419,756Male 447,557
- Median Age35.8
Cost of Living in Jacksonville, FL
One of the appealing features of Jacksonville is the cost of living. For example, seniors can ride the bus for free while non-seniors can purchase regular fare for $1.50 or Express bus fare for $2.00 per use. The basic trolley fare is $1.50. Monthly all-day passes are available at just $50.00.
Dining costs offer very affordable dining. Three course meals for two at mid-range Jacksonville restaurants average about $50.00. A reliable bottle of wine costs about $15.00. An inexpensive meal for one in Jacksonville costs about $14.00.
Jacksonville FL utility costs are also favorable. The cost of electricity, heating, water and trash for a typical 915 sq. ft. apartment runs about $152.97 per month. Internet service costs about $59.35.
Average Rent in Jacksonville, FL
- Jacksonville, FL Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,100 /mo
Jacksonville, FL Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0001%
Jacksonville, FL Rent Trends
|Nov / 2016||Mar / 2017||Jul / 2017||Nov / 2017||Mar / 2018||Jul / 2018||Nov / 2018||Mar / 2019||Jul / 2019||Nov / 2019||Dec / 2019|
Average rent is projected to grow by 4% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Living in Jacksonville
There are many reasons to live in Jacksonville FL, including the cost of living, diverse and affordable college-level education and the weather. JAX residents cherish easy access to the beaches and the active nightlife as well as the city’s rich tradition of music and film. In the early 1900’s, more than 30 silent film studios adorned Jacksonville which was also home to the first Technicolor film, “The Gulf Between.”
But, some residents cite heavy traffic and insufficient coverage of public transport as reasons not to move to Jacksonville. Permanent residents suggest that “sprawl” and the need for a car are negatives of living in Jacksonville FL.
Things to do in Jacksonville
As a truly historic destination, Jacksonville residents and guests enjoy plentiful attractions and numerous points of interest. As one of the country’s top 20 cities for art, museums like the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, home to more than 800 works, and the historic Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens, the largest fine arts museum in NE Florida, pave the way to Jacksonville’s prodigious cultural experience. When the animals and gardens at the Jacksonville Zoo are added to the mix, there is truly something for every individual, couple and family in Jacksonville.
Children never tire of the city’s parks where dogs enjoy abundant walking trails and cyclists and joggers have hundreds of miles of maintained paths at their fingertips.
A popular entertainment destination for people of all ages, The Jacksonville Landing offers visitors and locals 126,000 sq. ft. of shopping, clubs, cafes, and museums in the heart of downtown. It hosts approx. 600 events each year including the much-awaited Florida/Georgia Weekend Celebrations, the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, New Year’s Eve, and TaxSlayer Bowl Celebrations, St. Patrick’s Day, and July 4th.
Want to enjoy some amazing views of the St. Johns River? Try one of the many restaurants at The Landing, all open seven-days-a-week for lunch and dinner.
Downtown Jacksonville is abuzz with fun things to do, including in The Elbow where Thursday nights attract residents and visitors to the Hourglass Pub, Burrito Gallery and the Downtown Cigar Lounge and many others restaurants and pubs that come alive with music, culinary delights and intriguing drink specials.
Jacksonville loves their NFL Jaguars and the city’s close relationship with the PGA Players Championship sets the tone for a legendary golfing culture that sports 1,220 challenging holes inside city limits. Fans love the University of Jacksonville Football team as the Dolphins contend for the Pioneer title every year.
The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, home stadium of the six-time champions the Jacksonville Suns, was opened in 2003.
Jacksonville’s multiple annual events ensure strong tourism and enjoyment by locals. The keystone of spring is the Jacksonville Springing the Blues Festival where many blues artists tout their stuff. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Jacksonville World of Nations, and The Great Atlantic Seafood & Music Festival are among other popular spring events. The Jacksonville Beach Summer Jazz Festival keeps Jacksonville’s party going.
First settled by French Huguenots in 1562, Jacksonville fell under Spanish and British rule very early in the city’s history. Jacksonville’s culture is more diverse due to the presence of strong African-American influences that contribute to Jacksonville’s dynamic tradition of cultural diversity.
Jacksonville features the largest collection of urban parks in the US. At the top of things to do in Jacksonville has to be the 80,000 acres of parkland that includes two national parks, seven state parks, and more than 400 city parks. The City of Parks guarantees quality time for children, couples, families and pets who know how to enjoy the great outdoors.
The Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve offer 46,000 acres of outdoor paradise. Throughout the city’s green spaces dozens of free outdoor activities provide unlimited opportunities for fun.
Jacksonville is especially proud of the Riverwalk that spans the North and South banks of the St. John’s River and provides tourists and business people easy access to Downtown.
St. Johns Town Center is the mall with something for everyone and 150 delightful upscale retail, stores and restaurants to make for exciting shopping. The Avenues offers 1.1 million sq. ft. of retail bargains while River City Marketplace features indoor/outdoor shopping and dining venues with well-known brands like Best Buy, Old Navy and Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Downtown shopping in Jacksonville hosts many local boutiques that thrive with native culture and heritage. The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville storefront is not to be missed!
Employment & Economy
Job growth in Jacksonville FL has expanded steadily since the 2008 Recession when the unemployment rate peaked at more than 10%. However, there are only a few major employers outside the education network. Currently, only three Fortune 500 companies, Winn-Dixie, CSX and Fidelity National Finance are inside city limits. By April 2016, unemployment in Jacksonville was stable at 4.3% with 690,000 persons holding full-time jobs.
Jacksonville, FL Households
- Total Number of Households327,595
Family 205,224Non-family 122,371
Children 98,382No Children 229,213
- Average People Per Household2.59
- Median Household Income$50,555
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,007
Education in Jacksonville FL
The Duval County Public School system (DCPS) includes 197 schools at various levels and is complimented by several prestigious, highly regarded private schools. Budget problems seem to plague the public school system but the North Florida School of Special Education earns high marks from students and parents alike.
At the university and college level, Jacksonville has excellent offerings, including the University of North Florida with nearly 15,000 students, the Florida Community College at Jacksonville with more than 25,000 students, Jacksonville University, home to 3,500 students, and other fine colleges.
Jacksonville, FL Education Statistics
- No High School3%
- Some High School36%
- Some College28%
- Associate Degree9%
- Bachelor Degree17%
- Graduate Degree7%
Tips for Renting in Jacksonville
Renters in Jacksonville FL should carefully consider location. There is strong seasonal and annual demand for single family housing in Jacksonville. The Jacksonville rental market has the diversity to meet rising demand for affordable housing.
As a college town, rentals turn over quickly.
Under Florida law, all tenants are entitled to livable conditions. If tenants discover faulty plumbing, electric, hot water and/or heating service, the landlord is obligated to make repairs, but the tenant should give verbal and written notice of all complaints. Similarly, if the tenant is in violation of the lease, the landlord must provide written notice. Most Jacksonville FL landlords are experienced and aware of their responsibilities.
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