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Sun, Sand & Lower Cost of Living: Why Jacksonville is Attracting Arizona Buyers

Sun, Sand & Lower Cost of Living: Why Jacksonville is Attracting Arizona Buyers

Sun, Sand & Lower Cost of Living: Why Jacksonville is Attracting Arizona Buyers

 

Arizona and Florida, both states are known as sunshine states. While Arizona boasts a desert landscape, Florida is all about ocean breeze. Just similar to the contrasting landscape, life in both states differ in many ways. Many Arizonians are seeking a fresh start by relocating to Florida, and Jacksonville, being the most populous city in the state,  attracts a majority of them. Being located in northeast Florida, Jacksonville is one of the most affordable cities in the state. Beyond affordability, there are many factors contributing to the shift of homebuyers’ interest from Arizona to Jacksonville.

Reasons Why Jacksonville is Attracting Arizona Buyers


  • Lower Cost of Living

The cost of living in Jacksonville is 7% lower than the national average. While in Florida housing costs in coastal areas like Miami or Fort Lauderdale are considered expensive, Jacksonville provides a moderate-priced housing inventory. Housing cost in Arizona seems cheaper than in Florida. However, large cities like Phoenix boast a higher cost. 

Comparing the living cost between Jacksonville and large cities in Arizona, The cost of living in Phoenix is almost 7.7% higher than in Jacksonville. The cost of groceries in Jacksonville is significantly lower than in nearby major cities in Florida like Tampa or Orlando. On average, grocery costs in Jacksonville are 2% lower than the national average.  Transportation costs in Jacksonville are 17% lower than the national average, the availability of public transportation makes it affordable. As for utility, the cost hovers around the national average with summer months requiring residents to pay more utility bills because of the increased use of air conditioning.

 

Here’s a comparison of the cost of living in Jacksonville and the national average:

 

Category National Average Jacksonville, FL Difference
Housing $400,000 13% Lower -13%
Utilities $150 (Average monthly cost) ≈ Equal ± 0%
Groceries $500 (Average monthly cost) ≈ Equal ± 2%
Transportation $300 (Average monthly cost) 17% Lower -17%

 

  • Moderate Climate 

Arizona is notorious for extreme heat during summer, especially in Phoenix and Tucson. Many Arizonians prefer moving to Florida to escape the scorching heat. They might find some respite in Florida’s subtropical climate with hot and humid summers and moderately cold winters. 

Arizona mostly has two distinct seasons- summer and winter. In Florida, residents can enjoy a well-balanced climate year-round with four distinct seasons- spring, summer, fall, and winter. However, Florida is prone to tropical hurricanes and storms during hurricane season which typically ranges from June to November. Those who are not used to the storm surge and floods may prefer to live in inland areas of Jacksonville that are less affected by tropical storms.

  • Proximity to the Beach

Florida is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the US, its pristine beaches are a big draw for vacationers and retirees alike. While Arizona does have many beautiful lakes, rivers, and sandy shores nothing compares to the vast Atlantic. Jacksonville with its spectacular beaches is a top moving destination for Arizonians who want a change of scenery from all the desert landscape. 

If you are looking to live near the pristine Jacksonville beaches yet enjoy all the amenities downtown Jacksonville has to offer, Seven Pines, Jacksonville, FL might be your best bet. Located between downtown and stunning Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Jacksonville Beach this master-planned community is perfect for Arizonians who crave a coastal lifestyle. It will take merely a 15-minute drive from Seven Pines to enjoy the sun, sand, and water activities whenever you desire. 

  • No State Income Tax 

Living in a state without income tax is highly desirable for many, especially those who have a higher income than the average. Having no state income tax means you will have more disposable income either to save for retirement, to invest, or to have a more comfortable lifestyle. This attracts many retirees to Florida as there’s no state income tax and they can stretch their limited retirement savings without worrying about taxes.

With a flat rate income tax of 2.5% and sales tax of 5.6%, an average Arizonian has to spend 8.1% of their income on tax. In Florida, combining the sales tax and other local taxes, the effective tax rate will be 6.5%. For those who want a lower tax burden, moving to Jacksonville, Florida might be a better choice.

  • Growing Job Market

Wall Street Journal has ranked Jacksonville as the 5th hottest job market in the United States because of its impressive job growth rate. Jacksonville’s success as a thriving business hub can be partly attributed to the no state income tax scenario. Many businesses relocate to Florida to take the opportunity of no state income tax. This ultimately boosts the local economy by creating more employment opportunities. 

The economic sector here is dominated by bioscience, healthcare, and tech industries. With the business-friendly environment, Jacksonville is predicted to create 14% more job opportunities in the coming years. Those working in those booming sectors may consider relocating to Jacksonville to take advantage of the job growth.

  • Thriving Real Estate Scenario 

Jacksonville offers a diverse real estate landscape catering to various budgets and lifestyles. The city’s market demonstrates a healthy mix of options:

  • Mid-Range Affordability: Suburbs like Seven Pines provide attractive options for townhomes and some single-family homes in the more accessible price range. This suggests a market that welcomes first-time homebuyers and those seeking value.
  • Stable Investment Options: Jacksonville’s range of single-family homes in established neighborhoods like Mandarin and Riverside indicates a robust market with consistent appeal for families and investors alike.
  • Condos & Coastal Living: The condo/apartment market caters to those desiring a low-maintenance lifestyle, as well as potential investors seeking rentals near the vibrant Downtown area or the beaches.
  • Luxury Potential: Neighborhoods like Ponte Vedra Beach and Ortega showcase Jacksonville’s high-end market, suggesting a thriving economy and demand for premium properties.

 

Jacksonville’s diverse real estate scene reflects a growing city with opportunities for different types of buyers and investors.

Currently, Jacksonville has a steady real estate market with a balanced inventory to cater to the demand. The house price is also experiencing moderate growth with little to no major fluctuations. With the continued steady growth homebuyers may expect their property value to appreciate over time.

On a final note, Jacksonville offers a compelling combination of affordability, tax benefits, job growth, climate, and lifestyle that can be attractive to Arizonians. Life in Jacksonville is also very different from living in Arizona. In addition to the affordability, tax benefit or favorable climate, many may prefer Jacksonville’s coastal lifestyle over living in Arizona for personal reasons. Whether you want to trade the desert landscapes for a soothing coastal life, you should consider all the pros and cons before taking the leap.

Arizona and Florida, both states are known as sunshine states. While Arizona boasts a desert landscape, Florida is all about ocean breeze. Just similar to the contrasting landscape, life in both states differ in many ways. Many Arizonians are seeking a fresh start by relocating to Florida, and Jacksonville, being the most populous city in the state,  attracts a majority of them. Being located in northeast Florida, Jacksonville is one of the most affordable cities in the state. Beyond affordability, there are many factors contributing to the shift of homebuyers’ interest from Arizona to Jacksonville.