A Senior Guide to House Hunting in Jacksonville

A Senior Guide to House Hunting in Jacksonville

Buying a new house in Jacksonville can be exciting, especially if the purchase launches a new chapter in your retirement adventure. But finding the right home to support independence and quality of life in later years can be daunting, which is one reason to work with an experienced real estate agent. Here are four things to consider as you house hunt in Jacksonville as a senior.

1. Do you need a neighborhood that meets health needs?

Jacksonville is home to numerous hospitals and medical facilities, so you’ll find easy access to professional health care in any neighborhood you choose. But if you want to ensure doctors and other professionals are nearby to manage chronic conditions, you might consider house hunting in the San Marco neighborhood. It’s the home of Baptist Medical Center, which is rated by U.S. News and World Reports as being a high performer in geriatric health care. It’s also one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Jacksonville.

Southside is another area to consider; it’s the home of both Memorial Hospital and the Mayo Clinic’s Jacksonville facility. The suburban lifestyle in this area also makes it easy to enjoy outdoor activities because many homes are in areas with sidewalks, and seniors can take advantage of local gyms and fitness classes, usually at a discount.

2. How much house can you afford?

Seniors living on a retirement budget may need to manage finances with a limited income, so you’ll want to have a good understanding of housing costs and expenses before making an offer. Luckily, Jacksonville has an overall low housing cost — the median home cost in the city is more than $50,000 less than the state average.

Groceries and health costs are also lower in Jacksonville than in other areas, and because seniors can ride city public transit for free, they can save on the more expensive transportation costs associated with the area.

3. What type of abode is right for you?

Once you know where you want to live and how much house you can afford, you can narrow down what type of home is most likely to support you in your retirement years. Seniors may want to look for homes that will make mobility issues easier to handle, such as one-story ranch houses or homes that have wide halls. Consider functional areas, such as the bathroom, as well. A walk-in shower can help you tackle activities of daily living safely and independently in the future. If safety and convenience features, such as tub rails, aren’t already present, think about how hard or expensive an upgrade would be.

Seniors should also think outside the box when house-hunting in Jacksonville. Florida coastal communities, including this city, have an abundance to offer when it comes to retirement-friendly condo and townhouse properties. The benefit of these options is that you can own the home while also taking advantage of community resources to handle maintenance issues such as lawn care.

And for seniors who want to forgo any concern about the care of their retirement home while also enjoying an active, vibrant life in a beautiful setting, senior living communities might be the right choice.

4. What interests do you want to pursue during retirement?

The types of hobbies or activities you want to take up in your golden years may point you in a certain direction when house hunting. For example, if you’re interested in a hobby such as woodworking or sculpting, you’ll want a home that provides the space for this work. Consider looking for a house with an extra bedroom or office or a separate building in the backyard. Jacksonville temps are typically warm, but it can get brutally hot during the summer months, so ensure your workspace can be cooled.

Consider interests and lifestyle choices, and work with a real estate agent to match them to the right neighborhood, as well. Downtown ensures easy access to arts and culture while Southside or Bay Meadows puts you closer to the beach. Spending time to choose wisely helps ensure the years you spend in your new home really are golden.

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Phil Aitken, Owner/Broker
Phil Aitken is the Owner/Broker with Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Phil Aitken Home Team and has over 13 years of Real Estate experience. Phil’s faith and desire for his family’s continued security fuel his business growth and leadership. The Phil Aitken Home Team continues to profoundly impact the people of Jacksonville via supporting several faith-based organizations. Phil gives back a portion of every real estate transaction to The Tim Tebow Foundation and Rethreaded. Find Phil's full story here.