My First...

What is your first memory of 'home' as a kid?

Growing up, I moved about every four years. Born in Georgia, preschool in Nashville, elementary in Apopka, off to Tampa for middle school, small town Maryland for high school, and then back to Florida for college and my adult life. With scattered memories from different homes it is hard to pinpoint that first memory, but my first vivid recollection is in our living room in Apopka, wearing a princess hat, and dancing to Trishia Yearwood's "She's in Love with the Boy." Here's some pictures through the years that feel like home.


My husband and me at Florida State University!

My husband and me at Florida State University!

When was your first time moving out of your parents home?

The old fashioned way- when I turned 18 and went away to college. I left a small town in Maryland to start my first summer semester at Florida State University (go noles). It was about 18 hours away from home and I'll never forget the feeling of sitting on my dorm room bed when my parents left and I was on my own for the very first time in my life. There were so many mixed feelings that day, both good and bad, but that campus holds some of my very favorite memories and is where I met my husband and lifelong friends, so I'd say it all worked out for the best.


When was your first big trip away from home?

Our European adventure with some close friends. I remember trying new foods and eating way too much gelato. I was introduced to art, a new language, and culture. It was unforgettable. Take me back!

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What is your DREAM first home?

This is a tough one. I love love love our current house. We live in Springfield, right on the park, and I truly adore it. To be honest, I think our neighbors and community make us love it even more. One thing I've learned from looking at houses all day, every day is that what truly makes a house a home is the love inside of it- cliche, I know, but it's true. Stop rolling your eyes at me- I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want.

My DREAM home would include a large backyard, a kitchen island, master bath with a stand alone tub, a drive-way (we only have off street parking), an office space, and modern updates so I don't have to do them (ha). Oh, and a pool wouldn't hurt. Walk-ability to restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, etc is also a must. I also need my current location to remain in walking distance to my two best friends. Easy enough right?


Every year we cheers on our home anniversary looking over downtown from our front porch.

Every year we cheers on our home anniversary looking over downtown from our front porch.

My First...

There is something special about a 'first'... your first date, a first kiss, a babies first steps. All an occasion for joy and celebration. As agents, we are lucky enough to be a part of a huge 'first' for several of our clients.. their first home!

Each month we will sit down with someone near and dear to chat about a few of their 'firsts'. This month we chatted with our Riverside gal Mary Mychael!

What is your first memory of 'home' as a kid?

My first memory of home is from when I was about 2 or 3 years old. It’s a bit hazy, but I remember a cozy front porch in which my brother and I sat calling for our puppy Toto who had gotten loose (again). It was a quiet neighborhood in Marietta, GA. Years later my dad drove me by that old house, and that memory came flooding back.

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When was your first time moving out of your parents home? 

I moved out in the traditional way, when I graduated high school and moved on to college. I went to Florida Sate which made it easier knowing home was not too far away. I lived with my brother in a home my mom owned and we created many memories there.

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When was your first big trip away from home? 

We traveled a lot as kids so it’s hard to pin down the first but the one that stands out most was a trip to New York when I was about 8 to visit my aunt. I traveled BY MYSELF (!) Which is crazy to think about - and was terrified and excited all at the same time. I still reminisce over photos of me standing at the Twin Towers and trying to find my way without my mom for the first time.

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What is your DREAM first home?

I am one of the lucky few that can say I actually live in my dream home! My husband and I live in a condo building with our daughter that is full of architectural intrigue and beautiful history. We are blocks from 5-Points and the St. John’s river and just a bike ride to most of our favorite spots. (The pool doesn’t hurt either). The next step from here would be ocean front somewhere!

My First...

There is something special about a 'first'... your first date, a first kiss, a babies first steps. All an occasion for joy and celebration. As agents, we are lucky enough to be a part of a huge 'first' for several of our clients.. their first home!

Each month we will sit down with someone near and dear to chat about a few of their 'firsts'. This month we chatted with our small town gal Kait!

What is your first memory of 'home' as a kid?  

My first memory at home as a kid was in a home that we shared with my great grandmother. It was a large farmhouse that my great grandfather had built and was split into two sides. We lived in one side and she lived in the other. I spent the first 5 years of my life in that home going back and forth from her side to mine. My cousins lived on the same road so I remember constantly being with them walking through trails in the woods, playing in the creek, or exploring the big barn!

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When was your first time moving out of your parents home? 


The first time I moved out of my parents home was when I went to college. The same week that I moved away from home they moved out of my childhood home and bought the cutest log cabin! It was a huge adjustment moving into college and also moving out of my childhood home at the same time. Luckily, I was immediately playing soccer in college and met some of my best friends so school quickly became my new home! I wouldn’t change a thing!

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When was your first big trip away from home? 

My first big trip away from home was when I went on my senior trip to Disney. Since I am from NY it was a big trip and my first time on an airplane! It was so fun spending a last hurrah with the kids that I grew up with! We made memories for a lifetime!  

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What is your DREAM first home?

Oh boy... Since I haven't owned a home yet this will be fun! I am a beach girl so my dream would to be as close to the inter coastal or the ocean as possible! Something updated with a fenced in yard for my pup for sure!

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Drinks with Rethreaded

Drinks with Kristin Keen of  Rethreaded

Drinks with Kristin Keen of Rethreaded

What are you drinking? Everyday I have a coffee with vanilla creamer, an afternoon Zevia (organic diet coke), tons of waters (I always, always have water with me!), and in the evening I will usually have a glass of red wine.  

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What is it that you do?

I help people Renew their Hope, Reignite dreams and Release their potential through business!! Specifically I run a social enterprise that helps survivors of human trafficking by providing long term employment and access to mental health counseling.

What is a typical day for you? I get up and head for the beach for a sunrise swim with my friends in Duval Ocean Swimmers.  Most of my day is spent in advocating for Rethreaded in a variety of meetings to drive sales, partnerships, and donations. 

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What is the best part of your job?

I love my job!!!!! I love being challenged on a daily basis. I love that everyday I am learning something new. I love seeing women at Rethreaded reclaim their life and go after their dreams.

What do you love about Jacksonville? I love the big small feel of Jacksonville. I think it is a two degree of separation town. Whomever you need to know someone will know them! and I also love the beach and the river.

For more information on Rethreaded or to shop + support please visit https://www.rethreaded.com/

4320 San Juan Ave

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Let’s Chat

Meet Matthew and Jessica, the sellers of 4320 San Juan Ave

What do you appreciate most about the Avondale neighborhood? 

We love that the house is a quick walk to the river, with a gorgeous view of downtown. Baker Point Park and Stinson Park are always filled with families picnicking and children playing. We love that we live in an area so full of life! Our favorite Avondale restaurant and Valentine's Day tradition is Biscottis, a quick one and a half a mile bike ride to the Shoppes of Avondale. I am an even bigger fan of the 1-block walk in the opposite direction to Ulta! Not Matthew's favorite thing, but at least he can walk with me, and grab a burrito at Moe's or pick up some cat food at Publix while he waits on my shopping. Ha! - Jessica 

What drew you to a 1920s bungalow? 

The front porch drew me to this particular house. I knew my first home didn't need to be gigantic; it's easy upkeep, and the land that the house is on is a great size. - Matthew 

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What is your favorite room in the home? 

My favorite room is the kitchen. I always wanted white cabinets, funky floors and modern gold fixtures. It didn't take long for us to decide that the kitchen would be the first room we updated. I also love to cook! And the natural light in the kitchen is most perfect in the afternoons just in time to make dinner. - Jessica 

What improvement to the home are you most proud of?

A few months ago, I restored the brick fireplace in the master bedroom. I feel very accomplished when I look at it. When I bought the house, it had layers and layers of caked-on paint. Some deep cleaning and TLC, and we were able to bring it back to life. - Matthew

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What do you love most about the outside of the home?

The front porch is perfect. I mean, I don't think any house could have a better porch. And the side deck/porch is awesome for entertaining. We set up the grill and hang out with our friends and family there for barbecues. My favorite memory though, is carving pumpkins with Jessica on the back porch during our first October in the house, and on the front porch the second. Another great memory is our very first fire in the fire pit in the backyard. It was something like the 4th or 5th weekend in the house, a Sunday morning, and we spontaneously just decided to build a fire. - Matthew 

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What is your favorite meal that you’ve cooked in the kitchen? 

This is a hard one! I'm going to go with my Uncle's Whiskey London Broil Recipe. Matthew and I hosted his family for a pre-Christmas dinner before we headed out of town to visit my family, and on the menu was London Broil, tortellini with homemade sauce, roasted parmesan broccoli and garlic bread. I remember setting all of the food up on the bar below the wine rack, and it was perfect! -Jessica 

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What else should people know about this home? 

Something not always bragged about on homes, but the attic is huge! It has a wide entry with a pull-down ladder, which is awesome for a historic home, and once you're up there, the ladder makes it super easy to lift and store away boxes and containers. Kind of an odd thing to point out, but since we like a clean home, this is a huge bonus for us! - Matthew

How have your lives changed since you first moved into the home? 

Matthew and I's early days of dating happened in this house. We painted it together, we have lived with a roommate here, we got a second cat while being in this house, and we most recently got engaged! We started our life here. Because of that, we'll miss it so much, but hope that it will provide the same comfort and future memories to the new homeowner(s). - Jessica 

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See more of this charming Avondale bungalow that is available for sale for under $175,000 by clicking here, and contact a Root agent for your private showing today!

 

Photos by Jenny Boyer @jennyboyerphoto jennyboyerphotography@gmail.com

My first...

There is something special about a 'first'... your first date, a first kiss, a babies first steps. All an occasion for joy and celebration. As agents, we are lucky enough to be a part of a huge 'first' for several of our clients.. their first home!

Each month we will sit down with someone near and dear to chat about a few of their 'firsts'. This month we chatted with the very adventurous Sarah!

What is your first memory at home as a kid?

I come from a family of six, so my earliest memories are with my siblings. We loved to pretend the floor was lava in our living room. We would destroy the house throwing everything on the floor and jumping on things, but we had a good time.

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When was your first time moving out of your parents home?

I lived with my parents for as long as I could until I finally moved out at 22. I lived in Baldwin and wanted to be closer to Riverside, so I moved in with my boyfriend, now husband, in a cute bungalow off Forbes Street.

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When was your first big trip away from home? 

I think it is fair to say my first BIG trip away from home would be the first time I left the country in 2012 and flew to Costa Rica. With no GPS and only knowing “cerveza” and “frijoles” in Spanish, we managed to navigate our way from the big city to the coast and hopped from hostel to hostel. That was the trip that sparked a desire to see more countries!

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What is your DREAM first home?

I think anyone’s first home is a dream. My first home was in Avondale, and after temporarily living in homes all over the country, my husband and I have finally settled down back into our first home and I couldn’t be happier. I love our cute little bungalow!

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Did You Know?

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25 things

you probably didn’t know about your REALTORS® at Root Realty

Photo by Residential Photography Solutions


1. We have a sister non profit called The Run Home, which helps fund Sulzbacher Village, a community designed to serve the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, which is women and children.

2. Anna is a WWE fanatic! You better believe she will be front + center when that’s in town.

3. We work 40+ hours a week, 7 days a week. Some days we work from home in our pajamas and other days we get home after dinner from a full day of driving all over town on various appointments and showings. Each day is different and there is never a dull moment.

4. MaryAnne does her best work at 2:00 AM, so don’t be surprised to see emails in your inbox from the middle of the night.

5. We’re not just co-workers. We genuinely like each other and are so grateful to have such a close-knit work family. Every person at Root goes above and beyond to step up when an agent is in need- professionally or personally. These attributes shine through in their daily customer relationships.  Photo by Hannah Joy Wells

5. We’re not just co-workers. We genuinely like each other and are so grateful to have such a close-knit work family. Every person at Root goes above and beyond to step up when an agent is in need- professionally or personally. These attributes shine through in their daily customer relationships.

Photo by Hannah Joy Wells

6. Rachel grew up on a ranch in Southern California milking goats and feeding chickens.

7. Combined, we have over 32 years of experience in the real estate industry.

8. Sarah ran a 50 mile race in California because why not?!

9. You work with one main agent at Root, but if we come down with the flu, the world is ending, or we need to unplug for the day (or weekend), we always have someone to fill in and and provide quality service while we are out. You will never be without communication or a friendly face during your home purchase or sale!  Photo by Hannah Joy Wells

9. You work with one main agent at Root, but if we come down with the flu, the world is ending, or we need to unplug for the day (or weekend), we always have someone to fill in and and provide quality service while we are out. You will never be without communication or a friendly face during your home purchase or sale!

Photo by Hannah Joy Wells

10. Amanda played drums in an all girls punk rock band in college. We’re still waiting for her single to drop.

11. We spend a lot of time on continuing education, whether it's in courses or listening to podcasts, working to grow and improve to be the best for our clients!

12. Katie can rap every Lil’ Wayne song.

13. We host educational and fun events every quarter (who says it has to be one or the other?). Check out our social media for our next gathering!  Photo by Hannah Joy Wells

13. We host educational and fun events every quarter (who says it has to be one or the other?). Check out our social media for our next gathering!

Photo by Hannah Joy Wells

14. Erica once auditioned for an Oscar Meyer commercial by singing the theme song for a crowd. She didn’t get the part, but she did get to take home a toy hot dog car so who’s the real winner?

15. We can help you find a home ANYWHERE. I mean, we can’t physically hop on a plane and find you an amazing studio apartment in New York or a fabulous ranch in Wyoming (although how cool would that be?!), but we can connect you with someone that we think would be an amazing fit for you to help buy or sell your home outside of Jax.

16. Danay’s most interesting job growing up was working for a guy selling pianos and accordions (that no one bought).

17. Our office is located in the heart of Five Points and we absolutely love it! Stop by any day of the week to say hello to one of our fabulous agents.  Photo by Hannah Joy Wells

17. Our office is located in the heart of Five Points and we absolutely love it! Stop by any day of the week to say hello to one of our fabulous agents.

Photo by Hannah Joy Wells

18. Mary-Mychael danced with the Rockettes one summer in high school on Radio City stage.

19. We have various specialty certifications including military relocation, staging, and Nocatee certified agents. Contact us to learn how we can specifically help you.

20. Emily has been to six Taylor Swift concerts. Does she wear matching t-shirts with T-Swift lyrics with her besties to them? Why yes, yes she does.

21. We have previous teachers, nurses, flight attendants, and other service industry experts at Root. Our previous backgrounds help us serve you best!  Photo by Hannah Joy Wells

21. We have previous teachers, nurses, flight attendants, and other service industry experts at Root. Our previous backgrounds help us serve you best!

Photo by Hannah Joy Wells

22. Kait spent 6 years as a cast member in a haunted house. Boo!

23. One of the most frequent questions we get asked is how we get paid. We are 100% commission based and get paid at closing from a pre-negotiated listing agreement. No closing, no paycheck.

24. There’s a very high chance every single one of us was at The Pearl (RIP) for $15 AYCD on the same night before we knew each other.

25. We love what we do, seriously. We know it sounds cliché, but nothing makes us happier than helping you find your first home, sell your current one to move on to bigger + better things, come up with creative solutions in tricky situations, + make friends along the way. We take pride in our work and believe that our work/life balance make us positive, happy, engaged, + purposeful agents. We look forward to helping you soon!

Photo by Residential Photography Solutions

Photo by Residential Photography Solutions

Drinks With....

Each month, Root Realty sits down with a mover-and-shaker, someone who is cool, captivating, and a consistent contributor to our Jacksonville community! We bring their favorite drink and a list of questions, and at the end we cheers to the city we love.

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Darryl Willie

Honorable School Board District #4 Member + Executive Director at Teach For America

What are you drinking?

A sweet sweet Arnold Palmer--sweet lemonade, plus sweet tea!

What is it that you do?

Technically, I am the Honorable School Board District #4 Member but what I actually do is advocate on behalf of our students.

What is a typical day for you?

I wake up with at least one foot in my face hence our daughters aged 4, 3, and 1 as they all somehow end up in our bed by morning. I prep the girls for school and drop them off. Then, the busy work day begins attending board workshops, reading local news, communicating with parents + stakeholders in the community, and I call home for a quick "I love you" to my wife “be sure to include that”. Later I am visiting schools to see the great things happening, meeting with community members about investing + advocating for our students, finishing up emails/phone calls and ending the work day by stopping by a community function. Once I return home, I try to "turn off" as best as possible so I can enjoy time with my girls, eat dinner together, then we finish homework and prepare for bed with story time. After bedtime, my wife and I spend time together and then I wrap up the day with some last minute emails.

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What is your favorite part of your job?

The ability to elevate the voices of our students and help be a conduit to what they can be and do. One of my favorite moments was when I was visiting a local high school and a young African American student seemed shock to see someone like me in a position like the School Board. I told him, "I'm just keeping the seat warm for you." Those moments are what remind me of the important work we have to do here in our city.

What do you love about Jacksonville?

Anything outdoors: walking along the beach and river, attending outdoor festivals/movies, or heading to the Zoo. Just getting to be outside 11 months of the year and knowing the impact that can have on our health and longevity make this something I really appreciate.

My First...

There is something special about a 'first'... your first date, a first kiss, a babies first steps. All an occasion for joy and celebration. As agents, we are lucky enough to be a part of a huge 'first' for several of our clients.. their first home! 

Each month we will sit down with someone near and dear to chat about a few of their 'firsts'. This month we chatted with our fearless leader MaryAnne!

What is your first memory of 'home' as a kid? 

My first memory of home as a kid was our sweet 2 bedroom, 1 bath bungalow in Muncie, Indiana just steps from the school + church we grew up going to every day. My brothers and I initially shared one bedroom until our mom had a wall built to make 2 "bedrooms." My younger brother and I had a bright red bunk bed and my oldest brother graduated to his own room that was the size of a walk-in closet. Our home was so special--we sat by the fireplace during the winter months, my brothers and I would fight over the dining room heater in the mornings, my brother Joey had a special spot he ate breakfast in the morning and read the newspaper every single day, our dining nook is where we shared thousands of meal-just the 4 of us. My brother Tommy and I built our own rope swing out back, and the one bathroom became a huge source of chaos, especially in the high school years. Don't forget the front porch where many break-ups took place and of course, the terrifying basement I would lock my brother in. Looking back, I realized how crazy my brothers and I were back then--putting our poor dog down the laundry chute. It was small, but it was ours and its the only home I knew growing up.

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When was your first time moving out of your parents home?

I remember specifically when my mom and I packed up my room and headed to Greencastle, IN so I could attend DePauw University. It was so bittersweet and I remember my mom saying she would only stay to make my bed so that it wouldn't drag out our goodbye and make it any harder. I remember missing everything that was so familiar for so many years. I missed so many of my younger brother's sporting events, even though he was at every single one of mine. I loved my dorm room, my roommate Kate, and my new school, but the adjustment was hard and I looked so forward to coming home to my mom and brothers on breaks + holidays. 

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When was your first big trip away from home? 

My first big trip away from home was in 7th grade. I saved up money ($1200) from babysitting, mowing yards, and cleaning houses so I could travel to Rome, Italy with a church group for a large, Catholic conference where we would get to see the Pope, tour the city, and enjoy food, culture, and sights in a foreign country. I remember drinking the sparking water and thinking it was terrible--and now, I love it! Ha! I was incredibly homesick but luckily, my best friend Clare was by my side the whole time and we made new friends, tried new foods, and had an incredible experience.

What is your DREAM first home?  

My dream home is not really a place or building. Its simply where my family is. My husband and I have moved 7 times in the 7 years we have been together and we have brought along our children 4 of those times. Its never been about where we live or what kind of home it is--its just that we are together. We have so many memories from each home and they continue to get better and better. Right now, we are beyond blessed to live right across the street from my mom, which has been so much fun for all of us. Our children walk across the street, hand in hand, to go borrow milk, bring her warm cookies, and just spend time with one another and its probably one of my favorite parts of my life.

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Home Sweet Home

Home

Sweet Home

Jacksonville, FL

“I love that I could feasibly see an alligator, manatee and dolphin in the same field of vision. I love that with each new person I meet the chances are very high that they will be from another state or another country and will offer a way in which I can learn and grow. I love that I can visit different parts of Jacksonville and its surrounding areas and feel like I'm in a whole new place. I love the Jacksonville of my childhood and I also love the new Jacksonville that is growing and revitalizing.”

“I was born and raised here and always thought I would move away because there seemed to be so much more world out there. Well, I finally did move away, and after 6 months, turned around and came back home to Jacksonville. I realized that while its fun to travel to other places, Jacksonville was and always will be home. And it took leaving to come back with fresh eyes and love this city even more!”

We love

…the ability to experience both the “small town” feel and the “city life” at the same time.

“I moved to Jacksonville from the NYC area in August of 2017. I needed a fresh start but I didn’t expect to fall in love with the city right away. Jacksonville has so many things to do and see: breweries, cafes, restaurants, sports teams, the beach, hiking, art museums, a zoo, the river, art festivals... it is a unique and vibrant city but it isn’t so big or crowded that you feel overwhelmed. I’ve recharged my soul here. I’ve cleared enough space mentally to start being creative again. There are what I call gems scattered through the city and I love visiting those places. I haven’t been home sick since I moved here. I found my home when I moved here. That is why less than a year after moving, I bought a house in Jacksonville. Now I truly have a place to call home.”

“Jacksonville is my hometown. I was born and raised here. & though I have big dreams of moving to a small town one day, my heart will always belong to Jax. My husband moved to Jacksonville in 2005 and shortly after, he met me and that set the course of our future. We now have two beautiful daughters and just bought our first home (with the help of Root Realty!) This city holds many special memories for me and I am so excited for all the new local business that are popping up to help make Jacksonville a wonderful destination spot! We may be a big city but there are certainly areas of Jax that give you that small town feel (San Marco, Avondale, Ortega) while I may not be living in a mountain town just yet, I’m still so proud to call Jacksonville my hometown.”

“We love the restaurants, the beach, the ability to experience both the “small town” feel and the “city life” at the same time. Beyond that, we moved here having been married for just under a year. We’ve celebrated every wedding anniversary in Jacksonville, purchased our first home here, and welcomed our son here. We’ve also met so many friends who have become like family. Though all of our immediate family lives elsewhere, we are happy to call Jacksonville home and have built a life here beyond what we could have ever imagined.”

Jax

has so many things to do and see: breweries, cafes, restaurants, sports teams, the beach, hiking, art museums, a zoo, the river, art festivals... it is a unique and vibrant city…

“Every neighborhood in Jacksonville is unique. Our families are from North Florida and it’s amazing to see how much the community has rallied together to grow and revitalize the community. No matter how big Jacksonville is you can manage to run into people you know around every corner.”

“My family has always loved culture and the arts, as well as spending time at the beach. Jacksonville has the best of both worlds! There are so many hidden gems to take advantage of here, and we never fall short of finding something to do!”

“Jacksonville is extremely affordable! I love how we have the big city “feel” without the big city price! I also feel Jacksonville is a great city to raise a family! Lastly, Jacksonville is so spread out, that you can experience both the county and city all in the same city! These are just a few of the many reasons why I love Jacksonville!”