Jacksonville has seen three new communities announced recently. What makes it such a good place to retire?

Jacksonville and its surrounding areas are growing in population, economic opportunity, and 55+ housing communities. Geographically, Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida, and even in the continental United States. Its commercial activity, job market, cultural scene, and recreational opportunities are increasing, and builders have taken notice.

Active adults interested in Jacksonville real estate have three new options offering an array of models and amenities.

Why Retire in Jacksonville?

Florida’s most popular northeastern city is attracting more and more retirees, and it’s not just for the sunshine and the golf. It’s also the lower cost of living. Residents and visitors appreciate the proximity to Interstate 95 and Interstate 75, making travel through Florida and the surrounding states convenient.

There’s also the Jacksonville, FL real estate market. Home prices are still affordable, even while skyrocketing prices in other cities along the eastern seaboard are making homeownership seem impossible. Not only is it financially possible to buy a home; real estate values are also increasing at a steady pace. It won’t take long to build up some equity.

Planned communities are popular in Jacksonville, and those with 55+ age restrictions are gaining even more attention. There’s so much for active adults to do in the area, including the Jacksonville Art Walk held downtown the first Wednesday of every month. Sports lovers cheer on the Jacksonville Jaguars during football season, and the city is home to an extensive network of parks. Beaches are a short drive from downtown, and PGA golf courses are also in the neighborhood.

When it comes to the best retirement communities in Florida, Jacksonville is pulling ahead. Take a look at the three newest potential places to call home:

Del Webb Nocatee - Ponte Vedra

Mid $200s - Low $300s

Located near the coast in Ponte Vedra, Del Webb Nocatee is a 55+ neighborhood that’s joining the master-planned Nocatee community. Homes will be ready for move-in this summer, where nine floor plans will be available in sizes ranging from 1,488 square feet to 3,700 square feet. Models include single-family homes and villas in three designs: traditional, coastal, and craftsman. Construction has just begun on the first properties, and by the time it’s finished, there will be 845 homes at Del Webb Nocatee.

The planned clubhouse will be a 20,000 square-foot space where residents can enjoy a fitness center, food and beverage stations, and multi-purpose rooms for club meetings and social events. A full-time activities director will be on site to help with the planning and execution of special community events. Residents can look forward to a resort-style pool, a lap pool, and courts for tennis and pickleball.

Living in Ponte Vedra provides easy access to some of the prettiest beaches in northern Florida, perfect for surfing and sunning. The community is only about half an hour from historic St. Augustine, a city that’s been around since 1565.

Del Webb eTown - Jacksonville

Mid $200s - Low $300s

Active adults hoping to be closer to the action in downtown Jacksonville will want to consider another Del Webb property. Del Webb eTown is a new 55+ community completely focused on technology and smart living. The design of the community and the homes within it embraces sustainability and efficiency.

Del Webb plans to open the community in the spring. The 346 single-family homes will include pre-wired smart technology and rely on natural gas. Residents will appreciate the preserved lakes, walking trails, and bike paths throughout the neighborhood.

The community is close to the St. Johns River and all of its opportunities for fishing, boating, kayaking, and hiking. It’s also easy to reach downtown Jacksonville, where the Riverwalk on the south banks of the St. Johns offers dining, entertainment, and museums. It’s also a prime location from which to enjoy the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, which occurs every year in May.

WaterSong at RiverTown - St. Johns

Low $200s - High $200s

The master-planned community of RiverTown will soon have a neighborhood completely devoted to 55+ residents. WaterSong at RiverTown is under construction, and Mattamy Homes is planning 800 single-family and attached homes for active adults who like the idea of a planned community but still expect to enjoy privacy and customized floor plans.

Amenities will include a zero-entry pool, a sundeck, and waterfront perks like a kayak launch and a fishing pier. A boardwalk and several nature trails provide unique views of the St. Johns River.

WaterSong at RiverTown is an especially great option for golfers. It’s close to World Golf Village in St. Augustine, as well as The Golf Club at South Hampton. The community is close to both Jacksonville and St. Augustine, and locally it’s easy to get to grocery stores like Publix and Winn Dixie as well as retailers such as Target and WalMart. Some great restaurants, bars, and coffee shops are nearby, and plenty of local parks offer residents an opportunity for wildlife, picnics, and recreation.