People walking near shops in historic downtown St. Augustine

The Jacksonville area is booming, especially historic St. Augustine. (Image via Shutterstock.com)

The Jacksonville real estate market is growing along with the city’s population explosion and rise in popularity. Active adult buyers who are thinking about a Florida retirement have been especially interested in the Jacksonville area and all it has to offer.

Many things draw new residents to this area on the northern edge of Florida’s Atlantic coast, including the climate, the beaches, and the natural beauty that hasn’t been compromised by tourists and commercialism as much as other popular Florida destinations. There’s more than enough recreation to keep new residents busy, like golf, tennis, fishing, boating, shopping, and entertainment.

Living in Jacksonville doesn’t have to be expensive. These are the most affordable 55+ communities in Jacksonville and nearby cities.

Freedom at Arbor Mill - Jacksonville

Low $200s - Mid $200s

New construction in Freedom at Arbor Mill will result in 156 affordably-priced single-family homes in Jacksonville. This 55+ community is part of Oakleaf Plantation, and buyers can choose a new home in one of four different models.

The Avon floor plan has three bedrooms and two bathrooms with about 1,585 square feet. The Bristol has 1,678 square feet, while the Clifton has 1,799 square feet with a huge great room. The Dalton is the largest model with four bedrooms and two bathrooms and around 1,983 square feet.

Amenities are under construction and there will be an outdoor pool and patio and an amenity center with an exercise room, once complete. Residents can also expect pickleball courts, bocce ball courts, and a dog park. Freedom at Arbor Mill is close to many shopping centers and grocery stores, and golfers will appreciate the proximity to courses like Eagle Landing Golf Club.

Sweetwater - Jacksonville

Low $200s - Low $400s

When physical activity is a priority, buyers need a community that supports and encourages good health. Active adults can find that at Sweetwater, one of the best values in Jacksonville real estate.

This 55+ community has an indoor lap pool, an outdoor resort-style pool, a modern fitness center, and a movement studio. There’s also a tennis court, a putting green, and two bocce ball courts. Well-landscaped paths for walking, biking, or jogging are available, and residents will also have access to a sewing studio, ceramics studio, and library. Plenty of social events happen at Summerland Hall, a 22,000 square-foot clubhouse.

Depending on your budget, there are condos, single-family homes, and attached villas to choose from. Condos are most affordable and still very spacious. They range in size from 1,810 to 2,129 square feet and have two or three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Villas and carriage homes won’t hurt your bottom line, either. They come in six different floor plans and have two bedrooms, a den, and two bathrooms.

WaterSong at RiverTown - St. Johns

Low $200s - High $200s

New construction is also happening in St. Johns, about 20 minutes south of Jacksonville. WaterSong at RiverTown will be an affordable 55+ community that features luxury amenities and access to the St. Johns River.

The clubhouse will include a fitness center and yoga studio, and there will also be pools, patios, and athletic fields. Mattamy Homes is building 800 single-family and attached homes in a variety of models and floor plans.

WaterSong will be part of the master-planned RiverTown community, which offers an additional set of amenities that are accessible to residents. These include a fishing pier and a boardwalk. There’s also a kayak launch, a restaurant, and a cafe.

St. Johns is a growing Jacksonville suburb, and new residents will appreciate everything that’s close to this community. Some of the best fishing in northern Florida is in this area, and nature lovers will want to check out Gourd Island Conservation Center for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing.   

Freedom at Azalea Ridge - Middleburg

Mid $200s - Mid $200s

Reasonably priced and just a few minutes from Jacksonville is Freedom at Azalea Ridge  in Middleburg. This 55+ community offers 136 single-family homes in the same four models as Freedom at Arbor Mill. Amenities will include a clubhouse, fitness center, an outdoor pool, and a fireplace that’s part of a cozy pavilion.

Middleburg is an excellent place for outdoor recreation. Hunters and campers will enjoy Jennings State Forest, and Black Creek, a 13-mile tributary of the St. Johns River, is a great place to fish and hike. Residents of Freedom at Azalea Ridge will also enjoy local shopping, nearby grocery stores, and an easy trip to Downtown Jacksonville for live music and fine dining.

Villages of Seloy - St. Augustine

Mid $200s - Mid $300s

Half an hour southeast of Jacksonville is the historic city of St. Augustine. Buyers looking for a bargain in this neighborhood might enjoy Villages of Seloy, where attached townhomes in four spacious models provide comfortable homes and outstanding amenities.

This age-restricted community is convenient to shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. It’s just a few minutes to the beach and interesting points of interest like the St. Augustine Lighthouse and the historic fort, Castillo de San Marcos.

The new and resale homes available here are between 1,874 and 2,461 square feet. They have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and the Castillo model also has a den. Amenities include a clubhouse with a fitness center and multipurpose room as well as a media room, library, and business center. There’s an outdoor pool and patio as well as a catering kitchen for special events and holiday parties.