A dock leading towards the banks of the St. Johns River at Alpine Groves State Park in Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville has a variety of active adult communities that make a Florida retirement possible with affordable homes for sale. 

Jacksonville real estate is experiencing a bit of a renaissance. While it’s not necessarily the first city that people think of when they imagine embarking on a Florida retirement, it’s gaining popularity, especially as southern Florida regions become more crowded. Jacksonville is modern and diverse. It’s close to beaches; it has a downtown district that’s full of art, culture, and restaurants; and there’s plenty of golf, shopping, and professional sports.

Active adults looking for homes for sale in Jacksonville should consider some of these 55+ communities, where it’s possible to find a comfortable home with a lot of amenities for around $250,000.

Sweetwater - Jacksonville, FL

Low $200s - Low $400s

One of the more established 55+ communities in Jacksonville, Sweetwater offers resale single-family homes, attached villas, and condos with lots of space and little maintenance.

Condos are particularly budget-friendly and come in three models with two or three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The attached homes are also at or below the $250,000 price tag, and they’re available as villas or carriage-style homes. These properties have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, dens, and attached two-car garages. With between 1,363 and 2,129 square feet, there’s plenty of space to relax and entertain.

Nearly 50 clubs and activities are available at Sweetwater. Residents get together for singles socials, water volleyball, dinner parties, and book clubs. The clubhouse includes an indoor lap pool, a fitness center with a movement studio, and space for ceramics, sewing, art, cards, and billiards. There’s also an outdoor pool, a putting green, a tennis court, and bocce ball courts. Shopping is only five minutes away, and the award-winning Mayo Clinic is a 10-minute drive from the community.

Freedom at Arbor Mill - Jacksonville, FL

Low $200s - Mid $200s

For new construction homes in the $250,000 range, buyers will want to check out Freedom at Arbor Mill, a 55+ community that D.R. Horton has been building since 2017. It’s an intimate community, with only 156 single-family homes planned.

These properties have three or four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. Four models come in sizes from 1,585 to 1,986 square feet. Updates like granite countertops and walk-in closets are included in the new construction homes, and each property also has outdoor space such as covered lanais.

The amenity center is coming soon and will include multi-purpose rooms, an exercise room, and an outdoor pool and patio. This pet-friendly community will include a dog park and plenty of scenic ponds and walking paths. There will be pickleball and bocce ball courts as well.

The HOA will cover all outdoor maintenance and landscaping, including lawn mowing, trimming, irrigation, and common area upkeep. The community is close to shopping and restaurants, and it’s also just a few minutes from Jennings State Forest, a popular place for fishing, canoeing, camping, and hiking. Equestrians are also welcome on the trails.

Del Webb eTown - Jacksonville, FL

Mid $200s - Mid $400s

One of the most interesting Florida retirement communities to arrive in Jacksonville is Del Webb eTown, a neighborhood that’s designed to embrace smart-home technology and energy efficiency. This gated 55+ community will be part of the larger eTown master-planned community.

Single-family new construction homes start at around $250,000, and they can be wired to accommodate all the smart devices that buyers may have when they move in. Imagine setting your thermostat and turning on the coffee machine with a tap to your smartphone. Buyers can choose customized tech features that will automate security, temperature, irrigation, and several other functions.

The homes at eTown are available in 14 models, ranging from 1,343 to 3,361 square feet. They have between two and five bedrooms, between two and four bathrooms, and either an attached two-car or three-car garage. The lake and fountain views from these properties are scenic, and residents will appreciate the use of natural gas and environmentally sustainable building materials.

Amenities will include an 8,000-square-foot clubhouse and a state-of-the-art fitness center. A resort-style pool is also planned, as well as pickleball courts, tennis courts, and communal fire pits.

Freedom at Azalea Ridge - Middleburg, FL

Mid $200s - Mid $200s

Half an hour south of Jacksonville is the scenic suburb of Middleburg, where buyers can find Freedom at Azalea Ridge, a 55+ community of new construction homes that are perfect for a $250,000 budget.

The St. Johns River is just a few minutes away, and there’s a lot of recreation and wildlife viewing to enjoy along the banks of this unique waterway. Also, residents can easily visit Black Creek, which has a woodsy bike trail and several trailheads.

Single-family homes in the Freedom at Azalea Ridge community are between 1,565 and 1,986 square feet. They have three or four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. Only 136 properties will be constructed, keeping the neighborhood cozy and tightly knit.

The amenity center will include a multi-purpose room, a pool and patio, and two bocce ball courts. As part of the larger Azalea Ridge master-planned community, buyers will also have access to those amenities.

Del Webb Ponte Vedra - Ponte Vedra, FL

Mid $200s - Mid $600s

A blend of resale homes and new construction is available at Del Webb Ponte Vedra, a 55+ community desirably located between Jacksonville and Saint Augustine.

Here, amenities are extensive and unique. They start at the Anastasia Club with its indoor lap pool and Champion’s Learning Lounge. There’s also a fitness center with a movement studio, a day spa, a steam room, and the Sawgrass Cafe—all great places for residents to engage in a little self-care. Other amenities include an outdoor resort pool, a library, a zip line, and a nature trail that stretches for six miles.

Homes at the $250,000 price point are condos, attached villas, carriage homes, garden homes, or larger single-family models. There are dozens of floor plans to choose from, and buyers can decide on a two- or three-bedroom home, possibly with a den or an attached two-car garage. Del Webb Ponte Vedra is close to beaches that are known for rest and relaxation as well as high-octane activities like surfing and sailing. Nearby golf courses include TPC Sawgrass.