Tuesday, July 19, 2022 / by Anne Rose
Joanna Prinz and David Barr, both Jacksonville residents, share their insights on the city:
We're here in Jacksonville, North Carolina and we are brokers in this area for KBT Realty. We'd like to tell you a little bit about the community that we live in, Jacksonville, with 70,000 people.
It's about an hour north of Wilmington and it's also a waterfront community.
Jacksonville is also home to Camp Lejeune, the major Marine Corps base which employs 180,000 active duty, retired, civilian employees, and dependents of the United States Marine Corps.
There are many things to do in Jacksonville. A lot of it has to do with the Marine Corps. There's some beautiful parks.
Beach access is a huge draw from Emerald Isle to the north, then Topsail to the south, also base access has Onslow beach also. So no matter where you are in Jacksonville, you're always close to the beach.
There is a mix of young families, many young families because of the Marine Corps, lots of children. I think the median age for Jacksonville is 23 years old. So it's a very young community.
There's also a lot of people that come here because of the Marine Corps and decide to stay and retire. There's a huge retired military population.
Also within 50 miles, there are 60 major universities. You have Coastal Carolina University within the city itself which also offers bachelor's degrees through UNC-Wilmington.
So central location, close to the beach, young community, access to schools.
Well, I would say you could go about an hour northeast to New Bern, which is a wonderful old community, really cool place. Also about an hour north is Beaufort, where you could go and take the ferry to Shackleford Bank. It's the furthest south Outer Banks island and it has the wild horses that you can ride over to see, and camp there. About 30 minutes north you have the towns of Swansboro, Emerald Isle.
Thirty minutes south you can go to Sneads Ferry, Topsail Island, Surf City, and then Jacksonville is located about 2 hours drive from Raleigh, a major city and international airport.
Also, I mean, I feel like this area does not have the highs and lows of the real estate market because it's always transitioning. There's always people moving here, there's always people moving away. So we don't see the dive in housing prices that other parts of the United States see - just because there's always need for housing here. Jacksonville is a very economically stable location housing-wise.
It's a bubble, so to speak, because of the Marine Corps base. There's an influx of new families coming and going at all times, regardless of what the national job statistics or the economy is doing. Therefore buying and selling in Jacksonville has remained a very stable method of investing and home buyers aren't losing out.
A lot of Jacksonville, because of the transient population tied to the Marine Corps base, becomes investment properties. There's lots of rental properties here. People sometimes don't know if they'll be coming back to this area, so they'll keep their homes for a while and put them up for rent until they know - since I think it's every three years, they're moved for the Marine Corps.
So buying investment property here is always going to be a good decision because it will always be rented. You're never going to lose out on your home being vacant.
One of the biggest fears as a landlord is having your home unoccupied for a period of time. I myself have rented out properties here in Jacksonville for about ten years, and I've never gone more than a full 30 days without a tenant. Because of this population, there's always a need for places to live in this town.
There's lots of new build communities. The suburbs of Jacksonville - this is the older part of town with the more historic homes and the historic train station - but there are huge developments and if you leave this area, if you go out towards either end, either end of the city.
There are many options for different schools, and whatever you're interested for your children to be involved in. My children are in a dual language program, which is wonderful, and it's offered at quite a few of the public schools that are in town. Jacksonville also offers some master plan communities which include elementary schools, nearby high schools. There's options.
There's always some new construction neighborhoods going up. It allows you the ability to live just outside of the town where you can have some privacy, some peace and quiet, yet very quick access to amenities and shopping, if you will.
I would say on average, the three bedroom, two bath house for your typical family is running in the mid $250 to $350,000 range right now. Jacksonville is a very affordable waterfront community for eastern North Carolina compared to surroundings.
So what you can get for your money here and while inside Jacksonville, you may not have everything you're looking for, Jacksonville is centrally located so that you can afford to live in a beautiful place and have quick and easy access to really anything that you could want.
Meet Joanna Prinz.
Meet David Barr.