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moving to amelia Island

USA
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moving to amelia Island

This question is for anyone living on Amelia Island. My 23 year old daughter, who is just starting out in a professional carrel, has a job offer on the Island. I have a few questions: 1. how safe is it there? 2. Is there affordable apt or condo to rent in nice areas? 3. Is it expensive to live there? Any other help would be appreciated. Thank you

Delaware
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1. Re: moving to amelia Island

I don't live on Amelia, but I have a lot of family there. Here's what I know: the area is relatively inexpensive when compared with other Florida coastal towns but it is still a beach/resort area. It's more expensive to live on the island than off, so she might want to explore some of the rentals just over the bridge. She could go as far north as Yulee and still probably have a quick drive to work. The closer you are to the historic area in Fernandina Beach, the more pricey it becomes. It seems like a pretty safe town, but you could always inquire with the local police when she narrows down housing choices. In my opinion, the biggest danger comes from the log trucks barrelling down A1A, especially as that stretch of road becomes more & more developed. Hope this helps a little!

Amelia Island...
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2. Re: moving to amelia Island

You don't indicate where she will be moving from, so hard to compare what may be expensive or safe.

From my perspective, moving here from a large city, it is very safe. There is crime, like everywhere, but I would not consider the island dangerous by any means.

As DEtraveler noted, it will be less expensive to rent off island. You might check with a realtor who represents rentals or look in the local newspaper- the News Leader www.fbnewsleader.com.

FL has no state income tax, so that could be a savings, if she lives out of state. I find property taxes, utilities, restaurants to be less expensive for me. Groceries, gasoline about the same. For major shopping malls or big box stores, you have to go into Jacksonville. Expensive or not will be relative to where she currently lives.

Amelia Island is a wonderful place IMO.

Fernandina Beach FL
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for Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach
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3. Re: moving to amelia Island

Your daughter is certainly lucky - one, to be getting a good job offer in these days and times; and two, for that job to be on Amelia Island. As a full-time resident for almost 10 years and moving from the metro Atlanta area, I will give you my perspective on your questions.

Crime rate here is extremely low, even for a small town. As with any community, there are petty crimes but rarely are there any major violent crimes. Those that do occur are normally family/friend disturbances that escalate as opposed to crimes against strangers (break-ins, robberies, etc.). For your information, there are two parts of Amelia Island. The City of Fernandina Beach (where I live) is a historic city that occupies the northern half of the Island. The City has its own police and fire department and is highly rated for its protection services. The southern part of the island is part of unincorporated Nassau County and police/fire services are provided by the County. The southern part is dominated by the Amelia Island Plantation and Summer Beach resorts with controlled access and their own security force, so the county police presence is minimal. Chief of Police in FB is James Hurley and I am sure he or one of his captains would be happy to answer any questions on any specific areas.

There are affordable apartments and condos here on the Island, especially during these times when people holding investment properties would relish a long-term lease. But as others have said, off-island rental rates might be a little less expensive but then you have to factor in the additional 6-7 mile commute and being away from the activities of the Island. One caution I would give regards some of the condo units. There were a number of large condo complexes that were built at the peak of the economic boom but have since languished with low sales / occupancy rates. While these might provide attractive low rental rates, she should make sure that there is sufficient occupancy to provide a good social and safety environment. Looking through today's News-Leader, looks like on-island units will run from $700 - $900/month whereas off-island units are about $100/month less depending on amenities and location. There are also a number of garage apartments that are available in the historic district that owners use to offset their housing costs. I think she will find lots to choose from.

Fernandina Beach has a very active church community, most with programs for young adults so that may be an avenue for her to get to know others in the area; although I am sure her new job will occupy most of her time initially.

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Cost of living here is comparable to most any other area. The island has the major grocery stores, discount department stores, gas stations, etc. so there is a high level of competition. As Summersail noted, FL has no state income tax, so that provides between 5-8% more money from her paycheck than living across the border in GA. Sales tax here is 7%. No natural gas supply here on the island so almost all appliances are generally electric and we have experienced large increases in electricity costs over the last couple of years.

The only thing I have found that is substantially more expensive than living in Atlanta is homeowner's insurance, that could be an indirect economic issue. In addition to standard homeowners insurance, owners must have flood insurance as well as windstorm insurance (really expensive). Windstorm insurance on Amelia Island (since it is a barrier island) is much higher than off island and that is one of the biggest factors affecting rental rates between on- and off-island properties.

Hope this has been helpful. If you have any other questions, please ask and we will be happy to give you our thoughts.

Edited: 10 July 2010, 09:17
4. Re: moving to amelia Island

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