Differences Between Living on Amelia Island vs. off of Amelia Island - Pros & Cons
Amelia Island is a 13 mile long island along the Atlantic Ocean that is divided into a few sections. It is often referred to as either Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, or Amelia City; depending on the section...however, they all utilize the 32034 (Fernandina Beach) zip code. A portion of Fernandina Beach is an incorporated city, with it's own police and fire departments and city government. The Majority of the "City of Fernandina Beach" lies on the North end of the Island, and includes Historic Old Town (downtown) Fernandina... however, there is also portions of the "City" on the south end of Amelia Island. The remaining parts of the Island fall under Nassau County's jurisdiction, which is policed by the Nassau County Sheriff's Office, and serviced by the Nassau County Fire Dept. Those areas (mostly on the south end) are often referred to as either Amelia Island, or Amelia City .
Pros: Closer proximity (sometimes walking distance) to miles of Beaches, Parks, Fernandina Harbor, and Historic Downtown Fernandina -- Oceanfront & Oceanview Homes and Condos -- Several gated communities, some with golf courses and tennis -- Numerous golf courses, both public and private -- Fine dining options -- Some properties may be rented on a short term basis. And of course, "I live on the Island" bragging rights.
Cons: City of Fernandina residents subject to additional city taxes -- Fewer newer subdivisions (many older homes) -- Limited amount of new construction -- Homes (for the most part) tend to be more expensive, and may be older -- Longer driving times to JAX airport, some military bases, and downtown Jacksonville.
Off Amelia Island: Beginning approx. 5 miles east from I-95, up to the 1/2 mile long Shave Bridge to Amelia Island, lies the unicorporated towns of O'neill and Yulee -- However, a portion of this area (mostly newer subdivisions) is designated as "Fernandina Beach", laying claim to the Island's 32034 zip code. Sections designated as Yulee, or O'neill (sometimes just across the road from communites with "Fernandina Beach" zip codes) claim a 32097 zip code. All of this area falls under the jurisdiction of Nassau County, and is policed by the Nassau County Sheriff's office. You should check the mapping link on the MLS search engine for any property with a "Fernandina Beach" address to determine whether it is located on, or off the Island.
Pros: Numerous newer subdivisions, offering homes in an array of price ranges (from $100's to $1 million) -- Thriving, younger demographics (more families) -- Plenty of new construction -- No Fernandina Beach city taxes -- Lower price per SF (in most cases) than similar homes on Amelia Island -- Convenient to an array of shopping (including: Home Dept, Lowes, Super Walmart, Target, Kohls, TJ Maxx, Ross & more), houses of worship, restaurants, and a brand new multiplex theatre -- Shorter drive (20 mins.) to JAX Airport and River City Marketplace, (30 mins.) to downtown JAX and major hospitals, (35 mins.) to Naval Base-St. Mary's Ga., (40 mins.) to JAX Town Center.
Cons: Longer drive (10-15 mins.) to beaches , downtown Fernandina & Marina, and Amelia Island resorts & events -- No "I live on the Island" bragging rights.
No matter where you choose to live, the Amelia Island - Fernandina Beach - Yulee area offers many housing options, in various settings... So whether it be a golf course home, a condo on the beach, an historic home in Old Town Fernandina Beach, a riverfront property, a mansion on the marsh or ocean, a secluded cottage in the woods, a vacant lot to build on, commercial property; or whatever your real estate needs are, I will use my 18 years of experience and knowledge to find the home or property you are looking for -- without pressure or obligation, while giving you my honest opinion and insight to help you make the right decision.
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