Moving to Jacksonville, FL
PCS Orders to Move to Jacksonville, FL
Relocating from one duty station to another can be stressful. We know because we’ve been there. Our founders and most of our REALTORS® are either retired military or military spouses. That’s why everyone at Hover Girl Properties is dedicated to making your military relocation to Jacksonville as easy as possible.
When you or your spouse get PCS orders to Jacksonville, you’re left with a lot of decisions to make. We’re here to help you make them.
Here is our step-by-step process to help you move to Jacksonville.
1. Which military base are you going to?
This is where our knowledge of the military really comes in hand. We understand that you can get orders to a squadron in Jacksonville but you don’t yet know which station. Furthermore, sometimes your training squadron will be at Mayport but your actual orders are for NAS JAX.
We are very familiar with all the military bases in the Jacksonville area and can help you plan for your move no matter what unknowns still exist. We will help you gain an understanding of the different areas of town and the associated commutes to the various bases.
These are the military bases located in or around Jacksonville:
Naval Station Mayport
Naval Station Mayport is home to a busy harbor that can accommodate 34 ships and an 8,000-foot runway capable of handling any aircraft in the Department of Defense. Spanning more than 3,400 acres, Mayport is the third largest Naval Facility in the continental US.
Naval Station Mayport is located in east Jacksonville. It is closest to the beaches (Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach) and the Girvin area.
Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS JAX)
NAS JAX is the oldest Navy installation in the area and home to more than 100 tenant commands. A master air and industrial base, NAS JAX is the largest Navy base in the Southeast Region and the third in the nation.
NAS JAX is located on the west side of Jacksonville. It is closest to Orange Park, Ortega, Duclay Forest, and Wesconnet.
Jacksonville Air National Guard
The Jacksonville base of the Florida Air National Guard is home to the 125th Fighter Wing. The 125FW provides fully trained wing personnel and combat ready F-15 fighters to the US Air Force for contingency operations worldwide.
The Air National Guard Base is located on the northside of Jacksonville. It is closest to the North Estates area.
Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay
Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is located 30 miles outside of Jacksonville in Kings Bay, Georgia. The base is home to the Ohio-class fleet ballistic-missile and guided-missile submarines.
Kings Bay is located in southeast Georgia. The areas of Jacksonville closest to it are Fernandina Beach and Yulee.
2. Let’s zero in on a location.
One of the great things about Jacksonville is that it’s a big city with a lot of different areas, each with their own personality and way of life. But, this benefit of the city can also make it difficult for newcomers to choose where they want to live.
Ultimately, choosing a location comes down to what’s most important to you and your family. We can help you navigate your options by discussing the following:
- Will the non-military spouse be working?
- Do you have school-aged children?
- Does your family have any special interests or hobbies?
- Does your family have any special needs?
- What kind of commute is acceptable?
We will not try to sway your decision. Instead, we will educate you on the city and all your options so you have the information you need to choose the neighborhood that will be best for you and your family.
Check out our Jacksonville neighborhood guides.
3. Do you want to rent or buy?
Once you have a better understanding of the city, we need to decide if you want to rent or buy a home. For some families, this is a big conversation, as both options have their advantages.
Because we are also a property management company, we have a lot of rentals in inventory, putting us at an advantage for helping people find good rental properties. However, if you’re going to be in Jacksonville for three years or more, there’s an opportunity to earn some equity by investing in a property rather than renting and losing that money for good.
To help you make this decision, we will look at the following:
- How does your BAH compare to current rental rates?
- What kind of down payment could you afford?
- What are the current interest rates?
- What are the property taxes in the neighborhoods you’re interested in?
Either way, we will never push you in one direction or another. Instead, we want to help you make the right decision for you, your family, and your future.
And if you do decide to buy, we are experts in easy, virtual home buying.
4. Let’s determine a budget.
Next, it’s time to decide on a budget. While many real estate agents will try to upsell you when it comes to what you can afford, we are the opposite. If anything, we will try to downsell you to allow for a little more wiggle room when putting in offers. Our goal is to help you get what you want without adding unnecessary financial stress.
If you will be buying a home, we recommend you go ahead and get pre approved by a lender as soon as possible so we know the budget you set is feasible. Getting pre-approved does not make you obligated to use that lender, but it’s helpful to ensure we don’t waste time shopping for houses that are outside your budget.
When it comes to choosing the lender you want to use, we always encourage you to consider at least 2-3 options before making a decision. Ideally those options include a local lender and/or a lender that is familiar with military moves. And if you aren’t familiar with lender options, don’t worry, we can help.
5. Time to shop for houses.
About six months out from your move, we want to start looking at houses. This may seem early, but in this market, it’s important to get an idea of what is out there sooner than later. You want to be ready to go when something great comes up. And because inventory is low, you might want to move on a house and let it sit for a while. Unless you will be using a VA loan, which requires you to occupy the home within 30 days of purchase.
We will set up a portal for you to receive information and current listings. If you are not able to come into town to house hunt, we will be your boots on the ground to go look at the houses you’re interested in. We will FaceTime you for every walkthrough so you can see it and let us know what you like and don’t like. If you have a friend or family member in town that you want to accompany us on walkthroughs, just let us know and we can arrange it. Top priority is that you feel comfortable with every decision you make.
The goal is to be under contract on a house 60-90 days out from your move so you can do a door-to-door move so you’re not stuck in a hotel for a month or two. Living in a hotel makes an already stressful situation even more stressful. The quicker you get settled into your new home, the quicker you can start living and enjoying your new life.
6. Closing time.
Once you have a contract on a house, it’s time to make sure your closing is quick and painless. The first step is the inspection. We work with several great inspectors who are all willing to talk to remote buyers on the phone to explain their report and answer any questions.
Currently, the market doesn’t support requesting repairs from the seller like it used to. Instead, the inspection is really just to make sure there are no major issues with the house. So you want an inspector who will protect you but not unnecessarily scare you. We will also attend the inspection and ask questions so that we can help you decide what’s really an issue and what isn’t.
The other important element to a smooth closing is the title company. Obviously, the title company has to be certified to do remote closings, but we know from experience that it’s often more complicated than that. For example, not all places overseas have FedEx. This is another area where our military experience comes in hand. We know all the potential obstacles to look out for and we’ll make sure they’re addressed before they become a problem.
7. Welcome home.
Once the contract is signed and the closing is sealed, it’s time for the house to be delivered. Ideally, you will move right into your new home. But if you have to spend some time in a hotel, we will help you find one within your dislocation allowance.
Or, if you won’t be arriving in town until after your closing, we will do everything we can to get your new home ready for your arrival, including:
- Setting up utilities.
- Coordinating lawn care.
- Checking the home regularly and adjusting the HVAC.
- Stocking the house with basic necessities like bread and coffee.
Why? Because the founders of Hover Girl Properties were navy wives for a long time and they moved countless times. They remember what mattered and what little touches went a long way to make them feel more comfortable during a stressful time. Today, Hover Girl Properties wants to set the standard for helping the people serving our country.
Let’s make your move to Jacksonville as easy as possible.
Give us a call to see how we can help you enjoy all the benefits of military relocation with none of the hassles!