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For all intents and purposes, Duval County, which occupies the Atlantic Coast just south of the border with Georgia, where the St. Johns River meets the sea, and the city of Jacksonville, Florida, are one and the same. Due to the 1968 consolidation of city and local government, Jacksonville covers a whopping 757 square miles, more than any other American city outside of Alaska. However, since Jacksonville only has a population of about 807,000, the population density is actually quite low, creating an atmosphere of affordable housing and ample room for expansion. Jacksonville's unique consolidation move has earned it the nickname: "Bold New City of the South."

Those looking at moving to this bold new city will be pleased to know that housing in Jacksonville is significantly cheaper than it is in the rest of Florida. The average price for a house or condo in the city is only $180,900, which is nearly $50,000 cheaper than the state average. Since there is so much space, single family homes are more affordable here than they would be in a more densely populated city. The average one is only about $235,000. New homes are being built all the time at a rate of about 4,000 per year, so it's easier to get your hands on a brand new property than perhaps it would be in Florida's other major cities.

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Jacksonville isn't just about new development, however. The city has been around since 1791, so it's had a chance to build up quite an impressive collection of architectural styles. Among the private home styles you'll find in the city are the 1920s collection of Art Deco, Craftsman, and Prairie, and such staples of the revival movement as Mediterranean Revival and Classical Revival, most of which tend to be single story because of the climate. The best examples of these styles can be found in Avondale, while Cedar Hills is replete with brick homes built in the 1940s. For some classic examples of antebellum style, the Ortega neighborhood is the best bet.

While Jacksonville does have a wide variety of historic neighborhoods with interesting architectural styles, most of its districts are populated by ordinary suburban planned communities and old rural towns incorporated into the whole. Dinsmore is one of these villages and is known for its "one-road town" atmosphere. The St. Johns River and the Atlantic Coast give Jacksonville a lot of waterfront acreage, perhaps the nicest of which can be found in the Dames Point area, while Mayport combines aspects of a beach community with a fishing village while supporting a large Navy presence.

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