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Old 03-06-2011, 03:27 PM
Location: Florida -
8,751 posts, read 10,775,873 times
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Ran into this thread on Arizona and Hawaii, but not yet Florida, so I figured, why not here? It really produces a lot of helpful information to meet a wide range of interests:

Area you are describing:
Air quality:
Housing prices:
Good neighborhoods:
Stuff to Do:

For example:
Area you are describing: (Brevard County) Melbourne Area, South Beachside .. including Satellite Beach, Indian Harbor Beach)
Weather: Comfortable year round (70-75 average; ... although some would claim closer to 85-90 in the summer and in the 40-60 range intermittently for about a month in the 'winter' --
Schools: Overall very good; Our kids attended Delaura Junior and Satellite High, where almost all the kids (and parents) were focused on college. My wife was an Elementary school Principal -- and we found the school system to be progressive and effective. But, as with anywhere, there are good schools and not-so-good schools.
Commute: 30 minutes to Harris in Palm Bay; 20 minutes Avenues/Viera; 1-hour Orlando;
Food: Plenty of Restaurants - we rarely leave 'the beach'
Shopping: Again, we rarely leave 'the beach', except, perhaps, when visiting the kids/grandkids in Destin, Fl. and Atlanta, Ga. Plenty of stores although, probably not the upscale northeast department stores (for those, one can go to Orlando, Viera or ??)
Air quality: Great! -- Ocean breezes keep things cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter (we live on the ocean)
Economy: Major employers who are doing very well include high-tech and defense firms: Harris, Northrop-Grumman, Rockwell, DRS; Several hospitals and healthcare centers. Problem areas are the construction industry and NASA/Cape Kennedy. There seems to be a sizeable 'service-sector'. Still, overall unemployment is high and everyone knows people who are struggling to find work.
Crime: One of the great things about the beach (barrier island) is that it is geographically limited by the ocean and intercoastal waterways. There is not as much transient traffic and certainly not as much major crime. I think there has been one homicide in Satellite Beach over several years.
Housing prices: Brevard/Beach side was 'on a roll' among top locations in the country during the 2004-07-08 boom. This was largely because the area housing prices were so low ... and due for an upward adjustment. We saw increases of 10-20% per quarter for a while! Lately, things are back at about 2004 levels and again very attractive pricing. For example, you can get an upscale, oceanfront condo in the $250-$450 range now... down from $500-800K for the same at the peak. Brevard county is currently facing high unemployment (9%) with some significant layoffs (2000-3000) expected from Kennedy Space Center this year.
Good neighborhoods: We've lived several places in Florida and find that the zoning is really peculiar. On one block will be nothing but, large, expensive homes and the next block may include trailers. I've never been able to figure this out. Some highly regarded housing areas seem to include the Beachside (Satellite, Indian Harbor, Indialantic), Merrit Island, Vierra, Suntree, ---
Culture: Not much in the area of museums, fine arts, etc., but, we find sufficient Community Theaters to satisfy our tastes. It sometimes seems that what passes for 'culture' isn't really all that much (but, I'm thinking about Rome, Athens, Istanbul, etc ... which we just returned from).
Stuff to Do: I guess it depends on your age and mindset. We have everything we want between clean, safe walking-distance beaches, parks, movies, shopping, churches, communities. When we want to go to Disney and the theme parks (not often), we're only 1-2 hours away. The young people seem favorably inclined to the clubs/bars, particularly downtown Melbourne and Orlando.
Other: Because of the geographic limitations of the barrier island, there has not been a major surge in congested, high-traffic growth over the past 25-years. Satellite Beach/Indian Harbor are still the same family-oriented beach towns that we fell in love with years ago. There was a major surge in beachfront condos in the 2002-2006 timeframe, but there are still plenty of beachfront parks and access areas to provide easy access to the beach/ocean.
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:15 PM
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This is very helpful information, jghorton. Do you still live in the area? If so, could you please provide a 2011 update on single family home prices, cost of living and public access to beaches including parking?
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:13 PM
Location: Florida -
8,751 posts, read 10,775,873 times
Reputation: 16574
Default 2011 update: Beaches, Houses, Cost of Living

Originally Posted by seashell13 View Post
This is very helpful information, jghorton. Do you still live in the area? If so, could you please provide a 2011 update on single family home prices, cost of living and public access to beaches including parking?
I've been surprised that more folks haven't added their own cities here.

From a beach perspective, Melbourne/Satellite Beach/IHB and surrounding areas provide great access via free beaches w/no parking fees. (We are fortunate enough to live directly on the beach)..

Housing prices have dropped significantly in the past 3-years and I don't expect them to get much lower --- but, who knows for sure?? Brevard housing and prices are widely varied from $50-$60K upwards to several $millions ... with plenty of houses in all price ranges. The real question is, What are you looking for in housing/area, etc.?

Similarly, cost of living is a relative term. We've lived in Tampa/St. Pete; Kissimmee; and Satellite Beach (last 30-years) -- and have always found Brevard/Melbourne very reasonable and competitive. If you are coming from NYC, you would probably consider it dirt cheap here ... but, if you are coming from South Dakota, you might think it was expensive.
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