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Brevard County Space Coast: Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville area
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:13 AM
 
Location: North Florida
11 posts, read 29,014 times
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My wife and I will soon be moving to the Melbourne/Palm Bay area. I've got a job lined up already, and she works from home, so we're set on that. We're just trying right now to shop for an apartment. We haven't been able to get out and physically visit any places yet, that will come at the end of the month. But I have accumulated a list of rentals in the area that I need some honest opinions of.

I've read up on internet reviews, but those can be somewhat misleading, so I figured I'd hope for some first-hand thoughts on what I've found so far. As for some guidelines, we're looking for something, rent-wise, that's less than about $650-700. We are big outdoorsy people, and love to surf, so the beach will provide enough entertainment for our tastes; we don't need bars or other nightlife. And we only require basic shopping options. We also have a cat. Nothing special. Here goes:

-The Pines at Palm Bay: This one got mostly good reviews, whether that means anything. The price is outstanding.

-The Landings at Palm Bay: Again, good reviews.

-The Vinings at Palm Bay

-Coral Gardens, in Melbourne

-Woodlake Village, in Palm Bay

-Lighthouse Pointe, in Palm Bay

-The Berkshire, in Melbourne

-Caribbean Isle, in Melbourne

I know this is a pretty long list, I just figured somebody here in the realm of City-Data Forum would be able to lend a hand with some opinions or first-hand knowledge on one or some of these.

I appreciate all of the help!
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:27 AM
 
Location: North Florida
11 posts, read 29,014 times
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We'll also consider Sebastian/Vero Beach area if we can find something good there. I've heard/read some pretty negative things about places like Palm Bay, and excellent things about the Vero Beach area. I don't mind a commute if I need to.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:21 AM
 
3,718 posts, read 6,677,093 times
Reputation: 3433
Quote:
Originally Posted by o'dalaigh View Post
We'll also consider Sebastian/Vero Beach area if we can find something good there. I've heard/read some pretty negative things about places like Palm Bay, and excellent things about the Vero Beach area. I don't mind a commute if I need to.
Don't believe everything you hear about Palm Bay. Some of us who do live here are very happy, doing well, and our kids graduate with honors, go to great, colleges, and are successful in their careers. It is not a slum city or a ghetto city and we do not have a higher crime rate than the rest of the county. We do have more people .
The town requires any new builds to be a certain minimum size, have 2 car garages, and for a long while even businesses were required to have a front porch(check out our 1 of a kind Walmart and they even got the store to add a stoplight which they don't normally do <g>).

A lot of speculators and people who got loans on bigger houses than they could afford bought houses here and have lost them because of the economy. That is hurting us a little now because of the foreclosures , but that makes buying a house here good for people who can get a loan. Businesses that have been here have not been closing as much as in some areas of Brevard. The new shopping center where I work is still filling empty stores and all the businesses that started almost 2 years ago there are still there .My store is actually one of the best in its district for sales.

Personally, I would never consider living in Melbourne, Viera, Sebastian but that is just my opinion of those towns and I know that what I hate about them someone else might love. As for Vero Beach.....it is OK for a small town. Has a good HS that is the center of entertainment for most of the townspeople. Lots of community involvement and even the snow birds come out to the stadium for games and band competitions. I know my college roommate who lives there in an upscale neighborhood travels to other towns for most of their entertainment but she enjoys the area.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Palm Bay, FL
334 posts, read 1,029,581 times
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I spent several years at Harvard Apartments on Palm Bay Road. They were great apartments. I have a few friends who lived at the sister complex Princeton Place and they like them also.

Palm Bay has its problems, but I really enjoy living here. I could never live in Viera; it's too sterile for my tastes. And don't listen to anyone who says the Palm Bay crime rate is high. It isn't. Melbourne has a much higher crime rate. Keep in mind though that even in Melbourne, the crime tends to be isolated to one or two bad areas.

I'm not a fan of Vero Beach personally. There are too many snowbirds. I do really like Sebastian though. My wife and I talked about looking for houses down there but decided we didn't want the commute to Melbourne for work.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Knoxville
5 posts, read 13,406 times
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I lived in various parts of Brevard county for 22 years until three years ago and liked the Suntree area the most. Great schools, great shopping, great real estate, safe and clean and central to everything. I'd recommend it to young families and retirees alike. It's more upscale than some other places. Real estate/rental prices will be better in Palm Bay and those who like Palm Bay probably wouldn't want to live in Suntree/Viera and vice versa.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:02 AM
 
3,718 posts, read 6,677,093 times
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Originally Posted by Jeanette318 View Post
I lived in various parts of Brevard county for 22 years until three years ago and liked the Suntree area the most. Great schools, great shopping, great real estate, safe and clean and central to everything. I'd recommend it to young families and retirees alike. It's more upscale than some other places. Real estate/rental prices will be better in Palm Bay and those who like Palm Bay probably wouldn't want to live in Suntree/Viera and vice versa.

Viera no way. I don't like my neighbors on top of me and think kids need more room in their yards than just the pool areas.

Sun Tree is an old established neighborhood of Melbourne that has always been a pretty nice place to live. Most homes have yards that are larger like Palm Bay so would have no problem living up there. Design of homes vary and some good contractors built the original homes up that way. Congestion on Wickham might bug me though. <g>
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:37 PM
 
Location: North Florida
11 posts, read 29,014 times
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Thanks for all of the replies so far! I haven't gotten much feedback on individual apartment complexes, but I'm still researching elsewhere as well.

I did look into Viera a little, but I can't be too sure until I visit. Most of what I've found there is a little out of my price range.

As far as safety, particularly in regard to Palm Bay, I currently live in Jacksonville, and have lived in both West Palm Beach and Miami before. And never in any of the "nicer" areas of any of them (i.e. Riviera Beach in West Palm). So how does the "crime problems" of Palm Bay, or even Melbourne, compare to places like that? I have some friends in places like Jupiter and Vero Beach and although I don't see those places as completely perfect, but they seem to have a different definition of good/bad areas based on their growing up in isolated, upper-middle-class gated communities. Not a knock on that lifestyle at all.

Palm Bay's crime stats that I've found don't look too bad, especially compared to where I live now, and have before. So that I'm not too worried about.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Palm Bay, FL
334 posts, read 1,029,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o'dalaigh View Post
Thanks for all of the replies so far! I haven't gotten much feedback on individual apartment complexes, but I'm still researching elsewhere as well.

I did look into Viera a little, but I can't be too sure until I visit. Most of what I've found there is a little out of my price range.

As far as safety, particularly in regard to Palm Bay, I currently live in Jacksonville, and have lived in both West Palm Beach and Miami before. And never in any of the "nicer" areas of any of them (i.e. Riviera Beach in West Palm). So how does the "crime problems" of Palm Bay, or even Melbourne, compare to places like that? I have some friends in places like Jupiter and Vero Beach and although I don't see those places as completely perfect, but they seem to have a different definition of good/bad areas based on their growing up in isolated, upper-middle-class gated communities. Not a knock on that lifestyle at all.

Palm Bay's crime stats that I've found don't look too bad, especially compared to where I live now, and have before. So that I'm not too worried about.
Melbourne has a few bad areas, but they're perfectly fine to drive through, even at night. It's not like people get carjacked driving on the major roads or anything. I don't know if I would want to live in one of those areas though. Crime in these areas is usually gang and drug related.

The crime in Palm Bay is usually petty stuff like car break-ins. It usually ends up being bored teenagers. My wife and I have no problem going to Wal-Mart late at night, and we've never felt threatened walking around after dark. I think that part of the problem is that Palm Bay is more divers than places like Viera - there are more blue collar workers, minorities, immigrants, etc. - and some people aren't comfortable with that.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Northeast US
111 posts, read 274,833 times
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Hello!

As someone who has for the most part lived in PB all her life (minus 2 of my 23 years), here are my opinions. Keep in mind that as a college student, I really have only basic needs: and you might higher standards for places than me. I just need a Safe, clean, cheap place to lay my head with respectful neighbors and an office staff that at least acts like they care! (and a pool of course, its Fl!)

The Pines – I lived there for 3 years. Helpful staff (didn't always used be that way). The apts are older, and smaller, yet safe. Sometimes things break (like my air conditioner did twice), but they are pretty good at fixing things fast. The Pines has in the past had not a great reputation. However, they really have worked hard to clean up it's image. If you don't mind small yet clean apts, its really decent. I greatly enjoyed my time there. O, and at night you can see bats flying around. I think the bat population might excede the human ones! ...Sounds a bit weird, but perhaps this is why I practically never see bugs in my apt (not even ants!). My biggest complaint is actually the window blinds that come with the apts. You really can see through them closed too well from the parking lot. Consider buying a curtain rod and curtains! (Either that or change in the bathroom, not your bedroom with the window).
If you have further questions about the pines, just pm me, and i'll be more specific!

The Berkshire – I haven't had one friend live there without a really bad experience. From what I've been told, they promise the world to you, and you live there and find poor service. The apartments are a bit larger than the Pines. I know the Pines has a worse reputation, but I'd live there any day than Berkshire. Perhaps they have made things better? It is a good location though. Close to everything and safe.

The Vinnings – A bit nicer than the 2 above. Not sure of the going rate, but in a decent area, just like the Pines. Only, its sometimes a bit tricky to get in and out of. You might be having to take a right sometimes and then do a U-turn for the other way. The Pines has a stoplight. This place would benefit from one. The apts aren't too new, and slightly larger than the others listed above. Clean. Safe. I've been there at all hours and felt safe. Pretty landscape. But every price I've seen previously has been way too much for what you get...so get a good deal if you choose this one. Nothing crazy like $650 a month for a 1 bd.

The Landings – When previously looking for apts, I looked at them. They are so nice inside! Ritzy feeling. Can't give you any other info though.

Coral Gardens – I've been in a friends apt here twice. It was surprisingly nice. She told me stories about a neighbor next building over that caused a lot of trouble and noise, and told me that living toward the back is much better here. The apts themselves were very nice. The area of town? Do a bit of homework and look at Melb crime statistics for that area. Not too sure, but not the best part of town. Getting in and out is a big pain, and Wickham Rd is one of the only roads in town I'd say has “traffic”. Right next to Walmart though!

Lighthouse Pionte – I had family there once. Nice, clean, big. I got a good vibe. Nice balconies...nice overall! The location is a bit of a bummer though, kind of in the middle of nowhere. You will need a car if you want to live here, the bust stop is a long way away and walking on Route 1 is dangerous (fast cars and no sidewalk). Plus its right near the river, so check out what it has to offer in terms of hurricane safety features.

Woodlake Village – The apts seem nice yet small. Having visited friends there before, it seems like most of the populatin is either familes with small kids, or teenagers right out of high school. Kind of noisy for my taste. Perhaps my perception is innacurate, but its the only complex I've been to that I get a bit edgy driving through at night. Maybe it's because the parking lot is so dark? I wouldn't live there though. It's very large though, with many buildings. So finding a good area of the complex might be worth checking into.

Malabar Lakes Apartments – I know not on your list, but my favorite in town. If you can afford them, they are super nice and worth mentioning. Good location, safe, bright parking lots at night, roomy apartments with huge screened balconies, quiet, nice kitchens and bathrooms ,.....nothing bad to say about them. Just awesome. (I have a good friend that lives there that I visit often). Well, actually, they did have tiny roaches there and ants, but those friends weren't the cleanest of people either.

As far as safety, after you have lived in places like Jacksonville and Miami, I think you will welcome the safety of the the Melbourne/ Palm Bay area. I'm a young female, and as another poster stated, have no problem going to Walmart at 3am by myself. Safety really isn't my concern here (finding work is however). Just stay away from anything drug related and be cautious. I lived in Orlando for 2 years and found myself back here greatful for the safety and lack of traffic congestion that the area offers. Don't listen to anyone who says traffic is bad. Trust me, its nothing compared to what you have delt with. 5 o'clock work traffic here is like 9pm traffic in Orlando.

Furthermore, worth mentioning, I would ask every apartment complex about their drainage and how bad the complex floods. It's Fl, and the occasional tropical system comes through town. PB/ Melb really floods in certain areas! A few years ago I was trapped in my 2cd story Pines apt for 5 days after a tropical storm. My car got flooded inside. (ugh!). I even saw boogie boarders outside and a redneck family teaching their kid to swim (even grosser!)...and people in rowboats! Also, consider asking for an apt situated away from the pools. In the summer, any complex you choose, the pools will be filled with loud kids, and living too close by will ensure a noisy place to be on the weekends by the pool.

Take care!
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:36 PM
 
Location: North Florida
11 posts, read 29,014 times
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Wow! Thank you SO much for your response, Annagurl! That was extremely helpful! Exactly what I've been looking for. I was skeptical to listen to online reviews exclusively, because most of them are anonymous (so it could be office staff or who knows who writing them) and most reviews are bad no matter what because a bad experience motivates people to review a place poorly more than a good experience would to rate it well. But you hit the nail on the head, so now I have a good idea of what to look for and expect.

I'm driving to Melbourne next Friday, and I'll be visiting several, if not all, of the apartments on my list. I'll keep in mind everything I've been offered in the way of advice and pointers.

Again, I really appreciate it all!
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