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Brevard County Space Coast: Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville area
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Iowa
6 posts, read 21,746 times
Reputation: 21

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My family just spent the past week visiting Orlando and Brevard County and I wanted to share our experience and process.

Background: I have had a strong job offer from my current employer to relocate to the East Orlando office (near UCF). We have been investigating schools, neighborhoods, and homes for the past 3 months and keeping our eye on Brevard County for the past 18 months. We have 2 boys, one going into 10th and one into 8th, and we all love boating, surfing, fishing, and marine science/wildlife. So we were very amped up about FL; and both boys are in advanced classes / college prep curriculum, and into soccer and other sports.

We spent 3 days in Orlando (thank you T.S. Debby for showing us the "non-brochure" side of FL!) looking at top schools and neighborhoods (Hagerty, Winter Springs, Lake Howell, Olympia & Dr Phillips). We did not find a neighborhood / school combo closer than 30 mins, so we quickly agreed that if I had to drive 30 mins to work then we would consider Brevard County because of the quality of schools and life (Indian River & Beaches).

We then spent the next 4 days staying on Cocoa Beach (I highly recommend the Inn at Cocoa Beach) and travelling all over the county. We wanted to keep the commute under 40 mins (my job is flexible so I would not drive every day to Orlando) with the most important criteria being schools and neighborhood.

I had appointments with principals of the following public schools: Cocoa Beach Jr Sr HS, Edgewood Jr Sr HS, Merritt Island HS, and Satellite HS, and with the following private school: Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy. I can provide much more detail on each school from our meetings and tours if anyone is interested, but suffice it to say that they are all quality schools that would have worked for us. Edgewood did earn our #1 spot, and due to some unique circumstances we could have enrolled both boys for this upcoming school year. Trinity was very appealing because you do not have live in a district; it is a great balance of high academics, quality athletics, small size, and good spirit; but then again you have to pay for the education in the midst of high quality public schools. I did not look at Viera/Rockledge/Cocoa schools due to size and other criteria.

We worked with a Cocoa Beach realtor and looked at several homes between $200-$280k in Cocoa Beach, Sat Beach, and Merritt Island. While driving around we quickly decided to focus on Merritt Island or closer due to keeping the commute under 40mins, plus we did not find any appealing 3bed/2bath homes / neighborhoods for under $280k. Our hope had been to find something with a pool or something on the water in our price range. We quickly realized that we either had to expand into the $300s or move our search into the mainland (Rockledge, etc). I cannot empasize how important it is to actually drive through neighborhoods--homes we loved on MLS we quickly dropped after driving by.

Our best bet turned out to be north Merritt Island homes/Edgewood school. If we had more time we would have taken second looks at neighborhoods and schools in the mainland. By the way, we also met with soccer coaches and players that attended various schools. So our opinions were also influenced by current students and parents, not just school reps.

The jury is still out on what we will do. Prior to the visit we were all gung ho on relocating, and now afterwards we are conflicted. If we pull the trigger we will most likely rent/lease in Merritt Island and wait for a better property to pop. We also would need our Iowa home to sell first in order to free up cash flow for a home that we would really want to buy (3-4 bed/2bath, pool, prob around $300k).

I will keep this thread posted on what happens next, and happy to provide more info on all the schools / homes & neighborhoods we visited.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:11 AM
912
 
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For such a big move, it's almost always better to rent first!
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:09 PM
 
14 posts, read 45,169 times
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WOW, I cant belive what timing this thread has...we are going next week to talk to school in Brevard. I would love to hear more can you private message me??? Thanks
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:51 PM
 
96 posts, read 180,664 times
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We came here with the intent to stay around $250k for a home and realized quickly that to get into the type of neighborhood we wanted (with schools being the top priority) that we needed to raise our budget by about $100k. Good luck with your search. I know what you mean about seeing a home online and then actually driving by it. Photos don't tell the whole story at all.
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:04 AM
 
22,564 posts, read 33,472,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommster View Post
We came here with the intent to stay around $250k for a home and realized quickly that to get into the type of neighborhood we wanted (with schools being the top priority) that we needed to raise our budget by about $100k. Good luck with your search. I know what you mean about seeing a home online and then actually driving by it. Photos don't tell the whole story at all.
Unless you're shopping 4 or 5 bedroom homes, you must have some unusually high standards as I haven't had much trouble finding nice homes/neighborhoods in Viera, Suntree, Indialantic and Satellite Beach (all top school districts) at that price point (250K).
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:41 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,803 times
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Default Thanks for the Info

tsklop: Thank you for your post. My family is in a very similar situation as your family, and we willl be heading to Brevard County next week to look around. We have a sophomore in high school and are focusing our search on the same areas because of the smaller sized schools. Why did you decide on Edgewood instead of Merritt Island High? Does living in Merritt Island instead of CB really reduce the commute time to the "mainland"? What was your impression of N. Merritt Island, Central Merritt Island, South Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach, and Satellite Beach? Did you look at Indian Harbour Beach or Indiatlantic?

We will proabably rent short-term before we buy. Our major concern is finding the right school and the right neighborhood. Once we enroll our sophomore into a high school, we will pretty much have locked ourselves into the school zone so we need to make sure the neighborhood is okay. We are moving from an older established neighborhood (homes were built in the 1950s and have been renovated). We like the single story, older neighborhoods that have been properly maintained, both structure and yards.

Our purchase price will depend on our montlhy total for Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance. I would estimate that we will purchase between $300K and $400K, based on research. We like the beach, surfing, and boating lifestyle. We are definately "parrot heads."

Any suggestions of where to start our search.....
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:58 PM
 
96 posts, read 180,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Unless you're shopping 4 or 5 bedroom homes, you must have some unusually high standards as I haven't had much trouble finding nice homes/neighborhoods in Viera, Suntree, Indialantic and Satellite Beach (all top school districts) at that price point (250K).
We were looking for a 4+ bedroom home and the husband was not interested in anything that needed fixing up. He'd only consider things that were no more than 10 years old. We found a great house in Suntree for a good price considering all of the extras that were included in the house. We had just hoped to get something in the $250K range. In the midwest, we would have been able to pick and choose and deal on price as well. Here we felt that this home was our only option other than building a new home where we wouldn't have gotten nearly as much bang for our buck.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Iowa
6 posts, read 21,746 times
Reputation: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockett81 View Post
tsklop: Thank you for your post. My family is in a very similar situation as your family, and we willl be heading to Brevard County next week to look around. We have a sophomore in high school and are focusing our search on the same areas because of the smaller sized schools. Why did you decide on Edgewood instead of Merritt Island High? Does living in Merritt Island instead of CB really reduce the commute time to the "mainland"? What was your impression of N. Merritt Island, Central Merritt Island, South Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach, and Satellite Beach? Did you look at Indian Harbour Beach or Indiatlantic?

Any suggestions of where to start our search.....

We focused on Edgewood because we had an 8th grader and a 10th grader who could go to the same school...and it was on or near the top of both of their lists....the 8th grader loved Edgewood and the 10th grader liked it, but he also liked all the activities and athletics that a larger school like Merritt Island offers. Merritt Island is a great school with a very good college prep curriculum and lots of AP classes (some of the smaller schools may not offer an AP class if there is not enough interest), and it has that abundance of extra-curricular offerings that smaller schools may not have. Also, our 10th grader has spent one year at a large comprehensive school and liked it.

N Merritt Island seemed to be a good fit for us (well kept homes, easy commute in and out of neighborhoods, larger lot sizes). We decided to keep the commute to under 45mins and that bumped a lot of great communities and schools off the list (the beaches, and communities further south). We personally did not spend a lot of time in Viera or Rockledge because of school size and other factors. I have heard lots of good things about the communities but do not have any personal observations.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:13 AM
 
5 posts, read 9,571 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks for this info. We are relocating from SC. We haven't been able to drive around. We have been talking to locals and such. I think we will also choose MI. We will move in 8 days. We can't find a rental home though. We will move without a home in hope we find something when we get into town. Thanks again for posting
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:20 AM
 
5 posts, read 9,571 times
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I would love to discuss the rental market. We can't find a home. We will need to rent the first year then focus on a home to purchase. Im open to MI, CB, Satellite/indian
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