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Brevard County Space Coast: Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville area
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:09 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,843 times
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Hello All! My mother and I are seriously considering relocating to the Melbourne area in the spring of 2013. My mother has never lived outside of Ohio and I spent some time in Washington D.C., but found it too big, impersonal, busy, and I hated the constant rat race. I graduate from college in the spring and with no real family connections left in Ohio we want to move somewhere hot and sunny, we've paid our penance in the snow belt! A friend of mine returned from a vacation at Cocoa Beach and just went on and on about how amazing it is, as well as the surrounding areas. Mom and I did some research and fell in love with Melbourne, Fl. It seems exactly what we're looking for. Quaint without being tiny, but not too big. And of course we're looking for a place with a warm climate, preferably near the ocean. Any relocation advice? We found the rents to be surprisingly reasonable! But are there any areas we should try to avoid? What are the bad neighborhoods? How is the employment? I will have a bachelor's degree in History and am open to really any kind of employment opportunities. We are currently in a very depressed area of Ohio that has very limited employment opportunities for a new graduate like myself. What about local hospitals, are they of good quality? Any advice/information is greatly appreciated!!! Thanks so much!!!
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:18 PM
 
Location: South Florida
4,949 posts, read 6,428,747 times
Reputation: 5160
Whatever you do, don't move until you secure employment.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Morrisville
105 posts, read 351,423 times
Reputation: 95
I wish the best Please do some background work ;in job hunting and housing I would really find some and look in to a nice area Several area to stay away from is parts of Palm Bay Bad !! May sound nice but when it come to driving /Summer Fires ? ASK everyone Not just the renters!! If you like Check out Veria area nice !! Or better yet check in to Port St Jhons , I lived 12 yr in Melb,
I did case work for the court so I saw a lot , Try to get a job find/ a short term lease to live 6 months and check things out for your self before planting , Cost is high on many thing because no state sale tax look in to car ins/tax/tag / You have a great chance in life on family as in children etc so good luck !! can can be a nice place to live and have a life but keep you eyes open it chance with the season so many live nov-april and then the snow bird go back to the north and you have a complete differen life style !! Job wise/driving etc!!
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:40 AM
 
26 posts, read 57,360 times
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My advice would be to enlist a realtor in the area, specify exactly what you do/don't want, and utilize Skype and Google Maps to get the most simulated feel for the potential residences as you can. I understand it probably isn't convenient to come look at places and travel back and forth, but you should try to dedicate a long weekend (maybe MLK?) to book viewings and check out some properties.

Moving is never easy and the more prepared you can be the better! There are plenty of Melbourne realtors that can help you find what you are looking for. Good luck to you and your mother and we look forward to having you join us in Florida!


Jenn
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:31 AM
 
Location: Northeast US
111 posts, read 286,824 times
Reputation: 181
The city of Melbourne, as well as the county as a whole, has some beautiful scenery. If you love water, we have both the ocean and the Indian River. I wouldn’t consider the buildings or infrastructure here very nice looking, more just average. That is, aside from the bridges connecting the mainland to beachside, they are very pretty, as well as functional. You’ll at any given day see dozens of fishermen fishing off of or beside these bridges.

The weather is not everyone’s cup of tea. I suppose since you are seeking hot temperatures, you might really love the weather here. But just mentally prepare yourself to having to get accustomed to the summers here. The heat and humidity can really make one feel like their skin is baking. Mentally understand that it will take getting used to. You will walk to your mailbox and back somedays dripping in sweat all over. You might want to keep sunscreen in your car as you can get one heck of a sunburn on your arms just driving home from work. One of the nicest things about beachside is that they regularly get a breeze that helps cool things off a bit. I don’t go to the beach to swim, but it can be really nice to sit out in the sun, with a nice breeze, bottled lemonade, and a good book. Or maybe just walking down the beach holding the hands of the one you love.

As far as employment, there are several good options. Once can be to live in or near Melbourne for the economic opportunities existing there. Melbourne is the economic hub of Brevard. Second, would be to live more toward the northern part of the county. This would enable you to either commute to Orlando for work, or to work in Brevard, but have that backup plan of working in Orlando in case you cannot economically support yourself in Brevard (or get laid-off). The commute from Melb. to Orlando is horrid, trust me. To get from Central Melbourne to Downtown Orlando for work, you’re looking at either an hour and 40 min drive each way, or an hour and 15 minutes with $2.75 in tolls each way. Vero Beach is also an option if you don’t mind a 40 minute commute.

The county prides itself on being a tech and engineer hub, and for many reasons, it has good reason. There are literally dozens of such companies scattered through the area. Here is a link to the county’s top employers:
BREVARD County Jobs, Brevard SpaceCoast Employment

The area is known for lay-offs, a concept not widely advertised. The Kennedy Space station has had thousands of layoffs in this past decade, and has really hurt the local economy badly. It trickles down and hurts the business of companies who worked with the space station, such as providing manufacturing parts, or even customer service. Sadly, many people lost their business, and lost their homes. With so many people out of work, it creates a problem for everyone. The highly skilled have in many cases had to work at jobs below their skill and educational attainment level, taking wages far less than what they are worth. This in turn takes up the few jobs from those less experienced like recent graduates. Companies really have a large pool to choose from. When I worked as a manager of a local retail store, I would routinely get applications from surgical techs, aerospace engineers, and other professionals for a stocking position of minimum wage. The county is trying to make things better, but they do have a long road ahead of them, especially with added huge budget cuts state and nation-wide. My advice would be, if you’re serious about working in Melb. or Brevard Co, start applying to work now. Have something lined up. It might not be as bad as where you are living at, but the economy here does not at all favor recent grads with minimal experience. Much of the mentality is; why would I choose a newbie for my admin position, when I have 16 other applications of people with 10 or more years of experience? Also, the medical field here does have good employment options. Whether you are a secretary, or have medical coding skills or more, you can far more easily find employment in the medical field than in most. There are many hospitals in Melbourne alone, as well as throughout the Space Coast.

You asked specifically of hospitals, and most of the residents would say that they are not equal. Not in terms of care, nor of the work environment. I always hear wonderful things about Holmes Regional and the Viera hospital. I have not at all, ever, heard good things about the Palm Bay Community Hospital, nor of Wuesthoff Medical Center off of Wickham. Perhaps someone who has worked at these places can chime in and give a thorough account? First-hand experience is always better than hearsay!

As for neighborhoods, there are a few notably bad areas. Although US-1 is the nicest view in the entire city, it’s also known for prostitution and drugs. I wouldn’t live near or off of it, from Palm Bay Rd, northward toward Babcock St. Also, try to avoid living off of, or near, University Blvd. It has the worst crime rate in town. Areas right around Wickham, from about Sarno, northward to Lake Washington eastward can get a bit sketchy. Most people don’t have problems, it’s just lower income housing, older homes, and bored kids being devious. If your renting, apartments on Wickham, from south of Sarno Rd., northward to Lake Washington blvd almost always have problems from my experience (think bugs and broken appliances, or drugs and domestic disputes). If your budget can afford, more toward north Wickham is very nice, so are areas of Melb/Palm Bay/W. Melb west of I-95. West Melbourne, Palm Bay, Rockledge, Viera, Satellite beach, Indialantic, Melbourne Beach are all within easy access of anywhere in Melbourne, as well as small communities such as Suntree and Malabar. They all border each other and unless you are really paying attention to road signs, you won’t notice when you have entered another city. (Wait! Maybe paying attention to road signs is a good thing )


As for traffic congestion, it’s always nice to have to take 95 or US-1 to travel longer distances to work. Some roads with more congestion are Palm Bay Rd, especially close to the 95 and Minton. Wickham in parts gets hairy around regular work travel times, especially around 192, Sarno/Eau Galie, and 95. US-1 around Eau Galie Blvd and 192 are pockets of annoying traffic, but for the most part US-1 is a pretty smooth ride. 192 is probably the worst, at least imo, for traffic. US-192 is about the closest thing to “real city” traffic the city gets. It is however, where the majority of Melb. shopping and dining are located. 95 is the best way to get to work, and the fastest always. If you come from a large city, traffic will seem fairly non-existent for the most part. After having lived in Orlando, Brevard has no traffic in comparison. Oh, and there are no toll roads in Brevard County.

For the most part, Melbourne is a really nice place to live. Aside from serious a lack of job growth and opportunity, it really is nice. I find it sad that many young people leave for college, and never return because they cannot find decent, full-time work. The schools are decent, the weather is great, the scenery is gorgeous, and the people are down-to-earth and friendly (for the most part). There are a few shady characters around, but if you’re not into drugs or such, it really won’t be a problem. Crime is low, cost of living is decent, and if you love fishing, you have got quite a bit of options! There are multiple malls, theaters, bowling alleys, parks, and almost any kinds of shopping you could need in a city. The area has dozens of dining options, from chain restaurants, to mama & papa type places. The area also has numerous thrift stores and a flea market, if you like those sort of things.

I don’t know if you’re planning on using the public transportation here, but don’t rely on it for work. Fortunately my mom is retired and doesn’t need to rely on it to make a living, but it is not uncommon for a bus to be running late, so to just pass your bus stop if nobody is getting off there. Even when there are multiple people waiting at that stop to board the bus, the driver tries to make up for lost time. The routes are way too long for an hour’s span, the drivers are over-stressed constantly (and I don’t blame them), and the service is subpar in every way aside from being cheap. Buses break down frequently, and it is just a mess. I’ve had to use it for work a few times myself, and I fortunately had good luck those days. But if I were to use it full-time, and not risk getting in trouble at work, I would leave an hour early every day more than I needed, just in case the bus just passed me by.

Lastly, if you’re going to move to Florida, learn about hurricanes, and have a few plans ready, depending on the severity of the storm. Tropical storms and category 1 hurricanes won’t normally blow off a roof, unless you are talking about mobile/manufactured homes. But the electricity can be out for a week or more. Not to mention that this area floods, some places a lot. If you are going to rent/buy a house, it is always very wise to get a house on a bit of a slope to keep water from entering your home. Also most apartments aren’t on an incline/slope, so it’s wise to live on the second or third story. I remember a few years ago a small tropical storm came through, and a few friends came over to have a little “storm party”. We woke up the next day trapped in my second story apartment. The water was so high that I couldn’t start my car, it was up to my waste, and covered my car exhaust. There were even people kayaking! We ended up being trapped there for 6 days, having had to trod through the nasty sewer water to the store on the 3rd day for food supplies. It was actually pretty fun at the time, but it does give you an idea of the severity of even a small storm. Everyone here has a plan (or should!)

It can also be helpful to find a place that faces north/south. In the summer you will save a noticeable amount of money on your electricity bill, and your house/apt in general will be cooler during the day and evening hours. Blackout curtains can help save you money and heat in your place too! Also, if you’re going to buy a house, get the roof inspected first. Not all companies who have fixed the roofs after previous storms have been reputable. Some people buy generators for storms, and are really worth considering eventually if you move to Fl. If you’re like me and like to keep toiletries in your car, you’ll get want to the gel deodorants so it doesn’t melt. Lotion bottles can sometimes explode and lotion becomes grossly watery, as well as keeping lip gloss in your car is a sticky mess waiting to happen!

You might also want to check out the cities of Port Orange and New Symrna, Ocala, and Lakeland. They are also nice, and might have most of what you are looking for. Hope I mentioned something that helps you! Good luck!
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