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Brevard County Space Coast: Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville area
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Illinois
4,754 posts, read 4,897,567 times
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I have been considering relocation for several years now wanted to move someplace warm, but never considered Florida. In fact, I was staunchly against Florida for a few reasons: Poor school systems, crowded cities, whenever there is a crazy news/murder/kidnapping story it always seems to come from Florida and - I'm almost embarrassed to admit it - an irrational fear of alligators.

But a few weeks ago we had an opportunity to take a vacation in Florida and we took it because one of my kids wanted to go to Universal and the other wanted to check out a college. So we were in Orlando and Winter Park for a few days, and it was very nice and pretty, a nice change of scenery and culture from boring Illinois.

And then we went to Cocoa Beach. And I fell in love. Hard


Now I am several years away from an actual move, and I would like to come back and visit several more times, but moving to the Cocoa Beach area would be like a dream for me. So while it's fresh in my mind I have a few questions!

1) What is the outlook for employment in Education in the area? I have a degree in English and hope to have my degree in TESL by the time of my move. How likely do you think I would be to find employment in ESL within, say, a 30 minute drive from my home?

2) How different is the Cocoa Beach from the rest of Florida? Meaning culturally, politically, etc? How "Southern" is the area?

3) How bad are the hurricanes really?

4) Are the Indian and Banana Rivers safe for swimming? Or would I have to worry about alligators?

5) When I drove around a few neighborhoods at night I noticed no one kept their porch lights on and there were very few streetlights. Is that a regional thing/Florida thing? Or does it have to do with the sea turtles?

I appreciate all responses, and I hope you know how lucky you are if you live in the area!
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:54 AM
 
Location: South Florida
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With the economy being unpredictable and Florida neighborhoods in constant change, I would wait a few more years until your really ready to make the move before you start doing serious homework.

What might be good advice today, could drastically change in a few years.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:10 AM
 
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No answers to your good questions but unquestionably, Florida does have a lot to offer, we like it here ;-)
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Space Coast
1,988 posts, read 5,029,809 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie3 View Post
1) What is the outlook for employment in Education in the area? I have a degree in English and hope to have my degree in TESL by the time of my move. How likely do you think I would be to find employment in ESL within, say, a 30 minute drive from my home?

2) How different is the Cocoa Beach from the rest of Florida? Meaning culturally, politically, etc? How "Southern" is the area?

3) How bad are the hurricanes really?

4) Are the Indian and Banana Rivers safe for swimming? Or would I have to worry about alligators?

5) When I drove around a few neighborhoods at night I noticed no one kept their porch lights on and there were very few streetlights. Is that a regional thing/Florida thing? Or does it have to do with the sea turtles?

I appreciate all responses, and I hope you know how lucky you are if you live in the area!
1. It's hard to predict teaching opportunities a few years from now. I would say it's not any worse than other areas.
2. Cocoa Beach is a bit touristy and not quite as nice (though it's not bad) as some other beach towns in the area. I wouldn't consider most of the area very "southern". (I grew up here, recently spent 4 years in Georgia, and am back here, so I have a pretty good idea of what real southern is like.)
3. Not as bad as the media makes it out to be. We don't get direct hits that often, but when we do, there can be some damage to homes. The advantage to hurricanes is that we know when they are coming well in advance... unlike tornadoes in the midwest.
4. People ski and jet ski and wade in the water to go fishing a lot, but I don't see many people just recreational swimming. I have heard of gators and bull sharks, but they aren't *that* common.
5. During turtle nesting season, outside lights stay off so as not to confuse the hatchlings trying to find their way to the ocean.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:50 PM
 
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Before you make any decisions about where to move in FL, visit the Gulf Coast. Just about anywhere along the Panhandle or Western coast of Florida is better than Cocoa if you ask me.

1.) I hear the same complaints about teaching jobs in FL that I hear from friends who live out of state and from people posting on the education/teaching forum here.

2.) Cocoa Beach is not very Southern. Not much of Florida is, except the Panhandle - but even then, it's more of a "coastal southern" than a "Deep South" kind of southern. I've lived in the South my whole life, so I recognize differences in each area.

3.) It depends on the hurricane and it's path to be honest. One hurricane may destroy the Atlantic Coast of FL while the Gulf Coast remains pretty much untouched, or vice versa. Some hurricanes come sweeping up the Gulf and cross straight over the middle of the state and park there for days. You're not completely "safe" from hurricanes anywhere in the state, but like Eresh said, you have warnings of them - they don't just show up over night.

4.) Gators can be almost anywhere. Not as common as the media makes it seem sometimes, but ya know, it happens.

5.) Sea turtles.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:10 AM
 
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There is more than one Cocoa Beach. There is the tourist area around the Pier to Ron Jons and then there is the real Cocoa Beach south of downtown. We are a true small town with a huge sense of community. Last night one block of Minutemen Causeway was closed off next to City Hall for our once monthly Friday Fest. The locals bring the kids and dogs and there is live music and food trucks in the street. It's a great time to visit with your neighbors.

Our ocean water temp is a good 10 degrees warmer in the winter than just north of the Cape in Daytona and not in the same continent as Panhandle winter temps, air and water, which are usually Yankee cold for days.

With our population within 100 souls of the 1970 census number we have retained our small town vibe. You may occasionally see an alligator in the Banana River around the Country Club but it's rare. It's always one from the golf course lakes who got lost. The Indian River is far away from Cocoa Beach.

Hurricanes? Flip a coin. We've been lucky and the north/south direction of the coastline and the usual northwest direction of storms by the time they get this far north favor dissipation of storm swell. Our dune has not been breached in many decades by a storm surge.

If flip flops, bicycles, surfing, fishing, wildlife, 35 MPH maximum speed limit and the beach are things that appeal to you, you will probably like Cocoa Beach. I moved here 23 years ago after living on the beach for years between Panama City Beach and Destin. My only regret is not moving earlier. We welcome new neighbors who share the same interests.
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Tampa baby!!
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I've recently relocated to the gulf side (Tampa) and prefer it actually. I lived in Brevard many years, also Ft Lauderdale, Pensacola, and again Tampa. They are all very different, but also nice in their own way depending on the lifestyle you want. I am not personally a fan of Cocoa Beach, terrible traffic during peak season, limited housing options unless you want a condo, and don't speed because they WILL get you lol. I've heard Sarasota has a lot to offer.
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:14 AM
 
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Yep, traffic in Tampa (346,037 population, 113 square miles) is much better than in Cocoa Beach (11,260 population, 4.6 square miles / 70% water) and the Tampa cops are so busy with other stuff that they ignore speeders. True that housing in Cocoa Beach is limited, just like the population. On the other hand, every bit of that limited housing is a short walk from the ocean and Banana River. Somehow all of us that live here found a place to live. Cocoa Beach isn't for everyone. It suits my ocean-centric, laid-back lifestyle perfectly.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:43 AM
 
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Hi everyone I rescently bought a condo 3 years already. Partially live Indian Harbour Beach Fl very quiet nice to live there. They say third best safest place to live in Florida. I go there with my family its near the beach which I love. I remember talking to residence that been there very long time. I kept saying wow! what a place to live. They told me shsss don t say it to loud we want to keep it a secret. I go to Cocoa beach very nice although for us we find its more of place of attraction but I never lived there just visit there. I personally like to be on the Beach and have my space between each other far but again thats me. I live the rest of the year in Canada Quebec and believe me once my kid finishes school I m gone Brevard here we come. A love the place. I love especially meeting people are so nice in the area. The kids are polite when I go shopping do my grocery everyone ready to help you. Great community!!
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Illinois
4,754 posts, read 4,897,567 times
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I appreciate all the responses so far! I do plan to come back and visit the whole area - not just Cocoa Beach - at least a few more times and in different seasons. Like I said, it will be several years before I could move anyway, but it will be nice to daydream about - especially during Illinois winters.
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