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Brevard County Space Coast: Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville area
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:56 PM
 
336 posts, read 668,089 times
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A friend keeps telling me about Merritt Island and how wonderful it is...no trouble with allergies which is a big problem for my family. I saw someone else on here mention Lake Mary.

What can you guys tell me about these areas? How are they for taxes, safety, schools, cost of living, etc.?
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:26 PM
 
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Anybody have any thoughts about these?
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:48 PM
 
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Comparing the two are like comparing apples and oranges.

Merrit Island is essentially Cocoa. If you want to be near the Banana River, the Indian River and the ocean, Merrit Island is perfect. People don't generally commute from Merrit Island to Orlando for work, and the income levels are lower over there than in and around Orlando along with house prices that are not on the water. Merrit Island is a little more blue collar and not as professional as Orlando. If you are retired, don't have to work, and don't want to be in Orlando, then I'd pick Merrit Island

Lake Mary is just a northern suburb of Orlando. It is right next to Seminole County's High-Tech corridor. It has some average areas and some very nice areas. It's not all that much different than many parts of Winter Springs and Longwood. Heathrow would be considered more up-scale than Lake Mary. Longwood, perhaps not quite as desireable as certain parts of Lake Mary.

Don't know what more I could tell you.
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:43 PM
 
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Default Merritt Island

Merritt Island is a small, beachy town (5 min to the beach) with a very relaxed feel. Very friendly, but not much to do here! There are a lot of retirees, but many families as well.The majority of residents who are in their "working years" are employed by the Kennedy Space Center. For Florida the public schools here are quite good, always ranking at the top. However, you must consider that Florida public schools are ranked near the bottom of the nation on a regular basis. You can select private or parochial schools here that are quite good, or homeschool (very popular here). There really isn't anything cultural to do on Merritt Island. A few community theatres nearby. Some small local museums that you could tour in just a few hours. Lots of wildlife to watch. Many endangered species thrive here - manatees, dolphins, alligators and wonderful tropical birds. Of course the beach and boating are major attractions. You will see a big mixture of "haves" and "have nots" on Merritt Island. It is not unusual to have a very lovely, affluent riverfront community located just yards away from tumbledown homes with extremely poor people living there. You can find posh waterfront condos, quaint turn of the century homes, mid-century ranches, sprawling estates and decaying trailer parks. There is a pretty small mall with Macy's, Dillard's Penny's and Sears as the anchor stores. No fine dining on Merritt Island, but several great places in nearby Cocoa Village and Cocoa Beach. While the crime was localized around Orlando and Volusia County for many years, we have had a large increase in crime in Brevard County over the past five years. Also an increase in Meth labs. The cost of living had been rather low for a long time, but isn't anymore. Between 1999 and 2005 there was a mini "boom" on Merritt Island. Many people relocated here to take advantage of affordable water-front living. And YES, that does include people who commute to Orlando from here. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the east side of Orlando from Merritt Island. With such an increased demand for housing on Merritt Island, the housing prices soared. Then came the enormous increases in taxes, and the outrageous homeowners insurance problems. Now, many people can no longer afford to remain on Merritt Island, especially those retirees with modest fixed incomes. My property tax was right around $800 per year when we purchased our home 5 years ago. Today it is almost $6,800 per year. Our homeowners insurance was $1,200 last year and is $6,772 today. Most people purchasing a home today on Merritt Island MUST get homeowner's insurance through the government-run Citizens Insurance because standard insurance companies are no longer issuing new policies on Merritt Island. The greatly increased taxes and insurance has had an enormous impact on the housing market and industry. Houses are now taking months to sell and people are greatly decreasing the asking price. Buyers have the luxury of being able to get some wonderful deals now, but local realtors and mortgage brokers are being forced to change careers due to lack of business.
Lake Mary is nothing at all like Merritt Island and really can't be compared very easily. The best thing you can do to compare the two towns is take a visit to both.
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Debary, Florida
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I would sell my soul to live on or that near the beach...not having allergy problems because of the wind from the ocean would just be a bonus.
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Old 05-30-2007, 02:12 PM
 
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WOW,you mentioned your taxes and insurance cost, is that typical for merritt island? The mileage there is fairly reasonable, why the big jumps? If you had to pick a location in brevard county, where would u go? we were also considering satellite beach and indiatlantic. Thanks for your imput!
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:30 PM
 
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where you should go in brevard depends on what you want to do...if you'd rather be close to Orlando, Cocoa/Merritt Island are best. If you want to be close to KSC, Titusville is best. If you want to be on the beach near Melbourne/Palm Bay, then Satellite Beach and Indialantic are best. Cocoa Beach is more built up and "happening" than Satellite Beach and Indialantic. Indialantic, historic Mel, and Cocoa Village are very pretty. Cocoa is very rural--I live there and many people have horses.
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Tampa baby!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smash731 View Post
where you should go in brevard depends on what you want to do...if you'd rather be close to Orlando, Cocoa/Merritt Island are best. If you want to be close to KSC, Titusville is best. If you want to be on the beach near Melbourne/Palm Bay, then Satellite Beach and Indialantic are best. Cocoa Beach is more built up and "happening" than Satellite Beach and Indialantic. Indialantic, historic Mel, and Cocoa Village are very pretty. Cocoa is very rural--I live there and many people have horses.
All these areas are very different from each other though.

Cocoa doesn't have good public schools and the only NICE area I am aware of is Canaveral Groves out by Hwy24. I absolutely LOVE Cocoa Village but unless you live in Old Rockledge area, you could live anywhere central and be able to go there whenever you wanted. It's very pretty at Christmas time and alot of the the shops are open late for christmas shopping. They have the craft fairs there about 4 times a year and Octoberfest and MardiGras festivals too.

Rockledge is better but schools still not the BEST.

Satellite Beach is nice but pretty much no shopping.

Cocoa Beach is mainly condo and older houses that have been owned by the same family for years,surfers. They have a small downtown area with shops and restaurants though.

Cape Canaveral is very quiet, but again not even a grocery store- you'd either go to Merritt Island or Cocoa Beach which isn't far anyway since Canaveral is pretty small.

Titusville- I don't want to insult anyone, but it SUCKS IMO. The ONLY reason I could see to live there is that it's closer to Lake Mary or you work at KSC. They probably have good schools though.

If you compare homeowners insurance in the areas, they are all going to be high. IMO, Merritt Island is the best option for Brevard.
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:12 PM
 
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lol I wanted to say that about Titusville. Perfect summary dreamer...I didn't know Cocoa schools were bad as I am past school age but not yet to kids of my own age btw I live in Canaveral Groves...that in itself has several + and -, but overall I agree that MI is "best".
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madjoe View Post
WOW,you mentioned your taxes and insurance cost, is that typical for merritt island? The mileage there is fairly reasonable, why the big jumps? If you had to pick a location in brevard county, where would u go? we were also considering satellite beach and indiatlantic. Thanks for your imput!
Yes, the taxes and insurance cost is pretty typical for most of Merritt Island these days. The taxes and insurance have been going up, up, up over the past 4 years. Since I posted the last comment on Merritt Island I have dumped my homeowners insurance and was forced to go with the state-run Citizens Insurance. I was not able to find a single insurance company issuing new policies on Merritt Island. But now my insurance is down to just about $4000k, which is a huge savings. On the downside, we have been told time and time again that Citizens is really SLOW and difficult to work with on claims. I had to make the switch just to be able to pay the bills, though! MANY people are selling because they cannot afford to stay. Particularly the retirees on fixed incomes. On the other hand, this type of situation provides a terrific buying oppportunity for people relocating from more expensive areas. My house is a 1966 ranch on a canal. It is fully renovated from top to bottom, inside and out. It is 1800 sq ft and the lot is about .25 acre. I would say the neighborhood is average. The homes on canals are generally in great shape and sell for about $325k to $400k. The homes that are NOT on canals might be fixed up or might be dumpy. Newcomers are buying these homes and renovating them, but the families who have lived there a long time frequently let the homes go in to disrepair.
Other parts of Brevard County that are nice: Yes, Satellite Beach and Indiatlantic are both nice. I don't know the specifics on the insurance and taxes in that part of the county but I do know it's not limited to Merritt Island. You can get specific tax info from the tax appraiser's office at
http://www.brevardpropertyappraiser.com/
You can read volumes about the taxes at http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbc...gory=taxdivide.
And You can get a great deal of insurance info from
http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbc...insurancestorm

In truth, Viera and Rockledge are really becoming nice places to live. Stay away from Palm Bay and Port St John and much of Cocoa due to crime. It's not everywhere, but those three locations tend to have more crime than most other parts of the county. Hope this is helpful!
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