Melbourne is a combination of barrier islands, beaches and coastal communities that, together with Palm Bay and Titusville, make up what is known as the “Space Coast.” This beautiful mid-size city is home to 80,127 people and endless things to do. Not to mention, there are great schools, lots of job opportunities and affordable housing to boot.
Pros to Living in Melbourne
#1. Access to Outdoor Recreation
There are so many things to do in Melbourne! From boating to biking and just about everything in between. There are award winning golf courses, lots of water sports and plenty of restaurants and shopping worth checking out. Plus, Orlando is located 50 miles to the east/southeast where Disneyworld and so many other attractions await.
#2. Great Schools
Melbourne is home to some of the greatest schools in the nation. Overall, Melbourne schools rank 7 out of 10. Some areas of Melbourne have better schools than others. There are several schools in the city that rank a 10 on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest quality education. Top-rated schools in Melbourne include Quest Elementary School, Westshore Junior/Senior High School, Longleaf Elementary School, and Suntree Elementary School.
#3. Year-Round Sunshine
Get ready to grow a great veggie garden… all year long! Melbourne gets an average of 234 days of sunshine a year. And you’ll never have to shovel snow again. The average US city receives 26-inches of snow per year, Melbourne gets 0!
Melbourne scores an 81 out of 100 on Sperling’s comfort index, in which 100 indicates the highest level of comfort. The average US city ranks much lower on the comfort index, at around 54. The index is based on the annual number of days that fall between a comfortable 70 and 80 degrees, and penalties are applied for days with excessive humidity.
#4. Affordable Median Home Price
The median home value in America is $199,200, with the median listing price at $255,990. Home prices are expected to increase another 3.2% in the coming year. The median home price in Melbourne is $157,000—that means you’re living in one of the nicest locations in the US for less than the median listing price in the US.
It’s also more affordable than neighboring communities. The median house price is as much as double in Indialantic and Melbourne Beach. Furthermore, the cost of living in Melbourne is 8.40% lower than the US average. Melbourne packs a lot of punch for a sweet bottom line price. Plus, Zillow ranks Melbourne as a hot market.
#5. Lots of Employment Opportunities
There are a lot of job opportunities in Melbourne. The current unemployment rate is 5.10%, that’s better than the US average of 5.20%. Melbourne continues to see positive job growth. From technology to construction, there are jobs in a wide range of industries.
Cons to Living in Melbourne
Unless you hate the beach or prefer to live out in the country, the pros to living in Melbourne easily outweigh the cons. But here are some potential cons to calling Melbourne home.
#1. Not as “Hip” or Trendy as Other Downtown Areas
Melbourne is a mid-size city, so you won’t find the same trendy hipster vibe that infiltrates larger cities.
#2. The Weather Can Get Weird
Most days are sunny and grand, but Florida weather can get a little weird, and if you’re not from here it can be off putting at first. For one, the summers can get hot. Also, it can rain out of nowhere. Thunderstorms and hurricanes are known to strike the area, although there are many systems in place to keep people as safe as possible when storms are expected. Plus, Florida’s hurricane season runs from June to November. Lucky for residents, Brevard County has a reputation for being less impacted by hurricanes than other coastal regions.
#3. Big Bugs & Gators
The varied natural eco systems bring about a new kind of neighbor, welcome to Florida’s wild wildlife! It doesn’t take long to get used to the extra bugs and critters you’re sure to run into, once you realize with the right precautions they are completely harmless. The same goes for gators. Almost any native will tell you they give very little (if any) thought to gators—until they see one, which can be a really cool experience.
Anywhere with canals or nearby fresh water are at risk of gators. Don’t let your dog play in canals or in water where gators live—that’s a nightmare waiting to unfold. Treat even the smallest gators like 12-foot beasts, that means you shouldn’t befriend them or feed them. Gators are all over the state, and you’re sure to see them, but becoming a true local means learning there’s really nothing to fear as long as you’re cautious and respect these prehistoric creatures.