By Kathy the “Red Hat”, Jan 14th, 2020.
Any life changes, especially relocation to another state, maybe a challenge to a young family, although, if you are at the point when you actually “consider” moving, means that YOU may be READY. We were living our life like a crazy- happy- young- adventurous couple, travelling around the world and enjoying the best that the City may offer. Our rental apartment was small, but convenient, minutes to the city life which we loved. But as I said before, we felt we were ready for a change. After 10 years of amazing life experience in NY, tough and exciting decision to move to the new location, Space Coast of Florida, was made. As of now, we had no idea what we were doing and how our life would change. Looking back, I can state that we were on the right path and would not change it…
It all started with an idea that living your “dream life” should not wait till retirement and we started the research. Looking through millions of forums, travel sites and bloggers killed a lot of weekends, but opinions were different. Here are our best tips for any young family moving from a “big city/ small apartment” situation to a welcoming and charming Space Coast of Florida.
- Rent First. Size matters, there is no doubt in it. After ridiculously small city apartments that cost a fortune to young couples, greediness for SPACE may suck you into big troubles. Looking through Zillow rental adds with amazing prices may attract you to a mansion that will cost you cheaper than a “closet” that you are living now, just B-R-E-A-T-H-E and go for the easiest option with the following options (benefits explained):
- 1 Year Lease( with an option to add up months in the end) – gives you enough time to look around and find the house of your dream!
- HOA( Homeowners association) – have tough restrictions about vehicles that you may keep on the property( no RV for example), limitation of guests visiting, strict outdoors appearance limitations ( no big toys outside or pools for more than 3 days, or no fencing or grilling). If you find a house with HOA, check the yearly fee and what’s included in it. Most of HOA fees include care for community amenities, plus your outdoor green areas.
- Community Pool vs Private Pool – having access to a pool is essential in Central Florida, it’s hot and people don’t go to the beach often to swim because it’s normal to get lazy here! If you have a community pool, I would recommend looking for an apartment close to it, otherwise, you don’t have to worry about anything, just enjoy refreshing waters. Besides, pools are a great networking spot to meet new friends and talk to locals. Private Pool is an investment of money or your time, approximately extra $100/month (which may be included in your rent). Do your best judgement! The bigger the pool, the bigger the water bill, electric bill and maintenance would be…
2. Location over Size. Florida is huge, and, yes, it has some amazing properties that may look JUST RIGHT for you, but be aware that Location is still a key to a good and easy life in Florida. Unfortunately, Space Coast consists of small towns connected, and the areas are very mixed up. For example, you may take A1A rode along the coast and see the juxtaposition of expensive mentions across the Trailer parks with high crime rates and unfortunately, poor infrastructure. Some areas of the towns have no sidewalks or recreational walking or cycling areas… Every area is different and I highly recommend to research the crime rates, cultural aspects, and the neighbourhoods nearby. You would be surprised that some beachside richest neighbourhoods maybe “high crime” areas because they are very attractive to criminals. I would go to a smaller house but in a safer and pretty location. My recommendations are Viera, FL, Suntree, FL, Rockledge, FL. All of them are on the land and are close to each other, combining into a great modern attractive area, still growing and remodelling!
Beachside areas are beautiful and have their unique “little beach town” atmosphere, but have some pros and cons. If you plan to buy a beach house in the future, it is better to test it for a year or so, so you can see what it’s like to live on the island on the beachside. Low-speed limitations, traffic sometimes, mandatory relocation in the Hurricane seasons, gusty winds and high humidity are something to think of. Plus, house insurances are much higher on the beachside on the land.
3. So, House or Apartment? Tough question because there are so many aspects! I know several couples who got a huge house and were dreaming of getting rid of it, because maintenance was so much more than they expected plus living on the ground is different: expect local wildlife to visit you, there is no way around it. While apartments are usually in communities and are well treated with pest control, so usually much fewer bugs, snakes, raccoons, and mice. Houses on the water, next to lakes are charming if you consider feeding ducks and turtles while drinking your morning coffee on your private patio with the lake view, but it stops to be charming if your neighbours spot a gator passing buy who has direct access to your backyard. If you have little kids who roll like crazy on the grass and regularly jump into the water, a mother is guaranteed with a heart attack. I knew a couple, young professionals who lived for 3 years in an apartment before they got their first house for the reason that a girl was too scared of all bugs and spiders who are more present on the ground. Now they grow mango trees and are pretty happy!
Florida’s Space Coast is beautiful, with gorgeous sunrises and sunsets on the beaches, rich wildlife and multiple farms, enormous parks and fantastic festivals. There is always something to do and always a reason just to do “nothing” because the weather is beautiful, the sun is shining and beer is crispy cold. There are millions of reason to enjoy Florida at a young age. Being a young family is a benefit because you can adjust to the weather faster, enjoy multiple sports and location plus you bring your enthusiasm with you that may help you to build new businesses and enrich community! We are very happy to be active members of local business communities, support local non-profits and help to protect local nature on the Space Coast of Florida!