Located on Florida’s “Space Coast,” Melbourne, FL is a popular destination for those looking to move to a city with a warm climate, beautiful beaches, and a laid-back lifestyle. Whether you’re considering renting an apartment in Melbourne, FL, or buying a home in the city, you can find plenty to love in Melbourne.
But, while there are many great things about living in Melbourne, like any other city, it also has its share of drawbacks. In this Redfin article, we’ll explore both the pros and cons of living in Melbourne, FL, and if this charming and vibrant city is a good place to live for you? Read on to find out.
Pros of living in Melbourne, FL
1. Warm climate
Melbourne is famous for its warm and sunny climate. The city has a subtropical climate that is characterized by hot, humid summers and mild winters. With an average of 234 sunny days per year, Melbourne’s weather is ideal for outdoor activities, especially water-based activities such as swimming, boating, and fishing. The city’s beaches, rivers, and lakes offer opportunities for water-based activities year-round.
2. Beautiful beaches
Living in Melbourne means you have easy access to beautiful beaches, perfect for a relaxing day out or a fun-filled weekend. The city’s long coastline boasts miles of pristine beaches that are well-maintained and offer a range of amenities, including showers, restrooms, picnic areas, and playgrounds.
One of the most famous beaches in Melbourne is the Cocoa Beach, which is known for its warm, crystal-clear waters and powdery white sand. It’s an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing.
3. Low cost of living
One of the significant advantages of living in Melbourne is the low cost of living, allowing residents to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. Compared to other cities in Florida, Melbourne offers affordable housing, transportation, and other basic amenities. Housing costs are relatively low, with a median sale price of $331,250 in Melbourne as of March 2023, nearly $70,000 below the national median.
4. An incredible food scene
“Melbourne has an incredible food scene with many family-owned restaurants, featuring unique craft dishes,” shares Halim Urban, Tour Director at Village Food Tours. “Ranging from fine-dining seafood restaurants to burger shacks, and barbecue joints. Overwhelmed with all of the amazing options? You can always join award-winning Village Food Tours on a culinary adventure.”
5. Things to do
“There are several amazing activities on the Space Coast. Fishing, golfing, kayaking, and days on the beach, all followed by seafood eats,” says Halim Urban. “The Brevard Zoo is one of the best in the country. Parks and downtown areas with boutique and antique shops, concert venues, and historical playhouses.”
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Cons of living in Melbourne, FL
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1. Hurricane risk
Melbourne is located on the east coast of Florida, which means it’s at risk of hurricanes. It’s important to be aware of the hurricane season, which runs from June to November. While the city has a strong infrastructure to handle these natural disasters, residents should be prepared with emergency supplies and have a plan in place. Some insurance providers may also charge higher premiums for homes in hurricane-prone areas. It’s important to note that not all hurricanes make landfall in Melbourne, and the city has experienced only a few major storms in recent history. However, residents should still take the threat seriously and stay informed through local news and weather reports.
2. Wildlife encounters
Melbourne is home to a diverse array of wildlife. While some residents may appreciate the chance to encounter these creatures, others may find it disconcerting. Alligators, for instance, are a common sight in the area’s many lakes, rivers, and wetlands, they can be dangerous if provoked. Similarly, snakes and insects, such as mosquitoes and palmetto bugs, are also prevalent in the area. While many people learn to coexist with these creatures, others may find it difficult to adjust to their presence. It’s important to take precautions when dealing with wildlife, such as keeping a safe distance and seeking professional help if needed.
Melbourne can experience heavy traffic during peak tourist seasons, especially on the roads leading to popular attractions such as the beaches or Kennedy Space Center. Commuting during rush hour can also be a challenge, particularly on major roads like Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1. However, compared to larger cities like Miami or Orlando, the traffic in Melbourne is generally considered manageable. Locals often suggest planning routes in advance and allowing extra time for travel during peak periods.
Melbourne’s location in the southeastern part of the United States, coupled with its proximity to the ocean, means that humidity is a significant factor in the city’s climate. While some people find the high humidity levels uncomfortable, others may appreciate the benefits it can bring. It’s important to prepare for the humidity if you plan on living in Melbourne, especially during the summer months when humidity levels can be particularly high.
5. Limited public transportation
Melbourne’s public transportation system is not as extensive as some other major cities in the US, making it a challenge for people who rely on public transportation to get around. The public transportation system primarily consists of buses, with limited options for train or subway services. For those who prefer not to drive, this can be a disadvantage, as they may have difficulty accessing certain areas of the city.
Is Melbourne a good place to live? Final thoughts
Melbourne, FL, is a great place to live for people who love warm weather, beautiful beaches, and a laid-back lifestyle. While there are some drawbacks to living in Melbourne, the benefits far outweigh the cons. If you’re thinking about moving to Melbourne, be sure to consider these pros and cons to help you determine if you should be calling Melbourne your next home.