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Reviews & Comments

Sebastian, FL

Update - 12/28/2013
This is an update to my "I prefer it" submission of 2/15/2011.

After four and half years I am moving but not because there is anything particularly wrong with Sebastian, FL. Indeed, for retired people who want a relatively seasonless climate, which creates a kind of timelessness so as to forget about their own mortality, it is a great place to live. I, on the other hand, need a three-dimensional landscape with four seasons.

Two other factors are driving my decision to leave. The distressed neighborhood I bought into has completely turned around. This is good financially but now I am surrounded by homes fifteen feet away. Gone are the many creatures that made this area their home and made it feel as though I lived in a nature preserve. This was to be expected. I just did not expect it to occur so soon. Also, the seasonlessness means having a twelve-month pollen season, unacceptable for this severe hay fever sufferer.

So I hesitate to praise or condemn Sebastian. What is it that you are looking for? A very long hot and humid summer? Then come on down because there really is no such thing as "winter". Again, while I have no desire to shovel lots of snow, not having seasons can be surprisingly depressing.

I would return on occasion to escape the cold weather but I would never make this my permanent home. In fact, the people who think we're nuts for fleeing this "paradise" do not actually live here year round.

Sebastian, FL

Update - 12/3/2013
I stand by my rather positive review posted on 2/15/2011. However, I am about to leave for a region with four seasons and three dimensions.

This is an ideal place for retired people but the timelessness is something I still find difficult to get used to. Winter, when and if it actually comes, is gorgeous. The rest of the year is too hot and humid. By the rest of the year we're talking nine months out of the year. Again, if I were retired and thus had control over my daily routine, I may be willing to get over it.

That said, the traffic has gotten worse as home sales have rebounded. Not terrible but as somebody who hits every single light on his way to Vero Beach everyday, it is too much for me (22 lights and/or stop signs in 14.6 miles). Moreover, my neighborhood is no longer distressed. A hundred plus homes have been built since I arrived. Good for home values but just about every wild animal has disappeared. I now definitely live in suburbia, unfortunately.

Finally, after a two year respite, my severe hay fever has returned with a vengeance. This part of Florida has no freeze and thus has a 12 month pollen season, especially grass and ragweed. Years ago I would get itchy eyes but meds kept me otherwise happy. Not anymore. Think having the flu for months at a time. Yes, for me it is that bad.

In some ways I will be sad to leave. Perpetual summer would be great if I were retired. The beach and river (increasingly polluted) are incredibly beautiful. The parks and undeveloped areas have their own kind of beauty, too. The commute, the development, the seasonlessness, and the pollen will not be missed.

Call me a "tweener" or a "halfback" because I am heading back north a bit. Not sure where yet but I am looking forward to it.

Sebastian, FL

I prefer it. - 2/15/2011
I moved to Sebastian in the summer of 2009 and do not regret it. The housing crash has been tough on Florida but it is what made the move possible for me. I bought a brand new, 1850 square foot, cbs home in an underdeveloped gated community about a mile from the Indian River Lagoon for $135K.

I have read other reviews that complain about rude northerners, drunks, and traffic. I was surprised by the number of northerners but have not found many, or perhaps even any, to be rude. Drinking is commonplace on the waterfront. No, you are not going clubbing in Sebastian but there are a lot of watering holes. Think middle age wannabee bikers. The older folks, and there are plenty, tend to frequent restaurants earlier in the day but are gone by nightfall. In fact, most of Sebastian closes early. I do not find traffic to be much of a problem either. Sure, when the snowbirds arrive, things get more congested. Contrary to another reviewer, I have not observed much speeding. On the contrary, the elderly sometimes tend to slow the pace down. I find driving Route 512 to be frustrating but that has more to do with the time lights.

Sure, summer gets hot, though I was acclimated by my second summer, but the other season is incredible. The beauty of the region is tough to beat. The lagoon, the inlet, the preserves and parks...all wonderful. The eagles, ospreys, owls, otters, raccoons, bobcats, gators...likewise.

Would I move? For the right job in a somewhat rural area with four seasons and hills, yes. Till then, I am thoroughly enjoying Sebastian.

Carmel, NY

Not much has changed? - 6/15/2009
I left Carmel for good in 1988 and never looked back. That being said, I thought my childhood in Carmel was about as idyllic as one could hope for. Large yards in a small neighborhood surrounded by nature meant one could just as easily round up enough friends to play football or opt to explore the woods or ride bikes to the reservoirs. Also, enough winter to play hockey on the ponds or sleigh ride.

Unfortunately, I believe the previous poster is correct. NY State in general is a fiscal disaster and corruption still reigns. I now live in the South where folks talk about the "old boy network"; well, I think it was a lot worse in NY.

Suffolk, VA

Unremarkable? - 6/15/2009
Suffolk is a bit difficult to describe because it is geographically the largest city in Virginia. Downtown has been slightly revitalized but I have no reason to go there except to eat at one of the few restaurants. Surprisingly high crime for such a small downtown, too.

I happen to live in the rather undeveloped western portion and while I like my one, quiet acre, I do not like the increasingly congested commute to Chesapeake. Even extending the bypass is not going to solve this problem since the highway is only two lanes east and west. I drive 70+ mph but somebody is always tailgating, which puzzles me since the practice is not going to help given the congestion.

After 15 years I am leaving and not particularly sad about it. I will miss my home, yard, and the moderate weather but if I am going to deal with heavy congestion I at least want some services like cable and DSL, neither of which is available where I live.


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