You've been researching the area for years and have finally decided to find out the answer to the question, "Is Cape Coral a good place to live?" Thankfully, living in Cape Coral is mostly a pretty awesome experience and provides more pros than it does cons. However, no city is perfect, and it's critical for you to understand a few drawbacks of moving to this area.
In this article, we'll discuss important factors about Cape Cod, including its geography, economy, education, and other critical facts that highlight what makes this city unique. We'll weigh various pros and cons of living in Cape Coral that focus on things like comfort and stability. At the end, we'll include various frequently asked questions that can make your move easier to understand.
We strongly suggest reading this blog if you plan on moving to Cape Coral or want to visit the area to check it out anytime soon. You'll not only learn about the many unique features of this city but also get important details about the pros and cons of living in the area. Our team carefully researches each article to provide facts that other lists like these simply don't cover.
So please make sure you sit down with your family and discuss the pros and cons of living in Cape Coral. This information should make it easier for everyone to understand whether this city is right for them or even make your kids excited to move here. That's an important step that can make this transition to a new area much easier for you and your family to handle.
Cape Coral at a Glance
Cape Coral is a Florida city located on the Gulf of Mexico that was founded as a planned community in 1957. As the 130th most populated city in the country, it's also one of the largest in Florida both in population and overall size. Before deciding to move here, it's important to examine many of its facets to ensure you understand it fully as a city.
Population and Diversity
After being incorporated in 1970 with a population of just under 3,000, its population has grown to 194,016 people as of 2020, with a 26% increase from the 2010 census. The demographics of the city include 88.2% caucasian, which includes what is known as "white Hispanic" people. Non-Hispanic white people make up about 73.5% of the region, and Hispanic people make up 19.5%. A further 4.3% are African Americans, and 1.5% are Asian 1.5%. Like nearby Fort Myers, Cape Coral has a large Cuban expatriate population that settled during the Castro regime.
Cape Coral has a total of 120 square miles and is about 91% land and 9% water. It's located on a large peninsula not far from Fort Myers and has over 400 miles of navigable waterways or the most in the nation. There are many fishing options throughout the area, including Sanibel Island, Matlacha Pass National Wildlife Refuge, and the Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve.
As a result, there are plenty of wetlands to consider when moving here, which might affect your comfort. For example, its wet landscapes tend to cause a heavy population of mosquitoes that Lee County controls through various aerial missions and treatments. Humidity may also be high during these rainy seasons due to a heavy influx of water throughout the region.
Geography and Climate
Cape Coral has an interesting geography due to its peninsula layout. Bordered by Caloosahatchee River and the Matlacha Pass, it has a quaint and isolated atmosphere that makes it a cozy place for many people to live. Located directly on the Gulf of Mexico, it is heavily affected by it and tends to have long, warm, and humid summers and short winters.
Fog and high humidity are common here, as are hurricane risks between June and November. Expect a rainfall of about 52.8 inches every year, particularly from June to September. Winter tends to be the most popular tourist season in the area due to its pleasant warmth and minimal humidity. Visitors also enjoy the diverse and winding waterways throughout the city.
Schools and Universities
Parents who want a great learning experience for their children have many school options to consider in the area. Top-ranked options include Christa McAuliffe Charter Elementary School, Cape Elementary, Oasis Charter Middle School, Challenger Middle School, Oasis Charter High School, and Mariner High School. Each provides a strong education for your kids.
In fact, Cape Coral has many charter schools, which provide you with an alternative learning education with smaller classroom sizes, student-centered learning, and stronger standards that focus specifically on various learning techniques. These schools provide a strong educational alternative if your young one needs a more specialized experience.
If you have teens who may want to attend college, Cape Coral has six nearby institutions that provide associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Note: not every school will offer these degrees, so do careful research before choosing. About 6,872 people graduate from college in this area every year, which is a pretty solid number for a community of this size.
Schools to consider here include Franklin University, Ave Maria School of Law, Southern Technical College, and Hodges University. These schools include diverse age ranges, from traditional 20-year-olds to more adult-oriented education. There are also in-person and online educational options that can ensure you learn in whatever way makes sense for you.
Interesting Facts About Cape Coral
Cape Coral's history as a city started in 1957 when two enterprising Baltimore brothers, Leonard and Jack Rosen, flew over Redfish Point, the peninsula that makes up the city. They fell in love with it and formed it as Redfish Point in 1957. Its name changed to Cape Coral when it was incorporated in the 70s. Since then, the city's economy has expanded in many ways.
Cape Coral has a strong economy with a job market increase of 41% predicted over the next 10 years with a 4.6% unemployment rate. Both of these are better than the national average, indicating that the city is expanding. Jobs in the area include healthcare, retail, real estate, construction, and tourist industries that provide for both residents and visitors.
In fact, Cape Coral has over 30 different recreational parks in the area, including nature preserves, sports fields, seven golf courses, waterparks, and much more. Its proximity to Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach makes it a relaxing and highly comfortable place to visit as well. Before moving in, though, check out the following pros and cons of living in Cape Coral.
Pros of Moving to Cape Coral
When answering the question "Is Cape Coral a good place to live?" before moving here, it's important to know the pros and cons of living in Cape Coral. We're going to start with the pros of living in Cape Coral because we like starting with positivity. Thankfully, there's a lot to like about this city, so please read on to learn more about what to expect in this city.
Low Crime Rates
Cape Coral is often considered one of the safest cities in Florida and has seen an extensive decrease in crime in recent years. According to various statistics, it fell by 5% between 2019 and 2020 and continues to get lower. It's well within the safe zone for crime rates, with murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults seeing very low numbers in recent years.
Strong Educational Options
Cape Coral has multiple nearby schools that may work well for your children. These include various options in nearby Fort Myers, as well as charter, private, and public institutions. When asking, "Is Cape Coral a good place to live for my family?" before moving here, make sure you check out this list on US News to find schools that your kids will enjoy attending.
Cape Coral is a surprisingly affordable place to live. It requires an estimated $62,779 income to maintain your cost of living if you make $70,000. That means it's 12% lower than the national average. House costs are 27% lower than the national average, and utilities 5% lower. While transportation costs 7% more, this is balanced out by savings in other areas.
Waterfront Property Options
If you want to buy waterfront property, Cape Coral is a great option because so much of the area is made up of water-rich areas. There are homes and properties on the various lakes and rivers in the region, as well as directly on the Gulf of Mexico. As you can imagine, these cost more than non-waterfront areas but are worth it if you have the money.
Diverse Age Groups
While Florida has a strong reputation as a retirement state, Cape Coral is surprisingly diverse in its age ranges. Yes, there are many senior citizens in the area (about 24.4% of the population), but 17.4% of the city area is under 18 years old. That means that 58.2% of the city is between 18-65, which means there's a great range of potential people for you to meet here.
Here are a few other benefits of living in Cape Coral:
- Strong economy
- Fun art festivals
- Reasonable cost of living and land price
- Great shopping options
- Plenty of amazing dining choices
Cons of Moving to Cape Coral
When debating the pros and cons of living in Cape Coral, it's important to know a few negative issues that impact the region. Unfortunately, Southwest Florida is not a perfect area, and there are some problems that can make life in Cape Coral a little challenging. Make sure that you read through this list to understand which problems might affect you when living in this region.
Heavy Storms and Floods
Living in Cape Coral is a lot like most of the rest of Florida: constantly fearful about floods and hurricanes. Unfortunately, this region is hit hard by hurricane weather, though not as much as the rest of the state. Due to its unique geography, Cape Coral is also at a high risk of floods, which is something to consider if you plan on moving to the area anytime soon.
Cape Coral almost always has humidity percentages of at least 55% during the least-wet seasons of November through March. The rest of the year sees humidity that ranges between 65% to nearly 80%. That's a pretty wet environment, one that can make living in this already hot area uncomfortable. If you're sensitive to humidity, keep this fact in mind before moving.
Fewer Activities for Young People
While Cape Coral does have some family-friendly activities that might entertain your little ones, it's not known as a particularly youth-centered area. As reported in the pros section, only 17.4% of the population is below 18, with only just over 5% being under five. That means there isn't a huge push to provide more kid-friendly activities in the area, which may bore your children.
Many Pests to Manage
Florida is home to many frustrating pests, and Cape Coral is no different. According to treatment team BugOfff, there are 12,500 different insect species in the state alone, including roaches, yellow flies, no-see-um midges, wolf spiders, fire ants, and termites. Other pests, like snakes, rodents, and reptiles, may also invade your home and make living in Cape Coral tough.
Minimal Public Transportation
While Lee County Transit does serve Cape Coral, there are fewer public transportation options than in other cities of the same size. For example, Cape Coral has no subways and few taxi options, meaning that you'll have to rely on driving your own car here. Traffic conditions are often terrible in this city and include traffic jams with long waiting times.
Other Cons of Living in Cape Coral
Here are a few other cons of living in Cape Coral to consider:
- Confusing layout
- The heavy tourist industry might annoy some
- Lower wages than in some Florida cities
- Air pollution concerns
How to Decide If Cape Coral is a Good Place to Live for You?
You might still be on the fence when answering the question, "Is Cape Coral a good place to live for you and your family?" That's understandable because balancing the pros and cons of living in Cape Coral requires a careful and balanced approach. Please consider the following factors when moving to the city to ensure that you make the smartest choice for your needs.
Do you prefer living in rural or urban areas? Well, Cape Coral is a large city with a mostly urban environment, so if you don't enjoy a fast lifestyle with a lot of people and traffic, it might not be for you. That said, it does offer plenty of water activities, including swimming and fishing, so if you're someone who enjoys outdoor time, you might find this a surprisingly good place to live.
It's important to make a pretty good living wage when living in Cape Coral. Home prices are under the national average ($394,000 compared to $420,385), but you'll still need a good and steady income to afford these homes. Try to have a personal earning power of at least $70-10K, minimum, if you plan to move to the area. If you don't, find friends or partners who can help you.
If you have ambitious career goals outside of retail or healthcare, Cape Coral might not be the best place to move. While it does have a strong economy and some room for growth, there aren't a lot of real high-earning jobs in the area. Take a look at Indeed or other job sites to see what is available to ensure that you're comfortable with the job types in this area.
Cape Coral is mostly family-friendly, though its activities for very young kids are lacking. Thankfully, Cape Coral does provide various types of assistance programs, including car repairs, transportation, rent and mortgage assistance, and more if your family needs it. That should help offset some of the higher expenses and make it easier to live here.
When bringing a family to Cape Coral, it's critical to make sure that you understand the overall educational level of the population. About 92.9% of the area graduated from high school, with 9.2% taking some college, 15.6% completing a two-year degree, 23.6% completing a four-year degree, and 1.5% completing a master's degree. That's a fairly well-educated population.
Do you love warm weather and despise winter? Cape Coral's temperature typically varies between 56-91 degrees Fahrenheit and rarely gets below 44 or below 94. That said, the humidity is high here, as we mentioned earlier. High humidity can make these temperatures seem hotter, so make sure that you're comfortable with this fact before moving here.
Aversion to Hurricanes
Even though Cape Coral experiences less severe hurricane damage, its location on the Gulf of Mexico means it's relatively exposed to the direct fury of these storms. If you're someone who's afraid of the damage caused by these storms or who doesn't think they can afford repairs, it's probably best to avoid Cape Coral and, frankly, most of the rest of Florida.
Cape Coral is a peninsula on a peninsula (Florida), which means it has a relatively isolated atmosphere. For some people, that's a boon because they enjoy being cut off from much of the world. Others may find this isolation troubling for their mental health. Thankfully, the city itself is bustling, and the tourist trade is high, meaning you should still see plenty of people every day.
Tips for Moving to Cape Coral
If you've decided that Cape Coral sounds like a great place for you and your family, it's important to make sure that you follow a few simple steps to keep them safe. Doing so should minimize any problems and ensure that everyone is happy. Just a few steps and factors that you need to consider when moving to this popular area include:
- When to Move: Due to the city's heavy humidity and heat during the summer, it's probably best to move here in the late fall or early winter. The temperatures are lower, the humidity more manageable, and the area far less busy. The fall is also a good time to move because it beats the heavy rush of tourists that come to the region in the cold of winter or during spring break.
- Where to Live (and Avoid): Some of the best, safest, and most comfortable places to live in Cape Coral include Coral Lakes, Pelican, Lochmoor Waterway Estates, and Cape Harbour. While Cape Coral is mostly a safe and comfortable city, neighborhoods like Southeast and Northeast Cape Coral, as well as areas like Veterans Memorial Parkway, should be avoided.
- Job Types in Cape Coral: Cape Coral has a very heavy retail and health market, with cashiers, servers, sales associates, office managers, administrative assistants, receptionists, and certified nursing assistants being some of the most popular in the area. Check online job sites and newspapers to see what kind of gigs are available when moving to the area.
- Renting vs. Buying: In a study about renting versus buying, it was found that buying was a much better idea in Cape Coral than renting due to very high rent prices. Median rent is $2,400, with just 723 rentals in the area, while median home prices have dipped by 4.3% in the last year to $396,937, which is a trend likely to increase as the real estate market drops.
- Moving Companies: When moving to Cape Coral, it's important to find moving companies that can help you. There are many movers in the region for you to consider, such as M4M Triunfo Delivery, E&E Moving, Real Moving and Storage, and ICN Logistics. Choose these businesses based on things like their services, proximity to you, and their overall costs.
According to Crime Grade, Cape Coral gets a B+ on its safety level, with a crime happening every two hours and 12 minutes in the city. It's particularly well-ranked for violent crime, with most crimes being theft, burglary, and drug-related offenses in the city.
Cape Coral's cost of living is 2.6% higher than the national average, with an increase of 1.5% from the previous year. Higher grocery, health, and transportation costs raise this level, while more reasonable housing and utilities expenses balance these extra prices.
Unfortunately, Cape Coral was built on a floodplain and is, on average, only five feet above sea level. As a result, the city regularly experiences minor to major flooding, particularly during the hurricane season. In fact, over 90,000 Cape Coral properties have a 26% chance of flooding.
Southwest Florida, where Cape Coral is located, typically has a lower hurricane risk than the rest of the state. Cape Coral has been particularly lucky in avoiding major damage in some of the biggest hurricanes. That said, it does see its fair share of bad weather every year.
Cape Coral's snake population is about on par with the rest of the state's wetlands and includes cottonmouth or water moccasin and rattlesnakes throughout the area. There are many snake management teams in the area trained to handle these sometimes invasive pests.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee