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Moving to around OK City area. Looking for new home with...

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United States
posts: 4
Moving to around OK City area. Looking for new home with...

My husband and I are tired of the Big City brush off that goes with most metro areas. Is there an area around Oklahoma City that favors an older, slower way of life? Our preferences go to biking to work, small gardens, neighbors to talk to....we would be interested in even commercial districts that are improving if the neighborhood has some history and the neighbors are prone to friendliness. Thank-you for any advice...

Oklahoma City, OK
Destination Expert
for Oklahoma City
posts: 1,833
reviews: 79
1. Re: Moving to around OK City area. Looking for new home with...

In general, as far as friendliness and an older, slower way of life - that pretty much describes OKC. There are some areas where it is more apparent than others, but most areas will fit the bill. (There are some exceptions, of course.)

But as for biking to work - well, that might be a little tough, unless you work in a small shop. OKC is pretty spread out and overall the residential areas are not all that close to the work areas - once again, depending on what type of work you choose/have chosen.

What type of work are you wanting? Buy or rent? Price range? Where are you currently living? School age children?

These factors will affect the answers you might get from people on this forum. The more details you can give about your particular desires and requirements, the better.

nowhere
posts: 276
reviews: 10
2. Re: Moving to around OK City area. Looking for new home with...

What kind of work are you looking for, Pam? Oklahoma has a large number of small towns just like you describe, but employment opportunities tend to be somewhat limited in the smaller towns. If we knew a little more, we might be more helpful.

Modcon is right about Oklahoma City being friendly, but I don't think of it as favoring an older, slower way of life. It's a sprawling city with most of the service businesses strung along major highways. It has a number of wonderful, old neighborhoods; unfortunately, few of those neighborhoods have grocery or hardware stores in them.

If you truly want an older, slower way of life, and you have flexible work needs, I would suggest that you look at some smaller but growing towns a little farther from the metro. Purcell is nice (south of the metro) but I'm afraid it is about to become another suburb. Guthrie (north side) is a lovely old town, but it, too, may be heading for suburbia and I haven't heard many good things about its school districts.

Let me suggest you look at Ada, where I live. We're about 1.5 hours southeast of downtown OKC. We're growing, but not too quickly, and serve as the hub to a rather large service area. Ada has a small university and several other strong employment anchors, so the economy is diverse and stable. Good schools, nice parks, and you can still buy a comfortable home for under $100,000.

Let us know more; we'll try to help you out.

Oklahoma City, OK
Destination Expert
for Oklahoma City
posts: 1,833
reviews: 79
3. Re: Moving to around OK City area. Looking for new home with...

I grew up in NYC and compared to there, OKC is a slower, older way of life. That's where I was coming from. I guess it's all in your perspective. I made an assumption Pam was from a similar area. I could be wrong...

United States
posts: 4
4. Re: Moving to around OK City area. Looking for new home with...

Thank-you for your input....I am going to look into your suggestions....both Modcon and yours. I am quite open to unusual jobs, so I will check out the locations first and the job opportunities to follow. My husband is a computer geek...that can be used anywhere. He also has alot of restaurant experience...that too can be used most anywhere. We drive averages of 1 to 1 1/2 hours to work so what I want to change is the amount of time we put into just GETTING to work, not to mention the horrid traffic that makes peak traffic hours worse by double or triple. We have lived in nearly every part of the city in an effort to find a fit that means we could work and live within a reasonable distance...no can do.We have remodeled a loft in a hundred year old commercial building and lived in every concievable residential type (including a tent)...and I have built from the ground-up a new residence. I am thinking of an older area because I want a true neighborhood...not just a group of nice houses in an enclave. I would like to settle in and put roots down so I am choosing carefully this time out. Thanks for your help!

Oklahoma City, OK
Destination Expert
for Oklahoma City
posts: 1,833
reviews: 79
5. Re: Moving to around OK City area. Looking for new home with...

Commute times in OKC are not unreasonable. I work with people that live 50 miles away and their commute time is around an hour. I live 3 miles from my job and my commute time is about 10-15 minutes. Most people are betwee those times at around 25-30 minutes. Working downtown and living in Edmond may be the exceptions, unless you can beat 'rush hour' traffic headed to and from the downtown area. Depending on what you call horrid traffic, OKC either has it or it doesn't. We are nowhere near as bad as LA, NYC or Chicago and better than St. Louis, Kansas City and Dallas. But some streets (NW Expressway, Broadway Extension, Interstate 40 near Tinker AFB) get pretty crowded during peak rush times. The good news is the heaviest traffic usually lasts around 25-40 minutes and then lessens significantly. The biggest problem with commutes lately is the cost of gasoline.

As with any neighborhood, the comraderie depends entirely on the people that live there. I am in a relatively stable neighborhood in NW OKC and as a result know almost all of my neigbors. And although one of the houses next door to mine is a rental and has several occupants, I have known and been friendly with most of the people that have lived there. As with any city, this is not true of all neighborhoods. There are some neighborhoods with high turnover and the people there are not really known to one another except to wave when they pass. And there are new neighborhoods (a lot of them) that have not yet developed the right roots for the friendly neighborhood or determine what type of living area they will be.

The biggest problem with most of the area when you speak about walking is a lack of sidewalks. Edmond is the only area around I know that REQUIRES sidewalks in their neighborhoods. (And there are some areas in Edmond predating that requirement that lack sidewalks.) The best news? Oklahoma property taxes are pretty low compared to most parts of the country.

Jobs are a good story. There is work for anyone that wants it in the OKC area, although some people from either coast aren't impressed by salaries/wages. Still, when you look at the overall state income and cost of living... OKC has a lot of computer jobs opening lately, but the competition is also high except for specific skill sets that are in high demand with a small pool of experienced people (almost all in the Computer Programming fields.) Otherwise if you are open to any type of work, you can pretty much find that here! :)

Check out the local news station websites for crime information and search the web for other factors that may interest you (historic neighborhoods, recreation, culture, etc.)

News Stations:

http://www.newsok.com/

http://www.channeloklahoma.com/index.html

http://www.kfor.com/

Recreation:

http://www.okc.gov/trails/hiking_biking.html

http://www.okc.gov/trails/hefner.html

Entertainment:

http://www.okclive.com/paseo/

http://www.bricktownokc.com/

General:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Oklahoma_City

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_City,_Oklahoma

http://www.edmondok.com/

http://www.edmondsun.com/

http://www.southokc.com/en/home/index.php

www.putnamcityschools.org/sectionID147.html (This is in NW OKC)

I think I've gone on long enough, but it's just scratched the surface. If you have specific questions, post them and I'm sure someone will be able to answer them.

Good luck!!!

:)

nowhere
posts: 276
reviews: 10
6. Re: Moving to around OK City area. Looking for new home with...

Pam, Modcon is right about the traffic; OKC is no where near as bad as you describe. My son lives in the far, far northwest corner of the city and commutes to the capital area, just north of downtown; it takes him 30 minutes on the worst of days, usually less. "Normal" traffic in Dallas is far worse than rush hour in Oklahoma City, in my opinion.

Modcon, I get what you're saying about the older, slower way of life. Compared to NYC or LA, OKC is definitely quiet and calm; you are right about that. But compared to the many smaller towns I've lived in, OKC is an impersonal, car-based town. I walk to work, the post office, the grocery, the library; and I run into people everywhere that call me by name. When we ride our bikes to the farmer's market on Saturday morning, we run into so many people that it takes an hour to gather a back pack full of vegies. When we have to go to Wal-mart, we complain about having to drive "all the way across town," which means about two miles.

Of course, a town like this has its trade offs. Our movie theater is ratty and the films are mainstream junk; our restaurants are commonplace; live entertainment is limited pretty much to what the college puts on, and things like orchestras coming to town are rare, rare events.

Okie
posts: 3,096
reviews: 9
7. Re: Moving to around OK City area. Looking for new home with...

Radio...You are right OKC is about as car based as any city can be....but it's because it is so massive in area...think it's in the top 5 cities area wise in the nation....since everything is so spread out there is very little traffic and there is little need for mass transit and bikes are pretty much out of the question

My recommendation would be Norman, which is pretty condensed and parts of it are pretty laid back and slower...have some pretty decent bike trails throughout the city and it would be possible to bike to work

United States
posts: 4
8. Re: Moving to around OK City area. Looking for new home with...

So I check out Norman and Ada from what I hear from you as a group...thank you all for your input! My husband will immediately run through every web site you mentioned probably...that's an impressive list! I noticed when checking crime stats that areas around Tulsa are higher than OK City...why is that? (Since OK City seems the larger area.)

Oklahoma City, OK
Destination Expert
for Oklahoma City
posts: 1,833
reviews: 79
9. Re: Moving to around OK City area. Looking for new home with...

Radio and Easy,

I know what you are saying as well. I was in Stillwater for 5 years back in the early 70's. Went there straight from NYC and it was quiet. Too quiet - I couldn't sleep it was so quiet. :)

You are exactly right about it being a matter of perspective. And in OKC it really does depend on where you live when it comes to how close neighbors become. :)

Pam - no idea why Tulsa might have more crime than OKC. To be honest, I'm not all that familiar with Tulsa.

I now take it you are just looking to move to a smaller town and are really shopping around, something I didn't quite get before. If that is the case, there are a lot of decent places in the general area of OKC you can check out. Norman is a nice town and I have several friends that live there and love it. I also have known a few people that live in Shawnee and have been there. It's also nice, small town atmosphere with a little more going on than some similar sized towns. Not as much as Norman, but more than others. If you want to be closer to OKC you can always look at Yukon, small town enough for a lot of people. A lot like Edmond was a decade or so ago. And then there is Edmond itself, used to be a bedroom community, and still is to some extent, but growing quite a bit and quickly - especially in the last 10-15 years.

The only real issue I see with the real small towns is there is definitely a limit to employment oportunities and commute time might not be reduced all that much over what you currently have with a much longer distance involved. But no matter where you live, there will be a lot of car travel involved.

One last point: when it comes to walking, whether things are within walking distance depends a lot on what people are used to. I've known people in NYC that think something in an easy walk while others in OKC think anything over three or four doors is too far to walk. Like I said, and this goes for a lot of towns in a lot of areas, the biggest problem with walking is the lack of sidewalks. (Like I said, this is not unique to Oklahoma. The same situation exists in many states - especially in rural areas.)

nowhere
posts: 276
reviews: 10
10. Re: Moving to around OK City area. Looking for new home with...

OK, Pam, if you're looking into Ada, here are some web pages. Keep in mind that this is a small town, population under 20,000 (though the county has almost twice that many and the service area is claimed to be 100,000). It's a quiet, slow, small-town kind of life, but we're a short drive from OKC(90 miles), Tulsa, (110 miles), and Dallas-FortWorth (150 miles) when you need a city fix.

The city's page is at www.adaok.com

The newspaper, such as it is, is at www.adaeveningnews.com

A searchable data base of homes for sale is www.adahomes.org

The major employers, in no particular order, are the university (www.ecok.edu), the school district (www.adapss.com) the hospital (www.valleyviewregional.org), IRT (www.callcenter.com), Prepaid Legal (www.prepaidlegal.com), the EPA lab (www.epa.gov/ada/), Edge (www.edgetechcorp.com), and the tribe (www.chickasaw.net).