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Old 07-26-2010, 02:32 PM
 
22 posts, read 28,736 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello everyone....I finally decided it is time for improvement.

Im currently 28, have a wife and a baby girl on the way in sept 29th!!

I have a few job opportunities that have split me...As an mechanical engineer, I have been offered the following salaries..

OKC: $75-80K (which should be GOOD living)
Dallas:$65-75K Plus quarterly 2-2.5% bonus.(medium living)
Denver: $75k(poor living conditions i think)

I love the way Tulsa is setup..everything is within 10 minute drive and the residentials are bundled up, but the city lacks entertainment and is like living in a HUGE retirement facility. BOK is nice new addition but i'm tired of this place and the small world mentality. As far as schooling, i ABSOLUTELY HATE the fact you have to go into Private schools to get a decent education.

I went to university of oklahoma 2001-2005 in Norman, OK. At the time i was a party person and carried about nightlife, now being almost 30, Its like looking a entirely different place. Its dirty, school system is subpar i hear. OKC does offer cheap living, and loce to the family...1-2hrs from tulsa. It just seems like OKC is all the big city CON's and 'some' of the big city pro's.

I also love racing motorcycles...And right now Oklahoma has 1 track in Hallett. I will continue racing after my baby is born. But My wife and I crave entertainment...shows, opera, ballet, sports, special events, family entertainment as well.

Dallas I have actually never lived in, but I just feel Dallas might have everything i want. big city life, but i can ive in a surb with nice community. Its nice temp, mild winters, lots of race tracks...about 3-4 hours from family and cheap flights. Its kinda like all of the big city pros and the cons. I also hear education is MUCH better.

Denver...well i love this place, no humidity, large city, mountains, outdoor life...but cost of living scares me especially if i was paid the same or less than if in OKC or Dallas. it is also now 8 hrs from family. If i fail in my career to exceed and provide for my family...im not sure what i would do....i guess crawl back to tulsa???


ok dallas people....i need some insight!

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Old 07-26-2010, 05:01 PM
 
8,348 posts, read 11,409,318 times
Reputation: 5813
OKC. You're going to have- by far- the best standard of living there.

At $70k in Dallas, you're looking at homes in the $150k range....which either puts you in a somewhat scary neighborhood within 10-20 minutes commute t downtown or a very far flung suburb (Little Elm, maybe McKinney, Forney) and about an hour's drive to downtown.

Plus, property taxes on that home are about $3,000 a year, home insurance is another $1000-1500 a year, car insurance in Dallas is another $1000-1500 per car per year, tolls from Little Elm to downtown are about $6/day, etc.

Oklahoma City- higher salary AND everything costs less there. Come to Dallas for a weekend getaway or Christmad shopping.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:39 PM
 
6,586 posts, read 16,580,531 times
Reputation: 3008
Where in Dallas is the job located? Can you wait until baby comes to see if you still are into shows, opera, ballet, sports, etc. Sometimes interest in those things goes away when there is a new baby in the house that is way more interesting.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:21 PM
 
2,026 posts, read 2,310,189 times
Reputation: 1078
Quote:
I went to university of oklahoma 2001-2005 in Norman, OK. At the time i was a party person and carried about nightlife, now being almost 30, Its like looking a entirely different place. Its dirty, school system is subpar i hear. OKC does offer cheap living, and loce to the family...1-2hrs from tulsa. It just seems like OKC is all the big city CON's and 'some' of the big city pro's.
Background: I lived in Tulsa for 6 years during my childhood, spend my high school years in a Dallas suburb, went to OU for undergrad, and then moved to Dallas proper to live/work.

As a recent grad of OU who just moved back to Dallas, I'm going to have to disagree here. How is Norman dirty? Norman's schools aren't the best, but they certainly aren't subpar--you're going to have to do city private schools or go out into the suburbs to get good schools in Dallas.

If you want the nightlife, culture etc. Dallas is the place...but for what you can afford, you're going to end up in the suburbs. And the suburbs are a lot farther away in Dallas than they are in OKC. I'm currently living in the Dallas M-Streets, which has a similar feel to Norman and could definitely be considered "trendy"--let's just say it would be a lot cheaper to live in Norman.

I love Dallas--it's a great place to live. But so is OKC right now--it really is going up. Have you looked at Edmond? Or even the areas not next to the University in Norman? Norman is unique in that it has low-end student housing and million dollar homes all in the same zip code. Check out Norman west of the highway--beautiful and gorgeous--rivals anything in the wealthiest suburbs in Dallas. And still cheap. Oh, and no traffic in OKC!!! I miss that! It just doesn't happen in Dallas.

In fact, in 2008 Money Magazine ranked Norman the 6th best place to live in the nation. OKC itself has grown on me quite a bit too--it's turning from dirty old city to an up and coming area very quickly. OKC just voted millions of dollars into make huge improvements. And I'd take clean, safe, and busy Bricktown over the dying West End any Saturday night.

I actually hated going home to Flower Mound (Dallas suburb) from Norman because everything was THE SAME. Cookie cutter homes, chain restaurants etc. I find it hilarious that Norman has actually been ahead of Dallas on some of the new food trends, like all these new yogurt places popping up. That was why I loved going to school there--you got the small town feel with an awesome Main Street (which has been revamped since you've been to school, by the way) just a 20 minute drive from downtown OKC.

Don't forget the climate--you get actual SEASONS in Tulsa and OKC...not so much in Dallas. You wouldn't think there would be that much of a difference, but there is. And free entertainment during storm season...haha (but don't let that sway you--we get the same storms in Dallas, with a crappier meteorological team--sorry Dallasites, nobody beats Gary England and News 9 in OKC)

I will say Dallas has more in general--perhaps more career opportunity, and definitely more shopping and restaurants. But still...you don't get the whole experience if you are in the burbs...we rarely left our suburban bubble--most people don't see any reason to drive an extra 20-30 miles to the city unless it is for a special event.

There definitely is some nostalgia in me, but I would move back to Norman/OKC in an instant. In fact, my neighbor is from Tulsa, went to OU, and I think he would too--he is in his late 30s. Ironically, I know OKC has the reputation as the "dirty" city in Oklahoma among Tulsans...at least that was the way it was when I was in Tulsa, but I ended up liking it WAYYY better.

I urge you to explore OKC a little more, especially Norman and Edmond, and see if you like it. It's not for everyone, but it is the best bang for your buck. And IMHO, an awesome place to raise a family.

I hope to go back someday, though it isn't likely. I would have stayed, but my husband ended up going to med school in Dallas. Maybe residency?

That's my input Off soapbox.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:23 PM
 
2,026 posts, read 2,310,189 times
Reputation: 1078
PS on Sports...

Oklahoma Football is a way better deal than the Cowboys, monetarily, and they uhhh...actually win on a regular basis. Don't expect to ever set foot in Cowboy's stadium without forking over your firstborn child.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:43 PM
 
2,026 posts, read 2,310,189 times
Reputation: 1078
Oh and one more

Quote:
about 3-4 hours from family and cheap flights.
Yes on the cheap flights (though I've ironically seen cheaper from OKC--could have been a fluke, though). But NOT 3-4 hours to Tulsa.More like 4-5 + the inevitable traffic you will hit getting out of the city.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:02 AM
 
22 posts, read 28,736 times
Reputation: 11
thanks for the advice guys,

norman is nice but have you visit the people who live there...they either work for the students or are poor. Norman is growing but it only has a few streets.


My wife and I are young at heart and very active....we like outdoors stuff, shows and events were we can get out and about. We also take care of her nieces for a few days a month...so we are used to doing family entertainment. It is just HARD in tulsa cuz not much is every going on...zoo and movies can only go so far.

I agree 70K isnt much in dallas...The pay is actually in a range from 70K to 110K. Its hard to explain, but in a nutshell its a medical job and there is supposively a raise/bonus/stock option every quarter. My friend who I will be working as an equal partner for the territory pulled out 120K. So to be safe, id range 70-110k salary. Does that range change the view on Dallas living conditions?

I guess my whole theory is...OK i can live in a place im OK with....but i have to make enough where I live like a king. If i live in a place like Denver/flordia, then I would be ok making less and enjoy the freer things of life. But im not sure if this is a true statement and a risky one with my child on the way....
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:45 PM
 
2,026 posts, read 2,310,189 times
Reputation: 1078
Quote:
norman is nice but have you visit the people who live there...they either work for the students or are poor. Norman is growing but it only has a few streets.
Sorry, that is definitely not a true statement. Only has a few streets? I don't understand that at all. There are loads of nice places to live between Highway 9 and Tecumseh, on both sides of 35.

Most of those who "work for the students" for the most part are well-educated faculty or career professionals, which is definitely in an asset to the area. It is also a suburb of choice for a lot of the professionals who work in the city, but want to live in the suburbs. Edmond would be the other big one. Sure, it has it's fair share of "white trash," but no more, and maybe even less, than any other city.

But anyway, Dallas and Colorado are good options too. More expensive, but good. Just be prepared to live "away" from all of the action if you want to "live like a king." And spend a fair amount of time in traffic.

I can see why you wouldn't want to live in OKC/Norman, but I do have to rep it, especially Norman--not dirty, too small, etc. at all.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:50 PM
 
8,348 posts, read 11,409,318 times
Reputation: 5813
Quote:
Originally Posted by caper656 View Post
thanks for the advice guys,

norman is nice but have you visit the people who live there...they either work for the students or are poor. Norman is growing but it only has a few streets.


My wife and I are young at heart and very active....we like outdoors stuff, shows and events were we can get out and about. We also take care of her nieces for a few days a month...so we are used to doing family entertainment. It is just HARD in tulsa cuz not much is every going on...zoo and movies can only go so far.

I agree 70K isnt much in dallas...The pay is actually in a range from 70K to 110K. Its hard to explain, but in a nutshell its a medical job and there is supposively a raise/bonus/stock option every quarter. My friend who I will be working as an equal partner for the territory pulled out 120K. So to be safe, id range 70-110k salary. Does that range change the view on Dallas living conditions?

I guess my whole theory is...OK i can live in a place im OK with....but i have to make enough where I live like a king. If i live in a place like Denver/flordia, then I would be ok making less and enjoy the freer things of life. But im not sure if this is a true statement and a risky one with my child on the way....
The question is, how sure are you that you would be closer to the $110k side of the salary scale? If so, then yes, you could probably have an equal life to the $75-85k in OKC in Dallas. You could always move to Dallas for a year or two and RENT (not buy) so that you're able to move if you're not making enough money to stay in Dallas long-term.

With a baby coming, I think you have NO IDEA how much family help you are going to want/need nearby so that you and your wife don't go absolutely crazy ..... it's not just about you & the wife anymore and my personal opininon is that it really is preferred to live close (within 30 minutes or so) to at least one set of in-laws.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:48 PM
 
108 posts, read 194,490 times
Reputation: 84
I've lived in Norman (also graduated from OU), Tulsa, and now Dallas. Oklahoma City is cheaper than Dallas, but the difference is not as great as it is comparing Dallas to Denver. You could not get anything outside of the ghetto for less than 200K in Denver. In Dallas, you can live in a fairly new house with 2000 square feet for 150K (depends on the suburb). Dallas will get more pricey if you want to live in a safe are inside of Northwest Highway , but it will still beat Denver by a long shot in the price category.

That being said, how important is the scenery to you? Denver obviously wins that one. I think Dallas is prettier than OKC. Lake Hefner isn't anywhere close to White Rock. The pretty areas of Dallas (Highland Park, Lakewood, Kessler Park) are nicer than Nichols Hills and OCU areas of OKC in my book.

The drive to Tulsa is 4-4.5 hours from Dallas. I drive it about every other month to visit family.
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