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Old 11-25-2016, 10:21 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,117 times
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Hi Folks,

I was recently offered a transfer to Oklahoma City from Boston. My workplace will be in the vicinity of West Memorial Road, Technology Drive and NW 137th Street. Can anyone comment about this general area? Is it a safe area? It looks like it is on the outskirts of the city.

As for background about us, we live in the northern suburbs of Boston. My wife and I have one child- almost 4. Neither one of us is from the Boston area and not into the Boston cultural or arts scene. Overall, we find Bostonians to be very cold and not friendly, especially if you were not born and bred here. People are people everywhere, but we do not really care for the Boston culture and were looking for a more friendly and welcoming atmosphere for our son. I like to think that while we are introverted, we are also very friendly. but live a quiet life. Both of us are worried about relocating- as we heard that OKC has alot of crime and the severe tornado activity in the Spring. We currently live in a quiet suburb of Boston, a very sleepy small town. There is crime everywhere, but most of it here is related to drugs, DUI, domestic violence etc., not random stuff.

Can anyone offer tips on my potential workplace area of OKC and also a good, safe suburb with a good school system? Some of the suggestions we heard were Yukon, Bethany, Edmond, Piedmont or Mustang. My salary would be about $85,000 a year. (She's a stay at home, Mom). Would it be realistic to buy a house in any of these towns on that salary? We only have 1-car, so I was also wondering if there is any public transportation in that area or how it difficult it would be to find a carpool or even Uber if it comes to it? How is the tornado threat in that area? We get hurricanes and blizzards here and the media tends to overhype them. Do people worry about their lives and property from tornado activity in this area every Spring?

Any tips would be most appreciated, as neither myself or my wife have been to Oklahoma before. I have spoken to my potential co-workers in the OKC office and they love it down there. Thanks and have a great day...
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Old 11-25-2016, 01:13 PM
 
16,048 posts, read 1,340,784 times
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You can basically forget public transportation. What you can afford as far as house goes is a question a bank/mortgage company can answer.
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Old 11-25-2016, 07:28 PM
 
Location: C-U metro
1,368 posts, read 2,870,991 times
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At 85k, you're expectations should be slightly lower than what your co-workers may be discussing. Tornados are do frequent the OKC MSA but the damage is very localized. Either you get hit or you don't, unlike a hurricane which are much larger and have storm surges that cause the majority of the damage. The local stations are very good at tracking tornados and warning people in their path. I will tell you your homeowners insurance will run about 6k a year due to the tornados so you'll need to factor that in when you look for a house. Oklahoma has a lot of people who claim any little thing on their home which drives the rates up higher than they should be for just being in tornado alley.

You should only look at areas as school districts rather than towns. I say this as the school districts will determine your appreciation, resale value and how fast you can sell more than your city since the district boundaries often do not mirror each other. All teachers are paid by the state rather than the local district and the pay scale is 32k/yr for starting teachers and 45k/yr for 25 year exp and a PhD. Considering you are moving from Boston MSA, be prepared for a huge step down no matter where you go.

Oklahoma City PS is a travesty or a dumpster fire depending on your point of view (I voted dumpster fire). They mirror Chicago PS in quality and safety. The only difference between the two is teachers make 32k/yr in OKC vs. the 70k/yr in Chicago. They have gone through 10 superintendents in 12 years. Do not consider OKC unless you are willing to put your kids in private school or a charter. Even the state STEM magnet school has issues with getting qualified teachers for some subjects.

Edmond PS tends to have better students and have easy access to U of Central Oklahoma for some things. Being a university town does help with education as they are one of the few districts that is routinely below 50 teachers on emergency credentials. This is the top district in the OKC MSA and generally the safest. You may not be able to find much based on your salary. This is the "fancy" suburb where many of the energy professionals live but if you don't have any debt other than a house, you could likely afford it.

Bethany and Yukon have their own issues. Bethany's PS is Putnam City which tends to be the second best on academics. The local politicians tend to be crazy though so I don't know if you are up for that.

I never considered Piedmont or Mustang when we were looking at homes in OKC MSA 2 years ago. I considered the districts too small to have proper resources for special ed.

That's my 2 cents.
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Old 11-25-2016, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
5,359 posts, read 4,879,020 times
Reputation: 6561
Quote:
Originally Posted by km991 View Post
Hi Folks,

I was recently offered a transfer to Oklahoma City from Boston. My workplace will be in the vicinity of West Memorial Road, Technology Drive and NW 137th Street. Can anyone comment about this general area? Is it a safe area? It looks like it is on the outskirts of the city.

As for background about us, we live in the northern suburbs of Boston. My wife and I have one child- almost 4. Neither one of us is from the Boston area and not into the Boston cultural or arts scene. Overall, we find Bostonians to be very cold and not friendly, especially if you were not born and bred here. People are people everywhere, but we do not really care for the Boston culture and were looking for a more friendly and welcoming atmosphere for our son. I like to think that while we are introverted, we are also very friendly. but live a quiet life. Both of us are worried about relocating- as we heard that OKC has alot of crime and the severe tornado activity in the Spring. We currently live in a quiet suburb of Boston, a very sleepy small town. There is crime everywhere, but most of it here is related to drugs, DUI, domestic violence etc., not random stuff.

Can anyone offer tips on my potential workplace area of OKC and also a good, safe suburb with a good school system? Some of the suggestions we heard were Yukon, Bethany, Edmond, Piedmont or Mustang. My salary would be about $85,000 a year. (She's a stay at home, Mom). Would it be realistic to buy a house in any of these towns on that salary? We only have 1-car, so I was also wondering if there is any public transportation in that area or how it difficult it would be to find a carpool or even Uber if it comes to it? How is the tornado threat in that area? We get hurricanes and blizzards here and the media tends to overhype them. Do people worry about their lives and property from tornado activity in this area every Spring?

Any tips would be most appreciated, as neither myself or my wife have been to Oklahoma before. I have spoken to my potential co-workers in the OKC office and they love it down there. Thanks and have a great day...
I know the Boston mentality well. My ex-wife is from there. As someone from the Southeast who moved to Oklahoma City, people "seem" friendly here. But in reality, if they haven't known you their whole life, good luck breaking into their little circle of friends. They're friendly to your face, but its hard to make friends here. That said, as awful as the weather is here, its better than Boston. Instead of "Noreasters", you have to deal with tornadoes. Also, there are major ice storms where the power can be out for a week or more. I hate it here, but I'm from the Southeast. The culture may be marginally better here than Boston, but don't get your hopes up too much.
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Old 11-25-2016, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
20,650 posts, read 15,282,357 times
Reputation: 6303
Earthquakes affecting Oklahoma City are about as big of a nuisance and concern as tornadoes and ice storms. Fortunately, the closest hot spots for quakes to Oklahoma City have settled down for now. However, scientists can't assure that moderate earthquakes won't get stronger in strength or be more frequent. 2016 has brought about 3 earthquakes of 5.0, 5.1 and 5.8 in magnitudes. Those figures were unprecedented for Oklahoma and surprised scientists. Fortunately, the earthquakes weren't centered near Oklahoma City, but close enough to be felt. How many will 2017 bring?? So you just have to live and pray day by day the earthquake situation won't get worse.


Last edited by StillwaterTownie; 11-25-2016 at 10:06 PM..
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Old 11-26-2016, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
10,465 posts, read 7,731,073 times
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Your job is in a good spot. Edmond, Putnam City schools as well as Piedmont and Deer Creek Schools are among the best in the area and your job is right in the middle of those.

As far as housing goes, if it were me, I'd find a house in the older part of Edmond. Basically the area east of Santa Fe, North of 33rd, west of Bryant and South of say Covell. That is a pretty large area where you could find a nice house on your salary.

Also, that part of Edmond (particularly east of Broadway, still has some of the sleepy small town element left that Edmond once had.

Deer Creek district is basically due north of your job about 4 miles. It might be harder to find a house but I bet your could.

Putnam City is a huge district but if you lived in the area where your child would go to Putnam North (which is just southwest of where your job is) it would be fine.

Piedmont is the smaller town that is close. Basically due west and a bit north of your job. Smaller quieter area, but not something I would choose unless you wanted a small community.

Yukon would be a bit of a commute, but I'd bet you could find a house there. Mustang is further away, and I would probably avoid Bethany although the Bethany school district is pretty small so your child could have a lot of opportunity at that school.
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
2 posts, read 2,322 times
Reputation: 11
Default Anything is possible

First I would call a mortgage company/lender to see what price of a home you would pre-qualify for with your salary. Of course so many factors come in play on top of your salary. This will help you determine if you want to purchase or rent a home in the area around your employment.

I would be more than happy to help you find a home to rent or buy in the perfect area if you are transferred.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Edmond, OK
4,035 posts, read 9,654,395 times
Reputation: 4202
[quote=flyingcat2k;46311025]At 85k, you're expectations should be slightly lower than what your co-workers may be discussing. Tornados are do frequent the OKC MSA but the damage is very localized. Either you get hit or you don't, unlike a hurricane which are much larger and have storm surges that cause the majority of the damage. The local stations are very good at tracking tornados and warning people in their path. I will tell you your homeowners insurance will run about 6k a year due to the tornados so you'll need to factor that in when you look for a house. Oklahoma has a lot of people who claim any little thing on their home which drives the rates up higher than they should be for just being in tornado alley.

That's a crazy amount for insurance. My homeowners insurance is nowhere near that high, and we have a large home, with a low deductible, jewelry coverage and even earthquake insurance.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:39 AM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
20,650 posts, read 15,282,357 times
Reputation: 6303
Yes, $6,000 is too high for house insurance. But insurance is going up. It's smart to shop around for a good deal.
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Old 12-29-2016, 07:07 AM
 
16,048 posts, read 1,340,784 times
Reputation: 25986
Per square foot our insurance went down from DFW, so did vehicles - same carrier we had serious storm/hail damages in Alabama with.
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