Odessa/Midland area? Comments Please! (Houston, San Antonio: sale, university, high income)
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I have read all 5 pages of this thread and would like some more feedback. I too am considering a move to the Midland area maybe this coming summer. I grew up in southern California and recently left there to move to Rapid City SD. Rapid City is a GREAT place to live and raise kids, the only drawback is the cold and the snow. I thought maybe I would settle my family here, but on 2nd thought....uh...no. It's not worth struggling through 6-8 months of cold for 3-4 months of awesome summer fun.
Hence the consideration of Midland. I want to find a climate similar to southern california, but without the ridiculousness of the farce they call "real estate". Midland has about 40,000 more in population than Rapid City, and alot more stores, restaurants and 'civilization' Based solely on what I've read here, it seems Midland is getting a bad rap...but I need more input to fully get an understanding.
Midland So Far:
Pros: No humidity, good football (not that I care), Better than Odessa, low unemployment, rising home values
Cons: Dusty, dry, ugly, rude football fans (not that I care), not much to do, lack of trees and vegetation, too dependent on oil industry, yucky water
There are two Super Walmarts in Midland, and there are two Super Walmarts in Odessa. And as is the case, each of them are always busy -- which is indicative of a growing economy.
There are a lot of restaurants in both cities. Mexican restaurants are of the mom and pop variety ("Tequilla Tony's - Odessa," "Guadalajara Gill - Odessa") and there are really no national chains ("Poncho's ?") around. Yes, there are Taco Bell. However, Taco Bell is to authentic Mexican food as Long John Silvers or Red Lobster is to authentic sea food.
Education is okay for elementary age students. There seems to be a lot of pride ("bragging rights") associated with particular schools. But as one progresses in their academic career, i.e. high school, I am not sure whether the emphasis is on academics or on athletics. When I was in high school (I graduated in 1995), the emphasis was on athletics. But since "No Child Left Behind," I'm sure there has been an increased emphasis on reading, writing, math, and science. Liberal arts? What's that?
For the most part, West Texas is geographically flat. And lately, the wintertime has not been very "cold," that is, we have not have many consecutive days of sub-freezing temperatures. This can be a good thing from a "comfort" point of view.
Midland has been stereotyped (I don't know by whom or when) as a city for "white-collared" people, while Odessa has been stereotyped as a city for "blue-collared" people. Midland has taller buildings in its downtown area than Odessa. And it seems that Midland county spends more money on infrastructure than does Odessa. (I can't really argue this one becaue I don't know people that work for Ector Co. -- only a handful that work for Midland Co.) Even though they are 20 miles apart, you won't find those "adult clubs" in Midland -- you'll find them closer to the outskirts of Odessa. I don't know how much of this is by chance or by design.
But at the same time, both Odessa an Midland have their aristocratic class, and their labor class of citizens, like anywhere else. I don't know the statistics on how many people living in Midland drive vehicles that cost $50,000+, but I would imagine that there are more in Midland than in Odessa. And with money, comes the attitude of having money -- snobbery. But these kind of people are always around, the aristocracy, and I tend to not associate with them unless my job requires that I do. I'm a blue-collar academic myself.
The good thing about this area is its warmer-than-if-you-live-in-Illinois winters, it's low geologic activity, e.g. earthquakes, it's distance from masses of water in light of "hurricane season," and it's being toward the far south end of "tornado alley." Rain doesn't happen often, and neither do most major weather events, however, since the population of both cities is around 180,000 collectively, you can get from one side of the city to the other side of the city in about 15 minutes.
Lubbock is a bigger city to the north of us, and features Texas Tech University. Lubbock is a two hour drive. Use Google Maps and type in Midland, TX or Odessa, TX to see the layout of the city, and with Google Maps, you can see satellite photos of the city's layout.
Location: Midessa, Texas Home Yangzhou, Jiangsu temporarily
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I don't what these other people are talking about. I live in Midland/Odessa and it is wonderful overall.
Midland/Odessa is located on directly on the coast of the Permian Sea just south of the equator. It is near the middle of Pangea on the west coast of the continent. It is typically very tropical and humid in the winter and hot and somewhat drier in the summer. The Permian is a shallow warm sea feed by the oceanic waters of the Panthalassa or universal sea. The city is surrounded by swamp forest and lycopods, sphenopsids, and ferns are common. Some people like to fish for chondrichthyans, coelacanths, and trilobites. Land animals include dimetrodon, edaphosaurus, ctenospondylus, and Secodontosaurus.
Edit: Oh wow. I just noticed the time, Dec 2006 a.d. My info may be a little out of date.
On a serious note, what I love about Midland/Odessa is the opportunity. The city( or cities but I usually think of Midland/Odessa as a single city) is growing well. Pretty much all of the cities in west Texas are. But because of recent economic hardship properties are still cheap. Even high rises in Midland sometimes are sold for incredibly low prices. Two of these( the Vaughn and I think First National Bank of Midland) that I know of are being converted to condo buildings. In Dallas, Houston, Austin, etc. everything is already so expensive that you have to be really rich to be able to speculate. M/O has a kind of frontier feel to it that has been lost in most areas of the state. Here I beleive there is still a chance to buy low and if oil prices can hold out for a while M/O could become the city of west Texas. Texas needs a major city in this region, and this could be it, though I am sure that competition from Abilene, Lubbock, and San Angelo will be fierce.
As for Midland getting a bad rap, if you stay on the north west side of Midland or north east side of Odessa, it is really no different than any other city. Lots of new retail, new stadiums, new airport terminal and nice subdivisions full of large houses. The commutes are quick, and even though traffic has increased noticbly in the last year or two, it is still light by national standards. Two freeways connect Midland and Odessa that are second to none, I-20 and Highway 191. I often have to travel from one to the other in a day and the drive is an easy 30 minutes. Odessa is home to some major industrial facilities including a new powerplant and another one under construction now. Odessa may also be the site of a new zero-emissions coal power plant and nearby Andrews is planning to get a new experimental high temperature nuclear reactor.
To be sure, East Texas is much more beautiful. My family moved to M/O from Athens, Texas. That is beautiful country and I would like to move back someday, but for now I am in love with Midland/Odessa.
One last thing. You may be interested to know since you are from S. California that California Fan Palms grow pretty well here. I have three in my yard now that are getting pretty tall. Next year I plan to put out a Phoenix palm.
Most of the negative stuff about the midland/odessa area has to be from people that havent lived there. They are just giving you the classic stereotypes. Its a nice place to live. I would take midland over odessa. The schools are fine. And as i stated before in another topic the smaller airport is a big plus. Its small so its very quick in and out but still flys everywhere. People passing through say its ugly but everyone i have known that move there say they grow to love it... You can see for miles.. great sunsets... the stars are very bright... and with the dry desert air its night temps are much cooler even in the hot summer... in some areas its so cheap to build its less than buying used house...
Or you could choose to live in one of the small towns surrounding midland/odessa. Zero traffic and high speedlimits (75 on some hwys) means that you can commute to the city from a town 30-45min away faster than most people do in the big metro city. These towns dont just revolve around football... they revolve around whole school. They wanna beat the neighboring town in everything; football/basketball/band/academics etc. These communities are based around the schools and they take pride in their schools because thats all they have.
Negatives: Midland city water taste bad (not if you have well water) but fine in surrounding towns. Too isolated for some people. No major sports teams (just minor leagues). Clubs and bars but no real ‘downtown’ club/bar scene. In the smaller towns most community events are based around the schools or churches so if youre not apart of either you might be left out.
Hope this helps..
On Yahoo Real Estate it looks like a good area, and my smallish son is crazy for football. Please give any honest opinions or thoughts. I move/retire this June with a son just entering high school from Riverside in southern CA. Are there Target/Walmart & regular stores nearby etc? What do you like & dislike about the area? HELLLLLLP!?
I live in the Midland/Odessa area and I think it's great.
We have just about everything, Walmart, Target, Homedepot and HEB (The grocery store).
Midland is bigger the Odessa and has a lot more (Let's be honest, Odessa residents do go to Midland to do a lot of their shopping, I'm guilty of that).
I don't notice the oil smell that some mention, nor did I notice it when I first moved here. The wind can be horrid as is the dirt and dust. I never had allergies before in my life, that is till I moved here. I'm forever suffering and take medication.
There is still A LOT of open space around here, as the towns slowly grow together, but it's still beautiful. Odessa has lots of cows grazing and pump jacks and I assume that parts of Midland has it as well.
Last edited by JavaJoy01; 12-31-2006 at 06:24 PM..
I remember taking the drive from Andrews to Odessa as a kid (32 miles STRAIGHT as an arrow with exactly ONE 10 degree bend in the road!!)
During that 32 miles stretch ALL you saw were pumpjacks! I know it is booming now, but I can only imagine the money pouring in at that time. I mean I couldn't possibly count them all back then.
There is NO way I'd move back to Odessa or Midland. If I have to move back to West TX, then it'll be nearer the San Angelo area.
There are a few reasons for moving to or living in M/O.
1)You're born there and just don't know any better
2) Your spouse makes you move there for their job.
3) God makes you move there (in which case I would start mending my evil ways,because you are headed in the wrong direction)
4) Somebody offers you a job making tons of money
If making money without concern for the quality of life is what you are after,then M/O might be what you want.If you want more out of life than sticking money in the bank while living in a place where Olive Garden,high school football,and strip joints comprise the social life,then you probably want to look elsewhere.
In addition,the area is just plain ugly.Double butt ugly,in fact.Many places in the desert areas of west Texas are beautiful to those who like the desert,such as Alpine or the Terlingua area,but M/O is just plain old ugly,and stinky.
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