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Old 10-18-2007, 01:12 PM
Location: Coastal California
229 posts, read 368,930 times
Reputation: 981


I would really like to hear from people who have moved from large cities to some of the smaller areas in Oklahoma.

I currently live outside of Los Angeles and have for 26 years. Love the weather and a few close friends, but thats about it.

The crime, traffic, taxes, illegal immigration, outrageous cost of real estate, greed, and air pollution have finally gotten to me.

Several of my best friends have left CA to go to Osage County. I have been 10 times in the past year and really liked Pawhuska, Ponca City, and the little towns in between (Foraker, Shidler, Fairfax, Hominy, etc) and a little place in S. Kansas called Arkansas City..

I sold my home in CA two years because I thought the market would crash (it did!). I am in my late 40's. Currently I work 60+ hours a week, and while the salary is fantastic, the toll is just too great on me (I could do it in my 20s, but not in my 40s).

Has anyone here ever left a high paying, high stress, 'fantastic' life in a large city and traded it for a quiet existence somewhere else?

And...can someone lived comfortably on $2,500 a month in the areas I mentioned?

I truly look forward to your responses, the good and the bad.
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:18 PM
Location: Pawnee Nation
7,525 posts, read 16,270,307 times
Reputation: 7093
In all the towns you mentioned you can live comfortably on that income. I live 20 miles south of Hominy and can sustain myself well on $1500. I have an 1100 foot house on 10 acres. I have several hogs that I need to sell (they are finished cleaning up the garden), I have 4 head of Dexter cattle (I put one in the freezer last spring). I have high speed internet through satellite, my electricity runs about $40 a month, propane runs $300 a year. I use a cell phone as primary phone service. My property taxes are about $200 a year and my house payment is non-existent......I paid cash for it......under $25,000.
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:04 PM
Location: Duncan, OK
2,919 posts, read 6,596,297 times
Reputation: 3139
Hiya BlueSkies! Ex-Cali native here. We're in a smallish town quite a bit further south than you are looking at, but I wanted you to know that we (the Mister and I) are living quite comfortably here on $1200-$1500 a month.

We also bought our place ($22,500 no acreage) and we keep our place toasty warm in the winter and cool in the summers. Electric bill hasn't gone above $150, Gas stays around $25 in the summer and at most $70 in the winter. House phone prices are about the same as Cali and the groceries are a bit cheaper.

My hubby likes to tell people he now "Makes half as much money and lives twice as well!" We couldn't be happier!
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:28 AM
5,004 posts, read 14,901,368 times
Reputation: 2487
I used to live in San Diego Co. Like you I wanted to get out of CA. I hated the traffic, too many people, couldn't even afford a house, and air pollution. My biggest adjustment was missing certain stores like Trader Joes and Costco. Now I only miss Costco. For a long time I missed certain restaurants, but not the fancy ones. Mainly Greek food and a certain Tea Cottage in Julian. I got over that when I found restaurants to replace them.
And I still miss one of my friends.

Other than that I don't even want to step foot in CA ever again.

I love it here because it is beautiful and mostly unspoiled. Plus the people are friendly.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:06 PM
Location: Oklahoma(formerly SoCalif) Originally Mich,
13,387 posts, read 18,617,910 times
Reputation: 4611
WELCOME Aboard BlueSkies!

The only downside I've found is the tax rating in OK, is "8.5" compared to
"7.7" in Ca.
I gave up a Small Business I owned in San Bernardino,County just to get out and for pretty much the same reasons you are.
My line of work is more less seasonal, but I found it's not hard to adjust your bills to your income.
Illegal Immigation is everywhere, but in most of the small towns in OK. there rarley seen, unlike Ca. where they're like ants on a candy bar.
Out here you don't find trash and furniture along any of the streets and roads, the properties aren't all fenced in, yards are kept up even without "weedabatement", and one of the "first" biggest differences I noticed was "NO GRAFFITI"!!!! well. except for on this hill where an eye is painted on a large rock. just kiddin' people.
I"ve only been here since 6/07 and feel so "unaffected" by Illegal Immigration I think I have a guilty consciense.
I'll just say, by starting completely over at my age (mid) I knew that I was taking a financial risk.
I'll never regret it.
There's a thread on this forum called "Oklahoma Pictures" , you'll find beautiful picture of Ok, taken by the good people of this site.

One more thing you'll have to get use to (being from Ca. anyway). and that's being greeted by every person you see and people waving to you as you drive by. You may think that I'm kiddin' but I felt strange at first, even alittle embarrassed, but believe me, I got over it fast

Last edited by mkfarnam; 10-19-2007 at 12:17 PM..
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:16 PM
33,652 posts, read 19,707,625 times
Reputation: 36073
I was born and raised in SE Los Angeles and left L.A. in 87. It is more than worth it in my book. But then, I was never glitz and glamour and never pulled down mega bucks in L.A.

We live on 45 acres of scrubby pasture which has about 15 acres of trees, and for me, it's like a blessing from Creator to have survived my drug and alcoholic daze of youth.

You will have to make a psychological adjustment big time. We trade off the hazy smog for 4 seasons and the weather here can be brutal. I love the humidity and bugs and everything else because, for me, my tribal roots are here. I love being around Native peoples and all the culture that I missed out on growing up.

I just hope all the cali's moving back don't ruin things. So, don't tell anyone else! shhh!

Did I tell the board that when I first left L.A., I went to school in Lawrence, KS and my landlord in L.A. told me OK and KS are the a$$ hole of the world??!! It ain't for everybody. So think long and hard before you jump.
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:14 PM
5,004 posts, read 14,901,368 times
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I missed growing up around Native Americans too. All my life I heard about my grandmother or grandmothers coming on the Trail of Tears, and so I clung to that part of my heritiage more than I did my Irish, German, and French. I went to a powwow and found myself feeling emotional over the dancing.

What I found most here was that people at stores talked to you. It felt strange. I would hear people's life stories while in the bank or buying groceries, well, that is an exaggeration somewhat. And people do smile at you and say hello and are really into helping you out. I forget these things after being here a year because I now take them for granted.

The four seasons without smog and a marine layer are wonderful. I have missed the seaons for years living in San Diego Co. I have never lived where it snowed, and so I chose a State that had a little. I also wanted a lot of green, and so East Oklahoma fit the bill. I don't mind the humidity either, but some of the bugs bother me. Just the mosquitoes, chiggers, and brown recluse. You just have to know how to handle them. I learned the hard way this summer.

When we drove the U-Haul van out of LA Co onto that great highway 40 I smiled and looked back and said that I hoped to never see CA again. If anyone wants to see me they can come visit.
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:33 PM
Location: Sand Springs, OK
633 posts, read 2,466,807 times
Reputation: 247
Hi Jessaka,

I was born in Tulsa and raised in Sand Springs (just west of Tulsa). I moved to So Cal in 1990 and have been in San Diego (East County) for 7 years. My family and I are in the process of trying to get jobs to move back to OK. I can't wait. Like you mentioned above, I can't wait for the day when we can head out east on I-40 and I never look back. I miss the snow and the tornadoes (yea, I'm weird) and the rain. My kids have never seen lightning bugs or snow fall or really heard a thunderstorm. I can't wait to show them all that.

Didn't mean to get off track on this thread, just wanted to say hi.
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:32 AM
5,004 posts, read 14,901,368 times
Reputation: 2487
seahawksweetie, I usually allow people on the Oklahoma website to get off track alittle because we in Oklahoma are kinda like that anyway in that we like to talk. Hopefully, Synopsis won't mind either. Now if it gets way off that is another story.

I used to go to Disneyland and sit near the waters edge in that restaurant by Pirates of the Carribean just to watch the lightning bugs, because when I was 16 my uncle took me to Missiouri where I fell in love with lightning bugs. Not all bugs in OK are scary. Same with snow. I saw it in Sequoia and fell in love with it when I was 14 and have wanted to be where it snowed a little every year ever since. Also wanted the changing of the leaves since seeing Smokies Mt. There is so much that you miss when you live in San Diego, except you do have the ocean, but I prefer creeks and rivers, always have since I grew up in Paso Robles with the Salinas River and spent my youth walking the beds and exploring. And yes, the rain. San Diego doesn't know what rain is, neither does LA. Nor do they know what real lightning is unless they live in the mountains. How much I even missed the clouds due to that stupid marine layer. And how about a resal blue sky? Gosh, how I missed having a blue sky. And I wanted a real summer so bad. There was no weather in San Diego. I hope since Blue Skies loves LA weather that he or she will like ours. I also just hated not having weather. And I never like that most trees kept there leaves in San Diego all year long and everything alive was planted, nothing wild, and how much I disliked those cultivated prissy flowers along the islands on the roads. Want to guess why I haven't volunteered for moderator of CA?

Last edited by Mattie Jo; 10-20-2007 at 05:40 AM..
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:06 AM
Location: Edmond
35 posts, read 152,122 times
Reputation: 32
Yes, I think you'll be pleasantly surprise how little of money you can live on here in OK. And our housing market is definitley MORE affordable than CA!!! Moderator cut: no advertisingthey are AMAZED how big of a house and how much land you can get for so little money!
My father-in-law works in Ponca City and we've been to Arkansas, KA several times. Great small communities. It will definitely be a change from the big city---but everyone here is so nice!
We used to live in Columbia, SC, and even though people said it's "southern hospitiality", it was nothing like OK hospitiality. In general people are so caring and giving here.
You would not have to work as many hours here either. Sounds like you work a lot to barely make ends meet... OK sounds like it might be a good more for you and your situation! You can work less and have bigger and better things for a smaller price. We do have smaller salaries than your probably used to, but also our cost of living is cheaper too... so it equals itself out.
Good luck! And welcome to Oklahoma and the Southwest!!!


Last edited by Mattie Jo; 10-21-2007 at 05:27 AM.. Reason: no advertising
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