What You Need To Know When Moving to Omaha, NE

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If you’re thinking about moving to Omaha, there are some things you should know before you pack up and hit the road. First of all, Omaha is a fantastic city to live in Nebraska. You’ll find friendly people, affordable housing, and plenty of things to see and do.

The city is home to a diverse population, a thriving arts and cultural scene, and some of the best food in the Midwest. But there are some things you’ll need to keep in mind as you plan your move. For example, you’ll want to research the different neighborhoods in Omaha to find the one that best fits your lifestyle and budget.

You’ll also need to familiarize yourself with the local climate and geography, as Omaha is situated on the banks of the Missouri River and experiences four distinct seasons. Don’t worry, though – with some preparation and research, moving to Omaha can be an exciting and rewarding experience.

To help you kick start your homeownership journey in Omaha, here’s our guide with everything you need to know about moving to the “Gateway to the West.”

Omaha at a Glance

As the largest city in Nebraska, Omaha is home to over 485K residents, placing it among the top 40 most populous cities in the United States. Spanning approximately 146 square miles, this vibrant metropolis perfectly blends urban conveniences and a welcoming community atmosphere.

Omaha Real Estate

Omaha boasts a variety of housing options with a mix of architectural styles, from charming historic homes to modern new developments. Omaha has an affordable housing market compared to many other major cities in the United States.

In terms of housing affordability, the median price of homes for sale in Omaha hovers around $350K, under the national average, making it an affordable option compared to many other major cities.

If you’re searching for neighborhoods that combine charm, amenities, and a strong sense of community, consider exploring Dundee, Aksarben-Elmwood Park, and Downtown Omaha.

Known for its tree-lined streets and historic homes, Dundee offers a delightful blend of local community events and cozy cafes. The Aksarben Village is a thriving community offering a blend of retail, entertainment options, and biking or running trails. Downtown Omaha, the Old Market district, is a vibrant, trendy neighborhood with parks and various dining options.

Cost of Living in Omaha

The cost of living index in Omaha is 89.8, below the state and the national average. When it comes to housing costs, Omaha offers attractive options. The median monthly rent for an apartment in the city is around $1,290. The affordable median home price provides an excellent opportunity for those interested in purchasing a home.

Regarding salaries, Omaha’s job market offers competitive wages across various industries compared to the national average. The average annual salary in Omaha ranges between $28,000 and $39,000, depending on the field, certification, and experience level.

Schools in Omaha

Education options in Omaha are well-regarded. The city has a mix of public, private, and charter schools. Omaha Public Schools (OPS) is the largest school district in Nebraska, serving more than 50,000 students. OPS is an above-average school district that operates numerous elementary, middle, and high schools.

Omaha also boasts a variety of private schools. These institutions often provide smaller class sizes, specialized curricula, and a more individualized approach to learning. Many private schools in Omaha have religious affiliations for those seeking a faith-based education.

Omaha also has several esteemed colleges and universities like The University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO). The city is also host to several community colleges and vocational schools.

Economy in Omaha

Omaha boasts a thriving job market with a diverse range of industries that contribute to its robust economy. The city has a strong presence in finance, healthcare, technology, transportation, and manufacturing sectors.

These industries offer employment opportunities in logistics, distribution, supply chain management, and manufacturing operations. Apart from these industries, Omaha has a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit, with a growing number of startups and small businesses adding business opportunities to the city’s economic landscape. Some of the major employers near the homes for sale in Omaha include:

  • Offutt Air Force Base
  • CHI
  • Nebraska Medicine
  • Methodist Health System
  • Fiserv
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Union Pacific Railroad
  • First National Bank
  • TD Ameritrade
  • PayPal

Omaha’s unemployment rate is among the lowest unemployment rates in the region. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Omaha’s unemployment rate is only 2.1%, lower than the national average. This means that there are more job opportunities available for the residents of Omaha, giving them a chance to contribute to the city’s growing economy.

Omaha’s Trademarks

As you prepare to immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Omaha, you must familiarize yourself with the city’s trademarks. These distinctive features not only shape the local culture but also have a significant impact on your daily life as a resident.

Omaha boasts a range of aspects that make it a remarkable place to call home. Now, let’s explore the key considerations to help you confidently and enthusiastically navigate your move.

The Crossroads of America

Omaha, often called the “Crossroads of America,” holds a unique geographical significance. It is a vital transportation hub along the Missouri River in eastern Nebraska.

Major interstates, including the I-80, go through Omaha, connecting the city to various regions of the United States. This strategic location facilitates easy access to neighboring states like Iowa and South Dakota and positions Omaha as a prime logistical center for businesses and industries.

The city’s transportation infrastructure extends beyond highways. Omaha is home to the Eppley Airfield, a bustling airport that offers a wide range of domestic and international flights. This provides local residents and those from Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas with convenient business and leisure travel options.

Moreover, Omaha’s central location within the country means you’re within a day’s drive of numerous popular destinations, including Kansas City, Denver, Minneapolis, and Chicago.

Industry Diversification

Omaha stands out for its remarkable industry diversification, with a wide range of sectors contributing to its thriving economy. This diversity enhances the city’s resilience and provides ample opportunities for professionals in various fields.

One of the key factors driving industry diversification in Omaha is the presence of major Fortune 500 companies across different sectors. The city boasts renowned financial institutions, such as Berkshire Hathaway and Mutual of Omaha, contributing significantly to the finance and insurance industry.

Additionally, Omaha is home to technology giants like Google, which has bolstered the tech sector’s growth. This blend of established corporations and emerging startups foster an ecosystem that promotes innovation and attracts talent across multiple industries.

But Agriculture Is King

As an agricultural powerhouse, Omaha and Nebraska as a whole have a deep-rooted connection to the agricultural sector. This makes it a crucial component of the region’s identity and economy.

Nebraska’s fertile soils and favorable climate make it an ideal location for agricultural activities. The state’s rich agricultural heritage is evident in the vast farmlands, livestock operations, and agricultural research institutions that dot the landscape.

The agricultural sector encompasses various activities, including crop production such as corn, soybeans, and wheat. It also includes livestock and poultry farming and agribusiness services. Nebraska also hosts important agricultural events like the annual Nebraska Power Farming Show.

Military Headquarters

USSTRATCOM (U.S. Strategic Command) headquarters in Omaha houses highly skilled military personnel and experts coordinating and executing critical missions to ensure the nation’s security.

The presence of USSTRATCOM in Omaha brings numerous benefits to the city. It stimulates the local economy by creating job opportunities, supporting defense-related industries, and attracting defense contractors and businesses.

The military personnel stationed in Omaha and their families contribute to the community, fostering a sense of patriotism and a strong military support network.

Omaha’s Burgers

Omaha’s culinary scene is known for its mouthwatering burgers that have garnered a loyal following among locals and visitors alike. The city boasts a vibrant burger scene, with numerous eateries offering delicious and diverse burger options to satisfy every palate.

One of Omaha’s burger highlights is the iconic cheeseburger from the legendary restaurant, Dinker’s Bar. Another must-visit burger joint in Omaha is Stella’s Bar & Grill, which has gained recognition for its award-winning burgers.

Laid-Back Environment

The pace of life in Omaha is generally less hectic than in larger cities, allowing individuals to enjoy a more balanced lifestyle. The city embraces a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, creating a sense of ease and comfort that resonates with residents and visitors alike.

Traffic congestion is minimal, and daily commutes are typically smoother and less stressful. This gives residents the opportunity to spend more time with family and friends, engage in recreational family-friendly activities, and pursue personal interests.

Omaha may not provide the same bustling and vibrant big-city lifestyle found in larger metros. Omaha’s atmosphere and pace of life are distinctively different, offering a more relaxed and close-knit community feel.

Great for Startups

Omaha’s favorable business environment, access to talent, and collaborative culture make it an ideal place for aspiring entrepreneurs to launch and grow their ideas. One key factor that makes it great for startups is its low cost of living and affordable business expenses.

The city also has a vibrant startup ecosystem, with numerous resources available to entrepreneurs, including incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces. The Startup Collaborative, for example, is a non-profit organization that helps connect startups with mentors, investors, and other resources to help them grow.

Family Harbor

Omaha’s reputation as a family-friendly city is well-deserved, as it consistently ranks among the best cities in the United States to raise a family. One factor contributing to its appeal to families is its excellent education system. Omaha also boasts an impressive array of family-oriented attractions and recreational opportunities, including:

  • Omaha Children’s Museum
  • Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
  • Fun-Plex Water Park & Rides
  • The Durham Museum

Fashion Pioneers

Omaha may not be the first city that comes to mind when thinking about fashion. Still, it has quietly earned a reputation as a hub for fashion pioneers and emerging designers. The city’s fashion scene is characterized by creativity, innovation, and a unique blend of styles, making it a noteworthy destination for fashion enthusiasts.

One of the reasons Omaha stands out as a fashion pioneer is its thriving independent designer community. The city has a vibrant network of talented fashion designers pushing boundaries and creating distinctive, cutting-edge styles.

Events like Omaha Fashion Week bring together industry professionals, fashion enthusiasts, and emerging talents to showcase the city’s fashion prowess. These events promote local designers and foster collaboration within the fashion industry.

Commuting Palace

Omaha also offers various public transportation options, accommodating different commuting preferences. The city has a reliable public transportation system operated by the Metro Transit, which includes bus routes that cover a significant portion of the metropolitan area.

Commuters benefit from well-designed road systems, minimal traffic congestion, and shorter commute times compared to larger cities. The city continuously invests in improving transportation systems, maintaining roadways, and expanding public transit options.

The Attractions Are Inside the City

Omaha’s allure as a city is rooted in the fact that it offers a wealth of attractions and entertainment options within its city limits. While the surrounding areas may not boast as many attractions, Omaha itself is a treasure trove of experiences, making it an exciting and vibrant destination for residents and visitors.

Communities To Spare

Another standout feature of Omaha is its abundance of townships and communities. The city’s neighborhoods and townships have distinct identities and offerings.

Some communities are characterized by historic, Midwestern charm, with well-preserved architecture and tree-lined streets. Others are newer developments with modern amenities and spacious, gorgeous homes.

Extreme Weather

The city experiences four distinct seasons, each bringing its weather extremes. Summers in Omaha can be hot and humid, with temperatures frequently reaching the high 80s. Spring and fall often bring temperature fluctuations, ranging from 50 to 70 degrees.

Omaha has bitterly cold winters, with temperatures dropping below the mid-30s. Snowfall is also a regular occurrence, with the city receiving significant accumulations of about 20-40 inches. Near-blizzard conditions are not uncommon, which can impact travel and daily activities.

The Music Scene Is Top Notch

Omaha’s music scene is characterized by its diversity and eclectic mix of genres. The city has produced a remarkable range of musical talents spanning various genres, including indie rock, alternative, hip-hop, jazz, and blues.

Notable musicians like Buddy Miles and bands like Bright Eyes, The Faint, Conor Oberst, and 311 have emerged from Omaha. They’ve put the city on the map and attracted attention from music enthusiasts worldwide.

World Class Zoo

Omaha is home to one of the world’s most renowned and beloved zoos, making it a standout destination for animal lovers and families. The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, consistently ranked among the top zoos in the world, offers an immersive and educational experience for children and adults alike.

Pedestrian-Friendly? Look Elsewhere

The city may not be as pedestrian-friendly as some other metropolitan areas. Omaha’s infrastructure and urban planning prioritize vehicular traffic over pedestrian accessibility. This can present challenges for those who prefer to get around on foot.

Parks and Recreation

Omaha offers a wealth of outdoor adventures and recreational opportunities. The city’s commitment to preserving and enhancing its green spaces ensures that residents and visitors have ample opportunities to connect with nature.

Parks like Chalco Hills Recreation Area and Zorinsky Lake Park provide hiking, biking, fishing, and boating opportunities. There are also city parks, including:

  • Turner Park
  • Benson Park
  • Stinson Park
  • Elmwood Park
  • Walnut Grove Park
  • Waubonsie State Park
  • Werner Park

Hospitable Neighbors Everywhere

One remarkable aspect of Omaha is its residents’ warm and welcoming nature. The strong sense of community in Omaha is evident in the way residents interact with one another. Neighbors often take the time to greet each other, engage in friendly conversations, and offer assistance when needed.

Cattle Town

Its historical roots and location have made the city synonymous with its rich cattle industry. Omaha has a long-standing tradition and connection to cattle ranching. The prominence of the cattle industry in Omaha resulted in the establishment of numerous meatpacking plants and processing facilities.

Everybody Loves the Old Market

The Old Market’s appeal lies in its preserved historic buildings and cobblestone streets, creating a charming and picturesque setting. Strolling through the district feels like stepping back in time, with beautifully restored brick buildings housing a variety of boutiques and specialty stores.

The area’s architectural character adds to its allure and creates a distinct ambiance that draws people in.

Indie Rock Paradise

One of the key factors contributing to Omaha’s indie rock reputation is the influential label Saddle Creek Records. The label has represented renowned bands such as Cursive and The Faint. Their success has put Omaha on the map as a hotspot for indie music, attracting artists, fans, and industry professionals from around the country.

FAQ: Moving to Omaha

If you’re considering a move to Omaha, you likely have some questions about what to expect.

Is Omaha a good place to move to?

Yes, Omaha is generally considered a good place to move to, with its strong sense of community, affordable cost of living, affordable home prices, and diverse and abundant job opportunities.

What are the best counties to live near Omaha?

If you’re looking for a place to call home near Omaha, there are a few counties that stand out, including:

Why are people moving to Omaha, Nebraska?

People may be moving to Omaha for various reasons, including its family-friendly environment, amazing business opportunities, and vibrant arts and culture scene.

What are the pros and cons of living in Omaha?

The pros of living in Omaha include a low cost of living, a friendly community, a strong job market, and a wide range of recreational and cultural amenities such as art galleries, Hot Shops Art Center, and Opera Omaha. Some cons may include harsh winters and a rising violent crime rate.

Is Omaha a walkable city?

While Omaha has some walkable neighborhoods, it is not considered a highly walkable city overall. Having a car is generally recommended for getting around.

Does Omaha have harsh winters?

Yes, Omaha experiences harsh winters with cold temperatures, snowfall, and occasional blizzards.

Is Omaha, NE, in Tornado Alley?

Yes. However, while tornadoes are not uncommon in the region, Omaha itself does not experience them as frequently as some other parts of Tornado Alley.

What do I need to know about moving to Omaha?

Consider factors such as the cost of living, housing options, and job opportunities. Researching these aspects and planning can help ensure a smoother transition to the city.

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