As the cost of living spirals out of control in cities on both coasts, many people are looking for a safe, affordable place to work and raise a family. Wherever you’re coming from, Omaha is a great place to put down roots.
This blog article is part of Castle Brook Builders' Design and Build Process Series.
Why Come to Omaha?
The city of Omaha is part of the larger Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area that encompasses eight counties (five in Nebraska, three in Iowa). Growth in the metro area is booming; the population expanded from 400,000 in 1940 to 750,000 in 2000 and nearly 900,000 in 2014. More than one million residents are expected to call the area home by 2023. There are a lot of reasons the area is attractive to new residents.
A Strong, Growing Economy
The economy of the Omaha metro area is strong and diversified among numerous industries. Around 40 percent of the total employment in the city is in the service sector; tourism plays a very important role in the economic development of the city. There is also significant continued growth in the telecommunications industry; Omaha was one of the first U.S. cities to create a fiber optic network, leading it to be christened the telecommunications capital of the country. Other important industries include transportation, insurance (more than 30 insurance companies call Omaha home), food processing, and healthcare. There are 5 Omaha-based companies in the Fortune 500 list, and its average yearly job growth between 2014-2016 was 2.8%.
Affordable Housing & Low Cost of Living
Housing is both very affordable and diverse, ranging from chic downtown loft condominiums to large multi-level homes in quiet suburban communities. Omaha real estate market trends showed an increase of $10,000 (6%) in median home sale price over the past year. In fact, the Omaha housing market has seen home values rise for three consecutive years, placing the median home value in Omaha around $147,000, compared to the national average of about $208,000 (2015). While its value is increasing, Omaha real estate is more affordable than most markets across the country, making it a great place to purchase a home or build your own custom home. While the median salary for the area is $51,400, just shy of the national median of $51,900, the cost of living is 12% less than the national average. Homeowners in the area spend about 6.6 percent of their income on monthly mortgage payments, compared to the national average of 15.1 percent.
High Quality of Life
Forbes recognized Omaha as #7 on its list of best metropolitan areas to raise a family and #3 on its list of best cities for urban professionals in 2015. Omaha’s communities are built around schools, parks, and natural elements and are renowned for top-notch health care. The Omaha Zoo is one of the best in the world, and the beautiful Lauritzen Botanical Gardens cover 100 acres of land. Downtown, the Old Market neighborhood has shops, restaurants, bars, and art galleries with turn-of-the-century charm, brick-paved streets, and horse-drawn carriages.
There’s a saying in Omaha that it takes 20 minutes to get to everything, i.e., everything is pretty much right around the corner. The infrastructure is laid out in a grid, so it’s easy to navigate, and there isn't a lot of traffic congestion. Eppley Airfield serves over 4 million passengers each year with over 200 flights daily; its central location means short flight times to virtually anywhere in the country.
Omaha's Future Is Bright
As the Omaha metro area grows, it attracts more and more “big city” amenities. Many internationally known entertainment acts, performers, and touring productions stop in Omaha, and across the river, Council Bluffs offers an array of casinos. Numerous excellent museums dot the region, especially those dedicated to local and natural history. Craft breweries and exciting new restaurants of all cuisines have sprung up, catering to a variety of styles and tastes. Although there are no professional sports teams in the area, the regional college teams and semi-pro sports have followings that approach religious status, and every year in June, Omaha hosts the NCAA College World Series (CWS) baseball tournament.
Come visit Omaha and see what it has to offer you!
Castle Brook custom home builders can help you build the home of your dreams in the Omaha metro area. Our design-build team will help you every step of the way, from finding inspiration and picking out a home style to choosing finishes and décor. Contact us today to arrange a tour of one or more of our model homes in our featured subdivisions and see how easy it can be to build your own Omaha custom home.