In modern day Real Estate, we have found more than ever that choosing a Neighborhood is the most important decision a Buyer makes. They are looking for the perfect community, not just the perfect home. Schools, retail, traffic, walkability and style all play a role in choosing a Neighborhood. The Urban Core of OKC is seeing a renaissance of the City Neighborhood.
The diversity of style and location in the Urban Core allows many buyers to have multiple options. Everything from Historic to modern housing is on the rise. So how do you find that perfect Neighborhood for your Family? We put together a list of ten ways to make that decision.
Living in the Urban Core of a major Metropolitan area can be a time saver. Unless of course you live next to a major street or highway. Always check the traffic in and around the Neighborhoods you are looking at. You might find it is too much for your sanity to wait in line to get only a few blocks. Oklahoma City is still relatively light on traffic, but populations grow.
Example: Jefferson Park is close to a major highway, but is hidden away from major traffic.
Believe it or not, there are Urban Core Neighborhoods with inclined streets and busy yards in OKC. If you love doing yard work yourself, look for homes that have customizable spaces. Streets lined with tall streets can give you shade during Summer months. However, those trees then drop their leaves all over yards and streets. If that is a hassle to you, choose a Neighborhood with younger, smaller trees.
Example: Crown Heights is known for the many different landscapes and has close access to multiple parks.
At Verbode we love the history of our homes. The stories of owners past and the many changes the Neighborhood and home have been through. Some Neighborhoods have more history than others which will likely give them protection from the Historic Preservation of OKC. Changes to homes must be approved in order to keep the Neighborhood as it was meant to look.
Example: Heritage Hills has more homes with great stories than they know what to do with.
With the rise of OKC districts, more and more local retail is opening near Urban Core Neighborhoods. Whether it be restaurants or shopping opportunities, the Urban Core has plenty to choose from. If your favorite store or restaurant is only walking distance away, you may want to rethink moving in that Neighborhood. It may cause you to gain weight or spend too much money. All joking aside, there are many Neighborhoods that benefit from their close proximity to retail.
6. Walking & Biking Ability
Cities are trying harder to give their citizen’s more options of getting around town. It is a huge plus to have sidewalks and plenty of room for bikes in a Neighborhood. It almost seemed a sense of nostalgia to think of a Neighborhood that was walkable and bike safe. Now thanks to a few Maps Projections, OKC neighborhoods are getting new sidewalks and streets are being widened. Nothing is better than walking in your Neighborhood with your family and pets. Check out the walkscore of your favorite Neighborhood.
Example: Mesta Park has wide streets and brand new sidewalks that a many residents use on a daily basis.
Not all Neighborhoods have Associations, but the strong and well connected ones do. In recent years a few Neighborhoods in the Urban Core lacked a plan of action to make their Neighborhoods better. Now there are strong Associations within even the smallest of Neighborhoods. Associations can help with beautification and maintenance of the area. It also allows for block parties and get togethers so you can better know those who live nearby.
Example: Miller has recently put together a great and well received Neighborhood Association.
Access has a lot to do about location and how to get in and out of your Neighborhood. Most Neighborhoods in the Urban Core were planned on a grid system. Allowing multiple different entrance and exit points through out. It is now important to find the routes through your Neighborhood that take you to your favorite Districts. You may find out it is easier to access by foot or bike, than by car.
We are very lucky in the OKC Urban Core to have many ranges of affordability. Yes, most everyone wants to live in the Historic Neighborhood with large estates and amazing architecture. However, the best Neighborhood for your family, is the one that is affordable to your financial situation. There are Neighborhoods that would surprise you with their affordability.
Example: Crestwood gives you the historic feel with the affordability for all price ranges.
Now more than ever we are searching for schools that we feel safe sending our kids too. Not only do we want them to receive a great academic education, we also want them to have a strong social education. Learning to interact with all types of people and cultures. Many of the Urban Neighborhoods have schools built right in the middle. This means you can walk your most precious of family members to school everyday.
Example: Cleveland has a school with the same name and is also close to the Middle & High schools your children would attend.
Above all we want to feel safe in our Neighborhoods. Crime is not always consistent in certain areas, so it is important to research the area and those living in it. Ask potential Neighbors if they have felt safe living in that Neighborhood. Make sure the crime rate is low and on the decline. Take a stroll through the streets at night to gage if it feels safe. Street lights and open front doors are good indicators of how safe a Neighborhood is.
Example: Putnam Heights has sidewalks with lights and plenty of room between homes. Allowing for a buffer from the major streets and traffic.