Nice neighborhoods in Omaha?

Asked by Elizabeth Felderhoff, Tulsa, OK Fri Feb 8, 2008

My husband and I are most likely moving to Omaha soon but I am very unfamiliar with the area. Can anyone tell me where the good/nice neighborhoods are to live? Or at least I would like to find out the bad neighborhoods to avoid! We are a newly married mid-twenties couple.

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24
Spamgaurd, Home Buyer, Papillion, NE
Fri Feb 15, 2008
BEST ANSWER
Ok, we just moved here about a year ago and we had the same questions as you. So, I'll be blunt an honest, since no one will be. Can't help with the agent, we're still looking. We moved to an apartment in Papillion, which is a mispronounced, misspelled French word meaning butterfly. As you might guess, Papillion is pretty lame culturally, but very, very family oriented and very safe. Basically EVERYONE has kids and there are no theaters, except a super lame community theater that performs one or two times a year, and pretty much all the restaurants are chains with no live bands or fun attractions. If you want to feel like you are living in a real life Edward Scissorhand's cookie cutter neighborhood, move into one of those new developments in Papillion (or anywhere for that matter). The houses are pretty much all the same and of course there are no big trees yet, but the lawns are immaculate. Minus the spooky mansion and pastels, its just like Edward Scissorhands' neighborhood. Bellevue/Offutt is similar to Papillion (family oriented), but there are a lot more not so educated military people with the whole gun oriented military culture thing going (let's face it military people are their own breed). DO NOT move to NORTH OMAHA. They have drive by shootings there all the time. Its a large area, so maybe some of the neighborhoods within North Omaha are fine? There are parts of South Omaha that have a ton of Spanish speakers that can't communicate in English, so that's annoying if you don't speak Spanish. I mean you go to the store and make conversation with your neighbor and they respond in Spanish (hi, was I speaking Spanish?!?!). There are also black and Spanish speaking men that dress like gang members and loiter around parking lots during the day as well as at night. Not very appealing to me, but when I've stopped for directions they have been nice (though the Spanish speakers have a really hard time communicating in English). I would recommend the downtown area for newly-weds. Its actually a very safe area, though you'll have to be selective as to what neighborhood you move into (the mid-town and old market area are the best). There's lots of great restaurants, stores, bakeries, though some are over-priced. Hope that helps!
2 votes
Came across this 8 years after it was posted. I need to respond in case anyone else comes across this horrid 'best' answer. I've lived in Omaha for over 40 years, and this is the worst description of the area I've ever seen. Papillion is a beautiful, friendly, safe area no matter how you pronounce it. I definitely agree about avoiding northeast and southeast Omaha. There is more crime in those areas. But there are so many different areas/suburbs/neighborhoods in the city that are wonderful. There are many neighborhoods with large, beautiful older homes (Dundee, Happy Hollow, Fairacres, Hanscom Park area are a few). If you prefer newer homes and national chains to shop in, west Omaha is good. Housing is extremely affordable. Plenty to do for entertainment. World's best zoo, opera, symphony, ballet, Lauritzen Gardens, Old Market, College World Series, local baseball team, big-name concerts, million restaurants, etc. GREAT place to live and raise a family, something for everyone.
Flag Fri Nov 4, 2016
Came across this 8 years after it was posted. I need to respond in case anyone else comes across this horrid 'best' answer. I've lived in Omaha for over 40 years, and this is the worst description of the area I've ever seen. Papillion is a beautiful, friendly, safe area no matter how you pronounce it. I definitely agree about avoiding northeast and southeast Omaha. There is more crime in those areas. But there are so many different areas/suburbs/neighborhoods in the city that are wonderful. There are many neighborhoods with large, beautiful older homes (Dundee, Happy Hollow, Fairacres, Hanscom Park area are a few). If you prefer newer homes and national chains to shop in, west Omaha is good. Housing is extremely affordable. Plenty to do for entertainment. World's best zoo, opera, symphony, ballet, Lauritzen Gardens, Old Market, College World Series, local baseball team, big-name concerts, million restaurants, etc. GREAT place to live and raise a family, something for everyone.
Flag Fri Nov 4, 2016
tigerak15, , Fort Lee, VA
Sat Sep 24, 2011
THank you Elizabeth for posting on here. I am a CPT In the US Army and I might be relocating to Omaha not sure 100% yet and your post has help me alot. But the gentleman or lady listed as best answer really got my hackles up by saying that the military area is full of not educated personnel. I just want to say this is not completely true. Every officer in the military has atleast a bachelors degree if not a masters. Also Most of my soldiers in my first platoon had tech degrees, bachelors, associates, masters, and all of them had atleast a GED or high school education. So on a whole most military areas have a higher education rate then other areas. Now just like any group you have your not so bright individuals. And on the posters other note about us being gun toting kinda weirdos. I am proud to say I am one. If I move into an area I would rather be in a community with like minded individuals that are armed because if your house were to get broken into and you were to ask me for help and so on I would be able to respond easily. Also god help the individual that comes into my home against my wishes.

But thank you again for your post because their was alot of good references in here!!!
3 votes
Watch out for Nebraska's gun laws and Omaha's additional city ordnances requiring handgun registration.
Flag Fri Nov 15, 2013
Bob Bruhn, , Omaha, NE
Sun Mar 30, 2008
Hi Elizabeth,

The reason for the no trees in the newer areas is that most all of them start out as cornfields, with little if any trees except along creek beds. The siding is for the the most part a cost issue. In the newer areas, you will most likely find hardboard siding because builders are all competing against each other with slim profit margins and buyers are unwilling to spend $20,000+ for the extra expense of brick, especially if everyone else in the neighborhood is not. When it comes time to sell, they won't get their money out of the added expense of brick. They best you can hope for in the newer areas is brick or stone fronts.

If you are looking for brick and tudor homes, you most likely will have to go midtown, which will also give your husband a quicker commute downtown. Most of my Conagra clients prefer to be east of 168th Street, which gives them about a 25 minute commute. However, there is a trade off, brick, large trees, quick commute, or hardboard, no trees, larger functional homes, but they can have the cookie cutter look.

I hope this helps!

Bob Bruhn
Web Reference:  http://www.OmahaUSA.com
2 votes
Will, Home Buyer, Omaha, NE
Tue Mar 11, 2008
People ask about nice neighborhoods, not whether you like Spanish speaking folks or people dressing's habits. Do not use this blog to set forth your discriminatory attitudes, for that is ignorant. As for me, the nice neighborhoods in or around Omaha will be LaVista, Papillion and Elkhorn.
2 votes
ndiamond, , Omaha, NE
Wed Apr 10, 2013
Spamguard.......you need to travel more often, you are so closed minded its sad :-(.......maybe one day u will grow up to appreciate the beauty of diversity....can u speak any other language other than English? You just needed to point out what areas are best to live in.......looks like the concept ( even though in English) was difficult for u to understand............sigh
1 vote
Spamgaurd, Home Buyer, Papillion, NE
Fri Jul 24, 2009
Well, now that I've been here a while. I want to say that there is a lovely neighborhood called Little Italy just north of South Omaha. There is a lot of variety of people who speak two languages fluently and a lot of history there, because originally it is where immigrants showed up in Omaha. There are a lot of Italian families hence "Little Italy", but there are also German and other families there, too. There is some great small cultural restaurants and it is just a few minutes commute to downtown, the Lauritzen Gardens, and the Omaha zoo. Some neighborhoods aren't as nice as others, so you have to drive by them at different times of the day to find out what they are like. Avoid any main roads. There seems to be a drug house right on 10th near "Ed's Drugstore". They at least have lots of problems with the police. The older houses are beautiful, but a lot to maintain. If you look around some of the neighborhoods, you'll notice that there are brand new houses and "the towns" is a brand new housing development that is a great way to go if you have the money. I think this will be the next up and coming neighborhood in Omaha, since there has been a lot of emphasis on improving midtown.

All the suburbs are nice and super safe, like people mentioned. Ralston, La Vista, Papillion, Bellevue, Elkhorn, Bennington, etc. But, they have the feel of a suburb (more chain restaurants, fewer established neighborhoods - people move a lot, fewer trees, etc.) are more expensive, though you can find affordable houses in most of the suburbs since there are older more established parts in each. The suburbs have residents that are more educated and make good money (middle class). But, there is less variety and culture there. Also, they are super family oriented, so not a great place for someone single or newlyweds.

Another great area that I found is the "Hanscom Park" area. There are some really expensive homes, but some affordable fixer-uppers, as well. It is a really established area. I loved the black squirrels that run around the area.

I also found out that one reason agents don't tell people what neighborhoods are safe or not is because some people really want to live North of Dodge, despite it being "North Omaha" and constantly in the news for crime. It has more black people in that area and has pockets of nicer neighborhoods. I just didn't have an agent that could tell me where to look. The only nice community I saw was in Gifford Park. Basically the more expensive the homes; the nicer the community is. :) Dundee and Benson are supposed to be nice neighborhoods, too. But, I didn’t look.

We moved to Omaha's one and only co-op in the Little Italy area. It is a great place to raise our new addition to our family.

Oh, another thing we took into consideration is the school districts. Even though we have a toddler now and don't have to worry about it for a while, the houses sell better in good school districts. "District 66" is one of the best in Omaha, but the houses are not so affordable. I found out that there are some very affordable private schools near Little Italy (it ends up being cheaper to pay for a child to go to private school and live in a more affordable house) and that Bancroft Elementary school is said to be a great elementary school.
1 vote
Elizabeth Fe…, Both Buyer And Seller, Tulsa, OK
Sun Nov 9, 2008
First of all, I appreciate everyone's answers to my questions. I have decided to leave this discussion up instead of deleting it because I think it could be helpful to others new to the area like we were. I am also glad to say that we have finally bought a house (yay!) and are very pleased with the neighborhood so far. I won't give specifics but its an fairly established neighborhood in West O with houses about 25 years old. I will give my plug to Prudential real estate who helped our closing go fast and smooth! I will say though, my husband and I looked constantly from July through September and I think we walked through over 50 houses! It can be a long process but so worth it when you find the sweet spot of a great house, neighborhood and neighbors!
1 vote
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Mon Mar 31, 2008
There are times when really good posts get TD, because they speak the truth.

There are times when posts get TD, because they are spam. I think this applies to you, Hi.

The poster who received the TD was because it was discriminatory.
1 vote
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Mon Mar 31, 2008
A neighborhood w/o trees is common in new developments - and that is not limited to Omaha. Buyers make choices in trade-offs and mature trees and landscaping are found in established neighborhoods.

Wnat Bob described well as applicable to Omaha is true all across the country. It's true in Texas also.

I rarely give TD. If I could have given 10 TD to Spamguard, I would have. And, the same to you for supporting him.
1 vote
Elizabeth Fe…, Both Buyer And Seller, Tulsa, OK
Tue Mar 11, 2008
Hi, um... this was my questions and even though I dont want this to become a forum for arguments I do appreciate all comments. I have lived in Texas my whole life and I am very familiar living in areas where spanish speakers are the majority. Even if they cant communicate with you they are usually very nice and hospitable people. I am still leaving my "best answer" as is because I appreciate real opinions rather than the "opinions" of the real estate agents just trying to get my business. Right now we have an apartment in west Omaha and know friends who live in Elkhorn. The homes we saw in Elkhorn are a little too "cookie cutter" for me and I prefer the Tudor style or brick (which is what I am familiar with in Texas).

Does anyone know why the majority of the homes are siding and not brick? Does it have to do with the extreme weather? I also noticed that there are not a lot of trees planted in the new-ish neighborhoods...?

Thanks for everyones help!
1 vote
Lori, Both Buyer And Seller, 68127
Sat Feb 16, 2008
Another area that is nice is Ralston or straight west of there. The homes have character, you have the big trees. You are in the Ralston school system which is good. Your taxes aren't as killer as a newer home would be. Property taxes are high here so is licensing your cars..that was a little overhelming when my husband and I moved here. This is generally a very safe area and the people in Omaha are generally very nice. Good Luck!
1 vote
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Fri Feb 8, 2008
Hi,

This is my hometown, and I have not lived there in a while. I still have many relatives there, and visit. I had the responsiblity of selling our family home there a few years back, and interviewed several Realtors. The one I chose did a terrific job, and I have since referred her to other family members with consistent positive feedback and results. My expectations would run high of any Realtor, but in particular, when one is representing my family home. She surpassed my expectations.

Where are you moving from?

Do you have a relo company assisting you?

Is this work related? Can you identify the area where a new job might be located?

Omaha is on the Eastern border of the state, just adjacent to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Downtown Omaha is close to the Eastern border and the city grew westward. Years ago, Westroads mall was considered "West Omaha" ....but it has continued to expand much further west beyond that.

In your search for real estate, you can also search Papillion, Bellevue, Millard, Vista, Gretna and Elkhorn.

The city is laid out in a square grid, and one of the simplest cities to navigate since the addresses indicate how far south or north of Dodge Street you might be, and street numbers start at the East and progress higher to the West.

Here's a link that describes some of the neighborhoods
http://www.omahachamber.org/live/NeighborhoodsHousing.aspx

Although I haven't lived there in a long while, I still visit, have friends and family there.......and affectionately refer to Omaha.

Deborah
1 vote
Omahajoe, , Omaha, NE
Wed Aug 26, 2009
Hey, Elizabeth. I went to school in Tulsa at University of Tulsa but am from Omaha. What part of Tulsa are you living in now? Omaha has a lot of different areas and much like Tulsa in size and feel of the city. Realtors can't tell you what part of town to live in, but us Mortgage guys can give you lots of bias information. Drop me an email at joe@omahavoices.com and I'll give you some of the background.
0 votes
Lookyloo, , Omaha, NE
Sat Apr 12, 2008
Hello. I moved to Omaha last winter. I am committed to being here for 4.5 more years for work too. I have been renting until I figure this place out. For brick homes Dundee and the neighborhoods east of UNO, and sort of NE and SE of there. Being a small city, it sometimes is not very many blocks from a great neighborhood to a sketchy one. I came form San Diego and good and bad neighborhoods in a city of several million are definitely more distinct. I haven't figured out all the subdivision names yet on some of the real esatate MLS sites. Zip codes 68132, northern 68106 and southern 68104 all have a lot of nice brick homes. It is definitely the kind of town you need to go walk the neighborhood and see how it feels. And for now, you have to count on using your car to do all kinds of errands. There is a new fresh food market in Old Market area on 15th and Howard. Nice selection, but you probably wouldn't want to pay the convenience cost of the higher prices for all your food market needs... so you have to plan on driving out west to one of the supermarkets. Good luck. There are certainly a lot of houses on the market. I have been watching for a year and there is always around 4000 single family homes for sale.
0 votes
Elizabeth Fe…, Both Buyer And Seller, Tulsa, OK
Tue Apr 1, 2008
nope, no one needs to delete anything.

Bob, we may cross paths but it will probably be a while. My husband and I want to be in an apartment for a while to have a chance to get used to the area and find out what suits us best. All cities are different. In Dallas (where we are from) the north side of town is very nice and pricy and the south of town is less desireable. Just from my drive from the airport to downtown Omaha (down 16th I think) it looks like the north side of town is more industrial. I look forward to getting to know the area!
0 votes
Bob Bruhn, , Omaha, NE
Mon Mar 31, 2008
You're welcome Elizabeth and you are doing the right thing. Drive the neighborhoods, talk to firends, do research with the police department. Unfortunately, we as agents can't tell people where the "safe" neighborhoods are, whether of not we think one is better than the other, it's against Fair Housing rules. Eventually, you'll find the area that feels right.

It's too bad that Spamguard is having trouble with that inspection contingency. I've never seen that happen, but it depends on how the inspection contingency was written, if the notifications between buyer and seller followed the timeline on the inspection addendum, and the severity of the problem that causes the buyer to feel they shouldn't go through with the offer.

Good luck to both of you and who knows Elizabeth, we may cross paths, my company does a majority of the relocation for Conagra.
Web Reference:  http://www.OmahaUSA.com
0 votes
Spamgaurd, Home Buyer, Papillion, NE
Mon Mar 31, 2008
To set things straight, my mother speaks English as a second language and has a thick accent. Its sad to see people blow her off because she is harder to understand. That's different than not speaking the same language at all or not even well enough to give directions. I want to be able to communicate with my neighbors. Its FYI, not discrimination. Everyone judges people by clothing choices. My best friend in high school had many piercings and tattoos. She didn't attract the right crowd. You can't judge a book by its cover, but the cover often will attract the wrong kind of books. HA!

And just to let you know, I was trying to stir the pot a little and I did! More people were forthright in their advice, and I read those helpful comments, too. So, thanks!

Did you find a nice buyer's agent Elizabeth? We had one referred to us, but he puts a lot of pressure on us to buy and he doesn't have much time to show us houses. We don't feel like we can find someone else since he's worked with us a lot already. We recently put an offer on a house and it didn't pass its inspection, so the seller's are trying to withhold the ernest money. Our agent had another similar incident in the recent past, and he thinks people are getting desperate to sell. We are also first time home buyers and it suddenly got a lot harder to find 100% financing! So, good luck and be careful! I would love to hear how it is going for you!

I was about to delete this post based on Elizabeth's last comment. But, if you want me to delete this one, let me know Elizabeth... thanks.
0 votes
Elizabeth Fe…, Both Buyer And Seller, Tulsa, OK
Mon Mar 31, 2008
The point of this forum is to get questions answered and find out about the market, not comment on what is seen as discriminatory vs. personal opinion (right or wrong) about someone elses post. I would appreciate all comments be regarding to questions not the validity of "best answer" or "thumbs down". However, in response to my choice of "best answer" obviously I would take what EVERYONE says with a grain of salt since I dont know any of you. Obviously I am doing my own research as well including information from the police blotter regarding crime rate and driving around to get the feel of the areas. The "best answer" status I gave was due to the amount of information and honest opinion (again, whether I agree or not).

I didnt realize that the competition for "best answer" or thumb up or down was so important.

Thank you for the wonderful information Bob, that is exactly the stuff I wanted to know!
0 votes
Hi, , Virginia
Mon Mar 31, 2008
the BEST ANSWER got the most thumbs down.
lol
i get a lot of thumbs down too


anyways

good luck
0 votes
Karl Dankof, , Omaha, NE
Sun Mar 9, 2008
Elkhorn is nice bedroom community. Has a small town feel. But superquick to any of the "city" needs. Take the new expressway - Omaha is still a 20 minute town! Real nice!

Good Luck
Web Reference:  http://www.KarlDankof.com
0 votes
Tari Lynn Cr…, , Omaha, Papillion, & Bellevue Nebraska (402) 714-5243
Sat Feb 9, 2008
Elizabeth,
There are also links on the site to find out more about Omaha and the neighborhood reports are very interesting. Some great areas are Millard, Papillion, & Bellevue. If you ever have any questions feel free to contact me anytime. Good Luck to you and your husband! All my best! Tari

Tari L Crompton (402) 714-5243
Professional Real Estate Broker
tlcRealE@cox.net
TLC Real Estate Inc
http://www.TLC-RealEstate.com
**For free Buyer and Seller tips visithttp:// http://www.TLC-RealEstate.com
0 votes
Elizabeth Fe…, Both Buyer And Seller, Tulsa, OK
Sat Feb 9, 2008
I just wanted to clairfy that at this point we are not looking for an agent. This move is a relocation with my husbands company, Conagra and I will be looking for a job with an advertising agency. Right now I am just doing preliminary research on the area and am more looking for answers and help from people who live in or are from Omaha (or surrounding areas). Thanks!
0 votes
Tari Lynn Cr…, , Omaha, Papillion, & Bellevue Nebraska (402) 714-5243
Fri Feb 8, 2008
I have many clients that I am presently workin with that are relocating to the Omaha area. They love my website, it is full of information. You can do home searches, each provides information on neighborhoods and schools, you can save your listings to a cart, reveiw your favorites & add listings at anytime. Papillion, a suburb of Omaha, was ranked by money magazine & CNN as the 6th in the top 100 places in the country to live. If you would like to find out more about me or Real Estate here in the Omaha Area visit http://www.tlc-realestate.com or feel free to contact me anytime. I would love to help.
Tari L Crompton (402) 714-5243
Professional Real Estate Broker
tlcRealE@cox.net
TLC Real Estate Inc
http://www.TLC-RealEstate.com
**For free Buyer and Seller tips visit http://www.TLC-RealEstate.com
0 votes
THE COPLAND…, Agent, Oakland, CA
Fri Feb 8, 2008
Congrats on your marriage. I would suggest contacting an agent in Omaha. Realtor.com has a list and you can talk to a few to see whom is best. The agents should know what neighborhoods best suite you. Another great place to look is with the company you work with. If one of you is transferring for work there should be someone in the company who can recommend to you the better areas.

I have heard some neat things about Dundee/Memorial and Midtown.

Here are a few sites that may help.

Good Luck.

http://www.destinationmidtown.org/
http://www.livelyomaha.org/whatsnew/destin_midtown.htm
http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=1219&u_sid=2364758
Web Reference:  http://www.CoplandTeam.com
0 votes
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