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 didnâ€™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.