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Omaha
  • $350   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $725   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1072   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  midwest US)

82% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands require a car. 5
blizzards, hail
cheapest rent, beef, Warren Buffett 6
hipsters, you will get lost here, gentrification, tourists, casino, big famous furniture store, Omaha Raceway, home of Warren Buffett, and startup hipsters are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Omaha roommate rundown:

Omaha is a bit Wild West, but only in a politely Midwestern kinda way. Stable, successful . . . but low-key about the whole thing?

Maybe it's more challenging to get overheated (literally or emotionally) here, much of the year. Plus heavy snow slows down the horses.

Snow is the most common precipitation in winter. Roommates from the South will have to get used to bundling up more than ever before.

Omaha is also in Tornado Alley, so hail, high winds, flooding and tornadoes are occasionally a threat. Omaha has tornado alert sirens along with local channel warnings, but they're not usually necessary. The occasional blizzard happens in winter too. When it blizzards, you and your roommates will likely be enjoying a lot of each other's company at home. That's because everything else will shut down until it melts.

And we're getting the weather out of the way up top, so if you know you can't stand it, you should pick another city. Because the fact their weather stifles them occasionally might be their most annoying thing.

Unless you're a vegetarian?

In addition to big weather, Omaha is also known for affordable housing, a lower cost of living even in the face of economic success, nature trails . . . and beef!

Billionaire Warren Buffett lives here along with a bunch of his stuff, including two or three or several large corporations. He's nicknamed the "Oracle of Omaha." Meanwhile, Omaha itself is also extremely well-diversified both in terms of number of large corporations and industries represented, especially for a mid-sized city. All of this is obviously related.

Omaha also hosts over 80 miles of hiking and biking trails, including an intersection with the American Discovery Trail and the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. There are multiple community running clubs, and don't forget the Omaha Marathon. Unsurprisingly, Omaha is rated well for walkability. Trails are respected as crucially important to Omahans!

However, most Omahans' primary transport is still their vehicle. It's hard to walk year round in snow (see above).

Nebraska is nicknamed the "Beef State," and Omaha is definitely its capital. Omahans and the ranchers in the prairies surrounding them love their corn-fed beef.

Omahans also believably claim to have invented cake mix, Raisin Bran, the Reuben sandwich (but that one's controversial!) and TV dinners.

They're also otherwise known for a wide variety of delicious but cheap casual restaurants, most cuisines. And they're all smoke-free indoors. Smoking on the outdoor patio of a restaurant is technically legal if they allow it, but they usually don't.

Most also love steak. Union Stockyards is huge, and this focus on beef obviously continues with multiple renowned steakhouses and a huge food retailer that would love to send their Omaha Steaks right to you and your roommates' front door.

But if you're already in Omaha, it's probably faster just to walk or drive over and get your beef yourselves . . . if it's not snowing.

The rest of the Omaha roommate lowdown:

  • largest city in Nebraska, with about 480,000 residents in the city, and the larger metro area around a million
  • in eastern Nebraska along the Missouri River near the Iowa border, along Interstates 29 and 80
  • Omaha experiences all four seasons with warm summers and cold, harsh, dry winters.
  • Offutt Air Force Base is nearby in Bellevue.
  • home of several colleges and universities, including the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Bellevue University, Nebraska Methodist College, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, University of Nebraska College of Medicine, and Creighton University
  • All electric utilities in all of Nebraska are customer-owned and non-profit.
  • Omaha's streets are laid out in a grid, with numbered streets from north to south, increasing in number going west. It's easy to navigate.
  • No professional sports teams, but several minor league and amateur teams are popular, as is ice hockey.
  • Omahans love their summer festivals, with Jazz on the Green, Shakespeare on the Green, the Omaha Farmers Market, and Taste of Omaha. In winter they celebrate their Holiday Lights Festival.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Omaha's:

  • Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium: The world's largest nocturnal exhibit and indoor swamp, indoor desert, geodesic dome, and rainforest. That's probably the world's largest group of world's largests for a zoo. Over 160 acres, and Nebraska's most popular paid attraction. You and your roommates can visit any day except Thanksgiving or Christmas.
  • Old Market: Omaha's historic entertainment district, now featuring window shopping, street musicians, art, antique stores, restaurants, brick streets, horse-drawn carriages, and in summer, a Farmers Market. You and your roommates could enjoy any or all.
  • El Museo Latino: Latino art museum, featuring dance, art, music, and both temporary exhibits and permanent installations. Visits are by timed reservation only, so you'll need to plan ahead just a little bit for this one.
  • Lauritzen Gardens: 100 acres of garden, huge variety. You and your roommates could join their Garden Walkers wellness program. You can also bring your dog! (But dogs are only allowed certain times, not at random, so check in advance before going.) This is not a park that allows other forms of exercise like jogging or running or bicycling, it's respectful walking only, and please be respectful of their plants!
  • Omaha Community Playhouse: Very large and active community theater. In addition to all their productions, they offer classes and a variety of volunteer opportunities.


Here's the city of Omaha's official .org including their neighborhood directory, which you and your roommates may find useful.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.