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Frequently Asked Questions

A lot of newer homes don't have storm shelters or basements. What do you do if a storm comes?

There are many companies in Oklahoma who can install high tech storm shelters in your garage. Also, many homes simply don't have storm shelters because few homes actually suffer damage from severe storms in Oklahoma City.

What are the Mello Roos fees in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma does not have Mello Roos fees. Some gated communities will have home owner fees and those vary depending on the neighborhood.

What are the costs of living like? How does it compare to where I live now?

Check out our cost of living calculator to compare the cost of living in different cities.

What can I expect my average utility costs in Oklahoma City to be?

This is very hard to estimate with any kind of certainty. Utility costs vary greatly from home to home due to various factors including size, insulation, home construction materials, personal comfort levels, hot water usage, weather conditions, lighting tastes, size of yard and willingness to water, etc. Based on staff consensus, in general, a 2000 square-foot house would be around $50 - $100 for electricity in winter, $75 - $200 for electricity in summer, $35 - $45 gas in summer (if applicable) and higher in winter (depending on how much you run your furnace, weather conditions, etc), ~$45 water / sewer / garbage in summer, ~$35 water / sewer / garbage in winter. Rate schedules for electricity, gas, and water are below:

Electric rates:
Customer charge: $13.00 per customer per month
Energy charge:
Summer season (June - Sept) - First 1400 kWh per month: 8.40 cents per kWh, additional kWh: 9.68 cents
Winter season (Nov - April) - First 600 kWh per month: 8.40 cents per kWh, additional kWh: 4.71 cents
Shoulder season (May and October) - All kWh per month: 8.40 cents per kWh
(Access more info here)

Gas rates:
Depending on annual normalized volume at customer's location:
Rate Choice A: Service charge $11.20, Delivery fee $3.7323 per Dth
Rate Choice B: Service charge $26.75, Delivery fee $0.00 per Dth
(Access more info here)

Water rates:
Inside City, retail with non-dedicated fire line service: base of $7.37 times meter multiplier plus $2.26 per thousand gallons
(Access more info here)

On average, how many days of freeze are there in Oklahoma City?

Temperatures below freezing average less than 15 days per year. OKC's coldest month (January) features an average high of 46.7.

What are the flood areas in Oklahoma City?

Flooding has been much less of a concern since an Army Corp of Engineers flood control project in the 50s. If you buy a house in a flood zone, flood insurance is required by law. The city also posts multiple flood zone maps on their website.

What neighborhoods offer golfing communities?

Passion for golf is high in Oklahoma City and there are several neighborhoods that offer first-class amenities. Places like Rose Creek, Gallardia and Oak Tree offer world-class golf in family atmospheres. For more info visit the golfing section of www.abetterlifeokc.com.

What are some good resources for finding homes online?

www.abetterlifeokc.com/housing offers a realtor listing as a well as community descriptions.

What are Oklahoma County property taxes based on? Can the rate change?

From the county assessor's website (http://www.oklahomacounty.org/assessor/GeneralInfo.htm):
The method for figuring ad valorem taxes requires four steps: You must know the taxable market value of your property, the assessment ratio (11% Real Property - 13.75% Personal), any exemptions, and thetax ratefor your area of the county. The example is based upon a property that has a taxable market value of $50,000 with homestead exemption and a tax rate of $100 per thousand.

Taxable Market Value of Property: $50,000
Apply Assessment Ratio of (11%): 5,500
Less Homestead Exemption: (1,000)
= Net Assessed Value: 4,500
Apply Tax Rate of $100 per Thousand: $450.00
In this example, the final tax bill is $450. This could vary if the district in which the property is located had higher or lower school, city or other bond issues. Rates generally vary from $75 to $125 per thousand within the county.

Tax rates or millage levies are set by procedures established in the Oklahoma Constitution or voteddirectly by the taxpayers.Rates are not set by the County Assessor. There are over 75 different rates in Oklahoma County and those vary across the county depending on which school district, city limit and vocational-technical school district the property is located. The tax or millage rate levied against a property makes a great deal of difference in the taxes paid. Rates vary in Oklahoma County from $75 to $125 per thousand.

What renting and/or leasing opportunities are available in Oklahoma City?

An extensive list of apartments can be found at this A Better Life OKC website under the Housing menu.

Is there a building season in Oklahoma City?

No, construction takes place year round in Oklahoma City.

Are new homes in Oklahoma City typically built on stilts or slabs?

The vast majority of new home construction in Oklahoma uses a slab as foundation.

How long does the average home in Oklahoma City stay on the market?

According to various reports, homes stay on the market 60-90 days, on average.

Can you tell me which areas are best to live in if you're interested in the arts? Specifically choir.

All over the city! The main arts districts are the Downtown Arts District, the Paseo Arts District and the Plaza District. Choir opportunities abound - many churches have choirs, and concerts by OKC's Canterbury Choral Society (http://www.canterburyokc.com/) and the OKC chapter of Sweet Adelines (http://www.okcity.org/), Windsong (http://www.windsongchoir.org/history.html) and others are popular. The American Choral Directors Association (http://www.acda.org) headquarters is located in the Downtown Arts District near the OKC Museum of Art and the Civic Center Music Hall!

Can you get me information on children's choirs, including the price range, practice times and frequencies?

Again, we suggest Googling "children's choir Oklahoma City." One of the best known is the Norman Children's Chorus. Tuition cost is $200 / yr, plus uniform purchase.

How much should I expect to pay for insurance?

Obviously, this very much depends on the size, age, construction and location of the home and chosen policy conditions. According to homeinsurance.com, average premiums for home insurance in Oklahoma as of July 2010 are $1041 per year.

Everyone keeps telling us that Oklahoma is cheaper and has lower taxes. If that is true, how do you pay for all of this (like MAPS projects)?

The MAPs projects are built using a temporary sales tax. The projects are also not started until the money from the tax is collected. This allows the city to build many of their projects debt-free. Also, by state law all budgets must be balanced yearly. Low debt, combined with balanced budgets, allow the citizens of Oklahoma City to enjoy first-class services and infrastructure with a low tax burden.

I currently live in a historic home. If I want to find a historic home in Oklahoma City area, where should I look?

The Chamber's relocation website, www.abetterlifeokc.com, features a page dedicated strictly to historic neighborhoods in Oklahoma City.

How can I find out what the crime is like in the area?

You can find crime statistics on the Oklahoma City Police Department website.

My spouse works in the _____ industry. How can I find a list of businesses that she/he could apply for a job?

Use the Oklahoma Employment Securities Commission's Employment Locator feature to obtain a list of businesses by county and by industry sector http://www.oesc.state.ok.us/lmi/EmployerLocator/. This is an excellent first step in your job search. Also check out our Employment section for more links!

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