The 10 Most Affordable Places To Live In Oklahoma
There are three types of people that move to Lawton. First is the person that moves here from a much smaller town nearby looking to make money and live in a bigger city. When they arrive, they're usually blown away by how expensive it is to live here. Second is the person who arrives here from a larger city, and when they get here, they're amazed how cheap everything is. Thirdly, military... and if you look at military living around the country, it's probably about status quo. I know when I moved here, I was a little taken back by how much more the cost of living is here compared to the much bigger Corpus Christie, Texas. Rent isn't quite double, but nearly. I lived in a three bedroom home down there for what efficiency/studio apartments rent for here.
If you were looking to stay in Oklahoma or find yourself a distant suburb to base your daily operations out of, here's a look at the ten most affordable places to live in Oklahoma... sort of. I can tell you there are way cheaper places to live, 2500 square foot house on a corner lot for $550/month is common in the real small town, and here's the but... they're not the type of places anyone would elect to live. This is the list that balances that equation.
I'll go ahead and say it, why would anyone want to live in Woodward, OK? It's pretty far out in the Northwest portion of the state, and if you want to go to any bigger city, it'll take you hours to get to one in any direction you drive. That being said, Woodward is a pretty nice place. It's big enough to drive a really decent small town economy and there's always jobs out that way. I guess it's only fitting the cost of living compromises the remote location.
Don't tell me you've never been to Chickasha to see the crazy christmas lights during the holiday season. It's by far the biggest draw to that town. I admit, I have very limited experience with this town. We go see the lights when they're on, the rib place is decent but there's an alleyway backyard BBQ place that is the best I've ever had, and I do like their Napa Auto Parts there. They always seem to have great deals when they have those Saturday sales. Being so cheap and so close to OKC must make this an ideal place to raise a family.
If I had to guess, I would say that Seminole, OK is the smallest town on this list. I'd be wrong, but I would say it. I've been there a handful of times because I briefly dated someone living there. Before we had smartphones, you'd get directions to a place you'd want to go. She told me the first time I drove up there "Hop on I-40 and about the time you think you've driven way too far, you'll see the exit sign." No joke, she was right. I think you can drive to Tulsa faster than driving to this OKC suburb city. There was once a Wrangler manufacturer there that has since closed, but like Woodward way back at #10, there's a booming small town economy is affordable enough to let even the lowest wage earners experience a comfortable standard of living.
The story of Oklahoma wouldn't be complete without mentioning the oil barrens that once ruled the landscapes. Ponca City was born from the largest land run in world history back in 1893, and was home to the original Oklahoma Oil Boom just after statehood representing 10% of the worlds oil reserves at that time. It's also home of the famous 101 Ranch. Even though I grew up there, I couldn't tell you where that ranch is or was located. It's a shockingly clean town with lots of good paying albeit somewhat dangerous jobs.
Located about twenty minutes Northwest of Ponca City, there's another oil boom town founded during the 1893 land run called Blackwell. While most of the focus is put on agriculture and the fossil fuel industry locally, Blackwell is home to one of the largest wind farms in the country. In fact, they power generated around this town powers Oklahoma State University about an hours drive South. Not only does Blackwell have one of the chillest river floats in Oklahoma, it also features one of the twelve Statue Of Liberty replicas within city limits. It's also dirt cheap to live there.
Here's a third 1893 Cherokee Strip Land Run town on this list... Maybe there's something to be seen deeper here. Beyond being way out in the middle of nowhere like Woodward is, Alva, OK plays home to Northwestern Oklahoma State University. It's an NCAA Division II school that always seems to recruit excellent baseball players. How they do it, I can't tell you. This is another town with a heavy influence on agriculture, and although it's shrinking in population, the economy there seems to be pretty stable.
While it would be natural to assume Noble was located in Noble County, you'd be wrong. Noble, OK is just up in Cleveland County and they have a pretty good claim to fame... Noble is and will always be the rose rock capital of the world. It's a curious bit of geology where the rocks grow into the shape of a budding rose. It's not exclusively unique to Noble... You can find them in the Wichita Mountains, California, Kansas, and Egypt... but you'll find more of them in this tiny suburb community just South of Norman. Being so close to a major metropolitan area is probably the best reason to live affordably in this place.
You may or may not have heard that "All pipelines lead to Cushing" in your time spent here in Oklahoma. If you didn't know, Cushing, OK is the pipeline capital of the world. A true crossroads of the oil industry. Oil is pumped from all over the United States flow through this tiny community. Crude oil and refined products from as far away as Canada all eventually flow through this small community. If you've never been there, it's worth the drive. There's not much to see in town, but driving through one of the biggest oil tank farms in the world is a surreal experience. Small community, lots of good paying oil industry jobs.
If you travel even further Southeast of OKC than Seminole, you'll eventually end up smelling Holdenville, OK. A small community with less focus on agriculture, more focus on making bacon. There's a huge Tyson Foods pig farm and processing plant in Holdenville. If you've ever driven by a hog farm, you already know what it smells like. There's also a pretty large prison there also, some 1600 inmates live temporarily within those city limits.
Just West of Chickasha lies the small town of Anadarko, OK. A town that was named for the Nadarko Native Americans, but came out Anadarko due to a clerical error way back at the turn of the 20th century. Steeped in rich history and culture of the Caddo, it was first established almost 35 years prior to Oklahoma's statehood. While like many towns on this list, there is a big agriculture influence here, I know it mainly as the gateway to Fort Cobb State Park and the beautiful lake within. Sure, Fort Cobb is the town it's named for, but if you've ever fished there, you already know it's easier to find grub if you just keep heading East into Anadarko and catch I-44 back down to home sweet SWOK.