Why Edmond?

Written by Heide Brandes in the March 2013 Issue

Catherine ConnellyWith more than 82,000 people calling Edmond home, the reasons for living here are as varied as the demographics. From the quality of schools to the affordable housing to the cultural richness, many factors enter into the decisions made to choose Edmond as a place to call home. It’s no surprise, given the convenient choices that contribute to a great quality of life. Edmond’s outdoor parks and lakes complement a stunning array of retail shopping and some of the best medical facilities in the state. So we thought we’d ask why you chose Edmond. As varied as their motivations for moving here, four families share their stories of why Edmond, Oklahoma, is a perfect place to live.

From the Golden State to the Heart of the Heartland

Catherine Connelly was sick and tired of the uncertain life in Southern California. Besides spending 15 extra hours a week commuting in clogged traffic to work 12 hours a day at corporations where employment was always questionable due to mergers and layoffs, Connelly was also dealing with having to move. “Our landlord arrived on our doorstep one day to announce he had just sold the duplex we had been living in; therefore, we would have to vacate within 30 days—with or without the opportunity to save money for the rent and deposits for the next place,”

Connelly said. “We were just being kicked out without any time to prepare for this major life event. I was panicked.”

She found a temporary house, but her life was out of her hands. Feeling powerless in the face of uncertain employment and nomadic living, Connelly said “The straw that broke the camel’s back was when the company I was currently employed by closed our office in California.”

“I then had to make a decision. Was I going to continue to be pushed from home to home, job to job? I had to act fast. I got online and searched for the quality-of-living criteria I was looking for.” That list included affordable housing, low-crime, great schools, proximity to a city (for employment) but yet a reasonable commute and traffic, and a suburban environment—basically an educated law-abiding community.

What did she find? Most cities seemed too expensive and crowded. “Then I checked out Oklahoma City and its suburbs,” she said. “I hopped on a plane and made a bee-line for Oklahoma City. I rented a car, drove straight to Edmond and into a real estate office. I didn’t know anyone here—no relatives and didn’t have a job here yet. I said, ‘Lord, you’re going to have to provide the job!’” She made an offer on a home in Edmond for under $100,000, and a month later she was offered a job in Edmond.

“I moved here and brought my mom with me. By then she had cancer, but I wanted her to be at peace knowing she would finally be in a real home, not a rental,” Connelly said. “When I drove her into the neighborhood in Edmond for the first time, she saw the brick homes with fireplaces—and cried.

“She said, ‘This is so nice! Do we really live here?’

“I said, ‘Yes, mom; we are finally home.’”

Downsizing for Retirement & Travel

Joe & Connie ZieseJoe & Connie Ziese were looking to dramatically downsize their 70-acre property and purchase a smaller home in Edmond in order to enjoy their retirement years. With a dream of traveling the country in a motor home, the retiring couple wanted to be debt-free and closer to medical facilities as well. “Thinking about our retirement years, 70 acres is a lot to care for,” said Connie. “We wanted an easily-maintained smaller home in a nice community. We want to travel, be on our boat and have a little garden.”

They found everything they needed in Edmond. “When I was growing up, Edmond was just a little town,” Connie said. “Now, it’s grown so much. Our friends are here, and the quality of living here is so good because you are close to everything you need.” The true draw for the retiring couple, however, was how pleasant Edmond is to an older crowd. “It’s still a quiet community to live in,” Connie said. “We’re really happy with our choice to move to Edmond.”

South Korean Family Loves UCO and Edmond Schools

King FamilySukmoon Kang moved to Edmond from South Korea with his family to earn a master’s degree in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) because of the reasonable tuituion. He and his wife quickly discovered Edmond to be a place of joy and education for his family—a good place to raise children. “Most of all, Edmond has good public schools. My two daughters get to be naturally exposed to learning English and are acquiring English very fast. My wife and I are very envious.”

“Edmond has a family-friendly environment,” Sukmoon said. “There are lots of beautiful parks; and the library and YMCA are places our family visits on a regular basis” While studying abroad and bringing his wife and two daughters with him, he said that not only was a quality university very important, but also a quality place to live. Sukmoon added that Edmondites have been friendly and helpful to his family as they get accustomed to living here and learning English.

Job Transfer Brings Indiana Couple to Edmond

Jeryk FamilyWhen Steve Jeryk and his wife Leah moved to Oklahoma from Indianapolis six years ago, they fell in love with not just the state, but with the people too. “A job brought us here, and we loved Oklahoma so we stayed here,” Steve said. “Once you come here, you stick here. We loved the people we met here, and most of them lived in Edmond.”

When the Jeryks had their son, Henry, they knew Edmond would be a perfect home for them. They lived in Oklahoma City, but wanted a bigger house, a place closer to the UCO where Leah is a graduate student, and a neighborhood conducive to raising a child. “We found a great school district,” said Steve, “and the neighborhood just feels better with its big trees and open spaces.” Living in Edmond also means remaining close to all the activities they love in Oklahoma City as well. “You don’t feel far away from the city,” Steve said. “There’s just more of a neighborhood feel in Edmond.”                     

(Thanks for Henry’s smile on the front cover!)

Even nationally, Edmond is known as the place to live. CNN named our town on its “Best Places to Live” list based on the 20-minute drive to Oklahoma City, low crime rate and plentiful jobs. There are many things for all ages to do right in town—from shopping at the downtown Farmers Market to the “Liberty Fest” Fourth of July festival and the UCO Jazz Lab.

With its laid back atmosphere, low crime and low cost of living, Edmond is hands-down one of the the best places to raise a family in Oklahoma. It is possible have that small-town atmosphere without sacrificing big-time amenities.

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