Ever since the first homestead grant was claimed by a Nebraskan in 1862, westward travelers began stopping, staying and settling this fertile land to build some of America’s greatest farms and ranches. If you’re moving to NE, you’ll feel the strong independence of the Cornhuskers at every festival and state fair you attend!
Moving to Nebraska? Keep the following tips in mind for a successful relocation to the Cornhusker State.
Roads in Nebraska are generally good and well-maintained, but be prepared and check with the Nebraska Department of Roads for any detours or roadwork. If you’re moving to NE in the summer, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Temperatures can skyrocket so make sure your tires and radiator are in good shape, and make sure all fluids are topped off.
In the warmer months, avoid heat stroke by resting during peak afternoon hours, drinking plenty of water and wearing a hat or cap. If you’re moving to Nebraska in the spring or summer, listen to a local radio station while driving. Weather can change unexpectedly and you don’t want to get caught in a tornado.
Around the bigger cities of Omaha and Lincoln, traffic is busier. If you’re driving a moving truck, try to avoid busy commute times, and always allow for extra time to get to your destination.
Parking restrictions may apply in the cities, even though you won’t need a moving permit. Check with your city ahead of time.
A number of cities host popular festivals, state fairs and other events. To avoid crowds, check your city’s calendar before choosing a moving date.
Before moving to NE, change your address online with USPS.
Cities and Metro Areas
Nebraska boasts a high quality of life and where cities, agriculture and nature exist harmoniously side-by-side. From stately Lincoln with its diverse neighborhoods to bustling Omaha, where business goes hand-in-hand with arts and leisure, Nebraska offers something for every lifestyle and career. There’s also Hastings, the birth place of Kool Aid, and North Platte, Buffalo Bill’s old stomping ground. Other important cities include Bellevue, Fremont, Norfolk, Columbus, Grand Island and Kearney.
Cost of Living
If you’re considering moving here, you’ll be happy to hear that even with an average household income of $42,166 per annum, the cost of living in Nebraska is almost 22 percent lower than the US average. This is in large part due to the availability of land and low population density, as well as the local production of crops, meat and related food products.
Though gas prices remain high, the average commute is only 18 minutes. In addition, Nebraska is one of the leaders in green energy sources, utilizing both water power and ethanol as alternatives to fossil fuels for industrial buildings. For families with children, the fact that the state of Nebraska spends 30 percent of its budget on education each year is a sign that public schools are of a relatively high quality compared to the rest of the US.
Highways and Public Transport
Nebraska’s infrastructure consists predominantly of railroads and well-maintained highways and other roads.
- Roads: There are six Interstates, of which the I-80 is the only one that runs east to west. State routes and smaller roads are generally well-maintained, but snow can present problems during the cold months.
- Railroads: Union Pacific is the main freight railroad, while Amtrak is the main passenger line.
- Public transportation: Nebraska has 62 rural transit systems, as well as StarTran in Lincoln and Metro Area Transit in Omaha.
- Airports: There are numerous regional airports in the state. The most important ones are in Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island and Kearney.
If you’re considering moving to the Cornhusker State, it’s good to know that the unemployment rate here is less than half the national average, at a mere 4.1 percent in January 2012. Nebraska jobs are mainly in the agriculture and food-processing industries, as well as the manufacturing sector, but there’s an increasing amount of diversity in local economies so it’s well worth taking some time to look at Nebraska job listings to gauge the availability of other industry positions.
There’s a significant difference in climate between the east and the west of Nebraska. The eastern part has a humid continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters and approximately 31.5 inches of precipitation a year. The western part of the state has a semi-arid climate, with equally hot summers and cold winters, but much less precipitation: approximately 14 inches. Winter brings snowfall to the entire state, usually ranging between 25 and 35 inches annually. When moving to NE, be warned that the state is part of Tornado Alley, and is especially prone to heavy thunderstorms and tornadoes in spring and summer.
If you’re moving to Nebraska with a family, it’s good to know that public education in the Cornhusker state is relatively good compared to the rest of the US. Here are some of the most notable schools and universities:
- Elementary Schools: Kahoe Elementary School in Lincoln, Upchurch Elementary in Omaha and Adams Elementary School are the top-ranked elementary schools.
- High Schools: Three of the best high schools are Dodge High School in Dodge, Junior-Senior High School at Palmyra in Palmyra and Pender High School in Pender.
- Higher Education: Students of all ages moving to NE can attend top-notch universities, such as the University of Nebraska, Nebraska Wesleyan University, BryanLGH College of Health Sciences, Union College and Midland College. In addition, there are a number of good community colleges that offer an extensive selection of courses.
The Official Nebraska Government Website offers lots of helpful information about moving to, living in, and doing business in Nebraska.
- You don’t have to pay excise tax in Nebraska.
- Nebraska has no toll roads or bridges.
- After moving to NE, you can register to vote by mailing in a voter registration from the Nebraska Secretary of State’s website. You can also register in person at your local county clerk or election commissioner’s office, or you can register to vote when you apply for your NE driver’s license.
- Privately owned companies are responsible for trash and recycling. For example, Midwest Refuse and Papillon Sanitation provide weekly trash pick-ups for private residents. You can also bring your trash to the landfill. For more information about waste management in your neighborhood, contact your city.
- You must apply for a NE driver’s license and register your vehicle within 30 days of moving to Nebraska. Registration fees are determined by each county individually and vary based on local taxation. It costs $10 to transfer a title and $7 to record any lien on a vehicle. In addition, you’ll need a VIN inspection on your vehicle after moving to NE. This costs $10.