Nestled in the heart of the Great Plains, Lincoln, NE, stands as a captivating city that blends history, natural beauty, and Midwestern charm – drawing attention from those seeking a well-rounded living experience. Whether you’re contemplating buying a home in Lincoln, NE and currently browsing listings on Redfin or you’re looking at renting an apartment in the city, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons that come with calling Lincoln, NE, home.
In this article, we’ll dive into the various facets of life in Lincoln, unveiling the unique advantages and potential challenges of residing in this thriving community. By exploring the pros and cons, you’ll gain valuable insights to help make an informed decision about whether Lincoln, NE, is a good place to live for you.
Pros of living in Lincoln, NE
1. Vibrant cultural scene
Lincoln boasts a vibrant cultural scene with a rich tapestry of arts, music, and theater. The city is home to numerous art galleries, live music venues, and a thriving theater community. Residents can immerse themselves in a diverse range of cultural experiences, from local art exhibits and live performances to music festivals and community events. With the Haymarket District and the historic Railyard as hubs of activity, there’s always something exciting happening in Lincoln’s cultural sphere.
“Lincoln is an amazing place to live because it has the amenities of a larger city while maintaining the sense of community of a smaller town, especially near the south side,” explains Indigo Bridge, a local bookstore, cafe, and community space highlighting stories written by and for underrepresented communities. “The unique part of this neighborhood is the fact that you can find businesses that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else, like Grateful Bread, Pepe’s Bistro, Meadowlark Cafe, and Planted and Co. Even more than that, the community often comes together to care for one another with fundraising and cultural events.”
2. Affordable cost of living
The cost of living in Lincoln, NE, is currently 8% lower than the national average. Compared to national averages, utilities, everyday expenses, and housing prices are relatively low, allowing residents to stretch their budgets further. In fact, the median sale price for a home in Lincoln was $285,000 in April 2023, almost $125,000 less than the national median sale price.
3. Thriving restaurant scene
Lincoln is home to a thriving restaurant scene that caters to diverse tastes and preferences. Whether you’re a food enthusiast, a connoisseur of international cuisine, or simply looking for a memorable dining experience, Lincoln offers a wide array of culinary options. From farm-to-table eateries to ethnic restaurants, trendy cafes to fine dining establishments, there is something to suit every palate.
The city takes pride in supporting local businesses, and many restaurants showcase locally sourced ingredients, highlighting the region’s agricultural abundance. Food festivals and events further enhance the dining scene, allowing residents to indulge in a variety of flavors and discover new culinary delights. With its ever-growing assortment of restaurants and eateries, Lincoln provides a vibrant culinary landscape that promises delightful culinary adventures for residents and visitors alike.
4. Abundance of things to do
Living in Lincoln means never running out of things to do and explore. Nature enthusiasts can explore the expansive network of parks, hiking trails, and scenic spots, enjoying activities such as biking, birdwatching, and kayaking. Lincoln also boasts a vibrant arts and cultural scene, with art galleries, museums, and theaters showcasing local and international talent. Sports enthusiasts can cheer on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s athletic teams or participate in various recreational leagues. Additionally, the city hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year, such as the annual Lincoln Arts Festival and the Lancaster County Super Fair, celebrating music, food, and cultural heritage.
“Lincoln has a ton of green space,” shares Nebraska Brewery and Winery Pass, the state’s only pass where you can experience over 200 breweries, wineries and more. “From our state parks and trails to our outdoor venues there are plenty of things to do outside. Lincoln also has a very good bar scene. You can walk and find something different at every stop from Haymarket all the way to ‘O’ Street. In addition, there are always events downtown that are made for everyone and accessible.”
5. Convenient location
Lincoln’s geographical location offers a unique advantage for residents. Situated in the heart of the Midwest, the city enjoys a central position that provides convenient access to other major destinations. With its proximity to Interstate 80, traveling to nearby cities and states is relatively easy. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway, visiting family and friends, or embarking on a business trip, Lincoln’s location makes it a convenient starting point.
Additionally, Lincoln benefits from a well-connected transportation infrastructure, including a regional airport with direct flights to major hubs. This accessibility allows residents to enjoy the benefits of a thriving city while also having the flexibility to explore neighboring areas without extensive travel commitments.
Cons of living in Lincoln, NE
1. Harsh winters
One of the notable challenges of living in Lincoln is the harsh winter climate. The city experiences cold temperatures and significant snowfall, which can make daily commutes and outdoor activities more difficult during the winter months. Snow removal efforts help mitigate the impact, but it’s important to be prepared for winter weather conditions and plan accordingly.
2. Limited public transportation
With a Transit Score of 24, Lincoln’s public transportation system is relatively limited compared to larger metropolitan areas. While the city does have a bus system, the routes and frequency of service may not be as extensive as in some other cities. This can make commuting and getting around the city without a private vehicle more challenging, particularly for those reliant on public transportation.
Lincoln, NE, may present challenges for individuals who suffer from allergies. The city is known for its seasonal allergens, such as pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds, which can trigger allergies and hay fever symptoms. During certain times of the year, particularly spring and fall, allergen levels can be high, causing discomfort for those with sensitivities.
The decision to move to Lincoln depends on individual preferences, priorities, and personal circumstances. By carefully evaluating the pros and cons, you can determine if Lincoln aligns with your lifestyle and offers the opportunities and amenities you seek.
4. Extreme weather conditions
Apart from the harsh winters, Lincoln is also prone to severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms and tornadoes during the spring and summer months. While the city has effective emergency response systems in place, residents need to remain vigilant and prepared for severe weather events.
5. High taxes
One of the potential drawbacks of living in Lincoln is the relatively high tax burden. The city and state impose various taxes, including income taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes. While taxes are necessary to fund public services and infrastructure, the higher tax rates in Lincoln compared to some other areas can impact residents’ finances. Property taxes, in particular, can be a significant expense for homeowners.
It’s important for individuals and families to carefully consider their budget and financial goals when assessing the impact of higher taxes. However, it’s worth noting that tax rates and the perceived impact may vary depending on individual circumstances and comparisons to other regions.