Is Your Town One of the Best Places to Live in America?

When considering the question “What are the best places to live in America?” you have to realize it is a subjective question demanding a subjective answer. You might prefer big cities, vaudevillian metropolises like New York City or Los Angeles. On the other hand, you might like medium-sized cities, cities that haves all the benefits of a big city but are more low-key. Alternatively, you might eschew all of those things and prefer the burbs or maybe the country. It is truly a situation of whatever floats your boat, but the question of “What are the best places to live in America?” is something that many people take very seriously, especially real estate moguls and trendsetters.

That being said, every year there are lists detailing the best places to live in America. Of course, this changes year to year, but it’s important to pay attention to these lists, especially if you want to see the area you call home improve and be buzzworthy. One such list is this list put together by Builder, which utilizes information gathered by the team over at Livability.

Builder reports, “Rochester, Minn., home of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, took the top honors on this year’s list, up from No. 2 last year, driven by its schools and the diverse range of affordable housing. Up next was Bellevue, Wash., followed by Madison, Wisc., Santa Barbara, Calif. and Boulder, Colo.”

So, these are the top 5 places to live in America? Interesting! The list is extensive and there are places on it that are from our neck of the woods. Check out the places on the list and think of ways that your neighborhood can make the cut (if it’s not already on it that is!).

Bettering the Lives of Oklahoma Farmers

Anything you need to know about Oklahoma can be had from knowing a little bit about our farmers. Oklahoma farmers are some of the most hardworking Americans in the entire country, representing a dedication to the land and their craft that is unparalleled in our eyes. The sun beats down on their hearts as they tend to the land. Sometimes their hands are calloused and their eyes are weary, but for these farmers, working outdoors and braving any elements the weather decides to throw at them is divinely-inspired work; not everyone can do it and for those that do take pride in their work. They are Oklahoman through and through. An important part of their job is irrigation efficiency, as written about in this article from Southwest Farm Press.

Ron Smith writes, “No one has to tell Oklahoma farmers that pumping irrigation water can be expensive. In 2013, they spent some $22 million to power about 5,351 water pumps. That breaks down to a per-acre cost of $52 for ground water and $17 for surface water, says Scott Frazier, associate professor in renewable energy at Oklahoma State University.”

That is clearly a large portion of money going to irrigation efficiency and while irrigation efficiency is crucially important to the overall success of their crops, is there any possibility that Oklahoma farmers can lower the costs and become more efficient? Frazier has some ideas, including improving the efficiency of engines, the pump system, the water distribution system, and more. Those might be considered some big changes, but other more manageable things include keeping an eye on and understanding the electric rate schedule.

By improving their irrigation efficiency, Oklahoma farmers will be contributing to the overall improvement of the state, including the economy, and that is something that we at Smith & Co Auction and Realty Inc. can get behind!

Oklahoma and Charity

In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed the community spirit that seems to flow out of the Oklahoman ground like bighearted rivers. It’s everywhere and you can’t avoid it. We take pride in this spirit and it’s one of Oklahoma’s biggest selling points in our opinion. That’s why it’s so easy being involved in the Oklahoman real estate industry; the area sells itself. If it isn’t for the natural beauty, it’s for the charitable attitudes, like the people over at Jesus House and its adopt-a-block program, as reported by KOCO in this article.

Mecca Rayne writes, “A local nonprofit organization is on a mission. It wants to provide fans for low-income families in a couple of neighborhoods in Oklahoma City. They have a program called adopt-a-block where they tend to some of the needs of the folks who live there. This time the need is heat and weather-related. “Fans are very important at this hot time,” said Michael Bateman, the executive director of Jesus House.”

Now that is a very specific mission statement: to pick one neighborhood at a time, investigate the needs of the people who live there, and provide for those needs. Sometimes all it takes is doing that little something extra for the people around you. It can make or break lives – and all they’re doing is providing fans. They’re not renovating homes or building news. Jesus House is keeping it simple and that’s all it takes. All people need to see is that you care. That goes a long way.

Think for a bit: how many extra fans do you have around the house? Do you have any unused ones? You can help too. Get in touch with Jesus House too at the following link.

Are You Keeping Oklahoma Beautiful?

At Smith & Co Auction and Reality Inc., we take pride in Oklahoma’s beauty or else we would not be doing what we’re doing! We applaud the efforts of groups that want to keep Oklahoma beautiful, groups like Keep Oklahoma Beautiful. Their mission is “to empower Oklahoma citizens to preserve and enhance the state’s natural beauty and ensure a healthy, sustainable environment.”

We believe it is the responsibility of every Oklahoman to protect and maintain the beauty of the Sooner State. Many things stir the soul here, such as the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Quartz Mountain Resort, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, and Beavers Bend & Hochatown State Park.

If that isn’t enough, there is also the Natural Falls State Park, Talimena National Scenic Byway, Grand lake of the Cherokees, Glover River, Black Mesa Area, and Robbers Cave State Park. Or maybe there is a little patch of land in your neighborhood that makes you happy.

Whatever your thing is, it is your duty to protect it; after all, there’s a reason why we live in Oklahoma – the beauty and atmosphere. Thankfully, Keep Oklahoma Beautiful is vigilant in their mission and last month, they issued a statewide call for nominations in their Environmental Excellence Competition, which recognizes groundbreaking efforts that improve Oklahoma’s aesthetic, environmental sustainability, and healthy quality of life. The submission deadline is August 10, 2015, so if you know of an organization or group that has improved Oklahoma, be sure to nominate them.

We like these awards because it is takes the very best environmental organizations that Oklahoma has to offer and promotes them on a grand stage, inspiring the public and reminding us why Oklahoma is the perfect place to live – and as a group that deals in real estate and auctions, it’s great to see. “Keep Oklahoma beautiful” should be a phrase that is always on your tongue – we know it’s on our tongue!

Flash Flooding in Oklahoma

Were you or have you been affected by the deadly flooding that has been slamming Oklahoma and Texas in recent weeks?

There have been tornadoes, downpours, and more. People have died, some are still missing, and many have been forced from their homes. At Smith & Co Auction and Realty Inc., we send our prayers out to families across those states.

Time reported, “A critical flood event began Saturday night in the central and southern United States and escalated into a life-threatening situation for many in parts of Oklahoma and Texas – a region already swollen with well-above-average rainfall month. The torrential late-May rainstorm is pushing some southern cities toward their wettest May on record.”

It has certainly been a trying time for Oklahomans and others in the region. Thankfully, we have firefighters and other emergency workers to help get us through these dark days, ensuring our safety. Without them, we would surely be in even worse trouble. One firefighter has lost life.

ABC News reports, “In Claremore, Oklahoma, about 30 miles northeast of Tulsa, firefighter Jason Farley died when he was swept away while attempting a water rescue.”

His family is in our thoughts and our hearts go out to them. The communities of Oklahoma are knitted closely together. We look out for one another. For more information on how you can help, go to Oklahoma Disaster Relief.

How to Find the Perfect Home

If you’re on the lookout for your dream home, we’re here to help. We offer a variety of terrific properties in our real estate auctions, but we understand everyone doesn’t know exactly what they want. Whether you’ve been searching and have had no luck, or you can’t decide between a few different properties, here are some tips to help you choose a home that’s right for you and your family.

The size of the property is always an important aspect, and it’s wise to find something that’s not too small, but also not too big. The right size for you will depend on a few different things. Are you single? Married? Have children? These are just a few of the questions that should lead to finding the perfect sized home. If you plan on growing your family, get something a little larger than you need. If you’re retired with no more kids on the way, finding something a little cozier may not be a bad idea.

Another important thing to remember is that you should be as flexible as possible. We don’t mean that you should spend money on a property you’re not happy with, but just keep in mind no house will seem perfect right out of the gate. There will always be at least a few things you want to change, and that’s okay! You can turn a house into a perfect dream home until you’re living in it and make it your own.

Other things to consider are the price and the location. Consult with your family and any financial advisers you may have to narrow down your price range. Pick a general area where you want to live, and look for houses that are close by.

Follow these tips and you should have no trouble finding your dream home!

Why Real Estate Auctions Are Good for Buyers and Sellers

At Smith & Company, we have been offering land and real estate auctions for more than twenty years. But if you’ve never participated in a real estate auction before, you may be wondering why this is a good method to buy or sell property. We’re here to tell you that there are actually several reasons why this method is beneficial to both buyers and sellers.

Let’s start with sellers. If you own a piece of land or a property, why should you put it up for sale at an auction? Well, for one thing, you should know that most people who attend auctions come prepared to make a purchase. While not everyone may be willing to go as high as you’d like, this is your best chance at gathering a large room full of people who want to spend money on real estate. Auctions are also a great way to ensure your real estate will actually be sold at market value, and they can be a great choice for anyone who is looking to sell quickly. Additional benefits include removing the negotiation process and eliminating showings of the property.

If you are interested in buying property, there are just as many benefits to look forward to at a real estate auction. Most importantly, buyers get to determine the final price. If a property is going for too high a price for you, simply pass on it. If something catches your eye that you can afford, you can enter the bidding process knowing that the seller cannot change the price, only other buyers. This helps to get rid of the negotiation phase and speed up the entire process. Buyers will also receive comprehensive information about any property before purchasing it.

These are just some of the many benefits both buyers and sellers can look forward to when attending a real estate auction. For more information, give us a call today!

Best Things About Living In Oklahoma

Smith & Co Auction and Realty operates out of Northwest Oklahoma and the surrounding areas. We’ve lived and worked here for over twenty years, and we think Oklahoma truly is a wonderful state. Why invest in Oklahoma real estate? Check out some of our reasons below:

Low Cost of Living

Oklahoma is one of the most affordable states to live in. The cost of living in Oklahoma consistently rates well below the national average. Housing here only costs about 63% of the national average – including mortgage payments, apartment rent, and property taxes. We are also far below the average costs for groceries, health care, utilities, and transportation.


Oklahoma is home to the best southern cooking joints in the U.S. From the fried chicken at Eischen’s, to breakfast at Jimmy’s Egg, Oklahoma has mastered the art of great cooking. In fact, tons of our restaurants have been featured on famous food shows. Check out the Spudder Restaurant in Tulsa, or the Steak and Catfish Barn in Oklahoma City – both have hosted Adam Richman from Man v. Food. Ingrid’s Kitchen, the world famous German Bakery that was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives is also located right in Oklahoma City.


Oklahoma is one of the most diverse states when it comes to terrain and natural wonders. Whether you are simply looking to take a light stroll, or you are an expert outdoorsman looking for areas that offer the best outdoor recreation, Oklahoma has it all. From the granite boulders of the Wichita Mountains to peaks like Elk Mountain, or even the mystical Cypress swamps. Check out Robber’s Cave State Park in the Sans Bois Mountains; its rugged cliffs and rocky terrain were a former hideout for outlaws like Jesse James!

Farm Fresh Foods

Oklahoma is famous for our fresh farm produce. Buying delicious, locally grown, fresh food here is a way of life. Farmer’s Markets and farm stands are everywhere; you can always find what you need.

Friendly People

Maybe it’s the Southern Charm, or maybe Oklahoma really is home to the nicest people in the world.

Five Reasons to Auction Your Home

Home Auctions | Smith & Co

Home auctioning is a growing industry, fast competing with the traditional home listing by hometown-based real estate agents. In an age when we need everything done yesterday home selling and buying remains one of the most time-consuming and laborious tasks in the retail industry.

More and more sellers are exploring home auctioning as a definitive, clean alternative to traditional listing. First and foremost, an auctioned property brings in the desired result in one event, held on one day. Think of it as an open house guaranteeing a buyer. The traditional open house rarely results in a buyer and if it does, the open house itself is only a precursor to the process that must follow to actually close the home. An auction brings in buyers who have already explored the specific attributes of your home and have prequalified. They come to the auction armed with the required security payment and financial documents. At the end of the event, your home is sold.

With the advent of on-line auctioning you have access to potential buyers around the world. The likelihood of meeting your reserved price increases exponentially with the number of bidders present. That number increases with global access by potential buyers. Access is particularly beneficial if your property value is high. Through online auctioning you are now reaching audiences targeted worldwide by your auction real estate agency.

The act of auctioning itself creates a competitive spirit among participants and more often increases the final bid. It is within our human nature to achieve a win regardless of the competition. When you put participants together there is a validation of the potential buyer’s interest by those who are present and therefore also interested. If other potential buyers are bidding within the same range it solidifies the value of the home to all of those participating and participants are willing to continue to bid.

Another benefit to auctioning is the finality of the sale. There are no contingencies, no negotiating. Properties are sold “as is”. The highest bidder wins. The seller does not have to negotiate the price based on some physical condition of the structure or value formula contrived by a buyer’s agent.

Finally, the seller is continually inconvenienced to accommodate viewings by potential buyers in a traditional listing arrangement. With home auctioning there are no scheduled personal viewings or open houses. Marketing the property and auction is undertaken by the auction agency. Most commonly, bidders are welcomed to view the property over a short period of time immediately preceding the auction or on a date within a few days to a week before the actual event. The home owner is not subject to the continual interruption and preparations for home showings. One effort for one event and the result is a home sold!

Upcoming Aircraft Auctions

Aircraft Auction | Smith & Co

Upcoming Aircraft Auction: Nov 6th & 7th

An auction is one of the most reliable sources for purchasing something typically on a larger scale for an affordable price and very quickly. The most popular types of auctions used to be reserved for vehicles and residential property. However, those looking to acquire an aircraft for a reasonable price can attend an aircraft auction.

An aircraft auction is very similar to an auction for a home. Our auctioneers will provide a brief description of the aircraft to be auctioned off. Auction participants can usually get a visual of the aircraft and then the bidding begins. The auction process is quick and without any prior experience or research of what to expect from an aircraft auction can result in an impulsive decision.

You don’t need to have extensive prior auction experience in order to get a great deal on an aircraft. Nonetheless, you should engage in useful research so that you’re prepared for whatever may occur. If you can, ask the seller prior to the auction for logbook status and any damage history. Also, you might want to inquire about avionics and any equipment that will be included in the sale of the aircraft. These things might be listed in an ad, but if not it’s good to get as much prior knowledge as you can obtain.

Smith & Co. Auction & Realty, Inc. has two upcoming aircraft auctions. The first auction will be held on Thursday November, 6th at 1:00 pm and the second on Friday November, 7th at 10:00 am. Both auctions will be selling experimental airplanes and ultralights. For auction location and bidding information, feel free to visit our auction website.