One of my favorite things about Lawton is the fact that it is so diverse. People from all walks of life, of so many different backgrounds, all for the most part coexisting pretty peacefully with each other, and that diversity extends far beyond the people.

One of the most curious things about Lawton's diversity is housing. It's something I realized while years ago while trying to find a back-roads way from my then-home to the local convenience store. After a few turns, I ended up at the rear entrance of that fancy gated housing project on 38th Street, where half-million-dollar homes overlook the tiniest and roughest looking duplexes in town. I thought it was curiously funny.

Like in most military towns, renting is far more expensive than owning, but as rent homes are big money, people tend to hold on to those as income properties... As you would expect Lawton to be a booming housing market, it isn't. At least, it isn't right now.

So where is everybody making moves to?

Whether it's the crime, the space, the parks, schools, prices, taxes, or local corrupt politics, people have been fleeing Lawton for a while. At least they have since I moved here.

When I arrived here in 2006, the popular move was to Cache. Smaller town, newer schools, lower taxes, that Goodyear money, etc... Everyone was looking to make a move to there.

Around 2013, the majority of those leaving suddenly found a trendy home in Elgin. Again, a smaller town, newer schools, lower taxes, higher median incomes, a veritable boutique lifestyle... but even that has slowed as values outgrow potential.

In 2021, one Southwest Oklahoma town jumped out of the shadows to become not only the newest boom-town for growth in Comanche County but the second-fastest-growing housing market in the whole state... Fletcher.

I don't know about you, but over the last year or two, I've met more people from Fletcher than I have in the previous thirteen years combined. Granted, Fletcher isn't just the new place Lawtonian's are escaping to, it's become "the" place to move to in rural Comanche County. People are moving there from Cyril and Cement, Sterling and Acme, Fletcher is on the move.

According to Stacker, homes in Fletcher have seen a one-year growth in value of 16%. As impressive as that sounds, it gets more unbelievable. In the last decade, homes in Fletcher have grown over 55% in fair-market valuation... meaning if you purchased a home in 2012 for $100,000, it'd be worth $156,700-ish today... just because it's the hot market, but it gets even better. Even though home values have skyrocketed there, the median home price is still less than the state average, hovering around the $120k mark.

If you peek around at Realtor.com, you'll see that a lot of what is available in Fletcher right now is land. Some of it is acreage, but most of it is available builders lots. Houses are few and far between, and that's a telling sign that it's a town on the rise.

Cache and Lawton are also on that same list, just not as shockingly high as Fletcher is right now. Who really knows what time will tell. Maybe Fletcher will grow big enough to get their own turnpike on/off ramps one day... It all depends on how many people opt for that smaller, simpler life we're all so fond of.

The Top 20 Oklahoma Towns That Suck To Live In

No matter what road you've traveled brought you to Lawton, at least you aren't stuck living in one of these sucky Oklahoma towns.

See How The Ten Most Dangerous Cities In Oklahoma Rank

While some of Oklahoma's most dangerous cities may not be a total shocker, there are some real surprises on this Top Ten list.

The Beauty Of Southwest Oklahoma

Too many people spend too much time complaining about being in Southwest Oklahoma. If only they'd shut their mouths and open their eyes from time to time, then they'd see the true beauty of this place.