Kansas City area Fanatics - living in KC advice

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Gunnerclone

Well-Known Member
Jul 16, 2010
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Hey KC Fanatics. I need some in depth local knowledge. I’ve been to KC a million times, I know my way around. What I need is your tips on where to live/how to live. Things like which side to live on (Mizzou/Kansas) and why, which suburbs/school districts (any tax havens? Like pay KC taxes but get X suburban schools). Unsafe/avoid at all cost neighborhoods/suburbs. Traffic problem areas. “Scenic” areas/suburbs that with their own downtowns. Things like that, local considerations.

No commute issues as we’d be remote working but have a 3 year old that will need schooling soon and would prefer public for diversity purposes (even if it’s a “white” suburb would still be better than private. Would be traveling back and forth to Des Moines often.
 

nocsious3

Active Member
Aug 23, 2013
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School's are better on the Johnson county KS side. Taxes are better on the Missouri side, but avoid living in KC, MO. Blue Valley is the school district most want their kids in, but the other school districts on the Kansas side, (Olathe, Shawnee Mission) seem to be fine.
 
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SCNCY

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Sep 11, 2009
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Yeah, from a tax stand point, you don't want to live in or have an employer in the Kansas City, MO city limits. The city has a 1% income tax for people who live in, or work in kcmo.

Other than that, most of the suburban area schools are good. Most people want to live in Johnson County on the Kansas side because the school district is very good. But Lee summit, liberty and blue springs on the Missouri side are also good as well.

The Kansas City area is also very easy to travel around. If living close to a downtown Ames street feel is important to you, I wouldn't feel the need to pay extra for a house close to one. It'd be a pretty quick drive from anywhere to get to an area like that.
 
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Gunnerclone

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Jul 16, 2010
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Some add’l Insights for consideration:

Im not your standard suburb guy. I’ve been in the burbs and can do it but would prefer the city.

What are the blue areas and the red areas?

Where can I smoke a joint on my front porch and it won’t phase a passer by?

Are there any areas with big lots (not the store smart asses) or wooded lots?

Also things like a 1% city tax isn’t a big deal we’re used to that. CBus area has ****** up tax **** like that.
 

flander1649

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Apr 20, 2006
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I have lived in KC for the last 17 years most of it has been in Johnson county. Blue Valley and the Desoto (west Shawnee) school districts are both very good which a lot of parents want to get there kids into. South Overland Park, Olathe, West Lenexa and West Shawnee are all newer growing areas in Johnson County definitely the suburb feel. I have a lot of friends live around the 135th to 151st area between I-35 and 69. This is definitely family area.

North Overland park, Mission, Shawnee, and Lenexa are more of your older neighborhoods in Joco that have some of the small downtown areas you asked about. All of the joco areas have plenty to do and them and they aren't bad to get most places unless you get real far south or west.

My wife and I just moved out by the race track about a year ago in the piper school district. We have really enjoyed it there so far it worked well for us as she works in Parkville and I work in Lawrence. It is really easy to get to downtown and even down to joco area. Lots to do out in the area the only thing that I don't like is all the restaurants out at legends by the track are all chain.

If you wanted to go Missouri side I would suggest Liberty or Lee's Summit both also have the suburb feel but also have good downtown areas. Liberty is very nice and keeps growing. My wife grew up there so I have gotten to know that the best. Lee's Summit is also a very nice area with some Lakes down there. I have gone there often to ride my bike around the lakes. Parkville wouldn't be too bad either as it is a nice area too.
 

AuH2O

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Sep 7, 2013
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Hey KC Fanatics. I need some in depth local knowledge. I’ve been to KC a million times, I know my way around. What I need is your tips on where to live/how to live. Things like which side to live on (Mizzou/Kansas) and why, which suburbs/school districts (any tax havens? Like pay KC taxes but get X suburban schools). Unsafe/avoid at all cost neighborhoods/suburbs. Traffic problem areas. “Scenic” areas/suburbs that with their own downtowns. Things like that, local considerations.

No commute issues as we’d be remote working but have a 3 year old that will need schooling soon and would prefer public for diversity purposes (even if it’s a “white” suburb would still be better than private. Would be traveling back and forth to Des Moines often.
For a place that's likely not going to get suggested much, my friend and his family have lived in Parkville, MO for about 15 years and love it. It's kind of a cool small town, good public schools. My guess is that schools will not be very diverse, but broader activities for kids should allow for that. About 10 mins. to Zona Rosa Town Center for business/shopping, about 3:15 to Jack Trice and Hilton.
 
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cmjh10

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Dec 5, 2012
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Iowa Falls
Hey KC Fanatics. I need some in depth local knowledge. I’ve been to KC a million times, I know my way around. What I need is your tips on where to live/how to live. Things like which side to live on (Mizzou/Kansas) and why, which suburbs/school districts (any tax havens? Like pay KC taxes but get X suburban schools). Unsafe/avoid at all cost neighborhoods/suburbs. Traffic problem areas. “Scenic” areas/suburbs that with their own downtowns. Things like that, local considerations.

No commute issues as we’d be remote working but have a 3 year old that will need schooling soon and would prefer public for diversity purposes (even if it’s a “white” suburb would still be better than private. Would be traveling back and forth to Des Moines often.
How are you going to adjust away from those amazing CBus winters?
 

JP4CY

I LOVE LAMP
SuperFanatic
Dec 19, 2008
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Idk. Is KC winter better than DSM? Because that’s my reference point so it’s not hard to be “great” by comparison.
I've been to many B12 tournaments over the years and March weather for the most part has been great there. Lots of patio/rooftop times.
I say that knowing the last 3 years have seemed cool (LOL).
 
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cyclonesurveyor

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Jan 26, 2009
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Fort Collins, CO
We lived in North OP, next to Prairie Village and we loved it. OP side is more cookie cutter but older subdivisions (lots of split/multi level houses) and PV has a lot of old big lots. We were very happy with Brookwood elementary which is now a new building.
 
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2forISU

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Oct 8, 2008
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How are you going to adjust away from those amazing CBus winters?
Winters are pretty mild in CBus. Not a lot of of snow, or extreme cold, but too many cloudy days. There is snow belt in Ohio and that is about the halfway point between Columbus and Cleveland. Cincy is even milder but they get more icy days.
 

CloneIce

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Apr 11, 2006
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Lee’s Summit is a great option. The nicest suburb on the MO side, but still relatively affordable and it has a cool downtown with character. Good schools. Easy to get out of the city and back to Des Moines.

JoCo is great as well. Western KCK is pretty nice. KC has some major pros but most are built around social life and going out, so if that isn’t high on your list go to one of the burbs with better schools.
 

iowa_wildcat

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Jan 25, 2008
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Winters are much milder in the KC area. Stay home when you do get a good snow or ice storm because the locals have no idea how to drive on anything but dry pavement.
 
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thatguy

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May 29, 2009
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Brookside or Die!

I love Brookside in KC, MO. I grew up in JoCo so you couldn't pay me to live out there in the beige metro. If you do live in Brookside or South/West Plaza just know that you are going to have to send your kids to private school, but there are a ton of good ones so don't worry about that. The restaurants, everything is better than your typical Cheesecake factory or Bar Grill trash in Johnson County. You get the diversity in Brookside as well. I literally smoked a J outside last night while watering my lawn and having a convo with my neighbors. The Kansas side IS MUCH more conservative. Most of the Brookside people came from other places, and were a little later in life to kids like my wife and I were.

In Brookside all the houses are around 100 years old and are charming AF. You will get double the house in the suburbs, but people pay to live in Brookside. You have access to all the Brookside stuff, and 5 mins from the Plaza, 10 from downtown.
 
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Gunnerclone

Well-Known Member
Jul 16, 2010
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Brookside or Die!

I love Brookside in KC, MO. I grew up in JoCo so you couldn't pay me to live out there in the beige metro. If you do live in Brookside or South/West Plaza just know that you are going to have to send your kids to private school, but there are a ton of good ones so don't worry about that. The restaurants, everything is better than your typical Cheesecake factory or Bar Grill trash in Johnson County. You get the diversity in Brookside as well. I literally smoked a J outside last night while watering my lawn and having a convo with my neighbors. The Kansas side IS MUCH more conservative. Most of the Brookside people came from other places, and were a little later in life to kids like my wife and I were.

In Brookside all the houses are around 100 years old and are charming AF. You will get double the house in the suburbs, but people pay to live in Brookside. You have access to all the Brookside stuff, and 5 mins from the Plaza, 10 from downtown.
Yes. This sounds like us (kids later in life, smoking a j while mowing) and also sounds like my current neighborhood in CBUS. Might have to just suck it up with the private school.

What are the boundaries of this area? How competitive is the home market?
 

thatguy

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2009
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DENVER
Yes. This sounds like us (kids later in life, smoking a j while mowing) and also sounds like my current neighborhood in CBUS. Might have to just suck it up with the private school.

What are the boundaries of this area? How competitive is the home market?
When houses come for sale, they usually sell within a couple days.

Usually 1200sq ft is 400,000-600,000 if you are between 67th-75th. South of 67th you won't find anything under 500.

The joke is once people move to Brookside, they don't leave Brookside. Which is true, because there is no reason to leave. Just FYI, Highway access is trash, but that is by design.....

Brookside is considered State Line to Holmes from about 55th (the Plaza) to 75th. North of 75th is considered Waldo, which is like beginner Brookside. It's nice, just not as nice.

If you have never used city data, its a good reference too. Here is the city data for my zip code:

http://www.city-data.com/zips/64113.html
 
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