Moving to Kansas City for a new job or experience? It’s a family-friendly Midwestern city. If you’re relocating to KC, here’s a guide to the schools, neighborhoods, suburbs, and lifestyle.
Tips for moving to Kansas City
If you’re moving, Kansas City is a great Midwestern choice. It features cutting-edge technology businesses, diverse neighborhoods, and professional sports.
Best of all — the people! Kansas Citians have a ton of pride in their city, making it a great place to live.
It’s a manageable city so even if you live in the eastern suburbs of Lee’s Summit, Grain Valley, or Blue Springs, you’re a close drive to everything the city offers. If you’re relocating to Kansas City, these steps will help you make the most of your move.
Whether you grew up in a small town or a big city, there’s an area for everyone in Kansas City. The community has a small town feel, allowing you to find a neighborhood like the one where you grew up. Here are some steps to take so you can find the perfect fit for your lifestyle!
Living in Kansas City
Every city has a reputation, but sometimes that doesn’t match reality. So, research a city before you move. Don’t rely on what you read. Visit that city and talk to the people to get a feel for what it’s like to be a resident. There’s a culture to every city, and the people drive that.
For example, Kansas City surprises many visitors. That’s apparent in a lot of the national press Kansas City receive. Why is that? It’s because people have pre-conceived, and often wrong, notions of what this city resembles. Since it’s a mid-sized town in the middle of the country, many out-of-towners are surprised by the big city perks! The FREE trolley system sparked The New York Times to declare the streetcar is the perfect way to explore.
The city surprises so many; it’s consistently earning national recognition. In Kansas City, you’ll find residents proud to call Kansas City home! It’s so much more than a cow town, even though that’s the image out of towners still have in their mind. National press helps though, including the Huffington Post offering 6 reasons it’s one of the most loved cities!
Whether you’re moving to Kansas City or a suburb like Blue Springs, talk to people you know who live in the city. There are pros and cons to every town. Find those out beforehand and make sure you are comfortable with each one.
If you visit the city first, spend time in different parts of town. It’s one of the many ways you can research a neighborhood, and get an authentic feel for what it’s like to live there. Drive the area during the day and at night because you’ll notice different things at different times of the day.
While the city has plenty to offer, the suburbs are just a short drive away. Making it easy to drive downtown for work or pleasure!
Find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are specific to that area. Kansas City has highly ranked schools on both the Kansas and Missouri side.
In addition to the culture of a city, consider the cost to live. Cost of living calculators make it easy to compare the value of your salary in various cities. Consider all expenses. Will insurance rates go up or down? Will you have to pay taxes on your car? These rules and rates vary from state to state, so prepare yourself.
If you’re thinking about moving to Kansas City, you’ve chosen a great city. With professional baseball and football, great BBQ, high-quality schools, parks, trails, lakes, endless attractions, and affordable housing you’ll always have something to do.
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Best neighborhoods in Kansas City
You’re moving to Kansas City, but where should you live?
The best places to live in Kansas City are on both sides of the state line. Schools are a big deciding factor. Check out our Kansas City area school finder to find out more about the districts.
Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit schools recently earned top honors by Niche, earning top spots among public schools in Missouri.
They’re also close to lakes and green space providing homeowners plenty of recreational opportunities too for hiking and boating.
As an experienced real estate agent who works and lives in Eastern Jackson County, I can help you find the best neighborhoods in Kansas City. Some of them are new construction neighborhoods.
In Blue Springs, Stone Canyon features a golf course community and Sonora Valley provides maintenance to homeowners. Also, the Four Pillars Estates neighborhood in Blue Springs has many newly opened lots and you can bring your own builder to the neighborhood. Finally, Brittany Ridge is an established neighborhood with new home sites available as well. The bonus – you’ll get the award-winning Blue Springs schools but pay Independence taxes which are less.
Grain Valley new construction features Ryan Meadows and Rosewood Hills. The 9th phase just opened in Rosewood Hills offering homebuyers the opportunity to pick your own lot, with some even backing up to green space.
You can’t always rely on a home’s address for the school district as boundaries cross city lines. That’s another reason a real estate agent helps you if you’re relocating to KC. The Sally Moore Real Estate Team is making it easy to find homes for sale in the top rated school districts. Just click on one of the options below, and start your home search today.
Take a house-hunting mission, and drive around the city with your Realtor®. Many companies will pay for these trips. They give you a good feel for the area, schools, and housing options. Reality is often different than what you read, and that’s why a real estate agent is so important.
While online research is an essential part of moving to a new city, don’t rely on it. Trust the locals and your real estate agent.
Once you decide to move, hire a well-established Kansas City Realtor® who can guide you through your home search. You want someone who is involved in the community and knows the best Kansas City area neighborhoods to live in. Also, you need to choose which side of the state line to live — Kansas or Missouri!
Here are the latest housing trends for the Kansas City real estate market so you know what to expect!
Buy vs rent
Before you pack up the moving truck, have a moving plan. Know where you’re going to live before you move. Housing is the number one priority when you’re relocating. It affects your lifestyle in your new city, so team up with someone who can help you find the right location.
Decide if you’ll buy or rent. Even if you’re not buying a house, don’t sign a lease for an apartment you haven’t seen.
If you can’t get to the apartment, have someone check it out for you.
Also, make a plan for your pets. Moving is tough on them too. There are steps you can take to prepare your pets for the move and make them comfortable more quickly in their new city.
Having a plan for every step of your relocation makes moving less stressful.
Don’t rush into a home purchase
While it can be overwhelming to move to temporary housing and then move again once you find a home, it’s the best thing you can do if you’re not sure where you want to live.
Other families aren’t sure. There are lots of choices including Kansas versus Missouri, suburbs versus urban communities and downtown versus midtown.
With so many options, it’s crucial you find the right neighborhood for your family.
If you don’t have a 20-percent down payment, there are many Kansas City down payment assistance programs to help with your home purchase. You don’t always have to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify.
Many employers will pay for temporary housing, so consider it if you’re not finding the house of your dreams in your new city.
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Have a job waiting for you
It’s expensive to move! So, get a job first! Or at least know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there.
When you’re moving, create a budget and stick to it.
Remember those insurance and tax questions you asked yourself when you researched your new city? They’ll affect your budget.
Cost of living calculators are great tools, as well as first-hand insight from a friend or Realtor®.
How to find trusted movers
Moving is expensive and a daunting task. Your real estate agent is an excellent resource for finding a trusted mover. Find a well-established company, with a good track record. As a long-time resident, I know the Kansas City moving companies worth hiring.
For an out of state move, even from Kansas to Missouri, you’ll need a moving company registered with the Department of Transportation (DOT). Ask for the company’s DOT number, and research them to protect yourself from moving fraud. It takes seconds. Enter the DOT number here, and you’ll instantly see the number of complaints from other consumers, safety violations, and more.
Once you find a mover, get a written estimate. Make sure they do an in-person visual inspection of your property rather than just a guestimate based on the number of rooms in your home.
Finally, insure your personal property. Check with your insurance agent to see if your policy covers your property during the move. If it doesn’t cover you, purchase moving insurance. Without it, you’ll get a fraction of your property’s value if the movers break something. Moving insurance offers you the protection you need in case something gets broken.
Get involved in the Kansas City community
While your to-do list is long once you move to a new city, it’s important to take time to get familiar with your new city. Start, by getting involved.
Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive. Take the initiative and try new things.