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Old 09-02-2011, 02:36 PM
 
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My fiancee and I are considering moving to the KC area from Washington State (originally from Wisco). I'm 25 and she's 26. I've got a job offer in Lee's Summit. I'll be making about $70,000 and she works part time.

Can anyone give me an idea on how we'd do in the KC area. Easy to meet people? Areas to live when commuting to LS? We both like the countryside and have a dog, but would also like to start off in a nice townhome or something like that.

Any help would be appreciated
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,334,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewhick52 View Post
My fiancee and I are considering moving to the KC area from Washington State (originally from Wisco). I'm 25 and she's 26. I've got a job offer in Lee's Summit. I'll be making about $70,000 and she works part time.

Can anyone give me an idea on how we'd do in the KC area. Easy to meet people? Areas to live when commuting to LS? We both like the countryside and have a dog, but would also like to start off in a nice townhome or something like that.

Any help would be appreciated
Greetings!

My SO and I are in the ballpark of your ages (touch older, early 30s, but probably much the same place in life). We are both transplants to the KC metro...SO came in early 2007 from the east coast via a few other places, I came in mid-2007 from neighboring Illinois. Perhaps my perspective will be of some help.

In my experience, KC is an easy place in which to relocate/get acclimated. I say this as a lifelong Midwesterner, true...but my SO, who was raised in NY, went to college in Boston, and lived and worked in Texas and California before his work transferred him here agrees with me that it's easygoing, and easy to feel at home, as well.

There is quite a bit to do...not sure of your interests, but there is really always something going on in the metro. If you're sitting home, bored, it's because you're choosing NOT to avail yourself of any number of activities (tons of them free). I made a lot of my friends in the area through participation in a couple of civic fine arts groups/music ensembles...there are all kinds of organizations, though, and people are overall very friendly, IMO.

Really, traffic in KC isn't bad, and if you choose to live in the city itself and commute out to work in Lee's Summit, you'll be in good shape, because it's a reverse commute from most areas of KC proper. When I first lived in KC, I commuted part-time from the Plaza neighborhood to the Lakewood area of Lee's Summit, and that's a haul, but still not bad, time-wise. Most places within city limits that are downtown or neighborhoods south of downtown will be reasonably commutable to Lee's Summit. Most convenient will be further south, since LS is a southeastern suburb. I wouldn't probably opt to live north of the river, in an area of Kansas City known as the Northland, or in any of the northern suburbs, if I were working in Lee's Summit, however, just from a distance perspective.

We rented in the city the first few years we lived here (Plaza and Waldo neighborhoods, both areas south of downtown), with me working in South Kansas City and my SO commuting to the Johnson Co., KS suburbs. Then, when we were looking to buy our first home, we looked all over, urban and suburban, and settled on a vintage home in Lee's Summit, as it turned out.


I don't know if you've had an opportunity to visit Lee's Summit yet, but if not, I'd suggest that you might consider it as a place to live, versus just a place to which to commute, depending on your taste.

Neither my SO nor I considered ourselves "suburbs" people when we embarked upon our home-owning quest, but we find our particular location in Lee's Summit to suit us wonderfully...it changed our minds about a type of community we'd nearly ruled out.

We live in downtown LS, which encompasses a couple of historic districts, is very neat, nicely kept, and boasts a bunch of functional local businesses, from retail to civic buildings to dining/drinking establishments...the downtown council has been a recipient of national recognition for revitalization efforts. There are lots of festivals and community events held there, farmer's market much of the year, bike riding clubs, running clubs, etc., and it maintains a really pretty impressive "small town"-ish, community-centric feel, despite Lee's Summit's ever-growing population. When I say it feels small town, I don't say that with a lifelong urban/suburban dweller's perspective of what a stereotypical small town feeling must be, I say it as someone who spent the majority of her life in small towns and rural areas. It legitimately does maintain a nice sense of community, it's not just "cutesy."

Since you are dog owners, I'll mention that nearly every house on our block has a dog or dogs (ours included), that Lee's Summit has one dedicated off-leash dog park and several local wildlife areas have off-leash areas. There is also a local rescue organization (where we got our guy, in fact) that has lots of pet events. Pretty dog-friendly, and lots tend to be large for good yard space.

I'm not really pushing Lee's Summit (or any suburban locale) over an urban living situation if that's what you prefer, just sharing my experiences. I personal really enjoyed living in KC proper, as well. I know that many people in their twenties (often, those who were raised in suburban environments themselves and would really like something different) will look at my post like I have three heads, suggesting that one live in a suburban environment. But the truth is that LS surprised me, and is actually a much cooler place for a young couple to live than we'd previously assumed. In the downtown, we have a decent (and walkable, from where I live!) social scene and night life, from places that have lots of live music to sports bars to coffee shops to neighborhood dives.

I really can't say I find it boring...BUT, I'm in a committed, cohabiting relationship, and not looking to tear up the dating scene. Were I single, I might feel differently. I know the main "It's so boring" complainants are people looking for a burgeoning dating scene. I couldn't say that the community is that, by any stretch, but since you're engaged, you might find it similarly satisfying like we do.

You mention that you'd like some access to the countryside; I find that a great thing about KC (which is, I'm sure, a downside to some others) is that really, no matter where you live, be it urban or suburban, you can very easily and very quickly get to wide open spaces and nature. My main previous urban living experience before KC was Chicago, and, for my SO, NY and Boston and LA...and we really love that you don't have to fight through miles and miles of dense sprawl to get somewhere rural and peaceful when you want to. I like having city amenities available to me, but also being able to hop in my car and drive for 15 minutes to an open field or forested lake and soak up the quiet.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,488,746 times
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I'll say it.

You will probably love Lee's Summit. Not sure how many townhomes there are. You might try Arborwalk.

Nice post tab .
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,334,463 times
Reputation: 48613
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Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
I'll say it.

You will probably love Lee's Summit. Not sure how many townhomes there are.
There are some townhomes to be had, though they tend to be in the more far-flung, newer subdivisions and developments in LS, versus the part of town where I live, where it tends to be early 1900s architecture and construction. With as kinda ridiculously sprawled out the different subdivisions of LS are, there's really a pretty wide range of home styles available. Most are too contemporary for me, tee hee, but I know that when friends of ours who are our polar opposites in terms of housing stock taste (they go for as new as possible) were househunting in town, they had lots to look at, in lots of different styles.

OP, you don't mention if you'd be looking to rent or to own at this point...I know way less about the rental situation in LS (it seems to be more a place where people buy), but there definitely ARE rental options available.
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