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Old 10-28-2011, 05:55 PM
 
15 posts, read 56,061 times
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I have a family (2 kids, one school aged) and we're relocating to KC soon. I grew up in the area, but left the moment I turned 18- long before I became interested in real estate. We'll be coming from DC. We're really city people, and our most important criteria is walking distance to things. Schools are semi-important, but with the decrease in cost of living we should be able to swing private school if needed. Obviously I need safety as well with little kids- I'd like to be able to let the older one play in the yard. I can't really search "walkable" in the MLS, so I'd like some hints on good neighborhoods to look at. Every real estate agent I've talked to so far assures me that southern Johnson county is where all the young families are, but I don't recall those neighborhoods being very walking friendly.

To give you an idea, from our current house I can walk to the grocery, shopping, multiple parks, a historic downtown center with restaurants, the library, and the community center. It rocks my socks. So I'd like to duplicate that as much as possible. We'll need at least 3 bedrooms + space for a home office, for preferably 300k or under. Help me search. Thanks!

Last edited by Kissum; 10-28-2011 at 06:04 PM..
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,498,983 times
Reputation: 5415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kissum View Post
I have a family (2 kids, one school aged) and we're relocating to KC soon. I grew up in the area, but left the moment I turned 18- long before I became interested in real estate. We'll be coming from DC. We're really city people, and our most important criteria is walking distance to things. Schools are semi-important, but with the decrease in cost of living we should be able to swing private school if needed. Obviously I need safety as well with little kids- I'd like to be able to let the older one play in the yard. I can't really search "walkable" in the MLS, so I'd like some hints on good neighborhoods to look at. Every real estate agent I've talked to so far assures me that southern Johnson county is where all the young families are, but I don't recall those neighborhoods being very walking friendly.

To give you an idea, from our current house I can walk to the grocery, shopping, multiple parks, a historic downtown center with restaurants, the library, and the community center. It rocks my socks. So I'd like to duplicate that as much as possible. We'll need at least 3 bedrooms + space for a home office, for preferably 300k or under. Help me search. Thanks!
Exhibit A:
Quote:
Every real estate agent I've talked to so far assures me that southern Johnson county is where all the young families are
And they probably didn't even mention Lee's Summit, Northland, etc. let alone the city. Sorry, people don't believe me when I say this is the case with most people that relocate to the area.

Moving on...

Brookside/South Plaza is really going to be your best bet. KC just doesn't have a lot of gentrified family friendly walkalbe urban neighborhoods like you will find in NW DC or something. But Brootkside is awesome and I think it will be just what you are looking for. Also look at South Plaza around Loose Park (where I grew up). Amazing charming area and you can walk to both the plaza and brookside.

Coleman Highlands is a great family friendly area and it's in the heart of the city, but not very walkable, although close to walkable areas.

If you can handle something a bit more suburban, then you might look into parts of NE Johnson County (Prairie Village, Mission, Fairway) or the Old Briarcliff and new Briarcliff area of the Northland, just north of downtown. But NE JoCo housing stock is kinda bland and Briarcliff is not exactly walkable.

Also, parts of the outer suburbs are not bad. Downtown Lee's Summit, Downtown Liberty and Parkville all have vibrant walkable downtowns and neat historic housing stock.

The last place you should be looking is South JoCo where streets are six lanes wide people drive to the quiktrip around the corner, not to mention it's flat and ugly with far less trees and just a lot of grass and road right of way compared to other parts of the metro.

Last edited by kcmo; 10-28-2011 at 08:30 PM..
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,198,795 times
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KCMO, are any of your Brookside photo threads still floating around?

Kissum,

I think Brookside would be the solid choice for you. Brookside is very walkable and family oriented. You can walk to all things practical: two grocery stores, CVS, UPS, the post office, a variety of restaurants, coffee and ice cream shops, several parks, a multi-mile jogging/biking trail, as well as a variety of locally-owned specialty shops all amidst beautiful architecture and an extensive tree canopy.

If you're not familiar, Brookside is a 1920s/1930s early suburban neighborhood developed by JC Nichols, who also developed the Country Club Plaza. Lots of tudor, colonial, etc. architecture and primarily single-family homes, all wrapped around the Brookside retail core, which is 2 miles south of the Plaza along Wornall or Main/Brookside BLVD. The neighborhood is a very urban variety of upper-middle class in nature, very educated, pretty liberal. But being in the KCMO school district, you'd probably have to send your kids to private schools like most other Brookside residents.

www.reeceandnichols.com is a very good local real estate website. They have a map search and if you center the map on 63rd and Wornall, that's Brookside.

~MoKan
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO. (Brookside)
21 posts, read 36,295 times
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Indeed, BROOKSIDE came immediately to mind when I read the OP's query. It's been my neighborhood for 25+ years, and walkability is unsurpassed. And with so many people using the sidewalks, it's easy to meet your neighbors. In addition to what's already been mentioned, your children would enjoy the old-timey Brookside Toy store, and a children's bookstore (The Reading Reptile). You can get a haircut, have a dental appointment, do your banking, fill a gas can for your mower, buy fresh flowers, shop a small organic farmers market in summer.... all kinds of practical, daily needs type of activities.... without using a car! If you or your spouse are "foodies", be sure to check out the grocery store at 62nd & Main: Cosentino's Brookside Market. It's a delightful store that packs a huge selection of both basic and gourmet items into a relatively compact space. And there's the Trolley Trail for walking and bicycling, which gives easy access to places slightly farther away, like the Plaza branch of the library.

My husband and I often say that living in Brookside is like living in a small town in the midst of a big city. This website will give you a sense of it: Brookside | The Official Website of the Brookside Business Association
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,498,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKAN View Post
KCMO, are any of your Brookside photo threads still floating around?

I wish I had more. Here are some though, mostly aerials though.



























Loose Park between Brookside and the Plaza









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Old 10-31-2011, 08:34 AM
 
15 posts, read 56,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post

The last place you should be looking is South JoCo where streets are six lanes wide people drive to the quiktrip around the corner, not to mention it's flat and ugly with far less trees and just a lot of grass and road right of way compared to other parts of the metro.
That was pretty much exactly my reaction- it's good to know my memories are not off! kcmo, thanks so much for posting the pictures. That was really helpful. It looks gorgeous.

Mokan, that real estate site is worlds better than what I was using before. It's set up with so many ways to search. It's awesome. Thanks!

So now that we've settled that Johnson county isn't the place for us, does anyone have recs on a good real estate agent who is familiar with Brookside? Or any tips on private schools? We can't afford Pembrooke prices, but I know there are lots of other choices.
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,212,345 times
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I adore Brookside and it was, as others have mentioned, what immediately came to my mind when reading your original post. But, I'd also suggest looking at Roanoke (zip code 64111) -- houses are gorgeous and it's walkable to 39th St West, which has some great restaurants. It skews a bit less family oriented than Brooksie, but it's still certainly family friendly.

39th Street West | home
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:45 AM
 
30 posts, read 59,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kissum View Post
So now that we've settled that Johnson county isn't the place for us, does anyone have recs on a good real estate agent who is familiar with Brookside? Or any tips on private schools? We can't afford Pembrooke prices, but I know there are lots of other choices.
Yes! We moved from DC (capitol hill) to Brookside about 18 mos ago with a (then) five year old in tow and used TJ Lamb to help us find a place. I was really really pleased with how the process worked, especially since we were doing it all long distance with limited time in the area to really explore. I don't know if he would be more familiar with Brookside than any of the other areas, but he was very good to work with.

As for schools, there is St. Peters within walking distance, they are a catholic school but I get the sense there are a sizable number of non-catholic families sending their kids there and mostly from the neighborhood. We've been happy with the staff and environment there. There are also two other schools nearby, Morningstar which is a montessori school and Academy Lafayette which is french immersion. I think those are both charter schools but I'm not 100%, they may have a different structure.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:40 PM
 
1,830 posts, read 3,110,519 times
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Check Reece/Nichols...

Listing Search Results | Kansas City Homes for Sale with Reece & Nichols.

This is a search from 1 mile radius of 5900 Main in Brookside. You can 'edit' the search to your price range and other settings.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:44 PM
 
29,988 posts, read 35,855,551 times
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Agent referral sent via PM.
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