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Old 12-18-2016, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15 posts, read 9,213 times
Reputation: 11

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Hey all,

So I'm moving from Southern California to the Kansas City area next year and am trying to put a finger on a general area to start house/apartment hunting. I will be working in Olathe, KS so I'm torn between the suburb life of Overland Park/Lenexa/Leawood or the possibly more vibrant city life downtown. As a young, single person moving out there part of me feels like I should live downtown for at least a year or so; the "white picket fence" life in the suburbs might make it tough for making friends in my age group (21-25).
On the other hand, the Californian in me dreads traffic and does not want to deal with a lot of it. It seems to me that the commute might be about an hour on average? Then factor in snow, and I'm afraid there will be many days that getting to work (or back!) might be near impossible.

Overall I'm looking forward to the change in lifestyle. While I would stay or move back to California given a large enough salary, unless you're financially well off (That's after mortgage, taxes, etc..) the traffic, dirty and congested cities, increasingly hotter and colder weather (Yes both!) and insane prices just don't seem to justify it anymore.

Hope to hear some useful input!

Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:24 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,488,746 times
Reputation: 5405
Live in the city. Somewhere between the River Market and the Plaza. You will thank me later, trust me. You will probably really enjoy KC if you live in the city and really hate KC if you live out in suburbs. I have seen so many younger people or people that just don't have kids etc move to suburban KC from the coasts and end up hating every second of living in KC because they never actually experienced the city or being around people that were more like them. Unless all you are interested in is college sports talk, big box stores and chain restaurants, live in the city.

Compared to any major city in CA, the traffic in KC is easy. Downtown is a 20-30 minute drive to the far reaches of Olathe and "rush hour" might have a 10 minute delay in addition to that, even ten minutes is pretty rare though. Only accidents or extreme weather will create much more than a ten minute delay anywhere in metro KC.

KC is a great city, but if you don't live in the right part of town, you an easily hate it. BTW, lots of people from CA like suburban KC, especially Johnson County if you are wanting suburban living. You get a huge home there compared to the coasts and you have everything you need for suburban life. But if you prefer city living and culture, live there. You will be surprised how neat urban KCMO is. Most people really like it no matter where they are from.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:53 AM
 
2,195 posts, read 2,144,593 times
Reputation: 1916
2nd.

Rent somewhere in the urban core of KCMO. While I would point out that there are literally millions of people in KC's suburbs who are interested in a wide range of things besides "college sports, big box stores and chain restaurants", the only part of the city that's really unique is a swath from the Missouri river to about 75th street, State Line to the Blue River. Find something in the western belt of that swath.

Traffic is a non-concern anywhere in the metro. Especially for a reverse commute. Snow is fairly rare and does not stick around long, though the first couple incidents are relatively crippling.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Cleverly concealed
889 posts, read 1,427,701 times
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If you rent in downtown/midtown/westport/plaza KCMO, you would have a "reverse commute" to Olathe.

I work in midtown Kansas City, Mo. One of my managers lives near Olathe Northwest High School. It takes her 25-30 minutes to drive here. I think you can subtract five minutes for a reverse commute. The biggest factor in delays right now is the reconstruction of the interchange at I-35 and I-435, where Olathe, Overland Park and Lenexa meet. This is a long-term project, but the DOT just reopened a bunch of lanes.

Gas is about $2.10/gal right now. Downtown 1BR rent will be more than $1,000/month. Suburban rents are typically $800/month for a 1BR.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:45 PM
 
Location: South of KC
26 posts, read 46,061 times
Reputation: 19
My son lived in a converted office building in downtown KC. He hated it. None of his friends would come to his place because of the traffic and nowhere to park. Sometimes he had to park far away from his apartment building because the little lot the building offered to the residents was filled up. Just saying.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh PA
401 posts, read 299,960 times
Reputation: 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo70 View Post
My son lived in a converted office building in downtown KC. He hated it. None of his friends would come to his place because of the traffic and nowhere to park. Sometimes he had to park far away from his apartment building because the little lot the building offered to the residents was filled up. Just saying.
Those are exactly the types of people the OP will be working with, so all the more reason to live in the city and make friends there.
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Old 12-19-2016, 03:32 PM
 
2,195 posts, read 2,144,593 times
Reputation: 1916
Compared to any city in Southern California (or almost any city of comparable size or larger anywhere in the US), parking in downtown KCMO is incredibly easy, convenient and cheap. I wouldn't worry about that. Lots and lots of people who drive in from the suburbs every weekend night manage to find places to park while they go out with very little hassle. And nearly everywhere outside of downtown has ample, free on-street parking as well as off-street parking.
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:30 PM
 
1,390 posts, read 1,703,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Live in the city.
agree. The closer to I-35, the better, to keep your commute experience shorter.
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Old 12-20-2016, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Southern California
15 posts, read 9,213 times
Reputation: 11
@kcmo
Thanks for the detailed input. It sounds like the consensus is to live in the city. Not having much insight into the area I was not sure if my commute would be considered a "reverse commute." It makes sense that it would be, but out here there is no logic to the traffic - you can hit it at any time, any direction.

Thanks for the input from the rest of you as well. I do expect to pay more in the city, but to put things in perspective when I was considering a competing job in San Diego and looking at (decent) apartments in the city most of them were around $2,800.

I should say that I did live in Overland Park for a couple of months. Driving into the city was horrendous on the 69/35 and one night I hit at least a 25 minute delay leaving the city just because of construction. I found it odd that they do so much road construction during the day and very little at night. This was partially the reason for my concern over traffic - I wasn't sure if my experience was unique or not.

I did enjoy the conveniences of Johnson County - all of the stores I shopped at back home were a very easy drive away. The downside was the drive into the city, and as such I did not drive down there very often.

On another note, I've read in other posts that Brookside seems to be a popular place. Would this be a good compromise between the suburbs and directly in the city?

Thanks again for all the input. Looking forward to the move!
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:42 AM
 
1,390 posts, read 1,703,875 times
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Brookside would be a great compromise, but I do tend to agree with KCMO that somewhere between River Market and the Plaza would seem like a better fit. I work with a lot of young professional transplants and the all really enjoy living in Volker, River Market, Hyde Park, the Plaza - these seem to be the neighborhoods of choice for people under 30 with good jobs. Brookside is a bit more idyllic, inner-ring suburban feeling with a preponderance of families and empty nesters. My experience may be unique, but I don't know any single 20-somethings that live in Brookside.

Again, I would mention again that access to I-35 could be key. Metro KC seems to be much easier to traverse vertically (from north to south and vice versa) than it is to traverse horizontally (east to west and vice versa) on surface streets. If you are dropped at the epicenter of Brookside (63rd and Wornall), it would probably be faster to get to Olathe taking I-71 to 435, which could be a major commute headache. Going west on 63rd all the way to I-35 from there could take a while. From River Market, Crossroads, Volker or parts of Hyde Park you will have a much easier time making your way over to I-35 for a less stressful commute to Olathe.

As I write this (and look casually at Google maps and think about my own commute), I am struck by the fact that the city's surface streets generally seem poorly designed to afford quick access from the Main Street corridor to I-35.
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