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Old 01-02-2017, 04:52 PM
2 posts, read 2,477 times
Reputation: 10


Hello all! I'm new to this forum and I'm looking for some information if someone is willing to share.

Currently my family and I are living abroad in a different country. We're Americans moving back to the states. We want to go back to the States because we miss the people and we're thinking of moving somewhere new, perhaps Kansas City since it's a big city but compared to other big cities it's smaller.

If you would endulge me, can someone tell me if a neighborhood exists like this in Kansas City? We've heard Lee's Summit and Overland Park is nice.
The most important things we are looking for are:
- Weather. Does Kansas City have seasons?
- Polite neighbors (they don't need to be friendly per se, just respectful).
- No parties around (we like the quiet).
We don't really care about the neighbors as long as they are educated and respect the neighborhood, because we're not interested in social life so much, we're reserved.

If it matters:
We don't like pubs/clubs.
We like going for walks, we enjoy nature, seasons. We care a lot about our pets.
We don't really care about sports, restaurants.

In the long run I'm planning to spend under $150k on a house but I'm not willing to live in a ghetto area. Is that possible? Specially if we want a backyard. We won't be buying inmediately, rather we will be renting for a while until we get things sorted out. So we have time to think.

Some extra info about us: We like country but we've lived in a big city before.

Thank you all in advance for helping us
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:50 PM
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Well, I just ran a search on Reece Nichols and for under $150, you have 11 single family homes in Overland Park, less than one-half of one percent of the total active homes in Overland Park (there are 331 total at this time). They are mostly 2 bed, 1 bath, with under 1000 square feet. The municipality is large and diverse but I am guessing these are not in the choicest of Overland Park hoods. Lee's Summit looks much the same, with about 14 of 318 active single families listed for under $150.

How much space are you needing and how many people will be living in the house? Seems like North KC, or the neighborhoods colloquially referred to as being "north of the river" might have some good options in the ~$150 range based on other threads I have seen here. How important will public schools be? Any school aged kids?
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:59 PM
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I live in Overland Park...really close to a bunch of parks, and along a trail network that allows for a lot of walking/hiking. Seriously...it's miles long and runs from Olathe all the way into KC, and down through Leawood. Google "Indian Creek Trail and Tomahawk Trail". This was the single biggest selling point for me in where I live - I can walk/bike without being on surface streets and the trail is well separated from traffic...you feel like you are in the woods in many parts of it. Off trail, Overland Park is very good about having sidewalks everywhere (at least north of 435) so I have never had a problem walking somewhere...oftentimes in the summer my wife and I will walk up to Mission Farms area or something and grab a bite.

I live right next to a big high school - Shawnee Mission South - so I get a slight bit of traffic from that in the morning but it's nothing. Our neighborhood is pretty quiet. I know you said you aren't interested in restaurants, but Park Place, Town Center, and the major thoroughfares of Metcalf Avenue and 119th Street are where all that stuff is. Also Historic Downtown Overland Park has some neat shops...I could pretty much hang at Vinyl Renaissance all day.

We drive into KC about every weekend...it's about 15-20 minutes to Liberty Memorial where we can park and catch the streetcar to river market or anywhere else in that corridor.

In terms of price, $150k is probably too low unless you buy a real fixer-upper or foreclosure. You can find condos for that price, if you don't mind paying HOA dues (ours is like $450 a month). Think closer to $250k-$300k for a house.
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:16 PM
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It depends on where you move to in Overland Park.

We definitely have four seasons, and sometimes extreme changes in whether which people will joke about. One day it is snowing, the next it is warm. You get a pretty good taste of all four seasons... hot, humid summers; shady and mellow fall; somewhat cold winters and occasional blizzards that will take down limbs and block roads; beautiful, vibrant, uplifting spring weather.

I can not say anything generally bad about most Overland Parkers. The people here are quite pleasant, there is a sense of normalcy and stability. More than half the people have some college education, people are informed and seem to be pretty intelligent. Very family oriented. It's not a place for swinging singles, and a lot of people seem to be Christian of the protestant persuasion and like to have families. Driving is a mixed bag. People are mostly just OK drivers. Some are quite oblivious, while others are impatient and quick to anger. If you came from a busier city or somewhere else that was very urban, you may notice the reflexes of drivers to be a bit slower. People don't adapt as quickly to unexpected traffic maneuvers, and some seem to have their minds on other things. A lot of things that would be the norm in LA, Chicago, NY, would cause people to freak out and get into car accidents here.

As far as parties, etc... I can only speak for the part of Overland Park I live in, which is downtown. They are improving the businesses quite a bit and building condominiums. There are at least 3 bars and lots of traffic going by our house at unexpected times around the clock. In five years time, my car got stolen from the side of my house, smashed by a hit and run, and then smashed again by a hit and run a few days ago totaling it. Despite the installation of roundabouts and speed tables, people drive down these side streets very quickly, and there are many pickup trucks that are quite loud, and many bright headlights and people flashing brights. I will be about to fall asleep at 9 PM, 10 PM, midnight... and there will be bright lights and quickly accelerating cars going down the street waking me up, even with earplugs in. Maybe you might not want to live in downtown Overland Park.

Considerably further south is much more peaceful and laid back where they are expanding. I'm thinking at least past 123rd street, and especially past 135th street. If you want to live in the more relaxed areas, you would want to be going considerably south and east of Kansas City, MO. If you go west past Renner towards Desoto... it will be a lot more laid back. But you won't be in OP anymore.

Last edited by Patriarchal.Paradigm; 02-01-2017 at 02:06 PM..
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Old 02-01-2017, 03:30 PM
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I think you could say in downtown Overland Park... there is a increase in traffic that's happening in a relatively short period of time that we aren't completely prepared for. Because 15-20 years ago... this place would be considered pretty laid back. Traffic management is going to become an increasing challenge.

I drove through Lee's Summit a few times. From what I recalled, it had a very different feel to it. The population is almost half of what Overland Park is, and the population density is definitely less. I don't recall seeing nearly as many businesses there.

Last edited by Patriarchal.Paradigm; 02-01-2017 at 03:40 PM..
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:25 AM
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Welcome to the Forum OP! And we'd be glad to have you and your family reside in our area!

As far as Overland Park, am sure you already realize it's located in Johnson County, KS (there is also a Johnson County, MO).

In Johnson County, KS (JOCO), there are 20 cities:
Overland Park, Olathe, Shawnee, Leawood, Lenexa, Mission, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Merriam, Lake Quivira, Fairway, Westwood, Westwood Hills, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, De Soto, Spring Hill, Gardner, Edgerton, and Bonner Springs. For postal reasons, much of the area is referred to as Shawnee Mission.

You may want to research many of them, especially those that may be on the outlying areas of the county that would afford more country type landscape for walks, etc., and as far as your housing budget, you may find more options for single family homes in those areas as well.

Have lived in JOCO for over 20 years and one of the biggest compliments I can pay is the friendliness of the people.
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:43 AM
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I also lived in Shawnee and Lenexa previously. I lived in Shawnee from about 1988 to 1997. Then I moved across the street to Lenexa and lived there until 2007. A lot has changed in those cities in around 15 years time.

Olathe - an interesting place with a flatter landscape; many, many churches; and a sort of run down and considerably more criminal feel to it. there are many businesses here, and loud cars, and run down, outdated apartments and buildings. kind of depressing to me. traffic is known to be pretty bad. but nicer as you go out west to the country.

Shawnee - considered a bedroom community. it is much like Overland Park and especially like Lenexa. they have expanded westwards considerably, and the businesses in the central parts have closed up and moved with the changing demographics in nearby rental units. it's like there's a whole new suburbia cropping up out there in 10 years time.

Leawood - a very nice place known for their shopping centers and being more upscale. Apple Store, Von Maur, blabhblahblabhla. many richer folks live here in nicer houses with well manicured lawns

Lenexa - very much like Shawnee. a bedroom community that is also putting money into westward expansion, and the central area is almost identical to Shawnee where businesses have also shut down, become run down, or moved elsewhere. they're working on a very futuristic Lenexa City Center that will put many businesses and residential units in a small planned area, with places for entertainment, etc. it is said Wild Bill lived out in the Monticello area (now around 87th and Clare) for a while and became the town's first constable

Mission - most will know Mission for the businesses along Johnson Drive. it's a nice place to drive through and maybe go shopping a little bit. there are nice, decent parts to live in, but the closer you get to Roeland Park, the more dangerous. There was once a decent mall here that they tore down within the last 10 years. They were thinking of building a Wal-Mart here... but then decided against it. So there's a huge open field with poured concrete and weeds growing up everywhere.

Merriam - this seems to be a bit more rundown... but not too much. this is something of a transportation district with many schoolbuses going in and out. there are many automotive repair places, and places that sell automotive parts here. there is at least one nice shopping center here, and considerable development around I-35 and Johnson Drive. as you go northeast on Merriam Drive, there are many interesting Mexican restaurants and a few BBQ places to eat at... oh and a drive in theater (technically it's in Kansas City, Kansas... but it's very close)

Mission Hills - the very name causes people to roll their eyes. the word that comes to mind is "entitlement". Mission Hills, at least at some point recently, was known as one of the richest per capita places in the nation. lots of people aggressively tail you in their luxury cars and sports cars as you drive through their streets in the daytime. the houses are very nice, some of them are pretty mindblowing, and are breathtakingly expensive.

Mission Woods - I never knew much of this distinction... but it must blend in very well and be virtually identical to Mission Hills and Leawood... or perhaps we can call it Prairiewood Hills... it's all very similar to me

Lake Quivira - this is a really nice place. a small, tight-knit, gated community with a very pleasant lake and a decent golf course. the houses are pretty nice here, but there is not nearly the same attitude as you would find in Leawood or Mission Hills. the people generally have a lot of money, but are very laid back and Lake Quivira feels almost like a miniature Lake of the Ozarks. I had a friend who lived here and I would visit... I absolutely loved this place. if you want to be left alone and have peace of mind... this is one of the best places around that I know of. you will not be bothered with traffic... you will be able to hear yourself think. you will be able to sit back and read a book, ponder great visions, make inventions. go out on the lake in the middle of the night in a pontoon boat and lay back.

Fairway - just a tiny little area that is very much like the nearby cities like Mission Hills, etc. there is also an old Indian Mission here where Reverend Johnson (which Johnson county is named after) attempted to educate many nearby Indian tribes

Westwood and Westwood Hills - virtually indistinguishable to Mission Hills from my vantage point

Prairie Village - the nicer and more upscale neighbor of Overland Park... feels much like Overland Park but houses begin to look like Mission Hills the further east you go. a very pleasant place with a few decent businesses in some strip malls. they have absolutely NO Taco Bells... just a quirky thing I picked up on. not necessarily bad.

Roeland Park - is a lot like Mission but a bit more run down. there's a strip mall with a kind of scary Wal-mart in it, and a Quik Trip across the street. it seems like there is a more criminal feel here... I try not to stay for too long.

De Soto - wow... this is wayyyyy out west. not at all like Overland Park or the surrounding cluster of cities. very laid back and quiet, very much like Eudora. lots of small houses and trailers. a small handful of businesses, a couple gas stations. a decent quality butcher shop. feels like Kansas.

Spring Hill, Gardner - in my eyes, quite similar to one another. very nice cities, much more laid back than Overland Park. things are more spaced out, a few nice lakes and huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge parks and places to walk. not nearly as many trees and a bit flatter. wayyy more open feeling... not as much to break the wind here. go out there when it's windy before a storm and you'll feel like you could almost get whisked off the ground and fly. love it! I went to a park out in Gardner called Celebration Park with my dogs which was great because it's so wide and open, people don't have to worry about letting their pets offleash to run around. You don't have to find a regimented offleash dog park the way you would in other cities. Cops don't care like they would in Overland Park, Shawnee, Lenexa, etc. Totally different.

Edgerton - drove through here a few times... didn't recall that there was much to see, or anything that really stood out to me

Bonner Springs - interesting place, really. they have the Renaissance Festival here which everyone will have to go to at some point.

I've been around here since the late 80's... and this is a very simple run down of my experiences in the area. It's really just off the top of my head and stream of consciousness.

Last edited by Patriarchal.Paradigm; 02-02-2017 at 12:06 PM..
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:48 AM
Location: Southern California
15 posts, read 9,213 times
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Originally Posted by Patriarchal.Paradigm View Post
People don't adapt as quickly to unexpected traffic maneuvers, and some seem to have their minds on other things. A lot of things that would be the norm in LA, Chicago, NY, would cause people to freak out and get into car accidents here.
Funny you mention that, because I picked up on that quite quickly during my short time there. Hopefully after some time I'll become complacent and can lose the LA traffic edge.

Thanks for the compiled list of JoCo cities too.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:42 AM
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I live in OP and love it. I'll second the comment about driving. People here seem to be fairly zoned out and anything spontaneous or out of the norm tends to create chaos and elicit angry gestures.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:31 PM
Location: Hays, Kansas
705 posts, read 822,598 times
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Oh wow. I've spent a lot of time in old Olathe and older Shawnee and neither seem all that rundown or criminal to me... Shawnee has that one strip mall on 75th and Quivera that is vacant, but the only "sketchy" areas I've truly seen are around downtown Olathe, and anything near Wyandotte County.
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