Relocating from LA to KCMO (Kansas City, Gladstone: real estate, lofts, condominiums)
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My wife and I will soon be relocating to KCMO from New Orleans and we need to find a place to live. I have to be within 20 minutes of Truman Medical Center. We're trying to buy a house, but it's tough when you only have realtor.com as a resource for the time being. We'll be up to visit for a long weekend in April and hope to find a house then. We have spoken to a few realtors in the area and none of them seem to be much help to us. The first one was a b****, and told us that everything we wanted in a home was simply unavailable in the area. Such outlandish requests as a finished basement or three-car garage apparently are unheard of in Kansas City, who knew!? The others have simply been flaky and never got back to us on finding properties. I simply don't understand it. This is a guaranteed sale, we've already been approved for a mortgage, and yet they treat us like they are doing us a favor by selling us a home.
So I'm asking for help from others on this board. We have little to no knowledge of the area and need to find a place to live. I'll be working long hours, so it has to be a safe community for my wife to spend time alone in. And, as I previously stated, has to be within a 20 min drive of the medical center. We don't have any children, so schools are of no concern right now. Lastly, it must be on the MO side of the border. Some of the properties we have been looking at have been in Gladstone, Oakwood, and the Inner Northland. They look nice but, like I said, it's purely wild speculation on our part as we don't know the city.
Thank you all in advance for your help, it's greatly appreciated.
Last edited by arives350; 03-29-2007 at 08:45 PM..
Reason: added info
Hi arrives, you'll probably do better to post your price range on houses. What you want is available in Kansas City. If you have a generous budget, I would suggest you look towards Brookside, Waldo and the Wornall to Ward Parkway area. All of this is just south of the Kansas City Plaza, and you should be easily able to reach Truman Medical Center within your time limit.
You might also post whether you would be interested in condominiums with the same amenities.
There are terrific people here who can offer all kinds of suggestions. If you need a realtor - I recommend the Reece Nichols team on the Plaza - in particular Greg Anderson and Tom Cook.
I appreciate your response! I'll give the realtors you mentioned a call. I've been using the R+N website to search for homes. My price range is $245k, max. I think what is making it tougher is that we don't really want to live in a condo, we'd prefer a single family home. I've been finding a lot of the older historical homes in the Hyde Park area that seem to be in our price range. I just don't know how nice they will be in person. Most of them have been recently renovated, so hopefully a lot of the problems that go along with hundred year-old houses would be taken care of.
I kind of like living in older homes anyways, they have more substance than the new construction homes that are sprouting up all over. I live in a new construction town home now, and it's pretty cheaply made. I'd hate to invest in something like that. But I guess I'll see when we get up there in a few weeks.
Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it!
Hyde Park is one of those areas in midtown that had become a little run down but boasted some incredible homes. There was a real surge in people buying in the area and bringing those homes back. The restoration of the area began in the late 1970's and has been a good trend since. Many of the houses are quite spectacular, and you can get a lot for your money. It's the kind of neighborhood where people really enjoy going to Architectural Salvage to hunt up etched brass hinges, if you know what I mean?
Hyde Park has a formidable Neighborhood Association.
http://www.hydeparkkc.org/ (broken link)
You do need to be aware that Hyde Park is an oasis in the midst of some rougher neighborhoods. It sits east of midtown/Plaza area and is essentially bound by 31st streed to the North and 47th to the south. 47th is the main line into the Plaza from highway 71 (east of the Plaza). The east west parameters are Gillham road and Troost. You would be minutes away from Truman Medical, the Plaza, Westport (nightclub district and funky shopping) and downtown KCMO would be a 5-10 minute drive.
Wish I knew more about the area, but I hope that's a start
How rough is rough? Are they simply older, unrestored homes, or are we going to be stabbed if we walk through them at night? Keep in mind that we've been living in New Orleans for the last four years, and the post-Katrina city has the highest crime and murder rate in its recorded history. So I'm not sure that anything will be scary at this point.
Is the owners association formidable in that they screen potential buyers into the area, or they are just united against crime and other issues? I actually don't mind those who are all about home restoration and keeping things nice and antique. We have quite a lot of that here, and I'll admit that I've gone to shops looking for hundred-year-old door handles and such. From looking at the real estate online, it just seems too good to be true. From my experience, when it seems that way, it usually is too good to be true. I'm wondering what the catch is?
Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it. I'll be giving the realtors you mentioned a call today to see what they can put together.
We live in a wonderful area called Staley Farms, about 10 miles east of the airport. It's a beautiful, safe neighborhood surrounded by a fabulous private golf course. (increased home value)..It's north of the Gladstone area off of North Oak and 100th. (head east on 100th). All of the residents of the community are social members of the golf club and they have a fabulous new clubhouse with dining and the golf club just improved the fitness center with great new equiptment and an indoor basketball court, pool, tennis courts, etc.www.staleyfarms.com
If you've been in post Katrina New Orleans, probably nothing in Kansas City is going to be intimidating. We have a high crime areas, but they are notorious pockets and most everyone knows where to avoid.
Over by Hyde Park you are close to the Troost/Prospect problem areas. The worst of the concentration really hits around 20-40th streets as the cross Prospect. The Hyde Park area itself is expansive enough of a neighborhood where some streets are going to be much better maintained and safer than others.
The Neighborhood Association is actually terrific. They are very active in attracting or repelling businesses that will bring the neighborhood back and gave some nightclubs and other businesses in the rea a tough time over the years. It's actually a very good thing for homeowners. They are not exclusive and pretentious - just very active
To be more specific in answering your questions: Rough means that Hyde Park butts up against VERY rough areas to the east and north, so you don't have as much insulation as Brookside or Waldo (Brookside is immediately south of the Plaza and a good drive away from the roughest parts of town and Waldo is even further south).
The other catch will be that not all of Hyde Park is restored, so you may find a fantastic house that has been completely done, but several other houses on the block may be quite run down. It depends on whether that would bother you or not.
With the market correcting itself, you should have your realtor show you both Hyde Park and Brookside, particularly the area of Brookside that is on the east side of Brookside Boulevard, south of 47th Street between Brookside Boulevard and Rockhill. There are terrific homes in there where you can get a good deal for your money and possibly find the garage space you need.
I was born in K.C and raised in Brookside. I have been living in L.A. for entirely too long but have managed to visit throughout the years.
There are some other areas that you might also consider. There is a revitalization of downtown (lofts), the 39th street area close to Westport and the Valentine area. The homes and neighborhoods are really nice. Tree lined w/ historic homes and varied architecture. The problem you run into with the older homes is that many do not have garages but only driveways and the basements are mainly unfinished. They really are mainly used for utilities, laundry, etc. You may have to compromise to get what you want but I think you can find a really fantastic home if you work at it. The people are very nice. I don't think you will have too much of a hard time finding a decent realtor. FYI - I also lived in Hyde Park. It's been many years and I wasn't too terribly fond of it. Somewhat nice homes but a bit dodgy. I would really look a bit further north/north west. Waldo is also pretty nice but you should probably look a couple of blocks East or even better west of Wornall Rd. I can probably give you a few more pointers on areas that you are interested in.
We just had a great experience buying a home with our realtor, Curtis Stock. He was a builder before he became a realtor and has a really good eye for good homes in the KC area: http://www.curtisstock.com/
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