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Unread 08-02-2009, 08:42 AM
 
9 posts, read 8,624 times
Reputation: 10
Unhappy Ready to leave KS, and looking for a new home...

We have lived in KS for a few years now, moving here from IN for work. Nice city, but after living close to Lake Michigan our entire lives, we are hoping to move back up North to be closer to family. Outdoor living (biking, festivals, lakes, etc.) and a city with culture (music, art, etc.) is very important to us. We don't find much of that here. We thought of Madison because of the proximity to Chicago, our family, and the outdoor possibilities. Things we do love about living here and will not compromise on are the cleanliness of the city, the low crime rate, and good schools. We also want a single family home with some land (if possible), and are willing to look outside of the city. Never visiting there, I'm not sure where to start looking. Any suggestions?
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Unread 08-02-2009, 02:16 PM
Status: "The Other Dimension" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: 77 Square Miles Surrounded By Reality
14,804 posts, read 18,766,304 times
Reputation: 7349
Quote:
Originally Posted by movingon10 View Post
We have lived in KS for a few years now, moving here from IN for work. Nice city, but after living close to Lake Michigan our entire lives, we are hoping to move back up North to be closer to family. Outdoor living (biking, festivals, lakes, etc.) and a city with culture (music, art, etc.) is very important to us. We don't find much of that here. We thought of Madison because of the proximity to Chicago, our family, and the outdoor possibilities. Things we do love about living here and will not compromise on are the cleanliness of the city, the low crime rate, and good schools. We also want a single family home with some land (if possible), and are willing to look outside of the city. Never visiting there, I'm not sure where to start looking. Any suggestions?
Yes, look around the Madison area. It has the most young people, a very well educated populace, is quite clean, and has the most job growth. UW Madison is located there, and the natural environment is nice with Lake Mendota and Monona creating an isthumus through the city.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Chicago
34,928 posts, read 50,677,740 times
Reputation: 23048
What's your price range for a house? And if you're looking to be close to the lake, have you considered the Milwaukee area? Sheboygan maybe?
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Unread 08-02-2009, 06:36 PM
 
9 posts, read 8,624 times
Reputation: 10
Price range - now we have a 3000 sq foot house for apx. $160. I imagine for that we will be paying through the nose in WI. We could likely afford $225 - 275. I didn't consider Milwaukee, but I'll look into it. I have read some other posts that say there is high crime in those areas. Not sure how true that is though.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Chicago
34,928 posts, read 50,677,740 times
Reputation: 23048
You can find plenty of low-crime areas in the Milwaukee area. Just like any other metro area, crime is concentrated in patches.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Southeastern Wisconsin
9 posts, read 13,629 times
Reputation: 11
How much land do you desire? That could be a driving factor when considering where to live. For example, a vacant lot that goes for $100,000 in the Lake Country (Waukesha County) area could go for as little as $60,000 the same distance from Madison as Waukesha County is from Milwaukee.

If good schools are a priority you can't miss with any school system in Waukesha County. Some are ranked better than others, but especially in comparison to other states 'systems, we are truly blessed in Wisconsin - of course we pay for it through our taxes too! =)

In the Waukesha County area for $250,000 you could get a home on half an acre that is 11-30 years old - probably somewhere in the 2000-2200 square foot range. Get beyond Waukesha County or more outside Madison proper and the same house could be had for $210,000 or so.

I'm not as familiar with Madison as with the Lake Country area. The Lake Country area has almost more lakes than you can count, is 20 -30 minutes away from almost everything in Milwaukee and has wonderful festivals, hiking trails etc. A great place to start looking might be Pewaukee. The village of Pewaukee includes a downtown which features a great beach, phenomenal activities, some shopping and dining right on the lake. Many bike rides start at the beach b/c there is a professional bike shop downtown also. Any city in the Lake Country area would be clean.

One thing that also might help is that Madison, due to the school, will lean left politically and Waukesha will lean right (although you can find much dissent in either place.)

The price range you described is the fastest moving price range in the LC area. 115 homes sold in the $200,000 - $200,000 price range in the first 6 months of 2009, compared to 92 from 0-$200,000 and 59 in the $300,000 - $400,000 price range.

If you have any other questions we can answer - please let us know and let us know where you decide to look first. When you start looking at homes, make sure that a real estate agent takes the time to explain how agency works in Wisconsin. An agent can work for you or the seller and you will want to understand that before you get far along in the process.
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Unread 08-03-2009, 08:47 PM
 
9 posts, read 8,624 times
Reputation: 10
You all have been more than helpful, thank you! Your friendly attitude is something we have been missing about the north. People tend to keep to themselves in the dustbowl. You have given us a few good places to start. They sound similar to what we have been searching for. One more question I forgot to ask - how are the allergies up in that area? They are terrible here for the most part. Our 8 month old has had a runny nose and red eyes for half of his life already. We love spending time outdoors, but wouldn't mind laying off the Zyrtec!
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Unread 08-04-2009, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Guam & Wisconsin
563 posts, read 908,938 times
Reputation: 348
Quote:
One more question I forgot to ask - how are the allergies up in that area? They are terrible here for the most part. Our 8 month old has had a runny nose and red eyes for half of his life already. We love spending time outdoors, but wouldn't mind laying off the Zyrtec!
I know my allergies are much worse in Arizona than they are in Wisconsin but I guess it depends on what you're alergic to.
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Unread 08-04-2009, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
221 posts, read 212,262 times
Reputation: 65
There are sites that compare cost of living. I was on one a while back looking for a place to
live after my husband dies. I suggest that you web search this to see what is affordable for
you. Wisconsin is more expensive to live in than Kansas, but less expensive to live as compared
to Chicago. Basically, this site states how much income you would require to maintain the same
standard of living. If you make a certain salary in KS and then make that same exact salary here
in Wis, you'd be hurting.
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