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Old 06-01-2011, 11:42 AM
2 posts, read 4,191 times
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Moving to Kansas City this fall from Michigan. We have one kid - another on the way. A friend recommended Raytown, Missouri or Northeast Johnson County in Kansas based on what we were willing to spend. Just want to know more about these areas. Are they pretty nice? Raytown is in Missouri so I assume the Missouri side is better since that is where more people live? And the staidums and museums. How far is Raytown from downtown? How far is Kansas from everything? Is it safe? To be honest we are a bit worried about Kansas because of the evoluation thing so we'd like to stay on the Missouri side.

I will be working near the downtown plaza. Please help! Also we are visiting Kansas City this summer, pls rcommend any things we must see. And do people call it "KC" sometimes or is that just an abbreviation?
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:02 PM
Location: Kansas City, MO
492 posts, read 665,338 times
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I can only comment on NE JoCo since I've never been to Raytown, but from what I have heard, there are some similarities as far as housing price and type (mostly ranch). In NE JoCo, you have several neighborhoods like Roeland Park, old Overland Park, Mission, Fairway, Mission Hills (very pricey) and Prairie Village. Most of these neighborhoods were developed in the early 1940's to the early 1960's, so you will find a mixture of tudors, bungalows, ranches and split levels. The school district is most likely the Shawnee Mission districts and is considered excellent. If you purchased in Fairway or Roeland Park, you would only be a 5-10 minute drive from the Plaza. Most of the homes in these neighborhoods are well maintained (always exceptions of course) and you will find abundant mature trees, so plenty of shade on those hot, humid summers.
Most people refer to Kansas City as KC.

For things to do in KC over the summer, check out the sticky at the top or click below.

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Old 06-01-2011, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by PepsiChallenge View Post
To be honest we are a bit worried about Kansas because of the evoluation thing so we'd like to stay on the Missouri side.
ugh, bummer that is still on the minds of people outside of kc. it was an infiltration of about 6 people on an education board of about 10 people. the infiltrators were voted out on next election and the science standards went back to normal a couple years later. is a bummer that those outside KS think KS as a whole is opposed to evolution when it was a specific infiltration driven by young earth people from another state (washington). is unfortunate when literally just a few people can tarnish an image that quickly.

then again, KS does have the fred phelps thing but MO has its embarrassments too... rush limbaugh and john ******** but hey, michigan has ted nugent and the gun nuts.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:14 PM
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Raytown is a dump
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:15 PM
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
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^That's a wild overexagerration.

It wouldn't necessarily be considered the suburb of choice int he area, but there's nothing really wrong with it. And Roeland Park can be just as "dumpy."
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:49 PM
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Raytown is mostly nice. Certainly not a dump. I always liked it pretty well.
Roeland Park is a bit cleaner and spiffier overall. Not sure why everybody has such a negative view of it. I think I've only seen one block of one street that didn't look so great, but not run down at all. It's adjacent to parts of Kansas City, Kansas that aren't so hot, but RP itself is really nice.
Rents won't be dramatically different between the two I don't think, but Roeland Park's real estate prices are a good bit higher for what you get.

Other areas to consider would be Independence (especially south of 23rd st.), Gladstone, or Grandview.
Southeast Independence is one of the nicer suburban areas of KC, but south-central Indy is more affordable with a little bit older homes. Still a good area.

KC's rent isn't that high no matter what. There are a lot of options. Being such a spread-out town, I always say live close to work unless you see something you like substantially better.
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:18 PM
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Just to clarify - you said you will be working near the downtown plaza - do you mean the Country Club Plaza, or Downtown?

Yes, you are right that more people do live in MO, and the museums and stadiums (as well as majority of the top cultural attractions) are in MO - but parts (if not all of) NE JoCo will be closer to Downtown, the Plaza, the museums, etc than Raytown.

Why have you narrowed it down to just these two areas? As someone who is concerned about "the evolution thing" and museums - I would think you might want to consider KCMO proper. You'll be closer to you work, all of the attractions and amenities, and be around much fewer creationists.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:50 PM
Location: Middle America
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To me, Roeland Park and Raytown are practically interchangeable in terms of perceived class. Both fairly working class, affordable, run down in areas and okay in other areas. I probably wouldn't limit where I look to just those two areas, necessarily.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:22 AM
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LMAO, I love your comment "I guess Missouri side is better because that's where more people live". I know you're obviously not from here, but that is the best way to get a border war started, just saying.

But in all seriousness, unless your budget is extremely tight, and with kids, I would look at the old NE JoCo suburbs. There are some decent deals there if you don't mind older homes, and the Shawnee Mission schools are better than Raytown. I don't know why RoPo in particular keeps getting mentioned, there are a ton of tiny cities up there (each with a ton of speed traps), but RoPo does have a nice commercial strip on Roe Ave before you hit I-35.

JoCo is also safer than most of the non-suburban parts of Missouri anyway. Don't be "scared of Kansas side" because of the evolution thing. It was something pushed by a small amount of wackos that most of us don't agree with anyway. Evolution is still taught here, btw.

As for "Kansas" being closer to things, it depends. NE JoCo is closer to the Plaza, UMKC, museums, Westport, Downtown, and other neighborhoods in what I call the "party strip". I have a friend who lives right at the Antioch/I-35 interchange in Merriam and I can be downtown in less than 10 minutes from there at most times of day. Raytown is closer to the stadium complex and Worlds of Fun, and that's about it. The only time JoCo becomes far from things is if you live out in like Olathe or Gardner. Then that might be an issue.

I think the reasons more people live on the MO side are... 1. They grew up on that side and decided to stay put, and 2. Home prices used to be MUCH MUCH LOWER than JoCo. Seriously, a home in say Lee's Summit would be one third (not kidding) the price of a comparable home in the Blue Valley district. That caused a ton of people to move to Lee's Summit and Blue Springs instead. Home prices there are catching up, however.

Granted Raytown isn't bad, it's just NE JoCo is better. Neither area is the "cookie cutter" sprawl that everyone pretends to hate.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:45 AM
Location: Washington, DC area
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Why are people in JoCo so damn clueless about anything outside of JoCo?

I guess most people's image of Raytown is bannister mall or the stadiums area, which are not even Raytown. The actual city limits of Raytown is actually quite nice with a lot of stable working class neighborhoods. I know, I have a lot of family there and you could take their homes and neighborhoods and place them in JoCo inside of 435 and you would not know the difference and I'm not talking about Mission Hills or the state line corridor, so don't go there.

I like Roeland Park and think Raytown and Roeland Park compare very well to each other. One is near KCK and has those issues, but it's also close to Overland Park for shopping etc. Much like Raytown which is close to KCMO's far east side which has some issues, but it's also close to all the shopping and recreation in Lee's Summit and Independence.

That walmart and price chopper in RP is kind of ghetto compared to the very nice walmart and hyvee in Raytown both are probably two the of nicest in the metro.

Crime stats between Raytown and Roeland Park/Mission/Merriam etc are nearly identical.

Schools have become an issue in Raytown, I have family and friends there that send their kids there and they have no problems, but the stats just don't look good anymore. But parts of Shawnee Mission are probably only a few years behind Raytown as the demographics are changing there as well. Part of Raytown's problem is the district reaches into eastern KCMO and that really brings down the stats, but people tell me the schools in Raytown are fine so long as you are raising your kids properly. I think if Shawnee Mission's district covered parts of KCK, it would be in the exact same situation, but regardless, the SM school district is starting to have issues that they too will have to deal with.

Nobody ever talks about the areas of JoCo just south of county line (47th) and near I-35, 635 etc, which looks about like the area around the stadiums (kind of run down, industrial, spread out). The image of JoCo is always Hallbrook, Mission Hills and Leawood Town Center, but the image of Jackson County is never the good things, it's Bannister Mall, Hwy 40 etc. Olathe is 1/4 of JoCo it has to be one of the worst suburbs in metro KC as far as just being aesthetically pleasing and desirable. Talk about moving someplace because it's "cheap" and Olathe is 80% of JoCo's growth.

Home prices in Lee's Summit have never been 1/3 the price they are in JoCo and right now, I don't think there is much of a price difference at all between comparable homes in LS vs OP and certainly not places like Olathe or Mission, yet people "choose" to live in LS and commute to places like Lenexa and Overland Park. In order for people to choose to be on 470 and 435 twice a day, they must really "want" to live in Lee's Summit.

And it's not just people from the area. The MO side added just as many people in the last ten years as the KS side, but the MO side suburbs actually added quite a bit more when you factor in the losses of urban kcmo that offset the total increases on the MO side. So the MO side is at the very least equally desirable for existing and new residents. A lot of new residents are pushed to JoCo and then migrate to the MO side after learning the area as well. You rarely see that in reverse where people are pushed to move to Lee's Summit or Parkville and then decide to move to JoCo.

People choose eastern Jackson County because it offers a different lifestyle than JoCo. You have lakes more trees, better topography, less traffic and more diversity in housing options and less attitude.

Raytown is a fine city for people that want to live in a safe, modest, close in suburb, just like Roeland Park or Mission and it's very close to the plaza and will probably be the first and closest suburb to be connected to Downtown via commuter rail.

It's comments like

Originally Posted by johnmatrix View Post
Raytown is a dump
that create 99% of the resentment that is directed at Kansas people from Missouri people.

Last edited by kcmo; 06-02-2011 at 10:06 AM..
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