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Old 07-24-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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I may be relocating to the Iola area, and there doesn't seem to be much info on that area on the forums. I have a wife and 2 children (6 and 3), we currently live in the Northeast. My wife is a little hesitant about moving to such a small town, ours is currently 100,000+. I'm used to driving 40 miles one way to work so I was thinking of looking at Ottawa and driving the hour south to Iola so we'd only be about an hour from KC. Any thoughts about this, how would the drive be in the winter (I'm used to 18 inch snowstorms out here). How would the drive be from Garnett and what is it like there? ANY information would be most helpful.

Thanks!!
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:39 PM
 
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Housing is cheap, especially in Garnett. But there's a reason for that...it will STILL be cheap or even cheaper when you want to sell. Not many people looking to move to small towns located an hour or more from a major city.

The drive from Garnett would be a piece of cake for about 360 days per year. It does get icy and snowy occasionally, last year was notably bad.

If you think you'll be wanting to move in the future, I think you'd be better off locating in Ottawa and driving the extra 20 miles but who knows? The extra expense (and time spent) may more than offset any difference in price when you sell your house. In fact, if you think you'll be there less than ten years, I'd almost recommend renting. Houses are not an appreciating asset these days, especially in little towns.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:14 PM
 
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The area between Iola and Ottawa gets about 10-20 inches of snowfall a year, on average. Some years more, some years less. Occasionally there are ice storms which coat everything, including the roads and bridges in a sheet of ice. If you are commuting every day, there will be a few days in the year when snow/ice causes you some problems. Most of the time, it won't be a problem. Count on 4-5 big winter storms per year, with the rest of the winter pretty tame.

If I had to choose between living in Ottawa and living in Iola, I would probably choose Ottawa. But if I had to live in Ottawa and commute one hour every day to work in Iola, I would probably live in Iola. That commute gets old real fast, especially on a two-lane road. The main advantage Ottawa has is that it's closer to Lawrence and Kansas City. Iola is closer to Wichita.

Iola is not a real small town. It's about 6,000. Ottawa is about 12,000. Garnett is smaller than Iola. I have nothing bad to say about either Ottawa or Iola. I like both towns. Either town would be a good place to raise a family.

Last edited by Blue Earth; 07-24-2010 at 08:26 PM..
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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How would Chanute be? I was looking at moving north of Iola to be closer to KC, but looking around on the web it looks like Chanute might fit the bill, it's a little larger than Iola so the wife might like it a little better, seems to be some nice homes there in our price range. Downside would be it's a half hour farther away from the larger cities up North. I've been to Iola a couple of times on business, I'd like to take the wife out to see it for a couple of days, can anyone recomend a realator who might know the entire area?
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:42 PM
 
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I don't know the area well enough to recommend any realtors. I do recommend visiting the area before deciding where to live. Check out all the main towns in the area you are interested in. Based on what you describe that you want, I would look at Chanute, Fort Scott, Ottawa, and Iola.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:56 PM
 
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There is a real estate company named Charles Burt Realtors that seems to cover that whole area. Fort Scott would be another choice. I think you would be around 70 miles from Johnson County. It seems the commercial pull for that area is going to be South and East towards Joplin Mo. and Tulsa Oklahoma. Most of those towns are dependent on each other ,no one town is going to give you everything you will need. It is not uncommon for people to drive from Pittsburg (the big city down there) to Iola every day.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:50 PM
 
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I was going to recommend he look at Pittsburg, but the commute from Pittsburg to Iola is actually quite a bit longer than the commute from Ottawa to Iola. Pittsburg to Iola is 65 miles or 1 hr 10 minutes. Ottawa to Iola is 48 miles or 50 minutes.

For what he described that he and his family wanted, I don't see the benefit of living in Pittsburg and working in Iola. If you're going to do that commute, you might as well live in Ottawa so you can go to Lawrence and KC more often.
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:13 PM
 
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How are the rental properties in that area of the state? My family will probably stay back east for a few months to settle things there. I kind of like the idea of renting for a while to see how the area is before buying. I was talking to a real estate agent out here who talked to a friend in KC and he said to stay away from rentals because housing is soo cheap that the rentals are pretty horrible. As I write this, one of the neighbors is having a graduation party and I can hear the music enen with the AC on, that's one thing I won't miss!
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:32 AM
 
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If you go through a rental agent they might set you up with some thing that might fit you. In that area the Ideal rental would be something a little out side of town, Close enough to the highway to get you going in the morning , not too far away from a down town. There should be some farm houses for rent or sale all over that area. If you have kids who will be in school, I would definitely do my research to find one that has the newest facilities and the best ratings.
Top 10 Best Kansas State High Schools - KS School Rankings
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:03 AM
 
Location: IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bean21 View Post
How are the rental properties in that area of the state? My family will probably stay back east for a few months to settle things there. I kind of like the idea of renting for a while to see how the area is before buying. I was talking to a real estate agent out here who talked to a friend in KC and he said to stay away from rentals because housing is soo cheap that the rentals are pretty horrible. As I write this, one of the neighbors is having a graduation party and I can hear the music enen with the AC on, that's one thing I won't miss!
Real estate in many areas of rural Kansas is a depreciating asset due to supply and demand issues. Many counties have a lot of out-migration- so a lot of properties will be derelict. I would look into the rental situation in Ottawa as well... It is generally a smart idea to rent first in a new area before considering buying. It may seem great to buy a cheap property, but that asset will be a lead weight if you find you need to move to a more expensive area again where housing is 2-3X higher.
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