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Old 09-13-2006, 07:50 AM
14 posts, read 95,726 times
Reputation: 26


We are in the midst of a job offer in Mexico, MO and Columbia seems the best place to live. We are moving from a very rural town in Kentucky via living in Chicago most of our lives. We are a very active family and need a place where there is a lot to do. My biggest concerns are:

Schools- I have a kindergartner and a 6th grader- Are there good schools- do most kids go to the public schools or do they choose private?

Climate- How cold and hot does it get? Is it cloudy alot?

Activities- What is there to do?

Any advice or comments are very much appreciated.
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:48 AM
Location: SW MO
339 posts, read 1,319,087 times
Reputation: 142
I lived in Columbia for 7 years. The public schools are good I think. The town is really centered around the University, so there is plenty to do for an active family. Columbia changes dramatically when the students go home for holidays or for summer.

The City has had a real focus on public trails and green space. The political climate is very liberal (expected in a college town). Overall it is a good place to live.
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:08 AM
Location: Mid-Missouri
22 posts, read 106,282 times
Reputation: 35
We moved to Jefferson City, 30 miles south of Columbia, five years ago. Of course I work in Jeff City, but Columbia was an option. We're glad we didnt move there. Too much crime for us. Too urbanized. If you like rural, stay out of Columbia. I dont anything about the schools, infarstructure, or likewise. But Columbia schools are not the country schools your used to.

if we need to go to Columbia, its not a long drive.

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Old 09-21-2006, 04:21 PM
3 posts, read 20,802 times
Reputation: 15
I was born and raised in Columbia, MO. It truly is a unique city with a lot to offer. There are festivals, sporting events, community events, and even an annual walk, bike, and wheel week where the mayor challeges the citizens of Columbia to use alternate transportation to get around the city for a week. The climate is average, with about 50% of the days being sunny or partly cloudy. I noticed you said you were from Chicago. Well Columbia is the perfect place to live! It has all the qualities of a friendly, midwestern city, as well as many big city features, which makes it very unique. I also wanted to advise that nearly all of Columbia's public schools are nationaly recognized as some of the top schools in the nation, and a vast majority of high school students graduate and go on to some form of higher education!
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:33 PM
71 posts, read 444,537 times
Reputation: 41

I have lived in Wisconsin, Atlanta, Birmingham, LA, and N. California. I love Columbia. Truman's comments are right on. The other posters don't have a clue-- probably grew up in the country. Rural Missourians are really backwards(sorry to be so blunt).

Come and love Columbia-- it is Mayberry RFD with lots to do!!

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Old 02-08-2007, 09:51 PM
3 posts, read 39,145 times
Reputation: 14

You might want to check out the other Columbia thread (currently just below this one) for other posts. I posted several links there that will be helpful for anyone coming here.

As for crime, we do NOT have a high crime rate. Compared to a strictly rural area, maybe. Compared to the rest of the nation, certainly not. As for being 'urbanized,' this is a city of around 100,000 when school is in session and around 75,000 during the summer. It only gets so urbanized, ya know? We have our problems with sprawl to be sure, but it isn't difficult to get around town and you quickly learn where the worst traffic problems are during rush hours, and how to avoid those routes.

The public schools are very good - I also have a sixth grader - but two of the three high schools are crowded. The school board is looking at options to alleviate those problems and I'm confident they will be addressed. There are private schools available but most children here attend public schools. I'm not sure about exact numbers but I would venture a guess that there are plenty of kids being home schooled as well.

Our climate is typically Missouri - wait five minutes and it will change. Right now we're experiencing a prolonged period of cold weather (highs below freezing) but it could just as easily be in the 70s during the winter. Having lived in Chicago, you'll probably think our winters are nothing! Summers can be blazing hot and humid or quite stormy. If you like four seasons you're moving to the right place.

Since we are a college town (University of Missouri flagship campus, Stephens College, and Columbia College) there is always something to do. There are lots of concerts and plays at both the university and the Missouri Theater, the third annual True/False (documentary) Film Festival coming up next month, museums and galleries, unique shops downtown, Twilight Festivals on Thursdays in June and September, a heritage festival, on and on and on...

If exercise is your thing, there are bike and walking trails all over the city, public pools, a small public lake area, golf, and a recreation center, just to name a few.

Our population is diverse so you're likely to meet folks who hail from many different countries. If you are comparing real estate prices here to prices nationally, ours are quite reasonable. If you are comparing them to prices statewide, ours tend to be a bit on the pricey side. Apartments are reaching the point of over-saturating the market, and house sales have slowed a bit. If you want suburban cookie cutter houses we have plenty of those but we also have a lot of nice older homes, especially near the university campus.

Good luck with your move! I'm sure you'll like it here - I know I do.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:26 PM
Location: Colombia, MO
1 posts, read 13,140 times
Reputation: 12
Columbia is a great liberal town. It is frequently on CNN's Money Magazine as one of the best cities to live in-- and that includes the entire United States!

There are some great places downtown to eat, such as Main Squeeze. There are independent films always shown at Ragtag. Plenty of places to dance and hear music as well.

Traffic isn't bad, the town is generally friendly, and there is plenty of great real estate to look at.

- Zachary of [url=http://midmomortgage.com]Mid-Mo Mortgage Columbia, Missouri[/url]
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:30 PM
Location: in a pond with the other human scum
1,947 posts, read 1,998,774 times
Reputation: 2248
I've lived in Columbia for 11 years and it is a special place, but it is not for everyone. People tend to sort themselves out in the area by where they feel more comfortable-- the poster who said (s)he preferred Jefferson City is typical of those who don't feel like Columbia is for them.

One small correction to the person who said that it's a different place when the students leave-- I've seen that change in my decade here, so while there is less traffic and the grocery lines are a little shorter, it's not like we roll up the streets in June. We have weekly street festivals in June when they go...but also in September when they come back.

You asked about whether parents sent kids to private schools. I have to say that in my observation, much less so than in other Missouri towns and cities-- like Jefferson City, where the Catholic schools are very popular. There is a private high school and the Catholic grade school is expanding to a high school in the next few years, but yes, the public schools are quite well-regarded and parents are heavily involved in students' lives.

You might want to consider what sort of commute you or your spouse would have to Mexico. I know that people make such commutes, but it is 40 miles-- and that can wear down both a car and its driver. Mexico has fallen on some hard times but there some quite attractive aspects to it-- and real estate will be a lot cheaper.

You can get a good flavor for the area by looking at the online versions of the Columbia newspapers (Tribune and Missourian) and the Mexico paper, and from reading other threads on Columbia. Ultimately, while it is different from other Missouri places, it is NOT the People's Socialist Republic, as some would have you believe.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:18 PM
486 posts, read 938,676 times
Reputation: 321
Columbia's public schools are generally rated as some of the best in the state, and the city is consistently rated as one of the best cities to live in. Yes, for very rural Missourians, Columbia's a big city. But come on, if someone has lived in Chicago as the OP has, Columbia will seem pretty sleepy and quiet. The city's only around 100k, so there's not much 'big city' about it. Just about enough going on to keep you busy, if you want to be.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:04 PM
55 posts, read 101,351 times
Reputation: 24
Timewarp ?!?
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