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Thread summary:

Trip to Northwest Missouri prompts questions, apartment rentals, Kansas City additional income tax, neighborhoods to avoid living, area of Prospect Avenue, peak traffic, free natural gas

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Old 10-31-2006, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,046 posts, read 22,147,381 times
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DH and I went to MO to see if we definitely want to relocate there. We'd passed through only once before; I barely took notice, but DH fell in love instantly. This time around, we spent 5 days out there, which told us all we needed to know - we both love it, and plan to move out, probably next July/August when our apartment lease here in New Jersey runs out. We especially liked the smaller towns north and northeast of KC. The biggest differences we observed:

-ate out several times, did not observe anyone talk on their cell phone during their meal
-very few people walking around with earpieces on
-did not observe any women carrying designer handbags or wearing designer clothing
-young girls (age 10-16) were fully clothed, no belly shirts, low cut tops, or low-ride jeans
-the roads have much higher speed limits and no guard rails

The job market for what we do (mental health) is supposed to be good in Kansas City, so we stayed near KC. KC itself was very clean, and had eerily little traffic. Several large new buildings were being constructed in the city. It was not difficult to drive around KC at all. KC seemed smaller than Philadelphia, but much larger than Trenton. We went out of our way to find "bad" areas; we wanted to get an accurate idea of the place and see if we would feel safe working there (non-profit mental health agencies, unfortunately, are frequently located in bad areas). Compared to Philly and Trenton (the two cities we visit most frequently here in NJ), the bad areas weren't bad at all. Yes, there were boarded up buildings, people hanging out on the street; we even watched a guy pick through the trash. But we saw minimal graffiti, no gang signs, and even the bad areas had little or no litter. No one approached our car (which happens to me regularly in Trenton - people assume I'm looking to buy something I guess). Honestly the worst areas of KC were equivalent to the best areas of Trenton. And the nice areas of KC were quite nice. DH and I do not want to live in the city but if we were to live in KC temporarily, we would feel safe enough there.

Suburbs immediately surrounding KC: overall, very nice. Grandview, Belton, Lee's Summit, and Independence felt just like NJ honestly. There were lots of strip malls and tons of brand new housing developments where all the houses are the same (we hate those). But when we poked around a bit, there were pockets in some of these towns with older, more established neighborhoods that we liked. We did not particularly care for Platte City or most of Smithville. Platte City looked a bit run down. Smithville seemed 1/2 run down, 1/2 cookie-cutter housing developments. But every other town we saw north and northeast of KC, we liked a lot.

We took a trip to St. Joseph. What an adorable town! For comparison for any northeasterners reading this, I would guess it is about the size of Scranton. We loved St. Joseph, and the people there were very nice.

Our favorite town of all was Plattsburg. We are in love with the row of Victorian homes down the main drag. We stopped there for lunch and again, everyone we talked to was pleasant and unrushed. We asked why there were red and black flags all over the place; we were cheerfully informed that there was a high school football game that night and the whole town gets into it.

Speaking of football, we also went to Sundays' KC Chief's game. Yes, it's loud! lol And tailgating is definitely taken seriously. The fans were into the game but also friendly and easy to chat with.

So that was our trip! Now a few questions:

1. We will need to rent an apartment when we first move out, while we find jobs and start house-hunting. Would we have to pay additional income tax if we lived in Kansas City? (And I mean KC, MO - I have zero interest in living in Kansas. It is too flat for me, freaks me out.)

2. If we were to rent in KC, what neighborhoods are advisable to avoid? In our limited travels, most of the "bad" neighborhoods we found were off of Prospect Ave.

3. During peak traffic, how long would it take to drive between St. Joseph and Kansas City?

4. We saw a few real estate listings for land that said "Free Natural Gas." How is that possible?

5. Our ideal town would be a smaller town, within a 30-45 minute drive at most to KC, plenty of non-cookie cutter/McMansion housing, with an old-fashioned Main Street area. If you have any suggestions, please share!
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
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I'm so glad you both liked Missouri so much! It's interesting to me to read what you noticed. The fully clad young girls may also have been a symptom of the weather being colder than usual Also, not to rain on your parade as I love Missouri too, but St. Louis just took the national dishonor of being America's highest crime rate city displacing Detroit, MI and Camden, NJ. Kansas City looked pretty far down the list too unfortunately. I've never been to St. Joseph, but another poster here has also said she fell in love with it after having driven through it. I agree that most people here are friendly and welcoming. Coming from NJ, you'd also appreciate that property taxes here are so low as to be almost unbelievable, a far cry from the thousands you'll pay in NJ. Home prices are much lower too. I came out to Missouri from Las Vegas on a short weekend trip in August 2004 to specifically see for myself what this part of Missouri (around Springfield) is like and I too was instantly enchanted. I've been here since last June and have been in my home since January of this year. I live in the country and I just had my first...and so far only...group of young children and teenagers together out trick-or-treating. They had to walk up two acres up my driveway to reach my house, so I left all my lights on outside to let any kids in the area know I was worth the investigation! There were about 8 altogether from about 8 to 17. I gave them TONS of 100 Grand bars and Snickers. They were all very polite and grateful and made a point of saying thank you for letting them know I was open for business! While the kids in Las Vegas were polite and nice, their parents loaded them up in SUVs and carted them into my neighborhood from around Las Vegas to get into the neighborhoods they thought were safe and full of candy. Here the kids are truly neighbors.
I have no idea about the natural gas thing. Overall I think you'd both be happy here. It's a beautiful state.
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Old 10-31-2006, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Missouri
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Yes, I read about St. Louis' newest "honor" yesterday! I couldn't believe it; we visited St. Louis this May and it was so lovely. I would have loved to live near St. Louis but the job market and pay scale are not as good there for us. And of course now with this new "honor" I would definitely avoid St. Louis. We live near Camden, NJ and there is no way we would move near any city that now has a higher crime rate; Camden is disgusting. Trenton is listed at 14 and KC at 16, I think, on the newest list. As long as it is no worse than Trenton, we can deal with working there.

This is our 4th Halloween where we live, and for the 4th year in a row, we had zero trick or treaters. There are 5 buildings in our complex; each has 24 apartments, but I guess the kids go to the larger housing developments in town.
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:30 AM
 
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Kansas City has an earnings tax for anyone that lives or works in the city.
I think the natural gas deal might be that the developer has drilled a gas well and is offering it to the people that live in that addition as a sales incentive. Harrisonville Mo on the south of Kansas City and might fit your needs. You might also check out Louisburg Ks a great town as well. It is not flat at all and unless you know where the stateline is you will think you are in Mo. Raytown might suit you for a rental. As well as Lee's Summit. In Kc i would look to stay west of Holmes Rd. I don't want to start sounding like a redliner. Check out the Red Bridge area of South KC. I think it is about 90 miles from NKC to St Joe. Peak driving time will vary from more drive time as you near KC and less as you go north.
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:16 AM
 
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Quote:
We took a trip to St. Joseph. What an adorable town! For comparison for any northeasterners reading this, I would guess it is about the size of Scranton. We loved St. Joseph, and the people there were very nice.

So that was our trip! Now a few questions:

3. During peak traffic, how long would it take to drive between St. Joseph and Kansas City?
I can only speak to the questions/comments in regards to St. Joseph.
It takes right at 25 minutes to get from the St. Joe city limits to the KCI airport. It takes me, with traffic, right at 50-55 minutes to get to Metcalf Ave in Overland Park, KS (which is South of Kansas City proper)

St Joseph has a large population of people who commute to Kansas City daily and most of them actually enjoy the commute, as it is mostly interstate driving (at 70 mph) and the roads are in great condition!

However, St. Joseph does have several mental health facilities (including the Northwest Missouri Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center) here is a link to job openings for all state run facilities:
http://www.dmh.missouri.gov/hr/jobs/..._facility.aspx

As a side note: My DH is from NYC. He grew up there and stayed through his mid-20's. He then moved to Tampa, FL and then to Overland Park, KS. When we married, he moved here. After 5 years, he STILL says it is the best place he is has ever lived! Our commute is 5 minutes to work. Our town is full of friendly people. We have plenty of ammenities, but are only less than an hour from anywhere in Kansas City. We are close to the international airport (and we do leisure travel, so that is important). It is the best of both worlds.

(By the way, we had 261 trick-or-treaters at our house last night! It was a BLAST!)
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Old 11-22-2006, 06:55 PM
 
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I'll bet you'd LOVE Excelsior Springs, check it out, you can have your pick of city, country or suburban all in the same city, prices are all over the board. yes, i made the fateful trip out here in 1986, bought property then and moved here two years later. we've had our ups and downs most of the downs because of the lawless nature of country living. Stick closer in to the cities, any you mentioned and you'll be better off. I have another post on here regarding a dog (AKC German Shorthair) that was just stolen from my property. Whatever you do, AVOID Grundy County and Harrison County, the lawless rule there.
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Old 12-06-2006, 02:52 PM
 
12 posts, read 39,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingsbiren View Post
I'll bet you'd LOVE Excelsior Springs, check it out, you can have your pick of city, country or suburban all in the same city, prices are all over the board. yes, i made the fateful trip out here in 1986, bought property then and moved here two years later. we've had our ups and downs most of the downs because of the lawless nature of country living. Stick closer in to the cities, any you mentioned and you'll be better off. I have another post on here regarding a dog (AKC German Shorthair) that was just stolen from my property. Whatever you do, AVOID Grundy County and Harrison County, the lawless rule there.

Pardon me, but I got a chuckle out of your "ups and downs," because when I think Excelsior Springs, I see all those hills in town. A nice town with the Elms Hotel activities but I hate driving in it.
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:17 PM
 
Location: S.E.of the Kansas City area
19 posts, read 102,516 times
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Default Towns in Mo

Excelsior Springs is a nice place, so is Liberty, mo. You might check out Kearney, it's just north of E.S. and is really starting to grow. There is the old town area and the newer area by the highway interchange. It is also an easy commute to K.C.MO and St. Joe (another town I love also.)
This idea is a little further away but you might also check out Ray, Lafayette, and Cass Counties. All are starting to grow but still have older homes (pre-Civil War if you want), friendly people and good buys on property.

Welcome to Missouri
MissouriLady
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Old 12-18-2006, 02:52 PM
 
10 posts, read 58,110 times
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Default In Mental Health field

I am also in the mental health field. Missouri ranks near bottom. Please check this out if this is what you are planning to do here. Unless you have jobs at the hospitals or big agencies, the mental health job market is poor as well as not very helpful for clients.

However, being from Phoenix and renting an apartment for 650.00 I have a home on 34 acres for this price, actually lower. There is differences, but, getting out of Missouri can be hard unless you are closer to the main cities, as well as good schools and shopping.

Last edited by Talmasca; 12-18-2006 at 02:54 PM.. Reason: added more
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Old 04-28-2007, 01:21 AM
 
4 posts, read 11,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingsbiren View Post
I'll bet you'd LOVE Excelsior Springs, check it out, you can have your pick of city, country or suburban all in the same city, prices are all over the board. yes, i made the fateful trip out here in 1986, bought property then and moved here two years later. we've had our ups and downs most of the downs because of the lawless nature of country living. Stick closer in to the cities, any you mentioned and you'll be better off. I have another post on here regarding a dog (AKC German Shorthair) that was just stolen from my property. Whatever you do, AVOID Grundy County and Harrison County, the lawless rule there.
im sorry i would have to disagree with you there i grew up in grundy county i couldnt pick a better safer place for my children to grow up the only reason we moved was because there wasnt enough jobs around for example go into the city-data homepage type in s*****rd missouri see how many sexoffenders live there then type in kansas city and see how many live there i think before you say something you should actually live there for a while not just pass through
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