The Pros and Cons of Moving to Kansas City, MO

Fountain in Kansas City, MO

Are you tired of the humdrum of your daily life and looking for greener pastures? Perhaps it’s an upcoming work relocation to Kansas City that’s brought you to this page.

Either way, in recent times, this area’s made a huge jump on U.S News and World Report’s ‘best places to live’ list.

This interesting city has many of the boutiques and artistic quirks that millennials love and plenty to attract families too, but there’s got to be a bigger attraction than that.

So why are so many people moving to Kansas city? You could find the answers here.

Kansas City Basics

We’ve chatted with the locals, hit the history books, and brushed up on some stats to bring you this exposé about Kansas City. Find out more about where the city came from and where’s it’s at right here.

The History of Kansas City

Kansas City holds pride of place nestled between the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. It’s been a prime location for settlers since the first French fur traders landed here in 1804.

It started out as the town of Kansas, inhabited mainly by French settlers and later by Mormons in 1831. Together with nearby Westport Landing, this small town became one of the main stops on the route to the West.

In 1853, the two towns amalgamated to form Kansas City.

The Civil War

During the civil war, Kansas City found itself at the heart of the conflict due to its location at the juncture between the Union and Confederate territories. During 1864, Kansas City was the scene of the Battle of Westport, one of the most intense wartime conflicts west of the Mississippi.

After the Union’s victory, Kansas City thrived thanks to its railroads and a burgeoning cattle industry.

The Rise of Jazz

In the late 1800s, many African Americans moved to the city. The area around 18th and Vine became a hotspot for up-and-coming jazz musicians, aided by the fact that Kansas City allowed alcohol to flow freely during Prohibition.

When Prohibition finally arrived in the city, it slowed the jovial spirit slightly, but Kansas City rose again to become a hub of musical entertainment and laid-back fun. Today the city boasts many attractive features for upwardly mobile millennials and is fast becoming one of the best places to live in the USA.

The People of Kansas City

Life in Kansas City wouldn’t be the same without its diverse population of friendly inhabitants. Almost half a million people of various races inhabit the city, including high percentages of Sudanese, Congolese, and Somalian people.

According to locals, this makes for some tasty and interesting options when it comes to food in Kansas City.  The average age of residents is 35, and most Kansas City couples have children. That means you can count in a family-friendly vibe when you move to this city.

The Cost of Living in Kansas City

The cost of living in Kansas City is comparatively low when compared with the national average.

The only item that’s more expensive than other places in the USA is utilities. However, you’ll soon make up for that with cheap housing, groceries, and transportation.

The Job Market in Kansas City

The unemployment rate in Kansas City is average and the city has a promising job market. The main sources of employment in the city include health care, manufacturing, transportation, and trade.

Hallmark Cards, AT&T, Honeywell, and The Ford Motor Co. make up the major employers in this area. Tech, marketing, and skilled trades are also hot job markets in the city right now.

Things to Do in Kansas City

Of course, it’s not all about work when you live in Kansas City. There are plenty of opportunities for action and relaxation during your spare time. This is what you can get up to in this action-packed destination.

Fill up on the Best BBQ

There’s no doubt that Kansas City barbeque is one of the major attractions in this city. There are over 100 barbeque restaurants in the Kansas City Metro.

Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

If you want to sample of the city’s delicious pulled pork, ribs, mutton, and sausages slathered in black sauce, white sauce, and sweet sauce, try one of these:

  • Q39 – Midtown
  • Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
  • Jack Stack Barbecue – Martin City or Freight House
  • SLAP’s BBQ
  • Jack Stack Barbecue

Soak Up the Vibes

It’s a toss-up whether Kansas City is more famous for its flame-grilled feasts or jazzy tunes, but you should try to make the most of both during your downtime. Some of the best jazz clubs and bars in the city include:

  • Green Lady Lounge
  • The Phoenix
  • The Majestic Restaurant
  • Blue Room
  • Black Dolphin

You’ll find plenty to eat, drink, and enjoy at these top venues.

Museums and Historical Sights

When you feel inclined to step back in time, Kansas City doesn’t disappoint. These are some of the city’s top historical and cultural drawcards:

  • The National World War I Museum
  • The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
  • The American Jazz Museum
  • Leila’s Hair Museum
  • The Nelson Atkins Museum
  • Arabia Steamboat Museum
  • The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

The list of attractions goes on. You can also spend some time ticking off the list of over 200 fountains you’ll find scattered around the city.

Water Parks and Amusement Parks

Loose Park, Kansas City MO

It’s no surprise that Kansas City boasts a wealth of watery entertainment, thanks to its aquatic location. These are some of the top places to go when you’ve got a family in tow:

  • Worlds of Fun
  • Legoland Discovery Center
  • Loose Park
  • Schlitterbahn Waterpark
  • CoCo Key Water Resort
  • The Bay Water Park
  • The Springs Aquatic Center

Sealife Aquarium’s another don’t miss attraction if you’re looking for more fun things to do in Kansas City.

Outdoor Activities

The Kansas City Metro boasts an astonishing amount of places to catch some fresh air. You’ll find 103 playgrounds, 134 miles of bikeways and tracks, 29 lakes, and 200 parks to enjoy in the area. Some of the best places to unwind outdoors include:

  • Kansas City Zoo
  • Roe Park
  • Indian Creek Trail
  • Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
  • Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
  • Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Add to that, there are seven state parks in close proximity where you can hike, picnic, and camp to your heart’s content.

The Benefits of Living in Kansas City

Apart from these obvious charms listed above, there are several other good reasons to consider making Kansas City your new home.

Kansas City, MO skyline

Perhaps the dearth of public transport is a contributing factor, but there’s hardly any traffic in the city. Kansas City boasts an average commute time of 22 minutes, which is the fifth shortest commute time in the country.

Property tax rates are low too, hovering at around 0.99% lower than the national average.

The Cons of Moving to Kansas City

No place on Earth is perfect though, and it’s better to know the negatives before you relocate, you can decide for yourself if you can live with them or not.

There are some downers associated with life in Kansas City. Firstly, outside of the downtown area, you won’t find abundant options when it comes to public transport in KCMO, so you’ll need a car to get around.

Unfortunately, Kansas City’s crime rate isn’t one of its strong points. So, it’s important to research the local neighborhoods thoroughly before relocating to Kansas City.

Kansas City’s Best Neighborhoods

Where you live can have a major impact on how you’re affected by the pros and cons of Kansas City. These are the top-rated places to live in this area, but you should research many more options before you decide to make the move:

River Market

This riverfront neighborhood’s been around for 150 years and is a haven of history, fresh eats, and local produce.

There are plenty of artistic businesses in the area like photography studies, web design firms, caterers, artists, and architecture firms. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to explore or relax in this vibey part of Kansas City.

Accommodation in this area consists mainly of upmarket apartments close to all the action.

Prairie Village

This suburb of Kansas City offers a sparse suburban feel that attracts retirees, young families and upwardly mobile professionals alike. There are plenty of parks, restaurants and coffee shops in the area as well as highly-rated public schools.

It’s an affluent area with large, highly-priced homes and a reputation for low crime.

Leawood

Leawood offers quiet upscale living within a few minutes’ drive of Overland Park. Here, you can enjoy the benefits of quiet suburban living while the city sights remain within easy reach.

If you’re looking for excellent schools and chic after-hours entertainment, Leawood is the right place for you. Most homes in Leawood consist of large sprawling single-family dwellings with multiple rooms and upmarket finishes.

Crown Center District

The Crown Center District is a hub of family fun, with several opportunities for learning and leisure. Here you’ll find museums, galleries, the Legoland Discovery Center, and Sea Life Kansas City Aquarium.

Most homes in this part of the city fall within the median price range and consist of spacious modern apartments.

Overland Park

This trendy area is a top choice for families wanting non-stop entertainment. Outdoor spaces abound, there are many fascinating things for children to do, and one of the best farmers markets in town.

It’s officially recognized as a first-class city in its own right and has a huge range of living options from small single-family homes to huge executive houses with 5 bedrooms or more.

Waldo

Waldo has a youthful atmosphere and plenty of eclectic attractions. There are quaint bars, shops and restaurants, and a bustling nightlife up for grabs.

For shopping, there’s no shortage of quirky stores selling interesting gifts and handmade knick-knacks. Most of the homes here are single-family houses across a wide spectrum of price ranges.

The Country Club Plaza

The Country Club Plaza is every bit as swish as it sounds, boasting upmarket homes, Spanish architecture, fountains, custom ironwork, and hand-painted mosaic tiles.

This bustling shopping area’s the place to stock up on upmarket goods and gourmet eats. Most of the homes in this area feature revamped spaces, while others embrace the old-world charms of yesteryear.

You’ll find a great choice of apartments, condominiums, and single-family homes for sale in this area.

Brookside

Another great shopping district, Brookside’s home to a lot of college and high school graduates inhabiting quaint older homes.

The areas abuzz with activity most days and hosts a few noteworthy annual festivals like the St Patrick’s Day Warm-up Parade and the Brookside Art Fair.

Tips for Moving to Kansas City

First and foremost, it’s important to plan your relocation well in advance to avoid the stresses associated with moving in general.

Arrange for your children’s schooling well in advance, and finalize out all the details regarding your new residence as soon as you can.

Arriving in a new city to a cold, empty house with no utilities is a daunting prospect, so ensure you get in touch with the local Kansas City utility company to sort out your connections beforehand.

Research your living arrangements thoroughly and always deal with a reputable moving company to ensure a smooth transition.

Attempting to DIY a long-distance move is fraught with difficulties, and a local mover will ensure your family and belongings arrive safely on the other side.

We’re Here for You

With years of experience in the moving business, there’s no doubt that Moving Proz is the first choice for any move to, from, and around Kansas City. We’re a family-owned and female-run company with close-knit teams that make your move our first priority.

We take care of every aspect of your move from start to finish. Get in touch for a free moving quote today, we look forward to facilitating your move to Kansas City.