I’m planning a move to Kansas City. What do I need to know?
Let me point out that today we’re focusing on things you should know if you're moving to Kansas City, Missouri—but if you’re moving to Kansas City, KS, be sure to check back later—we’ll have some information for you, too. Though the areas similar because they share a border and are both part of the Kansas City Metropolitan area, they are two different cities in two different states, and you’ll definitely see some differences.
Just how big is Kansas City, anyway?
If you’re moving from a large city, you’ll feel right at home here. If you’re moving from small-town America, it might take some getting used to. The Kansas City metro area has a population of 2.1 million—which means it’s the second largest metro area in Missouri. If we’re comparing, we would relate it to the cities of Cleveland or Cincinnati, OH.
How do I find a place to live in Kansas City?
Just like most things in life these days, the Internet makes finding a home in Kansas City super easy (even if you’re starting the search from thousands of miles away). If you’re planning to buy, sites like realtor.com, and homefinder.com (among others) are very helpful tools. And if you’re thinking about renting, check out Trulia.com, Zillow.com, or Rent.com. Of course, you can also go the old-fashioned route and pull out the Kansas City Star Classifieds to search (though it’s viewable online, so I guess it’s not that old-fashioned).
How Does the Cost of Living in Kansas City Compare?
Compared to other large cities across the country, Kansas City offers a very reasonable cost of living. In fact, if you’re moving from the East or West coasts, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $600-$700 per month, and the average listing price for a Kansas City home is $167,750. At the same time, average household income in the city is $54,519—quite a bit less than what you’ll find on either coast. This article, featured on the Apartment Therapy Blog, gives some great insight on what you can expect to pay for things like milk, movie tickets and fuel when you get to Kansas City.
What is the Job Market Like in Kansas City?
Overall, when it comes to employment opportunities, things look good in Kansas City. As of August 2013, the unemployment rate was 7.2%, just under the national average of 7.3%. And if you work in the health field, I’ve got good news—According to the Missouri Real Time Labor Market Summary, the industry with the most job postings in in the Kansas City metro in the past 60 days was Hospitals.
Some biggies when it comes to current employment opportunities are, Hospital Corporation of America, St. Luke’s Health System, Truman Medical Centers, Pizza Hut, John Knox Village, Taco Bell, Burns & McDonald, DST Systems, Carondelet Health and Commerce Bank. If you’re on the search for a new job, check out the employment opportunities listed at jobs.mo.gov.
What Can I Expect When it Comes to Taxes in Kansas City?
Taxes are one of those things we hate to think about, but it's a necessity when you're moving across state lines. Tax laws differ so much across the country that it’s important to be aware of what you’re responsible for and when they’re due. You can find out everything you need to know about Personal Taxes (income tax, personal property tax, etc.) on the Missouri Department of Revenue Website. As a side note, when it comes to sales tax, Missouri has a relatively low state tax, but high local tax compared to other cities across the country. The current state sales tax is 4.225% and local sales tax is 8.475%.
How Do I Register My Car and Get a Missouri Driver’s License?
Like taxes, you can find out everything you need to know about registering and licensing your vehicle and getting a Missouri driver’s license on the Missouri Department of Revenue Website. But, here’s the important stuff:
- You have 30 days from the date of becoming a Missouri resident to title your vehicle.
- As soon as you establish residency in Missouri, you have to apply and pay for a Missouri driver’s license at a Missouri license office. You are required to pass the Missouri road sign recognition and vision test, but you can waive the skills and written test if you have a valid current driver’s license from another U.S. state (or one that is expired 184 days or less).
What are the Best Neighborhoods in Kansas City?
Kansas City is full of great neighborhoods, so this is a bit of a subjective question. You’ll find that answers vary widely based on experience, opinion and lifestyle needs. Sites like neighborhoodscout.com and streetadvisor.com are great for giving you a good idea of where to live based on things that are important to you—like crime rates, schools, real estate data and consumer reviews. ThinkKC and DowntownKC are also great resources for reading more about your neighborhood options.
Are There Opportunities for Higher Education in Kansas City?
Yes! Kansas City is overflowing with higher education institutions! The University of Missouri at Kansas City is one of four University of Missouri campuses throughout the state. The Kansas City Art Institute, Rockhurst University, Avila University, Park University, Graceland University, William Jewell College, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences are all located in Kansas City. There are four seminaries in Kansas City, as well.
What type of public transportation is available in Kansas City?
If you’re moving to Kansas City without a vehicle, you have options. The city’s public transportation system is provided by the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), and it serves seven counties in the metro area. The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line called “MAX” (Metro Area Express) links River Market, Downtown, Union Station, Crown Center, and the Country Club Plaza. Currently, the city is in the planning state of a downtown streetcar.
What Should I Know About Moving to an Apartment in Kansas City?
As it relates to moving day, the big thing to prepare for is parking your moving truck or container while you move in—especially if you’re in the down-town area or areas where street parking is necessary. If you’re moving a small amount of items, the ReloCube® may be a good option for you. It holds about a room’s worth of furnishings, fits in a single parking space, and sits on the ground for easy unloading. You can reserve one or as many as you think you’ll need (and pay only for what you use). If you’re moving to an area that requires street parking, a parking permit may be required—you can find that out by calling the City of Kansas City Offices.
What moving options are available in Kansas City?
There are plenty of ways to move to Kansas City, but what way is best for your moving budget? Full service movers may be convenient, but they are also expensive. Truck rental seems affordable, but don’t forget to add in the hefty cost of fuel. For an affordable move, try U-Pack. U-Pack rates are often comparable to truck rental, but you don’t have to drive a rental truck! Get a free moving quote to compare to traditional Kansas City moving companies.
What do I need to do before moving to Kansas City?
Besides choosing a moving company to get you there, and checking tasks off your moving checklist, it’s a great idea to research and prepare for what lies ahead. The City of Kansas City website offers some great resources for new residents; you can get helpful information on utility services and neighborhood groups and find out about recreation opportunities in the area.
How can we help?
Whew... we've covered a lot today, but no doubt there are things we haven't touched on. If you have more questions about moving to Kansas City, we'd love do help. Just leave a comment below and we'll respond as quickly as possible. And if we can help with your move, let us know!
Enjoy Kansas City!