Just like any other city, living in Kansas City comes with pros and cons. Still, before you get here, you’ll want to know all about The Paris of the Plains (cute, right?). We’ll cover things like the weather, the food scene, job opportunities, and more. Already moving to Kansas City? Check out our KC Moving Guide!
PRO: The Job Market Here is Strong
There are several industries here in Kansas City besides corn and wheat. The employment market and economy in KC are some of the best in the country. At 3% unemployment, Kansas City is a full percentage point lower than the national average. While it’s true that incomes are a bit lower here, so is the cost of living, balancing things out nicely. Even better, the city is regularly ranked in the Top 2o for job opportunities.
CON: Tornadoes (Just ask Dorothy)
One big drawback about living in Kansas City is that we are smack in the middle of “Tornado Alley.” That’s why most homes have a storm shelter or basement. That way, you can quickly protect yourself and your family if a twister comes to town. Statistically speaking, since 1996, Kansas City has seen at least 60 tornadoes a year. 11 of those were an EF3 or higher. In 2019, we had tornadoes for 12 consecutive days! (An EF5 tornado is the worst, although an EF3 can still be extremely damaging.) When it comes to the pros and cons of living in Kansas City, tornadoes are probably the biggest con. (Pro tip: keep your basement clear for safety by storing your items in a Kansas City storage unit.)
PRO: Houses Are Quite Affordable Living in Kansas City
Imagine a single-family, detached home that costs $12,000. It’s not huge, and it’s in Coffeyville outside of the city, but it’s there. With an average home price of $53,000, buying a home and living in Kansas City is well within reach for many families. And yes, closer to the city, the prices do jump up a bit. Still, the opportunity to own your own home is greater here than in many other cities. If you don’t mind living outside the city limits, you’ll have plenty of choices.
CON: Taxes Are Surprisingly High in Kansas City
While home prices are affordable, the taxes here in Kansas are high. In fact, Kansas and a whole ranks as the 14th highest state in the country for taxes. For example, on the first $15,000 of taxable income you earned, Missouri will take 2.7%. Above that, they take another 4.6%. For married couples, the rates are the same. The good news? All of the revenues collected for taxes go towards parks, schools, fire safety, and roads.
PRO: Food Trucks are Everywhere (And the Food is Delish!)
There’s quite an entrepreneurial spirit here in Kansas City, with a huge food truck boom. Interestingly, Lebanese cuisine is one of the most popular foods you’ll find. (If you simply adore hummus, you’re in luck!) Getting a bite to eat is easier with all the food trucks around, no doubt. Their prices are very reasonable too, opening up a wide variety of foods to tempt your tastebuds.
PRO: Commute Times in KC Are Some of the Shortest in the U.S.
In many big American cities, the commute time is one of the biggest cons of living there. (We’re looking at you, New York, LA, Seattle, and Miami!) For example, in the KC metro area, most people commute for less than 25 minutes. That makes Kansas City the 5th-shortest commute, for its size, in the entire country. If you’re living outside the Kansas City metro area, getting downtown takes 20 minutes, more or less. Public transit? It’s not the best, but not the worst either. All in all, your commute time here will seem like a breeze compared to most other cities.
CON: You Will Need a Car Living in Kansas City
Inside the Kansas City metro area, public transportation is good. (Not great, but not a disaster either.) Outside of the city, however, there’s no public transport whatsoever. (Kansas City, surprisingly, has no trains, subways, or streetcars.) For most, that means they need to purchase a car or a truck.
Without question, living in Kansas City means some of the finest BBQ in the United States — and let’s be honest — the world! Most foodies will tell you that it’s impossible to find a lousy BBQ joint here! It’s so good, several American Presidents have come here to give it a try. They include Presidents Clinton, Carter, and even Truman! (Locals say that Arthur Bryant’s, over on Brooklyn Avenue, is the best of the best.)
CON: Temperature Extremes Living in Kansas City
While there are 4 distinct seasons in KC, both winter and summer can be problematic at times. That’s because, in winter, it can be mild and pleasant or cold as a frozen tundra. In summer, the temps can be the same, except on the other end of the scale. Enjoyable and warm or so hot, it’s dangerous to be outside. In other words, you never know what you’re going to get. For that reason, it’s one of the biggest cons of this list of pros and cons of living in Kansas City.
Where To Store Your Stuff in Kansas City
Moving to a new city can be stressful, even if it’s a city as welcoming as Kansas City. If you need to store your household goods when you arrive, don’t stress! iStorage has clean, safe storage units in Kansas City waiting for you! Our locations are affordable and secured by 24/7 video cameras and an onsite manager. In short, your stuff will be safe until you find your forever home. Until then, we wish you the very best in Kansas City! We know you’re going to love living here!