The Noteworthy Pros and Cons of Living in Topeka, KS

aerial image of topeka state capital building

The capital of Kansas, Topeka, is also an agricultural and industrial center. The city offers a beautiful downtown area and a gorgeous motorsports complex. The economy here is strong, and the commute time is short. Topeka straddles the Kansas River and is surrounded by rolling prairies. While they might please the eye, those prairies are the main reason the city sees tornadoes relatively often.

If you’re moving to Topeka, KS, and want the information to make some big decisions before you arrive, read on. We’ve got that information below in the form of the noteworthy pros and cons of living in Topeka, KS. From the best reasons to build a life here to those that aren’t so good, we’ve got them all.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

PRO- The Cost of Living in Topeka, KS is Affordable

Knowing the cost of living In Topeka, KS, can help you make many important financial decisions. For example, which neighborhood to purchase a new home in and how much you’ll need to afford your new mortgage. You’ll be happy to know the cost of living in Topeka, KS, is affordable. With an overall cost index of 79/100, your monthly bills will be 21% less when you live here. That’s undoubtedly a significant saving and an excellent reason to move to Topeka.

CON- Crime in Topeka is Problematic

Unfortunately, both violent and property crimes in Topeka, KS, are higher than the national average. Property crime, for example, is 71.6 compared to 35.4 nationally. Although not nearly as high, violent crime is higher also at 35.4% compared to 22.7% nationally.  Pockets of crime are spread around Topeka, as in many US cities. However, most neighborhoods and communities are safe, and the Topeka Police are known for being level-headed and fair.

PRO- Housing Costs in Topeka, KS are Extremely Low

small model houses on different stacks of quarters

It’s not often that you can say a city or town has extremely low housing costs. In Topeka, KS, though, you can say it with confidence. The housing cost index here is 48/100, 52% lower than the national average. Even better, Topeka is 10 percentage points lower than the Kansas average! Considering that Kansas is already one of the most affordable states in the country, that’s impressive.  Due to these low prices, many more American families will realize the dream of homeownership when moving to Topeka. Low housing costs are the #1 reason Topeka, KS, has an affordable overall cost of living. It’s one of the biggest pros of all the pros and cons of living in Topeka, KS.

CON- There’s Not a Lot to Do in Topeka

As the capital of Kansas, it’s no surprise that Topeka has several amenities and attractions. That being said, it’s still got far fewer than most, for a city of this size. The Evel Knievel Museum, the Topeka Zoo, and the Kansas Statehouse are the most notable.  Downtown Topeka, KS, is also enjoyable, with plenty of shops and restaurants available. Besides that, however, there’s not a whole lot more to do, at least during the day.

PRO- Topeka, KS is Rated a Highly Livable Town

While there is an admitted lack of attractions in Topeka, KS, it’s still rated a very livable city. Indeed, it’s the number #29 Best City to Buy a House in America, according to Niche. One look at the city’s overall scorecard will tell you; Topeka is an excellent place to live. The grades Topeka gets include:

  • Public schools B-
  • Housing B
  • Good for families B-
  • Jobs B
  • Cost of Living A
  • Outdoor activities B
  • Nightlife A-
  • Diversity A
  • Weather B
  • Health and fitness B
  • Commute Time A-
  • Crime & Safety C-

CON- Winter in Topeka, KS is Long and Cold

If you’re not a fan of snow, winter in Topeka, KS, might be a bit of a problem for you. That’s because starting in November and lasting through April, we get lots of cold, wind, and freezing rain here.  In December, January, and February, the entire month is pretty much frozen solid. Topeka doesn’t see a tremendous amount of snow but does see it regularly. (Sometimes, it can come with a ferocity that’s quite surprising.)

PRO- Topeka has Many Highly-Rated Public Schools

rows of desks facing a chalkboard

Sending your kids to an excellent high school is essential, we think you’ll agree. You’ll be glad to know Topeka, KS, offers several of them. Washburn Rural High School, for example, is the #17 Best Public High School in Kansas. (Washburn Rural Middle School is #30!) Of the 45 public schools in Topeka, KS, nearly half get a B+ grade or higher, which any student will tell you is good. For parents of school-age children, you can rest assured knowing your child will get an excellent education in Topeka.

PRO- The Commute Time is Short

cars in traffic

Not a big fan of staring out your windshield every morning? If so, you’ll be glad to know that Topeka, KS has short commute times. With an average one-way commute of 17 minutes, you’ll save almost 10 minutes per trip when you live here. That’s nearly two hours a week or 110 hours a year! When you total that up, it equals almost five entire days saved every year! In short, if staring at traffic is something you despise, be prepared to love living in Topeka!

Topeka, KS is a Fine Place to Live and Work

We think you’ll agree, Topeka, KS is a fine place to live, work, and raise a family. Topeka has a lot going for it, even if it’s not the most exciting city in the country. At iStorage, we have clean, safe, and affordable storage units in Topeka, KS. In fact, we have 2 self-storage locations in Topeka, to serve you better.

Many new arrivals reserve a Topeka, KS storage unit before they get here. That way, they can immediately store their household stuff while searching for a new home. Storing your things in a Topeka, KS storage unit is much cheaper than storing in a mover’s warehouse. Plus, you’ll have access to all of your things while they’re in your storage unit. You can’t do that if they’re locked up in a mover’s warehouse.

If you have questions about reserving a storage unit in Topeka, KS online, please chat with us. You can also drop by one of our two self-storage locations in Topeka, KS, anytime. The on-site manager can help you choose the storage unit that fits your needs perfectly. Until then, we wish you all the best with your move to Topeka, KS. We’re sure that, once you’re settled in, you’re going to love the lifestyle here!