Kansas City, here I come
February 27, 2011 9:09 PM   Subscribe

What do I need to know about moving to Kansas City, MO?

Just got news I matched for internship at a hospital in Kansas City, MO. I need to find a place to live, and figure out how to get my stuff there from Mid-Michigan as cheaply as possible. With only a 4-door-sedan I think I'll need to rent something, preferably one of those pods from uhaul but delivery is super expensive to my home here in MI. I figure as long as what I use to move is less costly than buying a new mattress, I'm saving or breaking even on money.

The hospital is on "hospital hill at E 24th street. I'd like to live nearby-ish but I don't care if its in Kansas or Missouri.

Needs: Cat-friendly, safe neighborhood, 1 bedroom,
Likes: Clean, affordable, balcony or sun room for my plants.
Price: in the ballpark of 500-650 a month

If anybody local could provide me with specific do's and don'ts for the are that would be great, or an apartment finder less vague than apartments.com or whatever it is. There has to be a more local site out there, but I can't see one when I'm searching. Also tips on good neighborhoods and bad neighborhoods would be fab.
posted by gilsonal to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Apartment and Rental Connections is a localized service for the KC Metro area, and free. You might have trouble finding exactly what you want in your price range. Have you checked to see if the hospital has a relocation liaison? If it's Truman or Children's Mercy, they should have someone on staff to help with relocation questions and concerns.
posted by amyms at 9:40 PM on February 27, 2011

You'll see that right to the east of that area is a street called Troost. The general rule is to stay as far west of Troost as possible. (Within reason, of course.)

I don't know what you consider nearby, but many younger people live in Westport, which is southwest of Hospital Hill. There are also pockets of condos and apartments just north of Hospital Hill in an area called River Market that are popular with the slightly older young crowd if that makes sense. I'd consider both of these areas hip, reasonably safe, and reasonably close.

Muggings and car break-ins are a problem. Really try hard to avoid walking around late at night. Being with a group won't necessarily help you. I would seriously never walk on an empty, ill-lit street after 6pm or so. And I've had a couple of friends mugged in broad daylight in their own neighborhood. Don't leave anything in your car - absolutely nothing. I'm not trying to scare you, but when I moved to Kansas City I expected it to be safer since it was in the Midwest.
posted by ohsnapdragon at 4:41 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would second Westport as a good option. If you haven't already looked, in the KC Craigslist there are a lot of entries in your price range.

I also second the "stay west of Troost" because that really is the boundary line.

I live in the northland (most anything north of the river gets lumped into that) and would generally say that it's cheaper and safer, though your commute will be longer. The length of commute you're willing to tolerate will determine good spots, to some extent.

If you find a listing that you think sounds good, you can memail me if you want to know if it's in a decent area.
posted by Lifeson at 2:38 PM on February 28, 2011

I think Westport or River Market are your best options. Union Hill is also a nice area that's close to Hospital Hill. Definitely stay west of Troost. Unlike ohsnapdragon, I don't know anyone who has been mugged in the city and my car's never been broken into. I still wouldn't leave anything of value in my car, but I've had better luck than others, I guess. MeMail me if you want more specifics on the area or to learn more about areas you're interested in living.
posted by whatideserve at 7:24 PM on February 28, 2011

I'm a native. I live downtown, which is more expensive than you're going to want to pay (I pay too much in rent. Ugh). Everyone who's suggesting Westport (and the West Plaza area, which is a little bit further south) is spot on. Lifeson is probably right that north of the river is cheaper and maybe safer, but your commute will be a lot longer (I mean, that's relative. I like having only to drive ten minutes to work). I looked at some places in the River Market - maybe at the high end of your price range, but a lot of funky, neat apartments over there. (That's where the oldest loft-style apartments are, if that's what you're in to).

In general, Missouri side is going to be a little big cheaper than the Kansas side (at least that's been my impression), although trendier areas in Kansas City, MO (downtown, the Crossroads) will probably cost more.

As another crime-related data point: I've never been mugged (despite working in some pretty lousy neighborhoods) and I've never known anyone who's been mugged here. I have had my car stolen and my sister's car was broken into, but that was in the pretty nice part of Waldo where I grew up; like any city, you'll probably not want to leave stuff in your car. The more protected your parking, the more you'll pay for it, but it's pretty reasonable (I'm paying about $50 bucks a month for a spot in a garage attached to my building).

Like practically everyone else here, if you're wondering about a specific neighborhood or listing, let me know. I did the whole apartment search thing about a year ago, and I can survey my coworkers who did the same thing about the same time.
posted by dismas at 9:11 PM on February 28, 2011

N-thing Westport or West Plaza (they kind of bleed into each other).
posted by cosmonaught at 2:39 PM on March 1, 2011

For the record, I've known about ten people who were mugged, one knifed, and one shot, but they were all in the midtown/hyde park area. Likewise, the 4 people whose cars were broken into were either midtown or westport. In the last case, he left his car there overnight on a public street.

I lived there for three years, and never had anything happen to me besides being followed a few times and catcalled on occasion, but I was extremely cautious.
posted by ohsnapdragon at 5:39 AM on March 2, 2011

Yikes, I had no idea that it could be that dangerous. I guess growing up in Mid Michigan has me spoiled. I'm glad I asked. Thanks!
posted by gilsonal at 7:59 AM on March 2, 2011

Oof, ohsnapdragon, that's pretty fair. Hyde Park has some gorgeous neighborhoods, but it's not a place I like to hang around after dark. (And a coworker who lives in midtown has told stories about hearing about double homicides in the public housing across the street). You're right to caution Gilsonal; safety in Kansas City can be very uneven, depending on the neighborhood, and it does always pay to be careful.

Sorry if you felt like we were all jumping down your throat, I grew up going to high school in Johnson County and dealing with people who routinely assumed everyone on the Missouri side was getting shot at on a regular basis, so I'm probably overly-defensive.
posted by dismas at 11:40 AM on March 2, 2011

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