Distant view of downtown Kansas City, MO, on a sunny day.

16 Things to Know About Living in Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Missouri

by Matt Lyons Posted on April 30, 2024

Whether you know it as Kansas City or Cowtown, this beloved city always has something new to discover. It straddles both Missouri and Kansas and comes with lots of history to explore, along with fun activities to partake in. And with a healthy job market in plenty of industries, living in Kansas City is great for young professionals and families alike. The low cost of living alongside a vibrant, creative community is a great bonus, too.

Planning a move to Kansas City? Start by getting a quote from PODS.

Kansas City, Missouri — At a Glance

Kansas City, Missouri – FAQs

Q: Is Kansas City a nice place to live?
Is Kansas City, Missouri, a good place to live? With lots of job opportunities, affordable living, and plenty of fun activities, Kansas City is one of the nicest places to live in the U.S.

Q: What is a good salary in Kansas City?
The average annual salary in Kansas City is $55,180. However, with so many positions in tech and healthcare available, there are opportunities to make well over this amount.

Q: What are winters like in Kansas City?
The winters in Kansas City are very cold, snowy, and windy, with an average January temperature of close to freezing. 

Q: How much money do you need to live comfortably in Kansas City?
According to the MIT Cost of Living Calculator, the required income before taxes for a single adult living in Kansas City, Missouri, without children is $45,137. For a family with two working parents and two children, that required income goes up to $106,668.

Q: What do I need to know before moving to Kansas City?
What is Kansas City like? Before moving to Kansas City, you may want to note some of the pros and cons of living there. For example, the relatively affordable cost of living, diverse housing market, and world-class BBQ are among the upsides, while the risk of tornadoes, higher state taxes, and bitterly cold winters are among the possible downsides. Read on for more of what we think you should know before you make the move to Cowtown.

16 Things To Know About Living in Kansas City, Missouri 

Check out these 16 things you should know about living in Kansas City, MO, including information about cost of living, the housing market, schools, and more.

 A pair of hands is counting out large U.S. bills, including a few fifty- and hundred-dollar bills.

Though it’s slightly higher than the Missouri average, the cost of living in Kansas City is 6% lower than the national average. 

1. You Can Enjoy a Lower Cost of Living in Kansas City.

Among a plethora of other reasons, the relatively low cost of living is a factor that drives so many people to Kansas City. In fact, the cost of living is six percent lower in Kansas City than the U.S. average. 

2. Like Any City, There Are Some Pros and Cons of Living in Kansas City.

Pros of Living in Kansas City

  • Affordable and diverse housing market
  • World-class BBQ
  • Lots of entertainment options
  • Another decade of Patrick Mahomes
  • Low cost of living compared to other major metros

Cons of Living in Kansas City

  • Possibility of tornadoes
  • Higher state taxes
  • Landlocked area
  • Hot, muggy summers and bitterly cold winters

3. The Kansas City Housing Market Is Nothing To Sneeze At.

Prices in the KC housing market have ballooned over the last few years. Home ownership is still attainable when it comes to living in Kansas City, but homebuyers should approach it with an open mind. Luckily, however, there’s no shortage of great places to live. And with over 240 different neighborhoods, Kansas City has a variety of modernist and mid-century designed houses. The average home value in Kansas City is around $236,300.

4. Apartment Costs in Kansas City Have Been Rising, Too.

Along with the homes in Kansas City, MO, apartment values and rents have grown significantly since 2020. This problem isn’t unique to KC, as all of America has seen this price growth, but residents are definitely feeling the squeeze. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,250, and the average size totals about 900 square feet.

A small, single-family home in the Blue Hills neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. The exterior features gray siding with natural wood shutters. The sun is shining through the branches of a large tree in the front yard.

Its convenient location and affordability make the Blue Hills neighborhood in Southeast Kansas City a great place for growing families to settle down.
(Source: Jesse Blacklaw via Facebook)

5. When It Comes to Best Places To Live in Kansas City, Several Areas Stand Out.

Here are three of our favorite neighborhoods in Kansas City, MO:

Armour Hills

The quaint Armour Hills neighborhood is located in South Kansas City and offers a variety of home styles and housing options. This area is great for families with kids, as there are several private schools nearby. This community has plenty of events for families to enjoy, as well, such as the Juneteenth Cultural Parade and the Ice Cream Social.

Blue Hills

The Blue Hills neighborhood in Southeast Kansas City is a great place for families to live. Its convenient location and affordability make it an ideal choice for growing families. And one of the top 10 best high schools for the arts in Missouri — Paseo Academy — is located here.

There are also various higher educational institutions near the area, such as Rockhurst University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Residents of all ages in this neighborhood can also take advantage of community projects, such as the Blue Hill Community Garden.


Rated the #1 best neighborhood to live in Kansas City, according to Niche, the tight-knit community of Waldo has plenty of activities for the whole family, such as the Waldo Fall Festival and the Trolley Run. This area also has access to a variety of educational institutions, including the Sherwood Autism Center and Kansas City Academy.

There are a variety of home styles and sizes throughout Waldo, including Tudor and small Craftsman-style homes, as well as larger Colonial-style houses with large yards — ideal for kids and pets.

6. Some of the Best Schools in the Nation Are in Kansas City.

The Kansas City metro area has several excellent schools to choose from. In fact, the Blue Valley Unified School District is regarded as one of the best in the nation. There are also other great school districts, such as the Park Hill School District and the Lee's Summit R-VII School District.

A crowd of excited Kansas City Chiefs fans cheer while posing for a picture. They’re decked out in team jerseys and colors.

In case you missed it, the Kansas City Chiefs won the Superbowl Championship in 2024 — their fourth Superbowl win! 
(Source: The Kansas City Chiefs via Facebook)

7. Sports Fans Love Kansas City.

Kansas City is the perfect place to live if you love professional sports. The NFL’s Chiefs are in the midst of perhaps their greatest run in their long history, led by superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the surefire hall-of-fame coach Andy Reid, and historically great tight end Travis Kelce. Since 2019, the Chiefs have won three Super Bowls, been to five consecutive AFC Championship Games, and have won their division four times in a row to boot!

The MLB’s Royals have a good semi-recent history, last winning the World Series in 2015 over the Mets, but they’re currently rebuilding. There is hope, though, with budding stars in Bobby Witt, Jr., and MJ Melendez giving fans something to look forward to in the coming years.

The Kansas City Monarchs are also a local baseball team, playing in the minor American Association of Professional Baseball (AAPB). You can catch them at Legends Field, or you can head over to Kauffman Stadium to catch the Royals. And hockey fans will find a home at Cable Dahmer Arena, where they can watch the Kansas City Mavericks of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).

8. Safety in Kansas City Should Be a Top Priority.

One thing you’ll have to be vigilant about in the city is its crime rate. While there are safe neighborhoods, it’s estimated that more than 32,000 crimes happen each year. Your chance of becoming a victim of either property or violent crime is 1 in 16. Crime is a little less frequent in Missouri as a whole, however, with a 1 in 205 chance of being a victim of violent crime, specifically, versus a 1 in 67 chance in Kansas City.

9. Kansas City Weather Can Get Pretty Wild.

It’s safe to say that the weather in Kansas City can be pretty extreme at times. The city goes through each of the four seasons, with the winter and summer seasons considered to be the most volatile.

 A white tornado siren is perched atop a tall, wooden pole. In the background is a bright blue sky with fluffy, white clouds.

Kansas City is right in the middle of Tornado Alley and, while the number of tornadoes has gone down in the last decade, Kansas City living means being aware of the potential risk. 

10. Be Prepared for Tornado Warnings.

Kansas City is right in the middle of tornado alley, which means that you will find that most homes have reinforced basements. Though numbers have decreased in the last decade (thankfully!), that lull isn’t expected to last forever. It’s very important that you stay up to date with weather alerts if you decide to move here.

11. There Are Thriving Job Opportunities in Kansas City. 

Kansas City is home to plenty of fabulous job opportunities, driving many young professionals to the area. The metro is known for its manufacturing, financial, and animal health industries. 

There are also plenty of companies headquartered in the city. Major organizations include H&R Block and Hallmark, but if you’d rather work at a smaller startup, check out PayIt, iOR, or Triple Blend.

12. Kansas City Has Low Unemployment Rates. 

In recent years, the unemployment rate in Kansas City ranged around 2.5 to 3.6 percent, which is a bit lower than the national average of 3.8 percent. Plenty of job opportunities and affordable housing have been main contributing factors as to why these rates have been so low. 

A KC Streetcar is waiting at a stop outside the Historic City Market in Kansas City, Missouri, on a sunny summer day.

In the Kansas City metro area, most commuters spend less than 23 minutes traveling each way. 

13. You May Have a Shorter Commute Time in KC. 

Kansas City’s public transportation is generally good. One of the biggest drawbacks of living in a big city in the U.S. is the commute time. However, in the Kansas City metro area, most commuters spend less than 23 minutes traveling each way. This makes it one of the shortest commute areas in the country.

However, outside of the city, there is no public transit system. This means that most people have to buy a car to get around and into the city. If you’re looking to ditch your drive, you might want to consider downtown living.

14. You Can Stay Up Late in Kansas City. 

Kansas City offers no shortage of fun. From concerts to bars, there are lots of entertaining places where anyone can have a good time. 

The Kill Devil Club — a piano bar in Kansas City’s Power and Light District — is one of the most popular places for a night out. Just be sure to try one of the club’s signature drinks, like the Howlin' Mule — made from Tito's Handmade Vodka, Gosling's Ginger Beer, and fresh lime.

And since 1950, the popular, family-owned Uptown Ramblers Club has been established in Kansas City's Midtown. Originally a cocktail lounge, it's now a great place to meet up with friends and listen to live music.

15. There’s an Abundance of Fun Things To Do in Kansas City.

In the Kansas City area, there are over 220 parks that encompass over 12,000 acres of natural and recreational space. There are also over 150 miles of trails that connect various areas, including 29 lakes, several picnic shelters, eight museums, five public golf courses, and several athletic fields.

Along with outdoor activities, Kansas City also provides many great resources that families can use to develop their knowledge of the arts and humanities. Here are a few places where you can do exactly that:

A close-up view of a plate of delicious-looking Kansas City barbecue ribs with seasoned french fries and a couple of cold beers in the background.

If you’re moving to Kansas City, you better bring your appetite for mouthwatering BBQ and everything else the city’s flourishing dining scene has to offer. 

16. Kansas City Food Is Mouthwatering.

For many years, the culinary scene in Kansas City consisted largely of barbecue, burgers, and butchery. However, Kansas City living has come to include quite the dining scene over the years. If you’re planning on moving to Kansas City, you better bring your appetite!

Some of the most delicious and unique restaurants in Kansas City, MO, include:

  • Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room: This trendy restaurant offers a variety of great options. You can enjoy a meal at the Supper Club, where you can share fried chicken and other food like seaweed donuts with your friends while listening to music. Or you can visit the Tasting Room, where you can get a closer look at Michael Corvino, the chef who created some of the restaurant's signature dishes.
  • Golden Ox: Nothing says “Cowtown” like a mouthwatering steak, right? This restored 1949 steakhouse is located in the Stockyards District and claims to be the birthplace of the KC strip. Regardless of where and when, these classic cuts and their accompaniments can’t be missed!

Getting to Kansas City, MO, Is Easy With the Help of PODS 

Making the decision to move to Kansas City is the easy part. Getting there is the trick. So simplify your move by using PODS portable moving containers. PODS will deliver a container to your driveway where you can load it on your own schedule. Need help with the heavy lifting? PODS can even connect you with local packing and loading services. When you’re ready, your container will be picked up and delivered right to your new Kansas City home, or you can keep it in a PODS Storage Center until you’re ready for it.

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