Should we move to Kansas City? (Some thoughts on the situation appreciated.)

Here’s the deal: geneb and I (a married, childless couple in their mid 20s) have an option to move to Kansas city out from middle of nowhere, which is about 12 hours away from KS.

**Pros to Kansas city: **
A small salary raise (after we take in consideration the raise of the cost of living). The fact that my folks live there. (I’d really like to see my baby sister grow up.)

**Pros to middle-of-nowhere: **
Come April, geneb would get to lead his own team. (He’s in IT.)
Also, the area is very pretty, low-crime, has a lot of great hiking trails and parks. Oh, and the art scene isn’t half-bad.

**Cons to KS: **
We really don’t want to live with my folks, even though they’ve offered and we’d save a lot.
We’re not sure exactly which office geneb’d be working at, so we can’t look for apartments right next to it just yet (it’s either downtown, or a couple of options on the outskirts.)
geneb’s family will throw a stink. (They’re 5 hours away now, so it’d be a difference between driving and flying to see them for the holidays.)
Cons to middle-of-nowhere: **
So-so salary (great for the area and we live comfortably on that one salary, but it’s lower by far than what a person with the same job would be making in a larger city).
The winters are absolutely depressing. The nearest place with any kind of young (20s-30s) population is 45 minutes away, and this town shuts down after 5pm and on Sundays. Basically, people come here to retire, eat, and die. …
Oh, and you have to have a car to get anywhere.
Other pertinent facts:

  • His company would pay for the move/buy us out of the lease here;
  • We do have pets, plus about 50 houseplants and several large pieces of furniture to move.
    I guess, my questions are… What kind of a salary does it take to keep two frugal people reasonably comfortable in Kansas City?

Does it really take an hour to get anywhere out there?

How likely is it to find an area where you can actually go out of the door of an apartment complex and -walk- somewhere interesting?

Also, what’s worth more: a move close to family and a slight raise in salary, or another line in the resume, and largely the same salary?

We’re supposed to make a decision by tomorrow… any insight, o people of the board? (Especially those living around Kansas City?)

Kansas City is a great town for 20-30 year olds. Lots of things to do. I have a friend that’s in her mid-20’s that’s a nurse that lives there. She loves it.

Are you and your hubby ever considering kids in the future? If so, having family close by, makes a huge difference. My wife’s family and mine are at least 10 hours away or more by car. So weekend getaways, just the two of us, requires lots of planning and finding overnight babysitters we trust. Having a set of grandparents in town, would make that a lot easier.

Congrats to your husband on the opportunity. Best wishes in making your decision.

I hear they have some crazy little women there.

Depends on where you are and where you’re going. If you live in Overland Park/Lenexa, it’s going to take an hour to get to the other side of the city. But if you live/work around there, it’s not bad.

There are a few neighborhoods downtown that are very walkable. Westport is getting its ass kicked by the Power and Light District, but is still a great neighborhood that will offer you both affordable housing for a family with pets, as well as walkability to stores, restaurants, etc. nearby. The suburbs absolutely will not, though - they’ll take 25 minutes of walking just to get out of the subdivision.

I don’t live in KC anymore (I’m in Indy), but my folks live there. It’s a good town, and there’s plenty for a young couple to do. If I were to move back, I’d be looking for something in Westport. I know there’s several KC Dopers that will have a much more informed opinion to follow up.

I’ve lived 45 minutes from KC for seven years. We get in a little less than once a month, and spend a night there a couple times a year. I’ve made an effort to get to know a lot of the neighborhoods in the city itself, and we’ve been forced (baby born, etc.) to get to know some of the suburbs.

Anyway…I recommend you peruse the city’s free weekly newspaper the Pitch*, which has an online presence here, to get a feel for what people (including couples) in your age group do and think about KC.

It’s not a bad city ata ll – in some ways rather like a mini-Chicago. It’s not the kind of rural idyll you describe as your current home area, but it does have a good parks system.

The Westport area is a good idea, as well as the museum district a bit to its southeast, and the up-and-coming hip Volker area just to its west.

The suburbs like Overland Park are expensive and cookie-cutter boring, but comfortable. Some older suburbs like Independence, MO are rather more interesting and affordable.

(*Doesn’t carry Cecil’s column, but try not hold that against it! It’s a cool paper.)

Thanks for the input, guys. We ended up staying in middle-of-nowhere, primarily because it turned out that the office they wanted the hubby to work at was in a rather sketchy neighborhood…

Really? I don’t consider any area that hosts offices to be particularly “sketchy”. Most of KC is pretty harmless. I was going to suggest the Waldo area - decent shopping, inexpensive housing and the best access to public transit in the city.

I’ve heard everything’s up to date there, and they’ve gone about as fur as you can go.