I'm Going to Kansas City, Kansas City Here I Come

George Lopez |

House graph

They got some really affordable homes there and I’m gonna get me one.

Home prices have continued to rise in nearly every part of the country this summer, so much so that home buyers, especially first-time homebuyers, have become more and more focused on affordability as home loan rates start to creep higher. This focus on home affordability has been especially pronounced in cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Miami, where home buyers have struggled to find the right combination of home affordability and location. However, in cities like Kansas City where homes are much more affordable, home buyers have a lot more options and are having a much more satisfying experience.

The greater Kansas City metropolitan area straddles the Kansas-Missouri state line and whether you choose to live on the Missouri side or the Kansas side, great values abound. Home prices have been appreciating in Kansas City for quite some time, about 6.6% in the past year alone according to the latest July 2018 figures from the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors. The average sales price of an existing home in Kansas City is a mere $220,662, or roughly half the sales price found in many coastal cities.

A closer look at the Kansas City home price data reveals even more surprises. Home prices in Jackson County, where Kansas City is located, average just $196,987 and in Wyandotte County, which lies just to the west of the Kansas City downtown area, home prices average just $149,133 and have appreciated over 14.6% in the past year. Even in wealthier areas of Kansas City such as Johnson County, the average home price is still quite affordable at $333,170.

For those who prefer affordable homes as well as a quiet suburban lifestyle, Niche reported that Kansas City features a large number of suburban communities with great amenities. In addition, Niche reported, there are also a number of great walkable neighborhoods located throughout the metropolitan area.

Home buyers should always consider price, location and affordability whenever they shop for a new home. However, for the past 10 years, home loan rates were so low and home prices were so affordable that many buyers didn’t need to factor in affordability. That line of thinking appears to have changed, especially for first-time homebuyers. Home loan rates are still quite low but the Federal Reserve has begun the process of gradually hiking the interest rates it charges which in turn has caused mortgage rates to inch higher. When combined with the increase in home prices, home affordability has become a huge factor for many buyers.

Kansas City has always been known for its great barbecue, jazz music and its friendly people. Now you can add home affordability to that list. To quote the great Wilbert Harrison, who wrote the classic song “Kansas City” almost 60 years ago, “Well I might take a train, I might take a plane, but if I have to walk, I’m goin’ just the same. I’m goin’ to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come.”

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