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Aerial View of the Kansas City, MO Downtown Skyline During the Day

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Kansas City

Relocating to Kansas City? As the largest city in Missouri and one of the most affordable cities in America, the quickly-expanding KCMO metro offers excellent entertainment, friendly communities, historical points of interest, and mouthwatering barbecue. Consider these five safe, affordable neighborhoods if you’re moving to Kansas City!

Central Business District-Downtown

  • Home Price: $191,233 median purchase price; $944 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 80% of Kansas City neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals

Characterized by its historic Art Deco architecture, food scene, and culture, the Central Business District-Downtown is a safe neighborhood for anyone looking to thrive in an urban center. The Central Business District offers residents affordable Victorian, Craftsman, and Mid-century Modern housing, as well as condos and lofts. Hubs like the River Market, vibrant Power & Light District, and eclectic Crossroad Arts District host a variety of entertainment options like museums, galleries, shops, restaurants, and nightlife hotspots. Downtown Kansas City’s culture is a celebration of both iconic history and innovation, making it a fantastic place to move!

Things to Do in Central Business District-Downtown

Celebrate KCMO’s love of art by catching live performances by the renowned Kansas City Symphony and Kansas City Ballet at the shell-shaped Kauffman Center. Experience marine life up close while playing in the interactive touch pool at SEA LIFE, Kansas City’s only aquarium. Enjoy interactive science exhibits, spectacular planetarium shows, and model train galleries at the nearly-110-year-old Union Station. Explore the mysterious history and artifacts of the sunken Steamboat Arabia at the Arabia Steamboat Museum. Stop in for brunch and enjoy a Housemade Vanilla Late with a Monte Cristo or Fancy B Grilled Cheese at Succotash. Fill up on the I Am Magical veggie burger with a side of Garlic Roast Potatoes and an I Am Bright artisan kombucha at the health-conscious Cafe Gratitude. Experience KCMO’s love for live jazz while munching on local flavors like the Phoenix Mac, Charlie Byrd, or KC Philly at The Phoenix. Or discover why Kansas City is known as the Barbecue Capital of the World with savory Burnt Ends, Fire-Kissed Wings, and Hickory Pit Beans from Jack Stack Barbecue.

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Lea Manor

Ranch Style Home with Large Front Yard in Lea Manor. Photo by Instagram user @devonlfallon

Photo via @devonlfallon

  • Home Price: $150,100 median purchase price; $522 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 68% of Kansas City neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Lea Manor is a safe, homey neighborhood located on the Kansas-Missouri state border, about 20 minutes away from downtown. Affordable ranch-style homes—as well as proximity to quality schools like Notre Dame de Sion Grade School and healthcare providers like St. Joseph Medical Center—make Lea Manor a great neighborhood to call home. The winding Indian Creek flows through the southern corner of the neighborhood, providing a scenic backdrop for hikers and explorers. Though it’s more residential than the downtown area, you’ll still find plenty of young professionals, families, and retirees living here!

Things to Do in Lea Manor

Travel under shady trees and over streams on the scenic route along the Indian Creek Trail. Enjoy the rain garden or unwind with an evening stroll at Watts Mill Park. Laugh until you cry during an open mic night or stand-up routine at The Comedy Club of Kansas City. Roll a strike at the Ward Parkway Lanes bowling alley and enjoy a BBQ Bacon Burger with a beer at adjoining Mug Shots Bar & Grill. Dig into a Four Bone rib plate or a Double-Decker sandwich with a Yammer Pie for dessert at Kansas City staple, Gates Bar-B-Q. Satisfy your Italian cravings with Eggplant Othello or Lobster Ravioli with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon at Jasper’s Italian Restaurant. Or catch the latest Chiefs (NFL) game while enjoying a Big Fat Greek Taco, Buffalo Chicken Wrap, or a slice of the Carnivore Pizza from Ugly Joe’s.

Mission Lake



  • Home Price: $195,400 median purchase price; $213 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 92% of Kansas City neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

On the south end of KCMO away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, the meandering Blue River flows through the heart of the peaceful neighborhood of Mission Lake. As one of the safest neighborhoods in Kansas City, this area is perfect for both families and retirees. Mission Lake’s affordable ranch-style homes and townhomes speak to the area’s coziness, and green spaces like Minor Park provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. As a safe and primarily residential neighborhood with its own splash of nature and nearby things to do, Mission Lake is a great place to settle down!

Things to Do in Mission Lake

Connect with nature by walking or biking along the multi-pathed Blue River Parkway Trail, which has trails for both beginners and seasoned hikers. Have a picnic or let the kids play on the playground at Minor Park. Play a round of golf with friends on the 18-hole course at Minor Park Golf Course. Enjoy a peaceful bike ride under the tree-lined trail at Santa Fe Trace Park. Try breakfast dishes like Caramel Nut French Toast, Loaded Cheesy Grits, or The Cowboy Skillet at Caleb’s Breakfast & Lunch. Sample delicious Mexican dishes like the Shrimp & Avocado Quesadilla, Chiles Rellenos, or Baja Chicken Tacos from Dos De Oros. Take your Surf & Turf Kabobs and Skinny Margarita out on the patio or stop by on the weekends to hear live music at Red Bridge Barrio. Treat yourself to a delicious Chocolate Chip, Buttercream Topped, or Chocolate Drizzled Sugar Cookie at Bug and Bear Baked Goods—or take home a dozen! Or try a basket of Catfish Nuggets, a Bacon Pineapple Cheeseburger, or a 12 oz KC Strip from the friendly neighborhood Sandtrap Bar & Grill.


  • Home Price: $187,420 median purchase price; $804 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of Kansas City neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families

Volker is a perfect KC neighborhood for anyone looking for a safe community with great options for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Just a six-minute drive from downtown, Volker residents embrace creativity with decorated yards outside beautiful Bungalows, Ranches, and ’20s brick colonnade apartments—some of which were built in the early 1900s! The West 39th Street District—a hub for drinks, cuisine, and culture that’s especially popular among students and singles—contributes to the area’s high walkability. Volker also contains the Charlotte Street Foundation, an organization dedicated to keeping the creative spirit of the city alive with community events, artist residencies, and performances. All in all, Volker’s creative and historic vibrancy provides a haven for young professionals and families from the busy downtown area.

Things to Do in Volker

Take in the fresh air while you explore the trails at Roanoke Park. Attend book readings, live performances, and meetups, or simply browse the books found at the iconic Prospero’s Books & Media. Test your limits with tall climbing or bouldering classes at RoKC Underground Bouldering Gym. Or turn up for a night of drag, drinks, and music at LGBTQ nightclub Missie B’s. Stop by for a tasty Death By Chocolate donut—or make your own with a DIY Donut Kit—and pair it with an iced coffee at Donutology. Savor classic KC barbecue with a Burnt End Burger, Smoked Pork Bahn Mi, or the Best Wings On The Planet from Q39. Try the all-you-care-to-eat Mongolian Barbecue, Crispy Pineapple Lemon Chicken, and Gekkeikan Sake at Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill. Or snack on Tostada Nachos, Chile Con Carne, or Margie’s Sizzling Fajitas at Rudy’s Tenampa Taqueria.


  • Home Price: $167,440 median purchase price; $659 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safe than 64% of Kansas City neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Looking for a place with historic charm and a lively nightlife scene? Check out Waldo! Encompassing a number of subdistricts like Ward Parkway, Tower Homes, Rock Manor, and Santa Fe Hills, the area’s single-story Craftsman, Tudor, and Colonial-style homes are perfect for people of all ages. Waldo residents value a sense of community. The neighborhood is home to the fundraising Trolley Run, one of the largest timed four-mile road races in the country. You can also catch residents at one of their neighborhood block parties or home decorating contests sponsored by the Ward Parkway Homes Association. With its community events, quirky shops, art galleries, museums, and variety of dining options, Waldo is a great neighborhood in Kansas City to call home.

Things to Do in Waldo

Dive into local history at one of only four remaining Civil War-era houses in KC, the Alexander Majors Historic House & Museum. Bring the kids out for a day of games, rides, face painting, food trucks, and more at the Waldo Fall Festival. Hone your athletic talents or learn a new sport at the indoor practice facility Teamwork Sports KC. Valley in a game of tennis, grill out, or play on the spraygrounds at Sunnyside Park. Enjoy The Mahomes burger with a side of Sweet Potato Waffle Fries and a Rooftop Margarita while enjoying views of KCMO’s cityscape at The Well. Pair the deliciousness of a Boru Bowl or Togarashi Fried Chicken with a Summer’s End cocktail at Boru Asian Eatery. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a serving of Creme Brulee, Chocolate Brownie, or Cereal & Milk ice cream from Betty Rae’s Ice Cream. Or treat your tastebuds with the Hot Honey Chicken sandwich, Smashed Potato Bowl, or the meaty More Love Burger from Strip’s Chicken.


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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.