Cost of living -

7 Things to Know and do When Moving to Kansas

Kansas is a state in the Midwestern United States. You can expect a small-town feel with big-city amenities in Kansas. It is affordable and a family-friendly state with a lot of outdoor activities, parks and some of the best hospitals. 

The state is also home to some great educational institutions. In addition to this, Kansas’s weather is quite predictable, and you can expect to enjoy all four seasons throughout the year.

So, if you are considering moving to Kansas, there are several things you need to know and prepare for, like their cost of living or simply how to notify the state of Kansas of your address change. Here are 7 things you need to know before moving to Kansas.

Moving to Kansas: Everything to know and do

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1. First steps before moving to Kansas

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

For your move to Kansas, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company in Kansas, look for good reviews, a professional-looking website, and years of experience.

Planning a move to Kansas? Have a look at our selection of:

The 5 best moving companies in Wichita.

Finding a job 

As of August 2023, Kansas has an unemployment rate of 3.4%, compared to July’s rate of 3.2%. It has the highest unemployment rate since March 2023, at 2.8%.

Jobs that are often in high demand are nurses, nursing assistant, truck, and delivery drivers.

Finding a job in Kansas is easier if you search online for job openings. Popular websites for this include LinkedIn, Indeed, and SimplyHired.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Oct 2023)

Getting there 

Below are some travel options to get to Kansas from different parts of the country include:

Flying: Flying is the most convenient way to move to Kansas. Book a flight from your departure city to Kansas’s busiest airport, Wichita Airport, followed by smaller Manhattan and Garden City Airport, depending on your destination within Kansas.

Train: You can also take the train with Amtrak as an alternative. 

Bus: If you want another way to travel, Kansas cities have bus services like Greyhound, and Flixbus, that can get you there.

If you are flying and require assistance with moving your belongings, you can explore options provided by reputable moving companies.

Must dos before your arrival 

Moving to Kansas may be exciting and will challenge you in many ways. By knowing these things beforehand, you will be better prepared for your new life in the city.

  • If you’re moving to Kansas permanently and expect significant mail (excluding packages), consider USPS’s mail forwarding service. It redirects your mail to your new address for a specified time. The initial fee for regular mail forwarding is slightly over a dollar for six months, extendable for about $20 for an additional six months. Start the process by signing up on USPS’s website or at your local Post Office.
  • When moving to Kansas, sell or donate what you won’t need to simplify your move. Sell or donate household items and personal belongings that won’t be useful. Decide if you want to sell them on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, or donate to a non-profit organization

2. Upon your arrival in Kansas

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers.
  • If you roam around the city for work or just simply checking on it, it would be great to purchase a daily pass to save money.
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.

You can easily get around in Kansas. There are several options available. 

Exchanging your driver’s license

Once you move to Kansas and establish residency, you must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license within 90 days. In order to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license, you’ll need to visit the DOR office in person and bring acceptable documents as proof of your lawful status, name, date of birth, social security number and some additional documents as well. If you have a valid out-of-state driver’s license, your written and driving test will be waived.

Register your vehicle

If you have just moved to Kansas, you’ll have to register your out-of-state vehicle within 90 days of establishing residency. Failure to do so might result in penalties and additional charges. To get your car registered in Kansas:

  • Get your vehicle inspected, depending on whether it was purchased in or out-of-state.

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Kansas like the DMV. To exercise your right to vote in Kansas, you can register to vote online, by mail, in person or by fax. 

To register by mail, in person or by fax, you need to submit a completed Kansas Voter Registration Application to your local KS county election office. You will have to register at least 21 days before elections if you wish to participate.

Changing your address with your employer, bank, doctor, insurer, and service providers so that you can avoid any complications further down the road.

Setting up a bank account 

Obtaining a bank account in Kansas is a straightforward process. You only need to present a copy of your valid state or government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. The bank with most branches in Kansas for easy access is Commerce Bank

Getting health insurance

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you will not have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. The state of Kansas proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Kansas as your state and create an account.

Type of healthcare

Cost

Employer-sponsored health insurance

$121.50

Non-employer-sponsored health insurance

$729.33

Gym

$48.75

Numbeo (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in Kansas

Best places to live in Kansas

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Overland Park. It offers a good quality of life, good job prospects, a low crime rate and an active and friendly neighborhood. 

If you are a family, you might want to consider Leawood. Leawood offers a prospering job market and a low crime rate (55% below the Kansas average). Additionally, Leawood is filled with some amazing restaurants, shopping areas and two of the top-performing school districts in the country. 

If you are single, you should consider moving to Manhattan. Manhattan offers a thriving college environment; it is home to the University of Kansas. The people here are very welcoming and friendly. In addition, it has some remarkable restaurants.

Setting up home services 

Setting up essential home services like electricity, water, and internet in Kansas is a straightforward process. 

  • Kansas Municipal Utilities is responsible for regulating electricity, natural gas, water, and telecommunication services in Kansas. You can visit their website and search for electricity, water, and gas providers and even reach out to them if you have any inquiry.

Should you rent or buy?

The average Kansas home value is $187,171, increased by 8% from 2022. Kansas’s price per square foot to buy an apartment outside the center is $128.33.

Finding an apartment for rent in Kansas is easy, utilize websites like Zillow, Apartmentguide, and Apartments.com. When seeking a house, these websites—Zillow, Realtor, and Century21—will assist you in your search for a home in Kansas.

Cost of rent in Wichita, Kansas

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Wichita (Outside of Center)

$753.33

$1,516.67

Cost of buying a property in Kansas

Area/Neighborhood

Average home price 

Wichita

$187,171

Numbeo (Oct 2023) & Zillow (Oct 2023)

Consider getting home insurance

Getting home insurance is essential, whichever state you are residing in. It is a kind of financial protection that will cover for your expenses if a natural disaster damages your home. Residents in Kansas are at a high risk of severe storms, floods, tornadoes, hailstorms, earthquakes, landslides, and wildfires. Therefore, getting home insurance will prove to be valuable.

4. Cost of living in Kansas

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

$925.00

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list ($60.07 multiplied by 4)

$240.28

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

$203.84

Internet with 60 Mbps

$67.04

Transit pass

$50.00

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

$85.00

Gym membership 

$48.75

Total

$

Numbeo (Oct 2023)

5. The weather in Kansas

On average, there are 230 sunny days per year in Kansas. The highest temperature in summer is 91° and the winter low is 19 degrees. Kansas averages 15 inches of snow per year and 33 inches of rain. The atmosphere in Kansas can be divided into three parts: semi-arid steppe, humid continental and humid subtropical. 

The western part of Kansas has a semiarid climate with dry, hot summers. Winters vary from being scorching to icy. Sometimes it gets too hot in Kansas, which makes Kansas the 9th sunniest state. 

The state is also vulnerable to harsh weather conditions because of the likelihood of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in spring.

6. What to do as a local in Kansas

After you are done settling into your new home in Kansas, you will probably want to familiarize yourself with the state and all its attractions. Some of the most popular activities and locations in Kansas include:

Alcove Spring Historic Park – It is considered as one of the most significant historic sites on the Oregon Trail in Kansas. It comprises several beautiful viewpoints in the park along its trails and paths. 

OZ Museum and Dorothy’s House and the Land of Oz – Must-visit places if you’ve watched the award-winning classic film called The Wizard of Oz. 

Prairie Fire Museum – The museum has received honors for its architecture style. The discovery room is a lot of fun with a lot of activities covering palaeontology, zoology, geology, and astronomy. 

Wichita Art Museum– A beautiful place rich in history.

Common grocery stores in Kansas include Aldi, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Trader Joe’s.

The two most popular big chain stores are Walmart and Costco.

Must-visit food places in Kansas are Red Lobster and The Handle Bar & Grill.

Visit the popular cities in Kansas: Wichita, Topeka & Lawrence.

7. Fun facts about Kansas

  • Fun Fact #1: Kansas is called ‘The Sunflower State’ because of its abundance of sunflowers.
  • Fun Fact #2: Helium was discovered in Kansas in 1905.
  • Fun Fact #3: There are around 500 caves in Kansas, most of them being inaccessible.

Conclusion

Kansas offers a mix of rural and urban areas, allowing for a variety of lifestyles. You can choose to live in vibrant cities like Wichita or enjoy the tranquillity of the countryside. Additionally, Kansas is centrally located in the United States, making it a convenient base for travel to other parts of the country.

While moving to Kansas has its pros and cons, checking the cost of living is essential to make sure you will live comfortably in this city and call it your home. It’s a good idea to research specific neighborhoods within the state and consider your priorities to determine if Kansas is the right fit for you and your family.

Need a trusted moving company for the area? Discover the 5 best movers in Kansas. 

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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