Some of the finer privileges of life in Topeka include:
You can build up your bankroll: The cost of living in the city is 15 percentage points lower than the national average, while 1BR and even 2BR units rarely cost more than 600-700 bucks.
Capital security: Unlike neighboring cities who must constantly be wary of local businesses packing up shop and heading for supposedly sunnier pastures, Topekans may rest assured that their biggest employer – the State of Kansas capital building – is here for good. Topeka stands as one of the Midwest’s more economically stable communities.
Say goodbye to gridlock: Topeka residents spend on average a mere 18 minutes trekking to and from work each day and enjoy one of the state’s more reliable public transportation systems. With 15 stops throughout the area and charging as little as $22 for a monthly pass, the Topeka Metro has become an increasingly savvy choice for commuters.
Entertainment: For those who prefer their fun in the sun, Topeka serves up plenty of parks, lakes, museums, a motor sports complex, and a pretty cool zoo.
Some Tidbits for Tenants
If you’re still reading, it means you’re ready to find yourself a killer pad. A few pointers to help make your apartment hunting experience silky-smooth:
Be a bargain shopper: The types of renting specials you’ll come across are pretty much unheard-of in other parts of the Midwest, as even 3 BR units in Topeka are available in the $800 range. Studios rarely go for over $400 and quality 1BR and 2 BR units rarely exceed $600-$700. And because the number of rental properties outnumbers the number of renters by far, you’ll come across no shortage of leasing options. Don’t settle on anything until you’re sure it’s the perfect fit for you.
Don’t waste away on waiting lists: Topeka isn’t the kind of city that sees a large turnover of residents, so if (in the very rare case) you have to get on a waiting list before moving into a place, just shrug it off and walk away. A ton of other landlords will practically beg you to move in immediately.
Consider the alternatives: Apartments aren’t your only renting options in Topeka. Why not look into leasing a single-family detached home, instead? Plenty are available, and the cost for a multi-BR home is often comparable to that of an apartment.
Arm yourself with credentials… it’s worth it: You’ll need (obvious statement alert!) proper I.D. to rent a place in Topeka, as well as proof of income and (sometimes) proof of rental history. What you’ll get in exchange for this minor inconvenience is, among other things, plenty of room to kick your feet up. Topeka is a spacious, spread out city, and its apartments are no different: Most multi-BR units are at least 1200 square feet, and even studio units typically offer 600-plus square feet of living space.
The Lay of the Land
Generally, the further west/southwest you travel in Topeka, the more you’ll find the bulk of the city’s shopping centers, banks, and eateries, while the more urban-minded domiciles are centered closer to downtown. Be sure to scout out not only your potential nesting place but also your overall neighborhood before relocating to Topeka. If you want to live in the greater metro area just outside city limits, districts like Jefferson West, Seaman, and Auburn-Washburn offer viable rental options as well, although they come at a slightly more elevated price (usually closer to a grand).
Some Completely Irrelevant Information
In the Kansa Native American tongue, Topeka means “a place to grow good potatoes.” So take that, Idaho!
The city unofficially renamed itself “Google, Kansas” for a month in 2010 in an attempt to sway the technology giant to choose Topeka as the site for a massive fiber optics experiment. Sadly, Google picked neighboring Kansas City, Kansas instead. Gee, thanks, Google.
Finally, Topeka is a frequent player in Stephen King novels (but is not as nearly as creepy as the author makes it sound).
Need-to-know information? Of course not! We just thought you’d like to have something to chat about.
In any case, welcome to Topeka and happy hunting!
-By Kera Zacuto
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