A few nuggets of info that will hopefully help make your migration to Overland Park silky-smooth:
“Pump it Up …” Everyone knows that you don’t show up in Kansas City without an appetite for world-class barbecue, and everyone should know that you don’t roll into Overland Park without your own set of wheels. Technically, public transportation does exist (the Johnson Country Transit system makes 13 stops in the area), but because the buildings in Overland Park are so spread out, you shouldn’t expect to be able to shop, bank, work, and play conveniently without a vehicle of your own. The demand for public transit is low, meanwhile, so don’t hold your breath waiting for an upgraded bus system.
‘Ain’t No Party Like an Applebee’s Party … Unless you’re confident you can pick up dates at America’s Favorite Neighborhood Grill & Bar, you’re likely to be disappointed by the “nightlife” (or lack thereof) in Overland Park. Best bet: Hightail it into downtown K.C. (about 10 miles away) and bar-hop around Westport, the Plaza, or the Power & Light District instead (Note: When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in K.C., drink Boulevard).
Overland Park boasts a petting zoo, botanical garden, two mega-malls, and plenty of museums, golf courses, bike trails, and recurring festivals. Still not convinced? At the 96-acre Overland Park Soccer Complex, all 12 fields are frequently occupied, and organizers often have to book clinics and camps 18 months in advance to secure a field.
“Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore …” Never fear, Kansas commuter: you won’t encounter any tedious toll booths when crossing state lines, and the journey to K.C.-MO rarely takes longer than a half hour.
Before packing up shop and heading out to the outskirts of BBQ heaven, there are a few things we think you should know about leasing an apartment in Overland Park:
• Leasers pay an average of $1000/month.
• The demand for apartments frequently outweighs the supply, and units aren’t always available at prospective tenants’ first choices. Most landlords will require leasers put in a formal bid/application 60 days before their move-in date, so don’t stroll into town expecting to find a place right away. And if you come across a rental property that you can’t live without, don’t mull it over for too long, because it might not be available for long.
• What, then, can you expect from an Overland Park apartment if and when you finally find one? Well, you can expect all the comforts your home-owning brethren enjoy, including modern kitchens, ample living space (900-plus square feet for a typical 2 BR unit), and community gym, pool, and rec areas. Especially in the southern and central parts of the city, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything other than luxury rentals.
• Finally, 6 and 12-month leases are available at most properties, but you’ll have to fork over some extra dough ($25 to $50 typically) for the 6-month varieties. Month-to-month leases are practically nonexistent, as are studio units.
Generally speaking, the northern sections of town like City Center and Antioch serve up apartments in the $600-$700 range, while units in the more southern ‘hoods like Morse and the Nieman District go for closer to $1200. Most of Overland Park’s 40-odd ‘hoods have a similar ambiance, though, so don’t expect to notice many radical differences in the different parts of town while apartment hunting. New houses are constantly springing up all over Overland Park, meanwhile, and many of them are of the cookie-cutter variety; so if you’re looking to rent a house loaded with architectural flash and dazzle, you’re in for a challenge.
Bottom line: If you’re on the lookout for an apartment in a reasonably priced community, Overland Park may be the perfect fit for you.
Best of luck, and happy hunting!