Most apartment complexes in Wichita allow cats and small dogs as roommates in exchange for a reasonably priced pet deposit. Unfortunately for Clifford, larger breed dogs require heftier deposits or are disallowed altogether. Most newer apartment complexes in the area provide tight security, requiring residents to swipe access cards or keys to both come and go. If you’re single and looking to move to Wichita and rent alone, this is an area perk worth looking into.
The cost of living here is relatively low (median price of $630), but it varies depending on which part of the city most tickles your fancy. The neighborhoods in Wichita are just as diverse as the people who live here, and as the birthplace of both Don Johnson and Buffalo Bill, you’ll soon agree that Wichita is no one trick pony.
Downtown: Everything Old is New Again. Just east of the Arkansas River lies what was once the city’s industrial center. These days, Downtown Wichita has gone through a major overhaul and has become the go-to neighborhood for 20-somethings and single people looking for a smaller “city” life. Home to some of the most popular landmarks (Century II, Garvey Center, Epic Center and Oldtown, to name a few), the entire area has recently been restored and these old landmarks and warehouses are being turned into apartment-style communities. A bustling neighborhood full of nightclubs, bars, restaurants and shops, renting here is ideal for the young or young at heart who fancy themselves “city dwellers.” Lofts and one and two bedroom apartments are the makeup of this hip, residential area.
Riverside: Just northwest of Downtown is the established, residential area of Riverside. The streets are lined with renovated Victorian homes, beckoning families and those looking for quaint, single family homes and apartments. The area is close to to Riverside Park and bike paths. Apartment living in this Wichita hood can cost anywhere from $400 -$900, depending on the size of the unit. Renting a home suitable enough for a family in the Riverside area (more than 3 bedrooms) can cost about a $1000/month. This area is also perfect for working professionals and younger couples looking to settle or find an old rental to restore. $$-$$$
College Hill: East of downtown, College Hill overlooks the downtown area and is comprised of a more middle aged crowd. Home to artsy folks and those who want a little piece of suburbia, this neighborhood is made up of single-family homes and a few apartment complexes. This end of town isn’t all about historic homes, as new condos mingle amidst older structures, welcoming those who want suburbia without the Stepford Wives feel. The area offers plenty of shaded, tree lined streets for a nice bike ride.
Eastborough: A virtual city within the city, Eastborough is an excellent neighborhood consisting of many older homes. Eastborough does offer some apartment and townhome communities, but housing here tends to be in houses rather than apartment form. Housing and living costs are a bit higher here than in surrounding areas of Wichita and it’s exceedingly suburban. Many people flock to the area, restoring homes, while some residents have lived in this more “upscale” neighborhood in custom-built homes for years.
Transportation in Wichita is primarily done by car. The city is large and fairly spread out, with drivers depending mostly on highways (Interstate 135 and Kansas Turnpike) to navigate around town. Despite highway usage, however, traffic congestion is nil, with the average commute time lasting about 16 minutes. For those who prefer to rely on public transportation, Wichita may not be for you. While there is public transportation, most residents rely on their own 4 wheels with the exception of those who reside in the Downtown area who may use the Q-Line Trolley to get to area bars, restaurants and businesses each and every evening.
Wichita weather basically covers all four seasons. Pack your rain boots and your galoshes because it rains here a lot. The winter is very cold and the summer can be very hot, so be sure your new apartment or home comes with a hard-working A/C unit and heating system.
Not all dirt roads, wheat fields and farm land, Wichita is a great place forthose looking to relocate and young professionals looking for a bit of city life. History meets the future in this Midwest melting pot. Pack your bags and follow the yellow brick road to Wichita: The Land of Ahs.