What are the real costs of living in your city?
by Jeff Pinkerton
As Americans, we are always looking for the best deal. We always want to know which purchase will give us the most bang for our buck. This is a fairly easy endeavor to do in the internet era. We can compare prices for just about any purchase we might want to make.
It is, however, quite a bit more difficult to do when it comes to perhaps our most important purchase, our home. No one understands that difficulty more than Harrisonville City Administrator Keith Moody. Moody just recently completed an exhaustive survey that looks at the true differences in cost of living in the 48 cities in the Kansas City area. The study, which required hundreds of individual interviews, shows the typical costs of taxes and utilities for a typical family that earns $100,000 a year and lives in a $250,000 house.
The overall average for such a family among all cities was $14,503 in total taxes and utilities. The Unified Government (Kansas City, Kan.) and Kansas City, Mo. had the highest costs at just over $16,000. Smithville, Mo. had the lowest cost at $12,819.
“Despite the variety in the types of cities that make up our metro — large, small, urban and rural,” Moody noted, “the differences in costs among the cities were not too great.”
Moody also noted that costs are just one variable that weighs in on housing decisions. Families also look at public services (like public schools, parks etc.), location and proximity to work when deciding which home is right for them.
This is the third cost of living report Moody has conducted. The other two reports were done in 2009 and 2011.
The chart above is only the summary chart for selected cities from the survey. For more detailed information you can access a slide presentation of Moody’s results which includes data for all 48 cities surveyed and breakdowns by taxes and utilities.