Lee’s Summit, Missouri could be one of the best places in the country to live.
It is an upscale suburban community next to Kansas City.
It is close enough to the big city to get all the benefits, and far enough away to easily escape the rat race when you want to.
Lee’s Summit is a decent-sized city in its own right, with just over 100,000 people.
It is a little expensive when compared to Kansas or Missouri, but not when compared to the rest of the nation.
- Pros of Living in Lee’s Summit, Mo
- Cons of Living in Lee’s Summit
- Pros and Cons of Living in Lee’s Summit, MO – Summary Table
- Lee’s Summit Safety Overview
- Frequently Asked Questions
Pros of Living in Lee’s Summit, Mo
Lee’s Summit is often ranked among the best places to live in America.
It is an upscale community and has all the amenities you could want.
It has a charming downtown and has friendly people.
It is a little expensive, but it is very safe with little crime.
There are a lot of good jobs available, and the average income is higher than the state average.
The restored downtown has a lot of restaurants, and there is a lot of public art like sculptures and murals.
2. Suburban Feel
Lee’s Summit is next to Kansas City, a large city in the middle of America.
It is just far enough away to escape a lot of the bad things big cities are known for.
There is a nice suburban feel to the town.
It is very family-oriented, with nicely laid out streets and many nice houses.
It is attractive to families and young professionals.
It is more relaxed than the big city but still has all the good things a big city can offer.
3. Cool Downtown
Many cities have a deteriorating downtown, but not Lee’s Summit.
People there take a lot of price in their town, and in recent years there has been more of an effort to restore the downtown area into a place where people would want to go.
There is a lot of public art, like statues and murals.
There are dozens of bars, clubs, and restaurants for evening entertainment.
Several art galleries, parks, and museums also dot the landscape.
4. Nice Weather
Lee’s Summit has all four seasons, and none of them are overly harsh.
Winters are cold and summers are hot, but not excessively.
Summer temperatures are between 655 and 85, and in winter the range is 21-41.
The area gets about 14 inches of snow in winter, primarily in December.
The town gets about 43 inches of rain each year, with most of it coming in June.
Lee’s Summit averages 219 sunny days per year.
5. Low Crime Rate
Lee’s Summit is a safe place to live, and there is very little crime.
The city averages 1.5 violent crimes per 1,000 people, far below the national average of 4.0, and the Missouri average of 5.3.
Your odds of being a violent crime victim are one in 663, while your odds are one in 187 in Missouri.
Property crime is a little more common, but still below the state and national average.
6. Good Paying Jobs
The median household income in Lee’s Summit is $98,000, well above the national average of $69,000.
The per capita income, or individual average, is $45,000, again well above the national average of $37,000.
Not everyone is wealthy though, as 4.5 percent are living below the poverty line, which is not nearly as bad as the national average of 13 percent.
Healthcare and education are two of the major jobs that are available in Lee’s Summit.
7. Good Schools
The Lee’s Summit School District is one of the best-rated districts in either Missouri or Kansas.
It has 18,000 students in grades K-12.
The student-teacher ratio is 14-1.
State test scores show that 46 percent of the students are proficient in math, and 55 percent are in reading, which is good compared to most other districts.
Teachers are also highly rated in this district.
There are community colleges in Lee’s Summit and several places for higher learning in the Kansas City area.
There are two state-of-the-art hospitals in Lee’s Summit, which serve the city and surrounding areas.
There are also plenty of doctors, who often like to have offices in nice suburbs of big cities like Lee’s Summit.
The only issue would be whether you have insurance.
But any kind of doctor you might need should be easily available in Less Summit.
Cons of Living in Lee’s Summit
1. Housing Costs
Both the East and West coasts cost more, but the cost of living in Lee’s Summit is higher than the average for both Kansas and Missouri.
The median home value in Lee’s Summit is $248,000, compared to the national average of $245,000.
The median rent is $1,164, almost exactly the national average.
The median cost of a house in Kansas is $219,000, and in Missouri it is $240,000.
It can be hard to find cheap living accommodation.
2. High Taxes
Taxes are high in Lee’s Summit when compared to other cities in the Midwest.
The sales tax is 8.5 percent on all goods and services.
Property tax is also high, at 1.03 percent, which translates to a property tax bill of $2,432 on an average home.
Missouri also has a graduated income tax, as well as a corporate tax you will have to pay if you own a business.
In one small break, Missouri has stopped taxing social security benefits.
The overall tax burden is higher than it is for most of Missouri and Kansas.
3. Weather Extremes
The weather is nice most of the year, and that is a positive.
The extremes, however, are not so nice.
In summer, it can get to 100 degrees or hotter for a few days in July or August.
In Winter there can be a snowstorm, and it may stay cold for a few weeks.
There is also the danger of tornadoes, which are common in summer, in this part of the country.
These storms can come up quickly and cause major damage to big areas.
4. Not Much Diversity
Lee’s Summit is 80 percent white, 12 percent African American, and then there is everyone else.
This may not have been intentional as the percentage mirrors that of the rest of the state of Missouri, though Kansas City is different.
There are more high-income people, and that tends to mean there are fewer minorities living in the area.
There is not much cultural diversity either, but there is plenty nearby in Kansas City, and people get more exposed to differences there.
5. Too Close to Kansas City
Being next door to Kansas City is good in that you can take advantage of the good things.
It is a negative, however, when some of the negativity of the city creeps in, as it always will.
Lee’s Summit has a poverty level of just 4.2 percent.
In Kansas City that figure is 15 percent.
The crime rate in Lee’s Summit is very low, but it is higher than the national average in Kansas City.
6. Growing Pains
Lee’s Summit has been one of the fastest-growing cities in Missouri.
In 1960 there were just over 8,000 people, and by 2010 there were 91,000 people.
Since then, it has added 10 more thousand people.
Growth is generally a good thing, but too much too fast can be a problem.
There are problems with infrastructure keeping up at times, and there can be housing shortages at times.
Taxes have to remain high to try to keep up with the infrastructure needs.
7. Conservative Area
It can be debated whether this is a positive or negative, but Lee’s Summit is in the heart of a conservative country.
There are some liberals, however, so you won’t be totally alone if you are of that persuasion.
If conservatives bother you, it may be an issue.
People do tend to dislike change though, which is a conservative hallmark, so it is hard to get people to progress at times.
A lot of people work in Kansas City or another city nearby and commute to Lee’s Summit.
This can cause a lot of traffic congestion in the morning and evening rush hours.
The average commute time is 27 minutes, which is long by most people’s standards.
Most people have cars, averaging two per household, which is the national average.
Infrastructure needs also mean there is often road construction going on.
Pros and Cons of Living in Lee’s Summit, MO – Summary Table
|Pros of Living in Lees Summit, Mo
|Cons of Living in Lees Summit
|1. Housing Costs
|2. Suburban Feel
|2. High Taxes
|3. Cool Downtown
|3. Weather Extremes
|4. Nice Weather
|4. Not Much Diversity
|5. Low Crime Rate
|5. Too Close to Kansas City
|6. Good Paying Jobs
|6. Growing Pains
|7. Good Schools
|7. Conservative Area
Lee’s Summit Safety Overview
READ THE FULL REPORT: Lee’s Summit Safety ReviewSafety Index:
- OVERALL RISK: LOW
- TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
- PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
- NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
- MUGGING RISK: LOW
- TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
- SCAMS RISK: LOW
- WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Frequently Asked Questions
How far is it to major sports venues?
Professional baseball and football in Kansas City have their stadiums next to each other.
They are 13 miles, or 20 minutes from Lee’s Summit.
There are a lot of other sports in the area that can be enjoyed as well.
When was Lee's Summit founded?
Lee’s Summit was founded as the Civil War was winding down.
It was first named Strother, and that was changed in 1868.
Some say it was named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee, while others say it was named after a local man named Lea.
The area was hotly contested in the years before the Civil War and there were several skirmishes in the area.
How popular are beer breweries in Lee's Summit?
They must be popular because there are currently five of them in the downtown area, and they are all going strong.
You can take bike paths and see them all.
There are about 30 microbreweries in the greater Kansas City area.
Are there hiking trails in the area?
There are six parks and a lot of hiking and biking trails in Lee’s Summit.
They also connect to the Kansas City system.
There are 73 trails that account for about 700 miles of trails in the metropolitan area.
There are urban areas, a well as rural areas, and even forests.
There are also two major wildlife preserves on the eastern side of Lee’s Summit that are available for public recreation.
How is transportation?
Kansas City International Airport is 39 miles from Lee’s Summit.
This makes connecting to the world fairly easy.
There is an Amtrak stop in Lee’s Summit.
The city also has a small bus service that connects to the greater Kansas City bus system.
It’s not hard to get out of town on public transportation and see the world.
What is the significance of the name, Lee's Summit?
The town is indeed on a summit.
It is at the highest point on the railroad between Kansas City and St. Louis.