The Essential Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Wichita

Wichita, Kansas is an ideal place to raise a family. It is family friendly and has a small town feel.  If you find yourself moving to Wichita, here is a list of few neighborhoods and suburbs you might want to consider.

The first thing you need to know is Wichita has an east side and a west side, you can read how that works here.

In my opinion, one side is not any better than the other, although many locals will beg to differ. As a new resident, you don’t have to worry about the old school stigma of living east or west, so lucky for you, there are plenty of options to choose from.

East Side

Bel Aire: This small suburb lies just north of the city of Wichita and was established in 1980, making it a relatively new area that is continually growing. If you are looking to build your own home, there are plenty of new housing additions where you can choose your own builder and floor plan making you the “Fresh Prince” of the house of your dreams.

Andover: Although, this part of Wichita has been around since 1880, the city of Andover wasn’t established until 1957. However, you won’t find much original architecture from that era due to the historic F5 tornado that slammed into the heart of Andover on April 26, 1991. The tornado swept away entire neighborhoods, leaving thousands homeless. Since then, the city has been rebuilt from the ground up with new water lines, streets, sewer systems and housing developments. It is known for having one of the best school districts in the Wichita area and is full of families.

Eastborough: This neighborhood in the middle of Wichita is actually its own city and was established in 1937. Eastborough was originally envisioned by Burdon Hunter, a British architect, who wanted to build an English village in the midst of the Kansas prairie, complete with quaint English streets, named and patterned after the small boroughs of his native homeland. Since 1937, Eastborough has developed into a small town covering two square miles with 21 streets and has its own mayor.

West Side

Emerald Bay Estates: This neighborhood is in the city limits of Wichita, where you can live, boat and ski in the middle of Kansas. If you’re looking for lakeside real estate in Wichita, Emerald Bay’s 30 foot deep lake features over two miles of shore line and is ideal for boating and water skiing. Your family will enjoy the perks of living on the lake, yet still being close to great restaurants, shopping and entertainment.

Maize: This town was established in 1870 and is still fairly rural. Although, it won’t stay that way for long. The population is a little over 4,000 and the edge of town is booming with new shopping areas, restaurants and housing developments.

Goddard: This suburb is located in the South Central part of Kansas just west of Wichita. Goddard is a fast growing community and was recognized as the fastest growing city in Kansas by the U.S. Census in 2010. Goddard is a fun place to raise a family as kids and adults alike will enjoy the nearby animal park called Tanganyika. This family friendly zoo allows guests to get up close and personal with the animals. If petting a kangaroo or feeding a rhinoceros has been on your list of things you want to do, you can do it at Tanganyika. Even though the city of Goddard continues to grow, the area around Tanganyika remains untouched which definitely gives the park a wildlife feel.

Downtown

Downtown Wichita: Downtown is anchored by several unique neighborhoods at the city’s core. With residential options including minimal studios, luxury condos, warehouse lofts, family style apartments and more, there is something for everyone. Downtown offers easy access to the best of everything.

College Hill: This neighborhood is east of downtown and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Wichita. There are plenty of mature trees and a mix of residents from young families to retired couples. Due to their age, many homes have been updated and remodeled. Although, there are a few homes that are still in need of some TLC. So if you’re an HGTV addict and want to take a stab at your own fixer upper, you will likely find it in College Hill.

The Courtyards

You will find these neighborhoods both east and west with a couple in between. Sprinkled throughout the city of Wichita, these unique planned communities offer a variety of open floor plans that include gourmet kitchens, walk-in closets, fireplaces  and much more. Living at The Courtyards allows you to enjoy the benefit of owning a home without the stress of exterior maintenance. Residents can relax and live a life of leisure knowing all of their home’s exterior upkeep including yard work, landscape, and snow removal will be taken care of by a trained professional. The Courtyard neighborhoods also include amenities such as a clubhouse, fitness center, swimming pool, walking trails and pickleball courts for resident use.

Tips on housing in Wichita

Beware of housing additions with ponds.  Although they are aesthetically appealing, they attract flocks and flocks of geese which end up leaving quite a mess behind.

You will also need to know about specials. Specials are not so special. To sum it up instead of the developer putting in the streets and sewer system, the city does. So instead of that cost going into the price of the home or lot, it is a separate bill you pay over the course of 10, 15 or even 20 years. Typically specials are for homes that are 15 years or newer. Older homes sometimes have specials if neighborhood sidewalks need replaced or if a neighborhood that once had a gravel road decided to pave their road.

Wichita is a fairly small metro area so wherever you choose to live, you are really not that far away from anything. Traffic is also a breeze which can make your commute even faster.



Sharmin Meadows