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Old 12-14-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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Our family will be relocating to the St. Louis area, working in Clayton. We currently live in a northern burb of Chicago and are looking for a similar area. Willing to commute up to 30 minutes. Strong schools a must. Friendly neighborhoods a must. Housing around $400. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
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Most of west county is very similar to the northern suburbs of Chicago. Lots of shopping, new development, etc. Webster Groves & Kirkwood are more established areas with very nice, charming areas and downtowns of their own (think Libertyville but closer to the city). As you head west on 44 you start running into other strong suburbs with more new development, usually also cheaper. Ladue (which is right next to Clayton) is pretty much the equivalent of north shore towns like Wilmette and Winnetka, and fairly expensive. As you go further west (Chesterfield), things start getting less expensive, but the schools are still very good. Lots of newer development out that way. I just named off some areas of the Chicago suburbs that I'm more familiar with (I grew up in the Skokie area, then Libertyville area). Maryland Heights and St Charles are also great options too that I'm not as familiar with.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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If you want to be within 35 minutes of clayton and pay about $400k, look at kirkwood, glendale, webster groves, and subdivisions off route 141 north or south of I-64(route 40 for old timers in st louis). Clayton would be excellent but be forwarned that prices are very high and homes tend to be 75 years old or older. Kirkwood, Glendale, and Webster are more affordable but also very old homes. The houses off route 141 tend to be about 35 to 40 years old. You also might be able to find something in Creve Coeur. If you want new construction within 30 minutes of Clayton in good schools for $400k you are out of luck.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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I think Billiken has it pretty much right. You have a lot of choices with your criteria (400k, within 30 min of Clayton) so your main trade off will be deciding between:
1) spaciousness of abode and amount of deferred maintenenace
2) distance to Clayton

Given that you require a top school district, the two are inversely related. You won't find a 3 bedroom house in Clayton for $400 or less unless it is in desparate need of updates. You can find something next door in Richmond Heights, Olivette, or Ladue for $400 (all of which feed into Ladue schools), but it will be smallish and/or in need of some updating. That would be the route I would go personally. Brentwood is similar in that regard. Otherwise, you can move out to Creve Couer or Chesterfield, still awesome schools and within 30 min, but where you might be able to get a house that is relatively large and newer or in very good repair. Kirkwood and Webster are your other two obvious choices, and yes they are more established than Chesterfield, similar to Clayton but maybe a touch more of a suburban feel.
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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Thanks for the quick and thorough responses. It looks like I have two main choices ... I think I would choose to go further west to get more house (and newer) for my money. Billiken, I have lived in both the Libertyville and Skokie areas so am thrilled with your comparisons. I like the more "suburban" feel that Lib has to offer so I am hoping that the Chesterfield area is similar with similar sized houses for less money. I am also used to the Lib school district so something comparable is highly desired. Any thoughts on school comparisons? Lastly, I have heard that highway construction is an issue with commuting. Any issues with the Chesterfield-Clayton commute?
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:54 PM
 
Location: St Louis, Missouri
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I would concentrate on Creve Coeur and Olivette properties in Ladue schools if you want to stay as far central as possible. You may also want to consider Brentwood and Kirkwood. You won't have your pick of the crop at 400K, but with a good agent and diligence, you should be able to find a fairly nice house.

If willing to go a tad further, I would venture out Ladue Road into Town & Country/eastern Chesterfield (Parkway Central).
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:31 PM
 
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I-64 is brand new from Spoede to Kingshighway, and it is fairly new west of Spoede as well, so you won't have any construction issues between Chesterfield and Clayton for a while. The only section of Chesterfield that might be a full 30 minute commute to Clayton would be Wild Horse Creek and all that jazz down near Babler State Park and Wildwood. Otherwise you are looking at mostly 20-25 minute commutes in normal traffic. Parkway schools are outstanding from what I have heard, on par with anything in the metro. Although I have no first hand experience with them, I have heard specifcally high accolades for Mason Ridge and Barrett Station elementary schools, and Parkway Central High School reminds me of Naperville Central in its profile (large, well-funded, newer, good sports and band, etc). I like the earlier suggestions of Town and Country or east Chesterfield, or anything just south or north of I-64 off of route 141. Town and Country is pricier than Chesterfield on the whole, but you *might* be able to find something suitable there on your budget the way housing has been stuck.
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:46 PM
 
Location: St Louis, Missouri
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I agree... commute is a cinch now. 30 min tops
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madal View Post
Thanks for the quick and thorough responses. It looks like I have two main choices ... I think I would choose to go further west to get more house (and newer) for my money. Billiken, I have lived in both the Libertyville and Skokie areas so am thrilled with your comparisons. I like the more "suburban" feel that Lib has to offer so I am hoping that the Chesterfield area is similar with similar sized houses for less money. I am also used to the Lib school district so something comparable is highly desired. Any thoughts on school comparisons? Lastly, I have heard that highway construction is an issue with commuting. Any issues with the Chesterfield-Clayton commute?
Chesterfield has an older part and a newer part. The older part borders Creve Coeur. You are likely seeking the newer parts.

The Parkway school district would meet your needs.

Commute is cake vs North side of Chicago burbs on 294, 53, 94, etc..well within your time frame.

If your search changes to include older homes, that would expand my comments.

Clayton, Ladue, Town & Country, Creve Coeur, are all between Clayton and Chesterfield and all are desirable areas with good schools.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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Are you looking for a large school district? We prefer Brentwood because of the small (tiny, really) schools. Quality is outstanding and it's a great family community.
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