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Old 08-22-2013, 09:13 AM
5 posts, read 7,052 times
Reputation: 10


I am retired and hubby will be retired in 3 yrs. Currently renting in Princeton Heights but want to buy somewhere in the south city. Looking at St. Louis Hills/Southampton. Our price limit is 140,000. Is this possible without buying something that needs huge updates? Everything we see either needs a kitchen, a garage, or both. Are we beating our heads against a brick wall?

We can do some update projects and love to do them, but our experience is limited to building a deck, framing out doorways, replacing faucets, vanities, and some basement framing. One house we looked at, we would love to knock part of the dining room/kitchen wall down to half height and open the rooms to each other. This feels a little scary in an older home. We don't know what we are getting into and don't want to start something and find that we need to hire an expensive contractor to fix our mess. We would love to learn more and love the feel of the old brick bungalows but don't want to discover we bit off more than we can chew. The house we are currently considering is at 149,900 (no garage and kitchen needs updating and opening up) and we are waiting for them to come down in price. We had a contractor give us an estimate of $20,000 to do the kitchen and open it. A parking pad would cost a couple grand (a tree needs to be taken down) and a 1/2 bath would be another 10,000. Although, the bath we could live without for a while; there is a full bath upstairs. We can't afford those things right off the bat. We could live with it as is for a while and would like to do most of these things ourselves but kind of scared. All the blogs say to go for it. And people do amazing things all by themselves. Just don't want it to look like a 10 yr old tried to do it

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:51 AM
Location: St. Louis City
132 posts, read 363,917 times
Reputation: 66
Are you working with a realtor or researching on your own? My first instinct is that an experienced realtor could answer your question the best. When I search homes on Realtor.com and limit it to the 63109 and 63139 zip codes, houses under $140,000 with 1.5 baths: I get 50 results. Without looking through all of the pictures, it's hard to guess which ones have the renovations you desire. City homes in the areas you're looking at were just built with smaller kitchens. I've been told that kitchen additions add a lot of value to a home, so you might not find a large kitchen in your price range. You might also have to expand your search to other zip codes in South City. These are just a few random thoughts, but I do think a realtor could give you more definitive answers. Best of luck!
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:19 PM
18 posts, read 26,550 times
Reputation: 10
There's some nice homes for sale that might be in that range along Loughborough. Jamesison and Mackland areas. Those are pretty nice areas but not the Hills...which tends to be expensive unless you are on the edge.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:06 PM
Location: Southwest Washington State
30,154 posts, read 21,132,921 times
Reputation: 49379
To me Shrewsbury has that S. City feel. You might be able to find what you want there.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:44 AM
Location: South St. Louis City
116 posts, read 194,438 times
Reputation: 66
Too bad I didn't see your post. I have a contract on my home. It sounds perfect for you, except it is move-in ready and completely updated with granite, ceramic tile, but with a historic flare, stained glass windows, woodwork and cast-iron air vents. My home is in 63139, great area near Watson Rd/Lindenwod area. Private message me if you are interested. It has a contract, but you never know. I could fall through. It is below your price range, in an awesome area and completely updated.

PS_ You can find exactly what you are looking for, if you get an agent and set up a profile on MARIS, that fits your criteria. That is how I found my house. You will love South City, btw. It is the best place to live! Great central location, close to everything, endless ammenities, character, great eats, close to everything, great parks, restaurants. Can't beat South City! Love it! Not leaving South City, just a different house BTW...
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