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Old 02-26-2014, 04:50 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,098 times
Reputation: 10

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My family and I are moving to St. Louis in one month and I will be working near the Central West End. We have a 14 month old and a newborn baby and are obviously looking for someplace safe to raise them. I know St. Louis has garnered a bad reputation for crime but my experience there was pleasant and I'm looking forward to the move. Every city I've ever lived in has its bad spots and I've heard that St. Louis' are pretty much restricted to certain areas. We are open to living in the city limits or the surrounding counties. I'd also prefer that a dangerous neighborhood isn't "spilling over" from next door, so to speak.

Below are the neighborhoods we've been focusing on:

Wentzville
Chesterfield
St. Charles
St. Peters
Ballwin
Webster Groves
Tower Grove
Lafayette Square
Soulard
The Hill
Clayton
Central West End

Our budget is about $200k to buy and $1500/mo to rent.

FYI, I don't mind a 45 minute commute. I'm used to it! If anyone can recommend any areas I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Paris
1,728 posts, read 2,172,369 times
Reputation: 1014
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_1913 View Post
My family and I are moving to St. Louis in one month and I will be working near the Central West End. We have a 14 month old and a newborn baby and are obviously looking for someplace safe to raise them. I know St. Louis has garnered a bad reputation for crime but my experience there was pleasant and I'm looking forward to the move. Every city I've ever lived in has its bad spots and I've heard that St. Louis' are pretty much restricted to certain areas. We are open to living in the city limits or the surrounding counties. I'd also prefer that a dangerous neighborhood isn't "spilling over" from next door, so to speak.

Below are the neighborhoods we've been focusing on:

Wentzville
Chesterfield
St. Charles
St. Peters
Ballwin
Webster Groves
Tower Grove
Lafayette Square
Soulard
The Hill
Clayton
Central West End

Our budget is about $200k to buy and $1500/mo to rent.

FYI, I don't mind a 45 minute commute. I'm used to it! If anyone can recommend any areas I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
Welcome (from a previous resident), hope you have a good move! You're quite correct on the city's eputation as a whole, that being said, can you elaborate a little more on what else you want? I ask because your list has some very different places, Lafayette Square all the way out to Wentzville!
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:39 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
1,221 posts, read 2,380,529 times
Reputation: 786
I'm a big city booster so that would be my first choice, but Clayton and Webster Groves are also very nice. Wentzville, Chesterfield, St. Charles, St. Peters, and Ballwin are just too cookie-cutter and suburban for my taste, so I can't recommend them.

That being said, you're going to have trouble finding anything to buy for $200,000 in the CWE, Lafayette Square, Clayton, or Webster Groves. Tower Grove, Soulard, and the Hill would be doable on that budget. For renting, you should be able to find a 2br/2ba in any of the above locations fairly easily. It might not have all of the latest bells, whistles, and amenities, but it's doable.

As far as crime goes, Clayton, Webster, Soulard, and the Hill are the safest. The CWE, Lafayette Square, and Tower Grove do tend to have a little bit of spillover crime from adjacent areas here and there, but it's really not enough to send people packing. There are a lot of wealthy people in the CWE and Lafayette Square who seem undeterred by it, so take that how you will.
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:26 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,098 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks guys. Dawn, I'm in 100% agreement with you on cookie cutters but I think my wife would prefer somewhere like Chesterfield because it has more of a safety appeal, being farther away from the city and all. We had been living in a high rise in downtown Indianapolis for the last three years or so and it was great until we had kids. I've lived in the heart of downtown in two other major metro areas for several years and I've been well conditioned to city life but I feel differently now that we're raising a family. Ideally, someplace with a large yard, 1,500+ sq ft, and assuredly safe would be the main priorities. I guess the best question is, where can we get the yard, the price and safety within an hour's drive? I should mention that we're fine with small, rural country towns as well but I haven't gone that far in my research just yet.
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:30 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
7,266 posts, read 5,756,815 times
Reputation: 4274
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_1913 View Post
My family and I are moving to St. Louis in one month and I will be working near the Central West End. We have a 14 month old and a newborn baby and are obviously looking for someplace safe to raise them. I know St. Louis has garnered a bad reputation for crime but my experience there was pleasant and I'm looking forward to the move. Every city I've ever lived in has its bad spots and I've heard that St. Louis' are pretty much restricted to certain areas. We are open to living in the city limits or the surrounding counties. I'd also prefer that a dangerous neighborhood isn't "spilling over" from next door, so to speak.

Below are the neighborhoods we've been focusing on:

Wentzville
Chesterfield
St. Charles
St. Peters
Ballwin
Webster Groves
Tower Grove
Lafayette Square
Soulard
The Hill
Clayton
Central West End

Our budget is about $200k to buy and $1500/mo to rent.

FYI, I don't mind a 45 minute commute. I'm used to it! If anyone can recommend any areas I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
You've really named some different types of areas, from urban to suburban, old to now, expensive to not quite so expensive.

I'd suggest renting until you get a feel for the area and can narrow things down a bit.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:10 PM
 
53 posts, read 54,561 times
Reputation: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_1913 View Post
My family and I are moving to St. Louis in one month and I will be working near the Central West End. We have a 14 month old and a newborn baby and are obviously looking for someplace safe to raise them. I know St. Louis has garnered a bad reputation for crime but my experience there was pleasant and I'm looking forward to the move. Every city I've ever lived in has its bad spots and I've heard that St. Louis' are pretty much restricted to certain areas. We are open to living in the city limits or the surrounding counties. I'd also prefer that a dangerous neighborhood isn't "spilling over" from next door, so to speak.

Below are the neighborhoods we've been focusing on:

Wentzville
Chesterfield
St. Charles
St. Peters
Ballwin
Webster Groves
Tower Grove
Lafayette Square
Soulard
The Hill
Clayton
Central West End

Our budget is about $200k to buy and $1500/mo to rent.

FYI, I don't mind a 45 minute commute. I'm used to it! If anyone can recommend any areas I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!

first, I'd suggest not embracing too long of a commute, because St. Louis traffic is nasty, especially headed from west to CWE unless you work super early. I drove for years from St. Charles on the Hwy 40 side to Clayton- the traffic is bad and there is always construction. And I mean always. It is notorious. They've even shut down parts of 70 AND 40 at the same time, just for funsies.

For family living I suggest County rather than city. Typically newer houses, parking is easier. your budget doesn't fit Chesterfield really, although that would be my first pick. St Charles on that side is nice, good school district, and housing is less. My friend and I owned similar houses, hers in Chesterfield, mine in St Charles. about 2500 square feet, 4 bedrooms, Same type of neighborhood. mine was $220,00 hers was $320,000 and I had an inground pool. You can also utilize the page extension. Look at houses from Highway 40 between Hwy 94 and Mid Rivers or one exit further at Hwy K.

Clayton is also expensive. Wentzville is cheaper but farther away. St. Peters is also further. Webster and Kirkwood are good but weird- I went to part of High school in Kirkwood and my parents lived there recently. Nice expensive houses are sometimes next to old dumps and the nice houses will be out of your stated range. Seriously, my parent's last house was a new build, probably worth $400,000, closely next to what I can only describe as a shack with trash bags as curtains.

In Ballwin, the houses tend to be older so possibly more affordable but you would have to deal with the street of Manchester, which is one of the worst anywhere. I visited in December and was stuck on that darn street daily.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:16 AM
 
Location: San Marcos, CA
215 posts, read 659,620 times
Reputation: 90
I wouldn't recommend living farther out from the city in general, unless there are adequate public transportation options available from your home to your job. The gas prices are low right now, but they will only rise over time. Will that home you buy in Chesterfield look as appealing when gas is 5, 6, or 7 dollars a gallon? Plus, lets say you work a typical 8 to 5 job. Wouldn't it be nice to see you kids every weekday at 5:15 or 5:30 rather than 5:45 or 6? Perhaps if you are worried about safety, choose one of the inner ring suburbs? I'm sure you will be able to find what you are looking for closer to CWE where you will be working.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:47 AM
 
2,103 posts, read 2,038,534 times
Reputation: 1405
My wife and I moved from chicago to st louis in 2002 with a newborn. She was taking a job in the CWE. We chose University City, but would have happily lived in the CWE if we could have found a house we liked in our budget. If we were doing it all over again, we would have bought in an inner-ring suburb with a highly reputable public school district from the start, because 5 years goes fast. I'd look at starter homes in webster groves, kirkwood, rock hill, olivette, brentwood, shrewsbury, and parts of richmond heights that are in either the clayton or ladue school district. You'll thank yourself when the wife's commute is only 15-20 min and your kid is starting kindergarten. These are all excellent schools with virtually zero crime, and all conveniently located near the metro areas amenities.
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:39 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
4,009 posts, read 5,814,427 times
Reputation: 4569
Since you plan on possibly buying (a long term investment) are school districts important to you? I realize that it's a few years away from your little ones entering school, but that will dictate which area would be best for you, if public schools are on the cards.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Paris
1,728 posts, read 2,172,369 times
Reputation: 1014
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCatsMeoww View Post
first, I'd suggest not embracing too long of a commute, because St. Louis traffic is nasty, especially headed from west to CWE unless you work super early. I drove for years from St. Charles on the Hwy 40 side to Clayton- the traffic is bad and there is always construction. And I mean always. It is notorious. They've even shut down parts of 70 AND 40 at the same time, just for funsies.

For family living I suggest County rather than city. Typically newer houses, parking is easier. your budget doesn't fit Chesterfield really, although that would be my first pick. St Charles on that side is nice, good school district, and housing is less. My friend and I owned similar houses, hers in Chesterfield, mine in St Charles. about 2500 square feet, 4 bedrooms, Same type of neighborhood. mine was $220,00 hers was $320,000 and I had an inground pool. You can also utilize the page extension. Look at houses from Highway 40 between Hwy 94 and Mid Rivers or one exit further at Hwy K.

Clayton is also expensive. Wentzville is cheaper but farther away. St. Peters is also further. Webster and Kirkwood are good but weird- I went to part of High school in Kirkwood and my parents lived there recently. Nice expensive houses are sometimes next to old dumps and the nice houses will be out of your stated range. Seriously, my parent's last house was a new build, probably worth $400,000, closely next to what I can only describe as a shack with trash bags as curtains.

In Ballwin, the houses tend to be older so possibly more affordable but you would have to deal with the street of Manchester, which is one of the worst anywhere. I visited in December and was stuck on that darn street daily.
I realize this is somewhat relative to people, but come on, since when?

(btw, I'm referring to the traffic part, I don't support living super far away either, but for different reasons)
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