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Old 04-07-2014, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
3,360 posts, read 7,329,716 times
Reputation: 2175

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanantoniomike View Post
I lived in MO and STL for many many years. There are some great kid/family things in STL. But on a whole it is depressing, decaying and totally different than Texas.

Avoid Maryland Heights. It seems to attract tornadoes. If you can find a house in Creve Coeur area but inside 270 your hubby can easily commute up lindberg to work. There are million dollar homes and 300,000 dollar homes a few street over, just keep looking. Also keep looking south along lindberg. many people like brentwood.

Taxes are higher in Missouri. MO's property tax is slightly lower BUT when you combine income tax it is higher. On the plus side there aren't any toll roads (like Dallas/Austin). Also there is an extra city tax if you live or work in the city of St Louis.

The weather in STL generally, is bad. There are usually a few nice weeks in spring and a few in summer. Other than that, cold rules the winter and humidity rules the summer (except last year - global cooling would be a boon to STL summers).

Allergies aren't good in Texas but can be worse in STL. STL is at the confluence of several rivers. The MO and Mississippi up north and the Meramac and Mississippi down south and probably others too. My working theory is that once the weather warms up combined with these huge rivers the mold count rockets up and the needle stays pegged until mid-fall when the temps cool down. If you like growing mold specimens then STL is a wonderful place to experiment (again global cooling would be a boon to STL mold growth).

STL basements are known for brown recluse spiders (I've never seen one - or maybe just one but be careful) but last I checked fire ants are still a Texan specialty.

We still have wonderful friends in STL and if you get around you'll meet some nice people. HOWEVER there is this weird inbreeding thing when they ask "what high school did you go to?" Some ask that question so they can judge you and put you into a category - rich/poor/middle class, smart/dumb, influential/useless, connected/a nobody, and so on. I'm convinced it is the 'biggest small city' in the US except it isn't a small city but many business people/owners still act and think like it is.

San Antonio ranks pretty high for theft but STL ranks high for murder. Chew on that. It does impact the morale of the city in ways that only objective outside eyes can sense and it is unfortunate.

They say the water is so great in st louis and I say filter it. taste wise it is better than texas water but seriously all water needs filtration. Yes some of my dear friends in STL honor and nearly worship little tidbits, like the clean water story, from STL's glorious past. That tells me it is a city of the past and not of the future.

You can make a decent life in STL. Although the job market is horrible there are still jobs. Be aware of the public schools and the bussing of city kids out to county schools. I don't know if or how much that is still going on. STL city ran their schools into the ground.

Speaking of flood plains....there is some confusion. For example in New Town at St. Charles they are not required to have flood insurance but others have said the area was once flooded. So add that to extra STL costs. Recently I saw a TV spot for 'the changing world's weather' and it was asking how can all these houses be ruined by massive storms and massive flooding without the monster of global warming?? I thought DUH that's because we build near rivers and beaches!! STL metro area has lots of levees holding back water from lots of development - such as the chesterfield valley. If/when that areas floods I bet people will blame global warming instead of the stupid decision to build in a flood plain. If you live along lindberg flooding shouldn't ever be a problem. If it is we all have bigger problems...

Just be aware of all these little nuances to make the kind of life that fits your family.
Well that's a cheery post!

I'm a "local" and growing up noticed the "where'd you go to high school" amongst my parents generation, and others...it still happens, and it apparently makes some who move to the area feel a bit odd...it's cultural, and can be used for a lot of purposes (both positive and negative) and in some ways' beats around the bush...while St. Louis is a "big-small-town" what I've noticed from folks who graduated high school in the 1960's (my parent's generation) was getting that basic knowledge typically brought up more connections...after someone answered the question, it normally spurred a conversation like "Oh...do you know Joe Kelley?" and so on...never got the "oh, nevermind" or "ah, wrong side of town" stuff...

$300,000 is a good price point for most places in the St. Louis metro, you can easily get your 2500+ SF home for that price...likely considerably less and be in a very decent school district. Maryland Heights is a good area, but the homes tend to be late 60's-80's stock, and most have never been my flare of architecture (albeit it's a very good, centrally located, suburban area). You'll have newer home options in St. Charles that will easy meet your budgetary needs and square footage requirements. Chesterfield will also be within range, and also some of the most desirable parts of St. Louis County through Kirkwood, Webster Groves, and even some of Ladue. Good luck.
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Branson, Missouri
7,329 posts, read 17,654,393 times
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To answer a question posted earlier - It does not say on the MLS, Trulia, Homes or Zillow that a house is or is not in a flood plain.
My brother and my mom mentioned it and we started looking at the floodplain maps is the reason I started digging deeper into it. The agent I'm corresponding back and forth with told me that he has clients that have backed out of a house when they found out it was in a high risk area and the laws on the flood plain have changed recently.
It shocked me and made me question why some of these homes are nice, nice areas and they're dirt cheap. Flood plain is why.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:56 PM
 
3,696 posts, read 2,576,073 times
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How would Ferguson or Florissant stack up, given their proximity to the airport? I enjoyed going to school in that district, and while the district isn't at the level of Ladue or Kirkwood, it's not exactly Stand And Deliver territory. With current house prices, would it be worth buying a house in that area and putting the savings toward a private school (if desired)?
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:19 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
4,009 posts, read 5,816,293 times
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I live in Florissant and personally love it here. We live in a wonderful neighborhood filled with well maintained homes and long term owner occupiers.

School District wasn't an issue for us as we plan on homeschooling or private schooling anyhow.

There are some neighborhoods of Florissant which are less desirable than others, and have more transient occupants and renters, but there are still plenty of solid neighborhoods like my own.

The same goes in Ferguson, there are pockets which are great and others not so much, but on the whole Ferguson has been consistently improving in recent years, especially the downtown area. It's got a way to go yet but it's on the right track!
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,908 posts, read 4,142,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankMiller View Post
How would Ferguson or Florissant stack up, given their proximity to the airport? I enjoyed going to school in that district, and while the district isn't at the level of Ladue or Kirkwood, it's not exactly Stand And Deliver territory. With current house prices, would it be worth buying a house in that area and putting the savings toward a private school (if desired)?
That's our overall plan on the schooling--live somewhere with low home prices, lower property taxes, and possibly send kids to private schools. I'd say overall it depends on how long you plan on living there and the ages of the kids while you live there. Private elementary school in STL isnt terrible, but high school gets very expensive very quickly.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:35 PM
 
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I know there are some things realtors can can tell you and some that they can't. Is the flood plain areas one of the things they can tell you?
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:43 PM
 
59 posts, read 71,819 times
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I am finding that many of the homes have all of the bedrooms upstairs. Is that the norm? We need to have at least a guest bedroom and a full bath on the main level. This does narrow our search drastically but when you have a parent that lives with you and isn't able to go up and down the stairs everyday you have to do what you gotta do. Any suggestions on area that might have more of this type of floor plan?
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
3,360 posts, read 7,329,716 times
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Frank,

The Ferguson/Florissant schools aren't terrible, but they do leave something to be desired. For the majority of working class folks, they're still decent schools, and with parental involvement, students should have opportunities to flourish.

I personally love Ferguson, especially the downtown area. Not rare to find my wife and I hanging at the Ferguson Brewing Company for a few drinks, speaking of which I have a growler which could use some refilling before my home brew is finished...another trip might be in order. I've also gone to the Whistle Stop ice cream station since I was in High School, it was a good date location back then, and it's still pretty high on the date list for us. Or as a nice night cap following dinner & movie.

What I do love about Ferguson though is the housing stock. It's pretty common to find century old Victorian homes in great shape for $150k and sitting on nearly an acre of land. I'd love to land one of those homes at some point, essentially all the charm without the price. Schools really drive St. Louis real estate prices, my wife and I are both products of private schools, and the plan is to send our kids to them as well (hopefully our Alma matters) but we'll see what I can afford when that's on the table.
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:59 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
4,009 posts, read 5,816,293 times
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My husband and I both went private as well, but not in St. Louis. We have nothing against public schools but they were never a consideration for our family either. Also, flynavyj I agree that Ferguson Brewing Co is awesome!

As for first floor bedrooms, we looked at a number of two story houses and honestly I don't recall seeing one? We were looking at a lower price point though mind you.

I personally wouldn't trust a realtor to tell me if something was flood plain or not, if I became interested in a house I'd be inclined to do the research on floodsmart myself, just to be on the safe side.

None of the main part of Maryland Heights or Creve Coeur are floodplain thigh, to my knowledge
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:09 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
4,009 posts, read 5,816,293 times
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OP: Take a look at 1836 Pheasant Run Dr, Maryland Heights, 63043 on realtor.com

According to the write up, the basement is a fully finished walkout, so there's actually 3000 sqft of living space (even though there's just over 1700 above grade). It's in Parkway School district (excellent) and I know and love the subdivision that it's in. It's a lovely part of Maryland Heights.
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