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Old 04-17-2014, 01:34 PM
4 posts, read 4,352 times
Reputation: 10


Hey all!

My family and I are relocating to the STL area from podunk NC in the early-ish part of May for a new job. We have never even been to STL before, much less ever lived there, so I am completely lost on where to live and a lot of what I am finding online seems to be not legit. I'm hoping you can help. Here's what I'm looking for:

We are a family of 6 and I homeschool my kids, so I need at least 2 bedrooms but 3 would be better. (I can handle 2 as long as there is a basement or bonus room for my classroom so we can spread out and teach/learn). I need at least 1 bathroom but more is always better than less! Something with a basement or extra storage space is awesome as I'm one of those chicks with lots of 'stuff'.

I'm dying to live in one of those renovated, historical homes (I refer to them as brownstones but not sure what the technical term is in STL)- ironically I want to live in the more urban areas (I've been SUBurban my whole life and I want to branch out!) but I want to be safe! Based on my research, I've narrowed it down to Skinker Deb, Lafayette Square, Soulard, Tower Grove South, etc. but I could be completely off base.

I'd like to keep my rent somewhere in the $900 or below range, not because I can't afford more, but because we want to save up to buy a home- that's the ultimate goal. I want to bring one of those historical beauties back from the ashes, but I know that will take time and money- so, I've got to do this first. We're willing to be tight spaced and miserable for a year or two if that's what it takes to save the money to buy something. It's not ideal, but we're willing to make whatever sacrifice is necessary.

Does anyone know of rental companies I should contact? People who are legit and won't give me the royal runaround? Also, am I even in the right area of town? My husband's new employers say 'South City'- save for Skinker Deb I think I'm in the right ballpark....

I'd appreciate any help anyone can lend!
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:44 PM
359 posts, read 526,551 times
Reputation: 261
Tower Grove South, Shaw, Southwest Garden, South Hampton, Holly Hills, St. Louis Hills, Clifton Heights, Dogtown, The Hill, Lindenwood Park - All good choices - Check out Shaw - up and coming fast- close to Central West End - Park to the south Botanical Garden to the West - 900 will get you a nice 2 bed - some 3 bed in these neighborhoods


Tower Grove South | An active and vibrant neighborhood on St. Louis' near south side

Southwest Garden Neighborhood Association - St. Louis, MO

Southampton - St. Louis, MO U.S.A.



Franz Park Neighborhood - the actual official name of Dogtown

I will also recommend University City - in St. Louis County - an urban suburb - has a lot of huge mid century and older apartments
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:47 PM
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,908 posts, read 4,141,907 times
Reputation: 910
You're likely priced out of Lafayette Square. Maaaaybe Soulard too, but in my personal opinion, I don't see that area as being super family friendly--I like urban living but it's not an area I'd pick for families. A friend moved there with her toddler and moved out a year later. The area has a huge bar scene. Skinker-Debaliveire (I've given up googling how to spell it...) will have a lot of WashU grad students.

I agree with all the options posted above, especially the Hill, if you can find a rental. South Hampton, North Hampton, St Louis Hills, Clifton Heights, Dogtown, and Lindenwood Park are pretty much all south St Louis neighborhoods that have been stable for a long time and are areas I'd say are very safe. Shaw and Tower Grove South have a bit more grit to them, and are considered more up and coming. I looked for a house in all the areas mentioned, though a garage was a requirement for me in Shaw/TGS. In the other areas, I was okay with offstreet or parking on the street until I could build an alley garage. The only thing I'd say on University City is that the nicer places are on the southern side of town. It gets a little more interesting the further north you go.

If you haven't checked this out, I recommend it! http://nextstl.com/2011/01/groth-gui...y-of-st-louis/
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:26 PM
Location: St. Louis, MO
4,009 posts, read 5,814,427 times
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I agree with everything Billiken has said!

I lived in Jacksonville, NC for over 4 years and HATED it! St. Louis is so much better. I hope you love it here! ♡
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:58 AM
2,103 posts, read 2,038,534 times
Reputation: 1405
While I kind of agree with what's been said, I get the impression you are more interested in brick than frame (when one is looking for historic urban living, this often goes without saying, but I guess it depends on the area). The Hill, Dogtown, Franz Park; I believe these are all predominantly frame housing (not completely, but mostly, based on my admittedly weak memory). South and North Hampton are more mixed housing stock. If you want stuff more brown-stonish, old-school 1880-1900 brick stuff built by German immigrants, I'd stick with Shaw and Tower Grove Park. Soulard and parts of Benton Park are nice, but I agree not very kid friendly.

Another one you should look real closely at is the Carondolet Park area - it can be hit or miss in terms of perceived saftey and cleanliness, but there are some very tight neighborhood associations down there where the streets are very clean, the houses well kept, and the streetscapes are quite beautiful. I am especially fond of Bellerive Ave between Grand and I-55 and everything from there south to Carondolet Park.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:21 PM
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Old Trafford- thanks so much for all the many links- that was great! You opened me up to some other possibilities I hadn't come across in my searches. I find the Shaw area quite intriguing and University City seems really nice. I like the idea of staying near Tower Park (or is it Tower Grove Park?)- I think that's a great place for outdoor activities plus things like the zoo, etc. So you gave me a lot to think about- now to just find a place to live.... oy!
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:23 PM
4 posts, read 4,352 times
Reputation: 10
Billiken- thanks for the tip on Soulard- I don't mind a good nightlife scene- but I don't need a ton of bar noise keeping my kids awake. Makes me sad to be priced out of Lafayette Square- I was really digging that area for the architecture alone! And thanks for the Groth Guide link- he's my main source for how I've narrowed down my neighborhood choices so far! Lol!
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:26 PM
4 posts, read 4,352 times
Reputation: 10
Glamatomic- AWESOME that there's another NC transplant! Lovin' it! I'm also glad to hear that you enjoy STL so much. We're really hoping that we dig it half as much as we think we will. Coming from such a removed city in NC, I'm really looking forward to having everything I could need/want right within a 30 min. drive. And the fact that an IKEA is mere months away just cements it for me! LOL! I'm so tired of having to go to Raleigh or Charlotte for EVERYTHING! Now it'll all be in one place! SCHWEET!
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