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Old 04-23-2014, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Denver
6 posts, read 5,699 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello all. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and offer your feedback. My wife, 8-year old son, and I will be moving to the St Louis area this June. As has been mentioned before, we are looking for your expert or personal advice on an area that will work for our lifestyle.

I am a field service engineer and will work throughout the STL metro area on a daily basis so our options are open. We are looking for the following:
3/2 - 1200+ sq/ft single family house
$200-225,000
Above average schools (doesn’t have to be city/state best)
Nice laid back area 5-10 miles to shopping / strip-malls, department stores etc.
We are eyeing West county (Fenton, Ballwin, Ellisville) and South county possibly Tesson Ferry area or Arnold.

Here is where we are picky. We want to live in a nice area but don’t want to be surrounded by Country Clubs, numerous golf courses and “uppity” people. On the other hand we don’t want it to be completely blue-collar, right-wing, overly religious community either. My apologies if I offend anyone that enjoys these lifestyles, it takes all types to make the world interesting.

We want a suburban feel. We enjoy hiking, camping, going to parks, grilling out, and walking around our neighborhood and conversing with neighbors. We heard Rockwood schools are very good but the property tax does seem to be on the higher side. Jeff Co – Fenton area looks nice and some of the schools are rated 8, 9 and 10 (Great School Rating) and the property tax is lower.

What do you guys think? Suburb, laid back, open-minded and down-to-earth people. Somewhat close to shopping but still a short drive to camping and bluff views. Maybe all of our desires aren’t really possible but if anything I said hits close to any area please feel free to offer any advice.

Thank you all!
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:13 AM
 
2,104 posts, read 2,040,177 times
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You can definitely cross Clayton, Ladue, Frontenac, and Town & Country off your list - too pricey anyway, but totally nails that country club set you are trying to avoid. Creve Couer, Kirkwood, parts of Chesterfield also fit that mold.

Parts of south county will definitely be more conservative than what it is I am gathering you are looking for. Arnold is pretty blue collar/right wing from what little I know of it. You might check out Oakville, Fenton is also good, but I'd steer clear of certain far reaches of these areas for fear of dueling banjos. For somewhat more open-minded communities that are still not country club, you might check out Crestwood, parts of Sunset Hills, and Webster Groves south of I-44 (WG north of I-44 can be a bit more pretentious, but still not terrible). WG south of 44 might be a really good fit.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:41 AM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
4,677 posts, read 5,035,337 times
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Parkway North district and some of Parkway Central will fit pretty well for you.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:49 AM
 
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Oh yeah, I always forget about NW County, but you might also consider Maryland Heights - Glamatomic has the lowdown on that - I think the western part of it is preferred. There is some great hiking west of there in St. Charles county.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Denver
6 posts, read 5,699 times
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Thank you both for your insightful input, I really do appreciate it. We have also been told about parkway area and possibly St Charles? We will look into the Sunset Hills and Oakville areas as well. Hopefully others will add to the information.
Thanks!
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:57 PM
 
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I think you are on the right track with Ballwin, Manchester, and Ellisville. There is also an area called Twin Oaks which is between Manchester and Fenton that is worth looking into. Fenton might be okay but *generally* south St. Louis County and Jefferson County are considered more conservative/blue collar.

Shrewsbury could also be a possibility. The homes will be older (it's more of an inner-ring suburb) but very classy and well-kept. I think it's a pretty tight-knit area, too.

I am not sure what you mean by *uppity* and I don't think you should necessarily buy into Zach's blanket characterization of places that are uppity. In your price range it's not like you're going to be living next to Charles Knight or Drew Bauer. I'll put it this way, there are neighborhoods even in Ladue, Town & Country, and Clayton where there are block parties, lots of neighbors who get together and who are out walking and talking on a regular basis, and who do not have lives centered on a country club. In fact, a place like Clayton tends to have a higher than average number of transplants and those people tend to be more "open-minded," or at least more willing to make new friends. The form of *uppity* you are most likely to see in your price range is a neighborhood where many of the people have been friends since high school (or before), maybe live in the same neighborhood they grew up in, their kids sports teams are cults and prowess at sports is a family status symbol, and people don't make much of an effort to socialize or open up to newcomers. That's a big complaint about St. Louis and you could find it anywhere--but Manchester, Ballwin, and Ellisville will tend to have less of that thing in my estimation. Good luck.

Last edited by Hector2; 04-24-2014 at 01:28 PM..
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:39 AM
 
2,104 posts, read 2,040,177 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hector2 View Post
I am not sure what you mean by *uppity* and I don't think you should necessarily buy into Zach's blanket characterization of places that are uppity.
I am pretty sure I know exactly what the OP means by "uppity." Uppity people (in the country club context) are people who will try to make you and your family feel like outsiders-- like lesser human beings-- because you can't afford all of the things they can afford; luxury cars, high-end kitchen remodels, expensive vacations, private schools, trendy clothes, etc. I am not saying everyone in west county is like that - far from it-- I live in west county and I can tell you there are plenty of down to earth people. But I would also say that if it is a priority for you to avoid having to interact with people like that, even if only occasionally, then I would not recommend trying to stretch into a 3 bed/2 bath bargain (if one could even be found) in Clayton, Ladue, Frontenac, Town & Country, Huntleigh, etc.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,908 posts, read 4,142,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zach_33 View Post
I am pretty sure I know exactly what the OP means by "uppity." Uppity people (in the country club context) are people who will try to make you and your family feel like outsiders-- like lesser human beings-- because you can't afford all of the things they can afford; luxury cars, high-end kitchen remodels, expensive vacations, private schools, trendy clothes, etc. I am not saying everyone in west county is like that - far from it-- I live in west county and I can tell you there are plenty of down to earth people. But I would also say that if it is a priority for you to avoid having to interact with people like that, even if only occasionally, then I would not recommend trying to stretch into a 3 bed/2 bath bargain (if one could even be found) in Clayton, Ladue, Frontenac, Town & Country, Huntleigh, etc.
Great post and I completely agree. I would love to eventually live in Clayton, and I think we'll eventually be able to afford it, but I'm not a big fan of being the far low end of the economic spectrum. Grew up that way, and it definitely helps to live among people who are of the same means, I would say.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Denver
6 posts, read 5,699 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hector2 View Post
I think you are on the right track with Ballwin, Manchester, and Ellisville. There is also an area called Twin Oaks which is between Manchester and Fenton that is worth looking into. Fenton might be okay but *generally* south St. Louis County and Jefferson County are considered more conservative/blue collar.

Shrewsbury could also be a possibility. The homes will be older (it's more of an inner-ring suburb) but very classy and well-kept. I think it's a pretty tight-knit area, too.

I am not sure what you mean by *uppity* and I don't think you should necessarily buy into Zach's blanket characterization of places that are uppity. In your price range it's not like you're going to be living next to Charles Knight or Drew Bauer. I'll put it this way, there are neighborhoods even in Ladue, Town & Country, and Clayton where there are block parties, lots of neighbors who get together and who are out walking and talking on a regular basis, and who do not have lives centered on a country club. In fact, a place like Clayton tends to have a higher than average number of transplants and those people tend to be more "open-minded," or at least more willing to make new friends. The form of *uppity* you are most likely to see in your price range is a neighborhood where many of the people have been friends since high school (or before), maybe live in the same neighborhood they grew up in, their kids sports teams are cults and prowess at sports is a family status symbol, and people don't make much of an effort to socialize or open up to newcomers. That's a big complaint about St. Louis and you could find it anywhere--but Manchester, Ballwin, and Ellisville will tend to have less of that thing in my estimation. Good luck.

Thanks Hector, This was very helpful. That's the areas my wife and I are focusing on. Now its just determining if we want to look outside the loop ( Ellisvile, Ballwin, Manchester) or look inside the loop ( Sunset Hils Webster Groves, Kirkwood south of 44).
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Denver
6 posts, read 5,699 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by zach_33 View Post
I am pretty sure I know exactly what the OP means by "uppity." Uppity people (in the country club context) are people who will try to make you and your family feel like outsiders-- like lesser human beings-- because you can't afford all of the things they can afford; luxury cars, high-end kitchen remodels, expensive vacations, private schools, trendy clothes, etc. I am not saying everyone in west county is like that - far from it-- I live in west county and I can tell you there are plenty of down to earth people. But I would also say that if it is a priority for you to avoid having to interact with people like that, even if only occasionally, then I would not recommend trying to stretch into a 3 bed/2 bath bargain (if one could even be found) in Clayton, Ladue, Frontenac, Town & Country, Huntleigh, etc.
^This...While it can go much further into other areas of focus, this is a good generalization of what uppity is in my mind. I'm not hating, to each their own. It's just not the lifestyle I would want to be in or apart of.
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