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Old 05-13-2014, 06:29 AM
 
50 posts, read 71,973 times
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Originally Posted by karandav View Post
i would be cautious of new construction out in west county, especially if you're looking for a long-term home or resale value. those construction companies work fast and their homes are falling apart and sinking around the 15 year mark. on the other hand, you can find some 15 year old homes for cheeeeeeap out that way.

Thanks for the advice! (What is West County? I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with that at all. )

It's so much to consider! I know all about Charlotte, could tell you where in the city to live, where to avoid, what traffic is like, all that stuff.. but a new place I feel like I'm in over my head.
basically it's the western side of st. louis county. chesterfield, o'fallon, ballwin, st. charles, and so on. there has been massive residential construction in these areas and spreading further west (lake st. louis) for several years, with several issues. quick construction, land littered with sink holes, and that there are only a few bridges crossing over the missouri river for everyone to tunnel onto. sure, there are plenty of people who are happy out there - it feels kinda like sim city where they build a bunch of houses that all look the same, then their own school and their own strip malls and their own golf course.

it might just be that i'm a sucker for established homes and mature trees.

you said you are looking for new construction (which might be limiting), but what else? there are many nice areas around fenton. are you looking for a place where you can walk around downtown, or be close to big shopping, or quick access to st. louis? perhaps schools are more important?
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:38 AM
 
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there are many nice areas around fenton. are you looking for a place where you can walk around downtown, or be close to big shopping, or quick access to st. louis? perhaps schools are more important?

Schools definitely. One son will be a HS senior (and is so excited about moving!) and the other is going to be in 8th grade. He would love to live somewhere you can bike to places.

It's really low maintenance that we want in a house, which is what makes new so appealing. My current house was built in 1994 and has something wrong all the time. My husband is always busy with work and doesn't want to deal with problems when he gets home.

Charlotte for example - I could tell someone to go live in Plaza Midwood or Dilworth to have lovely older houses on tree lined streets, close to downtown and lots of amenities (small restaurants, shops, etc.) Does St. Louis have something like that, with a reasonable commute to Fenton?
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:40 AM
 
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LIke this house.. I love it (although they kind of beat the 1895 charm out of it.)

6211 Columbia Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63139 - Home For Sale and Real Estate Listing - realtor.com®
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:03 AM
 
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lol, okay. so if you go into the city you'll find tons of amazing rehabbed charming homes. lovely areas to live, great for biking and close to parks and all sorts of culture. BUT the st louis city schools are bad. not just bad, awful. not an option kind of bad. we had considered a move to the tower grove area because we love the scene, but we couldn't fork up the dough for the private schools. sigh.

if you like a small town feel, look into kirkwood. it's an adorable area with nice homes and great schools. and it's close to everything and not a pain to get out of. ballwin has similar charm, but busy roads make it frustrating.

valley park might be an interesting place to look, and some places headed down towards eureka. i know there are some new construction communities popping up that way. i once worked at six flags and always enjoyed that drive through the hills.

i have a friend who is currently trying to sell her hoe in fenton. 4 beds 2.5 baths, 2500 sq ft, ect for 249000. just to give to an idea of what you get for the money. fenton has pretty good schools, too. zillow.com really is the best way to look for a home when relocating, because you can see the house for sale and the schools that the kids would attend (and all the school's figures, too). i have several friends who live there. they do have new construction, too, if you really want it
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:59 AM
 
3,696 posts, read 2,575,157 times
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Originally Posted by karandav View Post
Charlotte for example - I could tell someone to go live in Plaza Midwood or Dilworth to have lovely older houses on tree lined streets, close to downtown and lots of amenities (small restaurants, shops, etc.) Does St. Louis have something like that, with a reasonable commute to Fenton?
Kirkwood is pretty much the definitive "streetcar suburb" in St Louis. Nearby Webster Groves is similar but has an artsier vibe. Both are along I-44, which passes through Fenton.

As a general rule of thumb, if you want pedestrian-friendly suburbs with downtowns, you'll need to stay within the I-270 loop. Further out, it's harder to find areas where you can travel without relying on highways. Many of the newer neighborhoods are just a bunch of cul de sacs on the side of the highway.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,908 posts, read 4,141,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karandav View Post
Charlotte for example - I could tell someone to go live in Plaza Midwood or Dilworth to have lovely older houses on tree lined streets, close to downtown and lots of amenities (small restaurants, shops, etc.) Does St. Louis have something like that, with a reasonable commute to Fenton?
Yes, but you definitely don't find anything close to new construction for under $350k in these areas.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:42 AM
 
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Thanks everyone. The Avalon Hills neighborhood in Fenton looks lovely, and I think we'll check that one out. Any other advice would be so appreciated.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:52 AM
 
203 posts, read 221,729 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karandav View Post
there are many nice areas around fenton. are you looking for a place where you can walk around downtown, or be close to big shopping, or quick access to st. louis? perhaps schools are more important?

Schools definitely. One son will be a HS senior (and is so excited about moving!) and the other is going to be in 8th grade. He would love to live somewhere you can bike to places.

It's really low maintenance that we want in a house, which is what makes new so appealing. My current house was built in 1994 and has something wrong all the time. My husband is always busy with work and doesn't want to deal with problems when he gets home.

Charlotte for example - I could tell someone to go live in Plaza Midwood or Dilworth to have lovely older houses on tree lined streets, close to downtown and lots of amenities (small restaurants, shops, etc.) Does St. Louis have something like that, with a reasonable commute to Fenton?
If you want older houses on tree-lined streets you will not find it in Lake St. Louis. You'll pretty much want to stick to the suburbs inside the 270 loop. I don't know anything about Plaza Midwood or Dilworth other than the google images search I just did. But based on that it, the pictures of Dilworth reminded me of Webster and Kirkwood/Glendale. The pictures of Plaza Midwood looked like University City to me. If the older tree lined streets are what you're looking for I would add to the above the following inner ring suburbs at your price: Brentwood, Maplewood, Richmond Heights, Shrewsbury.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:04 AM
 
3,696 posts, read 2,575,157 times
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Originally Posted by billiken View Post
Yes, but you definitely don't find anything close to new construction for under $350k in these areas.
You can, although it will be smaller than in Fenton.

One other thing about Fenton: it can be hilly (if you care about that sort of thing one way or the other).
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:35 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
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I'm not a big fan of Lake St. Louis at all. Different strokes for different folks- but I just feel that it is way too far out to truly take advantage of, and enjoy everything St. Louis has to offer.

Even with new houses, you may encounter problems, although they'd be under a builder's warranty for the first while at least. Around here, new construction isn't often equated with quality, although it depends on the subdivision and the builder.

I second the suggestions to look into Webster Groves and Kirkwood. You could probably find a rehabbed home within your budget, and the school districts, overall vibe, and distance to amenities for your family would be a lot better than all the way out in Lake St. Louis. I definitely think you'd get more enjoyment from being closer in

Also, for what it's worth, my husband and I bought our house over a year and a half ago (okay, not so long really), it was built in 1959, had not been updated in any way (original owners), and apart from the initial investment we put into updating the plumbing and electric (which we factored into our offer when we bought the house), we have had zero problems.

On the flip side, an acquaintance of mine back in NC where we used to live, bought her first home around the same time (a new construction) and she's had nothing but problems. So it seems to be luck of the draw!
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