Home Buying in Saint Louis>Question Details

Jo Kleinsorge, Real Estate Pro in Joplin, MO

Friend moving to St Louis. I have a personal friend who is moving to St Louis. Her husband will work at

Asked by Jo Kleinsorge, Joplin, MO Wed Jan 28, 2009

Ameren - they are located downtown (on Chouteau). What is the best family area around within resonable drive time. They were previously in Bloomington Il, so familiar with med sized communities (100,000 - 150,000). 3 kids in grade school.

Help the community by answering this question:


I'm reading the 100,00-150,000 as population size, not price since Jo referenced them in the line med sized communities.

We've got GREAT areas - St Louis is a big city that prides itself on it's small town feeling. We have 79 distinct neighborhoods in the city proper each with it's own personality that we've bothered to name. We have somthing like 97 distinct municipalities in St Louis County each with their own government (many years ago, St Louis City divorced itself from the county because it thought the county was going to be a huge financial burden to the city, then all the money moved to the county so the city languished, but in the process, the cities within county grew strong and prosperous - some have joined forces with their school districts because some are literally only a city block big, and others have 100,000 people plus in them, others have their own school districts. Here we focus on the schools and the feel that people want in their communities as well as their driving commute and price range. We can find 100 year old victorian communities, contemporary 60's communities, mega mansion communities, new construction, traditional 2 stories, we have spanish themes to match our spanish heritage and french to match our french heritage. Whatever they are looking for, we probably have it other than adobes and igloos. I even have one builder who is building small castles (they do come with a castle sized price tag though). We also have huge areas that are unincorporated St Louis county so we often search by school district, not by municipality so we include all the unincorporated areas in our search.

From Ameren, they can go to South City, South County (63128, Lindbergh, Afton, Mehlville, Oakville, Mid County (Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Brentwood, Clayton, Des Peres, Olivette, Ladue, Frontenac) , West County (Chesterfield, Creve Coeur, Ballwin, Ellisville,Wildwood). They could do St Charles County (I have clients who make the drive, but it is longer) as well, or North county, but look at the reports on the schools first. Note - I'm obviously not listing all the communities here

A reasonable commute is different in everyone's eyes, what is reasonable to them? What do they want in a home? What do they want in a school district?
Web Reference: http://www.yourstlhome.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Hi Jo.

Here are a couple links that may help your friends in determing where they want to live in STL. The first two offer information on the various and widespread communities in the Saint Louis Metropolitan Area. They last one is link to information about the school districts. This might help them determine which areas are best suited for their individual needs.


I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 23, 2009
Hey Jo,

Why don't you just referral them to a local broker?

Best of luck,
Bill Carey
Charlotte, NC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 30, 2009
Kirkwood is an excellent area, but you won't find much new construction there. To get new construction, you are looking at in-fill lots, tear downs and the few lots that were never built on. You will find some dynamite rehabs. West county and some of south county will be "newer" but we're still talking 15-20 years up. To get really new in a family home at the $250 price range, you're going to be much further out. St Charles county to be in close at the $250 range, you are talking 8-15 years old.

Kirkwood typically is older housing, smaller with detached garages - very charming, but doesn't have the amenities of the newer homes and the infill housing is typically located on busy streets and obnoxious locations.

If they are coming from the typical new construction suburbs with good schools, look for updated homes in the Parkway School District - older home stock, but solid neighborhoods good parks and lots of recreation facilities, or go a bit further west to the Rockwood school district.
Web Reference: http://www.yourstlhome.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
I agree Lou, Webster Groves is very nice, but wow those taxes!
Web Reference: http://www.PeteElsner.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Kirkwood is only about 15 minutes from downtown (depending on traffic of course). It is a good area. I agree with Pete. They might be able to get more for their money in Crestwood (about the same distance from downtown and the property taxes are lower). I live in Webster Groves and it is nice (and not too far from downtown). If they like new construction there are a lot of newer homes being built in Jefferson and St. Charles Counties in the $250,000 range. As Dale mentioned, we have a lot to choose from. I hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Kirkwood is about 15-20 mins from downtown. It is probably the best place to live in St. louis! I am not biased on my opinion, even though I have live in Kirkwood all my life! ;-) Here is a link to Kirkwood.

Web Reference: http://www.PeteElsner.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Yes, 100,000-150,000 is the population of where they were living previouly. I don't think they would be happy with a major metro. area. Schools are at the top of the list. 3 grade school kids, stay at home mom. Something with great schools, good parks and rec. Their previous home was a new construction 2 story with basement. 250k range.
I have been through Kirkwood before and found it to be very charming. Is that a good area? How far to downtown?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Bill, I actually live in Kirkwood, have all my life, great area. The reason I suggested Crestwood is they most likely won't be able to find a house suitable for 3 kids under 150k in Kirkwood. Crestwood borders Kirkwood and is Lindbergh Schools a top rated district with a much better chance to find a nice home for around 150k. :-)
Web Reference: http://www.PeteElsner.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Hi Jo,
We lived in West St Louis County the Rockwood school district about a 40 to 50 minute drive. I would suggest looking at Kirkwood an outsanding school district. Excellent closer in to town location.

Best of Luck,
Off Campus Housing USA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
OK, we have a lot of great areas, but they are probably going to be looking ahead at schools, so they will probably want to consider the high schools. Parkway and Rockwood, Kirkwood, Ladue are the top of the barrel. For info on school districts, I have lots on my website at http://www.YourSTLHome.com - just follow the links for schools - there is info under the State as well as under a couple of national organizations that rate out school districts as well as links to the school district websites. Note that we have a great number of school districts here - St Louis Public Schools serve the city then the majority of the cities in St Louis County have their own school district, so they won't be looking at one district servicing the entire area.

Next, you'll want to consider styles and values - while the sections of the city were built at different time periods, if you could put down similar homes in the different areas, what you would see would be that while we're pretty spread out, the area around highway 40/64 going due west is our central core and our most expensive real estate starting with our business district which is Clayton and the areas around Frontenac, Brentwood, Huntleigh. Next you'll cross over 270 and you'll be in the Creve Coeur/Chesterfield area, then on to Wildwood, and our West County area, which is our next most expensive area. As we go laterally to Ballwin, Manchester and Maryland Heights, pricing drops, but values and resale stay high. When we go over the river into St Charles, our values continue to be on the higher side, but are now about equal with our south county areas (such as Crestwood which was mentioned earlier). North County has more issues both with schools and with resale. St Louis City proper is block by block with fabulous areas - central west end, st louis hills, etc next to not very great areas. There are some great city areas near to Ameren, but your friends will need to seriously consider what schooling they want for their children - St Louis Public schools, magnet schools (if they can get into them) or private schools (typically parochial).

Are there any particular activities that the kids are involved in that we need to take into consideration? Horseback riding, Hockey, Soccer, Football, Swimming, Scouts?

Stylewise, if they are into Victorians, West County is not the place to be, they need to be looking in the Maplewood through Webster corridor, - each area is different based on when it was built, so tell me what they like, and that will help us to find the right home as well.

When we look at foreclosures and short sales, North county and North St Louis City lead - most here were bad loans, St Charles has issues in areas due to lots of development and the developers having lots of inventory that they are dumping on the market which competes with the existing homeowners, refinancing, dirvorce and relocation; far west county and south county are from refinancing, divorce and relocation.

From Downtown, at the moment, highway 40/64 is in the last half of a 2 year renovation so very little is convenient with it's commute, but in Dec 2009 it is supposed to be DONE. Highways 55, 44, 70, 270 and 255 are all still open for business and handling the load quite well along with our other major arteries. I know lots of people who work downtown and live in West County and commute daily without a problem. I have past clients who commute from St Charles to downtown daily. We have a good highway system. I live in West County (Ballwin) and work in the Chesterfield area (also West County) - I plan 30 minutes to get downtown unless it's rush hour then I plan 45 minutes.

hope this helps. Let me know if you'd like some relo materials for your friend. I have a LOT of info on my website including some maps, school info, etc.
Web Reference: http://www.yourstlhome.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
That would probably be Crestwood, right off higway 44, about 15 mins from downtown.. Let me know if you need assistance with them. Thanks Pete.

Buying ~or~ Selling?
Call or Email
Pete Elsner
Cell 314-852-3862
E-Fax 314-677-6501
Keller Williams Realty St. Louis
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
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