I believe you have received sound advice from the professionals that responded. Below is another rescource for education information. Your crietera is well related. Good schools and a family friendly area usually provide appreciation for the property owners. You commute time allows for a location nearly anywhere in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties except perhaps southern St. Louis County and western St. Charles County. Since your home is sold you'll want to act quickly to avoid a "double move". Once you have identified a property that you like there is nothing wrong with taking a close look at the neighborhood. Knock on some doors, meet the neighbors, drive the adjoining neighborhoods and most importantly look at the comperable properties in the area and whether recent sales have provided appreciation for the sellers.
Best of luck and if you are not working with a REALTOR let me know if I can be of assistance.
I would suggest that you consider what school districts you want to be in, then search from there (while you might not have children in the schools now, that is a huge resale factor that you need to consider for long term appreciation). On my website, I have links to the State of Missouri website and several national websites that discuss school districts and how they compare to each other and how they have done on the state testing profiles. You can find those at http://www.YourSTLHome.com. I would note that your initial search puts you in the Ladue, Parkway and Rockwood school districts, all of which are excellent choices and have great appreciation for resale purposes. Those areas are also noted for being very family friendly.
One consideration, whether you are looking in St Charles (where the homes are a bit more likely to be newer at that price point) or in St Louis county (where you will find some newer homes but more older homes at that price point) is to consider what amenities are important to you, then look to see where you can find them. Keep in mind that names change, so while they may call it a "hearth room" now, it might have been a sitting room with a fireplace 40 years ago.
As with all the other agents, if you would like assistance, or have questions, just contact me. I'm here to help (if I weren't I wouldn't be answering questions on Trulia!)
Congratulations on selling your home.
I put together some information on homes that are available in the areas that you are currently looking in. I also included the St Charles County area. I did a mapquest from Hazelwood out to Wentzville and it's approx. 32 minutes. I think you will find the homes are newer and larger in the St. Charles county area.
I don't think this site allows links so you will have to copy and paste into your browser. The links have photographs, maps and information on the homes that are available.
I would also be happy to set a portal for you into the MLS (real estate agents database) which will have all the homes listed with real estate agents. It will have homes currently available and will update you as new properties come on the market.
Homes located in St. Charles County:
Homes located in the Chesterfield, Creve Couer and Chesterfield areas
Please don't hesitate to call with any questions you may have. My direct line is 636 219-5136 and email is MichelleRottach@prodigy.net
As a Realtor in St. Charles & St. Louis Counties I have to agree with Marilyn that you can certainly get more house for the money in St. Charles County, than in the areas you are looking currently. St. Charles County also meets the rest of your goals. You can go on my website to perform a google map search that will show you all of the houses that meet more of your specific criteria (listed by any company) within a circle radius that you draw, and even save your search and have it email you new listings as they come on the market. This might be a good idea if you want to make sure you stay within a certain mileage radius to enable you to meet your 30 minute or less commute goal. Just make your place of employment the starting point and expand your circle from it. You can also try it from the Page Extension (364) outward, to see how that might work for you. Good luck and let me know if you need any help or would like me to set up the search for you.