Author Topic: St. Louis homeownership  (Read 4339 times)

Greenly Spirits

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St. Louis homeownership
« on: October 13, 2016, 06:35:16 PM »
We moved to St. Louis a couple of months ago and we want to go ahead and buy a house. We are interested in Overland, University City, and Maryland Heights due to geographic location and house prices. I want to keep the purchase price under $100k.

I looked at a house in Overland today with our realtor and he seemed to think that we might be better off renting in a more desirable neighborhood. My husband and I have driven through the towns, and looked at the crime rates. We think they are decent, at least the areas of town we would consider. The schools are supposedly not good, but we don't plan on public school anyway. We moved from a somewhat rural Midwest town where we had owned a home in a working class neighborhood and were happy. Am I missing something or is my realtor just used to a more upper/middle class lifestyle?

Thanks,
Greenly Spirits

obstinate

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2016, 07:36:53 PM »
Given how segregated St Louis was when I was there, he might have been implying that you'd not want to live near Black people.

Greenly Spirits

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2016, 08:30:42 PM »
St. Louis does seem very segregated to me. We are white, as in our realtor. I noticed when driving around U City that we would most likely be the only white people on the block if we moved there, but the parts we looked at seemed decent. There were also other parts that looked not-so-decent, which is code for bashed in cars, junky yards, boarded windows, and downed power lines in the street.

And we are definitely not playing the prestige game. I would lose first hand every game, sometimes on purpose, lol.

Thanks for the thoughts.

notactiveanymore

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2016, 08:45:51 AM »
I grew up in Florissant and lived in U City for awhile as an adult. Any of those areas you described are fine on my scale! You might even want to look at the parts of St. Ann or Bridgeton that border Maryland Heights. I'd also put in a good word for Florissant and Ferguson, although I'd want to stay in the Ferg-Flor district (not for schools specifically although I am a proud grad, but for an easy measure of the lower crime areas).

You should have plenty of good options in North County, good luck!

honeybbq

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2016, 09:32:41 AM »
I'm really surprised you could find a place in U city for under 100k.

My guess is that your realtor wants you to be happy. If you are ok with the crime rates in the neighborhoods you are considering, then go for it! Especially if you don't care about the schools.

Have you checked out Brentwood? Or is that too far south?

SKL-HOU

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2016, 11:17:29 AM »
I doubt you would find safe housing in U city for 100k or less. I second Brentwood and add Shrewsbury, although not sure if you can find anything under 100k in those areas either.

Greenly Spirits

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2016, 01:41:49 PM »
Thank you for the advice. We aren't in a hurry to buy, but I'll let you know what we end up deciding :)

stlbrah

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2016, 02:25:23 PM »
I would probably RENT a small house in Overland or St Anne. I had some friends that rented in some neighborhoods just north of page that I thought were decent.

In the meantime, you could be saving up for a down payment in Maryland Heights or St Charles county if you don't mind commuting about 10 minutes extra each way to the city.

myrax

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2016, 09:01:33 AM »
It's important to look into the financial stability of the municipalities you are looking at in the St. Louis area. Most of the suburbs outside of the inner ring do not have enough people living in them and paying taxes to support the infrastructure (streets, parks, streetlights) that they currently have.

For years, these struggling municipalities have used traffic fines to fill in the gaps in their budgets. After Michael Brown was shot, there was increased scrutiny over traffic fines and restrictions on what percentage of a municipality's budget could come from traffic fines. As a result many of these municipalities have turned to funding their operations with fines for code violations. (http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/municipalities-ticket-for-trees-and-toys-as-traffic-revenue-declines/article_42739be7-afd1-5f66-b325-e1f654ba9625.html).

Suburban growth in St. Louis (and really all of the US) resembles a giant Ponzi scheme, where municipalities get developers to pay for infrastructure and then reap taxes from the new homeowners and businesses. Unfortunately, infrastructure doesn't last forever, and the taxes are almost never enough to pay to replace the infrastructure when it fails after 40 to 60 years. A lot of towns go into debt at this point, trying to attract new growth to cover the maintenance and replacement costs they can't afford. (There are a lot more details and analysis here: http://www.strongtowns.org/the-growth-ponzi-scheme/?rq=ponzi)

St. Louis suburbs like Overland are getting close to the age where their infrastructure fails, and their financial insolvency catches up with them. It's not going to be pretty to be there as they slowly fail (although, I think it's a pretty nice place right now). Maryland Heights is in the beginning stages of the process and will probably do well for another 20 years, unless gas prices climb astronomically.

I would do a thorough vetting of any municipality's finances before buying, and talk to residents about fines. My friends who lived in St. Anne told me they would get $100 fines for overgrown grass, even when their lawn was recently mowed! I would also be wary of living in unincorporated Saint Louis County- they have the same structural problems in terms of too much infrastructure and not enough tax payers.


Miss Piggy

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2016, 01:30:34 PM »
Greenly, in what area(s) are you working? That might help us help you think about areas to look at for housing.

notactiveanymore

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2016, 05:46:52 PM »
I'm not sure many others responding here are from North County. I tend to think most are not...

Since it sounds like you want easier access to 170 and/or 70, I'd probably encourage you to look at Florissant just north of 270 near Graham/Hanley/Ferdinand or New Florissant Rd. I have several friends who lived in houses over there and they are good neighborhoods and even have basement options (I super recommend a basement if at all possible).

Something like this 3BR/2BA with basement is what I would look for:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/965-S-Lafayette-St-Florissant-MO-63031/2629560_zpid/

Greenly Spirits

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2016, 07:03:10 PM »
It's important to look into the financial stability of the municipalities you are looking at in the St. Louis area.

This was really interesting and something I had never heard anyone mention before. Thanks for this info.

Greenly, in what area(s) are you working? That might help us help you think about areas to look at for housing.

Right now, off of Lackland and Page area, but as my husband looks to further his career, most opportunities seem to be in Clayton, Maryland Heights, downtown area.

I'm not sure many others responding here are from North County. I tend to think most are not...

Since it sounds like you want easier access to 170 and/or 70, I'd probably encourage you to look at Florissant just north of 270 near Graham/Hanley/Ferdinand or New Florissant Rd. I have several friends who lived in houses over there and they are good neighborhoods and even have basement options (I super recommend a basement if at all possible).

Something like this 3BR/2BA with basement is what I would look for:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/965-S-Lafayette-St-Florissant-MO-63031/2629560_zpid/

Our realtor also recommended looking further north. Thank you.

boarder42

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2016, 07:14:40 PM »
St Louis is one of the most segregated class cities in America. In no other city I've been in will you walk into a job interview after having experience and be asked where you went to high school. Yes high school you can be 50 and they will ask you this question. They have sticks shoved so far up there ass they wouldn't notice if it broke.

Anyways. If you plan to have children who you want to be successful in that city you'd better figure out what Jesuit school to send your kids to.

Someone who worked for my company who was from stl and trying to move back and had good reviews was asked the highschool question in an interview and from all I could tell that office wasn't interested almost solely bc of that.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2016, 07:19:01 PM by boarder42 »

Vagabond76

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2016, 10:03:07 PM »
Beautiful city.  We just moved away, but will go back several times to visit our daughter that wanted to remain to finish high school.  I will miss the architecture, Spring and Fall colors, antique stores, and generally friendly people.

Yeah there was crime and riots a couple years ago, but the city gets a really unfair rep.

Miss Piggy

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2016, 09:45:09 AM »
St. Louis has a very reasonable cost of living, but still... $100,000 for a house is a pretty low number. I think if you spend more, your house has better odds of appreciating in value. A house that's selling in a $100,000 or less area is unlikely to appreciate much at all, IMO.

Greenly Spirits

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2016, 05:06:57 PM »
Well, we bought a house in U City for less than 100k. It had everything we were looking for and the neighborhood is quiet. Our realtor thinks we got a "heck of a deal" and after closing told us that if we had passed it up, he would have probably bought it as an investor.

Thank you all for the advice and suggestions.

Miss Piggy

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2016, 06:56:24 PM »
That's great! There's a lot to love about U City! Nice job, and congratulations.

honeybbq

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2016, 02:00:01 PM »
Well, we bought a house in U City for less than 100k. It had everything we were looking for and the neighborhood is quiet. Our realtor thinks we got a "heck of a deal" and after closing told us that if we had passed it up, he would have probably bought it as an investor.

Thank you all for the advice and suggestions.

Awesome. Would you share a link (maybe privately)? I'd love to see it. When we were house buying in STL 10+ years ago we just couldn't find anything there that fit the bill. We ended up buying in Tower Grove.

iris lily

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2016, 03:46:35 PM »
Well, we bought a house in U City for less than 100k. It had everything we were looking for and the neighborhood is quiet. Our realtor thinks we got a "heck of a deal" and after closing told us that if we had passed it up, he would have probably bought it as an investor.

Thank you all for the advice and suggestions.

Awesome. Would you share a link (maybe privately)? I'd love to see it. When we were house buying in STL 10+ years ago we just couldn't find anything there that fit the bill. We ended up buying in Tower Grove.

How many br and baths did you require?

There are tons of 2 br/1 bathroom houses here under $100,000. I did look on Realtor.com and there were sme cute ones in U City. I live in the urban core in St.  Louis (Lafayetye Square) and I doubt that crime is any worse there than here.


Greenly Spirits

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Re: St. Louis homeownership
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2016, 03:01:59 PM »


How many br and baths did you require?

There are tons of 2 br/1 bathroom houses here under $100,000. I did look on Realtor.com and there were sme cute ones in U City. I live in the urban core in St.  Louis (Lafayetye Square) and I doubt that crime is any worse there than here.


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We wanted 3 bedrooms. I didn't want to clean more than one bathroom, but it wasn't a deal breaker either.

The crime statistics aren't any worse than the town were living in before moving to StL.