6 Factors for Deciding Where to Live in St. Louis
Figuring out where to live in St. Louis can be complicated, especially for newcomers. It is hard for some to wrap their head around the fact that the city itself is small (with a population of about 300,000) but has 79 distinct neighborhoods, each with its own vibe and name. Just outside the city limits, more than 2 million people live in 100 different municipalities spanning several counties and 2 states—all of which are sometimes referred to as the Greater St. Louis region.
The agents at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties are experts at helping newcomers navigate this sometimes confusing slice of the Midwest. Luckily there is an abundant range of housing options to fit every lifestyle. That is why deciding where to live in St. Louis is less about the actual address, and more about a buyer’s unique wants and needs.
We have compiled the following list of 6 topics to consider when looking for a home. Being clear about likes, dislikes, and priorities will narrow down the hunt for the perfect house in the location that is perfect for you and your family.
1. What Type of House Suits You?
Square footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms is only part of the picture. What type of home can you picture yourself living in? Whether you picture yourself in a newly constructed suburban neighborhood, a brick bungalow, a sprawling mid-century ranch, or a historic Victorian, you can potentially find the house of your dreams in St. Louis.
This knowledge will help pinpoint or rule out areas for a search. For example, communities of new construction are popping up all over St. Charles County, Missouri and Madison County, Illinois. Meanwhile, there are large older homes in Lafayette Square and Webster Groves for those wanting something stately and historic. On smaller lots in Princeton Heights and St. Louis Hills, bungalows and “gingerbread” style Tudor revivals line the streets.
2. A Locale to Call Home
City hustle and bustle, or country quiet? Which one—or which combination—sounds like home?
In St. Louis, even the busiest parts of the city are not as hectic as New York or L.A. But many parts of the city and its neighboring communities are walkable. There are also buses and the Metrolink train system to help city-dwellers get around.
And many find it surprising that with a reasonably short drive they can be “out in the country.” There are rural areas on the outskirts of St. Louis County and in Illinois suitable for hobby farms or just a lot of wide open space.
Consider the type of community that is best for your family. Do you want a neighborhood feel where the children get together and play? An urban cityscape where you can walk to dinner and a show? Or a big stretch of land where you can barely see the next house? The St. Louis region has a wider variety of options than many newcomers expect.
3. How Will You Spend Your Free Time?
Hand-in-hand with the type of community to live in is a family’s interests and recreational pursuits. Someone who loves weekend shopping excursions might consider Richmond Heights with the nearby St. Louis Galleria.
For those who can’t wait to hit the bike trails, the famous Katy Trail passes right through St. Charles and Earth City. On the other side of the Mississippi, the Madison County Bike Trail loops through Edwardsville and Glen Carbon.
The city and surrounding area have plentiful opportunities for culture, theater, sports, and recreation. St. Louis has everything that any major city has, but often within easier reach for its residents than larger metropolitan locations.
4. Working and Commuting
Since work is one of the most common reasons for someone to relocate, newcomers might assume that the question of where to live in St. Louis depends on their job’s location. It is actually not as big a concern here as it might be in other parts of the country.
Unlike places like Los Angeles, where people can spend hours commuting, traffic is usually not nearly as bad in St. Louis. Rush hour traffic does happen, especially along the main arteries like I-170 and I-64/40…but with a little planning, rush hour will seen relatively tame in most parts of the city and suburbs
Downtown St. Louis is situated such that a drive across the river to O’Fallon, Illinois is actually shorter than the trip to Chesterfield, MIssouri. And as mentioned above, those who are willing to drive or take the train a bit further, can even enjoy a quiet rural setting at the end of their daily commute. Depending on an individual’s tolerance for time spent in the car, they do not need to feel limited in their choices of where to live.
5. Where to Live in St. Louis With Kids
Relocating with kids has the added challenge of considering schools. Just like understanding the wants and needs for a house and community, people need to decide what type of school environment is best for their children.
Our little ones’ wellbeing and happiness is obviously an important factor in deciding where to live in St. Louis. In our article Explaining St. Louis Schools, we break down the different types of public and private educational institutions in the region so you can find the best option for your child.
6. Balancing Budget and Home Values
St. Louis is experiencing the seller’s market just like the rest of the country. But compared to elsewhere, it is still refreshingly affordable. According to U.S. News and World Report, we rank #22 in the 150 Cheapest Places to Live for 2021-2022. Factors considered include quality of life, job market, desirability, and value.
The region offers everything from very affordable small homes to extravagant luxury homes. You will find our article How Much House Can You Afford in St. Louis? Helpful in determining where your budget places you on the scale.
Let Us Help You Decide Where to Live in St. Louis
Buying a house is a big decision and the unknown of relocating can make it even more stressful than usual. By taking some time to consider all of the above factors, it will be easier to figure out where you and your family will be happiest in the St. Louis region.
At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, we know every corner of the Greater St. Louis region. We have agents representing the city, neighboring counties, and Metro East Illinois. We even have a department of relocation specialists.
No matter where in St. Louis you settle, welcome home. We know you’re going to love it here!
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