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On the hunt for a home in St. Louis? Having some specific neighborhoods in mind can help accelerate your search. With a variety of options each with their own identity, here are some essential things to consider:
Know Your Specs
Before you start researching the many different neighborhoods of St. Louis, take some time to reflect. What is important to you in a neighborhood? You don’t need to be thinking of a specific neighborhood, just the general qualities that your ideal neighborhood would possess. Maybe you want a close-knit community where neighbors know each other and kids have friends on the street, or perhaps you want to be in the bustle near cafes and places to shop. Get clear on the ideal neighborhood for you, and if your shopping with a partner, what that means for you both together.
Once you have a clear idea of your ideal neighborhood, it’s time to prioritize. St. Louis has a lot to offer and a variety of unique neighborhoods. If you want a smooth house-hunting process, you’re going to want to narrow down that ideal neighborhood into a short list of must-haves. This doesn’t have to mean that you’ll be willing to sacrifice everything for the items that make the short list, but they will guide your search. In addition to things a neighborhood must have, it’s also helpful to have a short list of deal breakers. If there are some qualities that you’re certain you don’t want, get those organized as well. This will help you and your agent refine the search.
Narrow it Down
Once you have your priorities in order, you can narrow your search field. Eliminate any neighborhoods that contain a dealbreaker and highlight any that contain a must-have. Keep refining until you have a list of several neighborhoods that fit the bill and target those in your search.
Try it Out
Even if you’ve lived in St. Louis for years, if you’ve never lived in a certain neighborhood, it’s difficult to get the full sense of what it’s like to live there. So much of picking the right neighborhood comes down to the feeling and vibe of a place. When you’ve narrowed your search to a handful of neighbors, head out and sample them. Spend an afternoon wandering on foot, take a bike ride, grab a coffee, go out to dinner. Spending time in different neighborhoods can help you refine your search even further and even maybe find the right home in person.
Two of the most common statistics buyers will research give data on school quality and crime rates. If there are certain measurable qualities that you can get more information on, seek it out. While numbers certainly don’t give you a full portrait of an area, they can still help inform your decision.
Consider Your Timeframe
Especially for first-time buyers who may be used to moving more frequently, considering their timeline as homeowners is important. How long do you see yourself staying in this home, and what do you see your life looking like into the future? For example, if you don’t have kids now but may in a few years, that could significantly impact your priorities.
St. Louis Favorites
It would be impossible to list the best neighborhoods in St. Louis. It’s a subjective question that really depends on the unique wants and needs of each individual buyer. If you need a little inspiration though, here are a few favorites. For the foodies out there? The Hill, Central West End, Downtown, The Grove, and Lafayette Square might catch your interest. Need to be surrounded by art? Grand Center, Clayton, and Skinker-DeBaliviere could be top choices. First-time buyers? Lindenwood Park and Affton often top the list. Park lovers? Forest Park Southeast, St. Peters, St. Charles, and Sunset Hills offer some great outdoor spaces.
The St. Louis area is full of unique neighborhoods. Get clear on what you want, and start exploring to find the one that’s right for you. Have a favorite St. Louis neighborhood? Tell us why in the comments.