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Looking to move to St. Louis area

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Can anyone suggest areas that are safer???? My daughter will be attending a private school, so the school district doesn't matter, but we need something fairly inexpensive!

post #2 of 27

Safer than what?  There are a lot of great neighborhoods in St. Louis.  What area are you looking at? City, mid county, west or south county?  There are a lot of inexpensive options.

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm from Utah, so I am not used to any sort of crime, and we just let our kids play outside and walk to neighbors and leave our car unlocked!

 

My daughter's school will be right next to Barnes Jewish and Children's, so anywhere within reasonable driving distance is great. Just tell me where you would feel comfortable with your children and walking alone at night :)

post #4 of 27

I'll vote for Crestwood, Kirkwood, Webster Groves.  It's not a bad commute from the city.  Crestwood is probably least expensive.  I think you'll have some crime anywhere.  I've never experienced any where we live.  I love my neighborhood and school district.  Feel free to pm me for any other info. 

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

How is the area north of I-70 around "Normandy" (is that an area?) or "Cordell Hills" (Maybe "Northwoods", I have no idea, I'm reading this off a map)? This is where an apartment we are looking at is. It seems to be outside the city, towards the north.

post #6 of 27

We live in Dogtown, which is pretty close to Barnes (and also to Forest Park). We're right across the street from a small park. There are lots of kids around, and people walking with their dogs, and it seems pretty safe to me (even though it's in "the city", as opposed to "the county", which is how St. Louis people tend to divide things up).

 

North County would be a long drive... you might look in Maplewood, too. That's also close to Barnes, and the school district is really good, in case the private school doesn't work out. The early childhood school (pre-1) has chickens, a garden, really cool stuff. Dogtown's probably a little cheaper than Maplewood, but it varies.

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post

We live in Dogtown, which is pretty close to Barnes (and also to Forest Park). We're right across the street from a small park. There are lots of kids around, and people walking with their dogs, and it seems pretty safe to me (even though it's in "the city", as opposed to "the county", which is how St. Louis people tend to divide things up).

 

North County would be a long drive... you might look in Maplewood, too. That's also close to Barnes, and the school district is really good, in case the private school doesn't work out. The early childhood school (pre-1) has chickens, a garden, really cool stuff. Dogtown's probably a little cheaper than Maplewood, but it varies.



 My daughter is deaf and we are moving specifically for her school, so that isn't an issue.

 

The other area we are looking is by Willmore Park in St. Louis Hills (?) or McKenzie?

post #8 of 27

If you're concerned about crime/safety, don't move anywhere north.  Definitely not Normandy.  I live in Brentwood, which is a short highway drive from Barnes & Children's.  My neighborhood is very centrally located, walkable, safe, clean, and wholesome (kind of similar to Webster Groves and Kirkwood but a little less sought after).  The St. Louis Hills area of the city is nice, I suppose, but not very interesting.   

post #9 of 27

Saw this on new posts, and had  to reply since I respectfully disagree with Mandy. St. Louis Hills is nice, and I think as interesting as anywhere else unless you want to look at either pricier (eg Central West End, Clayton) or even less safe (e.g.Tower Grove).

 

OP: It's not going to be the degree of safety you are probably used to, but other than some property theft, that area is not bad. Maplewood, Kirkwood and Brentwood are also nice, but I would argue that there is crime there as well. There are some safer parts of north county, but your commute would be pretty bad. Until recently I lived in StL (not too far from St. Louis Hills) and my young children played outside alone and walked to the neighbors all the time. Our house was broken into once, as was our car, but we never felt personally threatened. In fact, our neighborhood was very "Leave it to Beaver" with kids everywhere, and lots of adults who looked out for the kids.

 

Mandy: I didn't know you moved! Your neighborhood sounds great!

post #10 of 27

I am going to agree that Normandy, anything just north of the city, not your best bet for safety.

 

I don't think St. Louis Hills is boring and it's a nice area and as safe as an urban neighborhood can get really.  The Hill (Italian neighborhood) is also known for safety.  I am not totally familiar with city neighborhoods as I only lived there (in STL Hills) until I was about 2.  My grandparents lived across from Francis Park when I was growing up though and we were always outside playing in their yard.  I know there are other family friendly neighborhoods, but I'm not able to confidently direct you.

 

I'd stay close to 40 or 44 for convenience sake getting to Barnes.  Affordability can be a different challenge.  Clayton, Richmond Heights, and Brentwood would be very convenient.  Maplewood would be too (but you need to know where you are in Maplewood still IMO, it's a changing area, more desirable now than it used to be).  Webster, Glendale, and Kirkwood would be convenient.

 

Where I live is completely and utterly safe, but nowhere near convenient for you.  And of course, this is the area I'm most familiar with right now, so I don't know if I was super helpful ;)

post #11 of 27

Well I live in Normandy, and I feel very safe.  The only thing that makes it not walkable, is not having anything to walk to....unless you need a walgreens or want to go to McDonalds...I live in a quiet neighborhood, and have never had anything bad happen.  I would say that the neighborhoods to our east are not as safe, but everything around us, and to our west is fine.  It really is a relative term I guess.  I would love to live in the city, Tower Grover area, Christy Park, Lafyette Park.  I know that there is crime in St. Louis, there is crime in any city, but I choose to not live in fear of being a crime victim.  If something random is going to happen, it's just that, random.  There are a lot of great people and places to go around here, I hope that you find somewhere that you love!  If you can come for a weekend and explore before you move, you might be able to get an idea of a convenient place for you.

post #12 of 27

I grew up in North County in Ferguson and attended a high school just a few blocks from BJC and the deaf school the OP referenced. It think Ferguson is a great place to live but the commute to the Central West End is awkward because one has to go through north St Louis City or go way out of the way to avoid it. The one advantage now would be the ease of Metrolink. 

 

I think looking along highway 44 would be helpful. Some friends just bought a house in Crestview for less than I would have expected for a house that size (even in this economy). It is within walking distance for Grant's Farm. Nice area, safe. 

post #13 of 27

I'm not an urban expert, but I have lived in the area all my life. One thing you MUST know, if you're worried about the crime rate and heard that St. Louis isn't safe is this: when they announce stats on crime rates St. Louis City gets rated totally on its own WITHOUT St. Louis County to dilute the figures. So if you heard the recent stats that St. Louis is the most dangerous city in the country, we got a bum rap. They are only looking at the city limits and a popluation of about 300,000. Most other cities in the country share their stats with the surrounding suburbs of the county. St. Louis does not. 

 

Also, locals divide the county into North, South, West...but it's all one county officially. Regions north of downtown are going to be more dangerous because that is were poorer folk have moved. South of the city has a lot of interesting immigrant populations. West is the general direction of more affluent folks. Of course the farther you get from the city into the suburbs it all evens out.

 

You say school district doesn't matter, but if you're looking at a home outside of the city limits the schools can help you determine where the better neighborhoods are. Good schools = good neighborhood. The city school district stinks to high heaven.

 

And St. Louis isn't a very walkable city where ever you are. We just didn't evolve that way. We love our cars out here and just drive to whereever we want to go. This is probably why some of the urban areas stink so bad--its hard to get a bus to take you to a good job or a decent place to shop.

post #14 of 27

Very good point, about the crime stats.  The methodology of that study was very flawed.  It's unfortunate that it's getting a lot of attention.  I missed the part about your daughter's school before.  I would try to stay near highway 44, for an easy commute.  The Shaw neighborhood, The Hill,  Maplewood, Shrewsbury, Webster Groves, all good areas that will make it easy to get to the Central West End.

 

Good luck!

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

Alright, I will give a little more info to be clearer :) We are moving and we will be a split family. My husband is staying behind in Utah. We are looking for the smallest, cheapest place to live, so that Daddy can spend the money on visting us more often. We will have a car, and I don't mind being inconvienced by driving, I just need a cheap place that we won't be killed (or raped or beaten) :)

post #16 of 27

If you're looking to save money, though, I think you should consider the cost of gas if you're commuting a long way. Especially since I'm assuming you'll be driving your daughter to school and then returning home, and then driving there again to pick her up... so if you live 10 miles away that's 40 miles a day, plus the wear and tear on your car. 

 

So, I'd be back to Dogtown. :) Close, safe, cheap... the big downside for most people with kids is that it's in the St. Louis school district, but since that doesn't matter to you, why not? There are some cute little apartment complexes between Clayton and Oakland Aves...

post #17 of 27

Affton and Bayless wouldn't be too far of a commute, either.  My ex lives around 55 and Union & I feel safe with our kids staying there. 

 

Also, around 44 and Arsenal or Hampton are good. I've always like the neighborhood off of Jamieson, which is right off 44 & Arsenal.  And there's a really nice park nearby. 

 

St. Louis has a great deaf community.  We have a lot of deaf friends and interpreters.

post #18 of 27

Maplewood and Richmond Heights are both pretty close to where your daughter is going to go to school and relatively cheap. Dogtown is also a very good choice for safe and cheap. Plus, it's close to Forest Park, the Science Center, and the Zoo. (All free.)

 

Granite  City, Illinois has a mixed reputation, but it's cheap and if you stay out of its downtown,  it's very safe. (Anything west of 25th street, not so much.) It's 20 minutes from the Deaf school. (I commuted from GC to Washington University for law school.)

 

Belleville, Illiniois is also very safe and you might be able to find something on the Metrolink train route there. There are train stops in downtown Belleville and that's very cheap. It's about a 40 minute train ride from downtown Belleville to the Deaf school.

 

If you're in the City, the neighborhood around Tower Grove park is pretty safe, as long as you stay on the west side of Delmar, and you  can find cheap stuff there. It's also a pretty hip, integrated urban community.

 

In the City, you should also look for apartments around the Washington University campus. It's a student neighborhood, but it's right next to Children's Hospital.  You might want to call the WUSTL student housing office and ask them about safety. Come to think of it, you could do the same thing with St. Louis University, which is also nearby.

post #19 of 27

I think a 3rd or 4th floor walk up apartment in dog town would be a great option.  Without a partner I would probably reccomend not being on a first floor.  We have friends there and it feels just as safe (and white - I'll just go ahead and articulate the subtext) as St. Louis Hills.  

 

I really have to say that "North County" is not unsafe.  There are large, healthy, safe, middle class suburbs up there that happen to be inhabited by large numbers of African Americans.  There are poor areas which are probably less safe, but that would be true of South county as well.  

 

To the OP: I grew up in Wyoming.  I get it.  It *does* take some time to get used to locking your doors... you might not start out all that street smart and you may feel a little fearful when you might not need to at first.  But St. Louis is a great area and really, truly not the crime ridden cess-pool it is made out to be.  There are wonderful advantages to raising children in diverse, imperfect cities (and inner-ring suburbs like Brentwood, Afton, etc.).   And it does have a large deaf community :)

 

Welcome!!!!!

post #20 of 27

There are many great areas in the city and county to live in.  I have lived in stl my entire life...from really "safe" neighborhoods to really "bad" neighborhoods.  Honestly, while there are a couple areas that yeah just really arent safe, the rest is random and luck to an extent.  There is crime in good and bad areas.  Crime is a fact of life when you live in an urban area, often even if not.  I lived in the christy park area for awhile and loved it.  Someone mentioned st louis hills...that to me is a beautiful neighborhood, but perhaps a bit pricey.  I am in affton now, and while not my favorite area (not really diverse and feels kind of plasticy) it is a "nice" area.

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