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Talk me into STL?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

For the sake of my marriage, please, (lol?).

 

Backstory: I have lived in rural SW MO my entire life; my husband grew up in STL and moved here with his parents when we were in middle school.  We had our kids, etc., and have been struggling in the local economy for the last 12 years.  He has determined that his best chance of making a better life for us (he's kind of old-fashioned about that...) is to move back to the city and exploit any and all connections he has with one of the unions.  We have resisted this path for many years, because it was the way he was raised, and is not conducive to the type of parenting we wanted to do (ie: constant travel, not being there to see the kids grow up, etc.).  But now the kids are older, and we have to think about our future rather than use them as an excuse not to become financially stable.

 

The plan: husband leaves in the spring, gets as much work as possible, and stays with family until we can sell our house.  After that, if all goes well, the kids and i will join him, whether that's a few months or a couple of years in the future.  In the mean time, i will continue to try to find full-time work here to pay the bills, though it's been six months with no solid leads.  We'll buy a house in STL eventually.  He'll earn his union card.  I'll find a job there doing something, and the kids will either go to school or (if we don't like the district we end up in) we'll go back to homeschooling.

 

Or, you know, we'll crash and burn and be poverty-stricken, but sadly (or encouragingly?), really no worse off than we are right now (which is why we're doing to all this trouble in the first place).

 

So...obviously my husband doesn't mind city life; his entire family is there.  But I am not so much into this.  There is friction between his relatives and me.  My own family would be several hours away.  And i do not like visiting the city; can't imagine living there.  Traffic.  Crowds.  I prefer neighbors that are too far away to see or hear.  I like being able to shoot out my back door and it's no big deal (that's how we say 'hello' in rural neighborhoods, btw).  I don't like ordinances that would limit my personal freedoms.

 

But i hear there are good things in cities.  Libraries, sidewalks, parks, and perhaps even like-minded people.  These could be nice.  Tell me more about these kinds of things, please?  I will be arriving with three kids, ages approximately 8, 10, and 12.

post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well this isn't too promising!  I would take a 'no comment' or a 'sorry, you're going to hate it here' from anyone that lives in the city; it would be nice to know there are at least some people from the boards nearby. help.gif

post #3 of 11
Hi,
I just saw this post. My family currently lives in STL. We have lived in multiple cities due to my husbands job and I have to say I really like the family environment here in STL. Many of the activities (zoo, museums, etc) are free or low cost, which makes it easy to do lots of fun days out. The park systems and schools are great. I know it is difficult to get used to living in a city after living in a more rural environment but you would be surprised how quickly you can adapt.

It is always difficult to be away from family. I will say I have found it difficult finding a group of like minded friends. Many of the people that live here grew up here and have the same group of friends they grew up with. Other than that the people in general are very friendly and kind! Hope this helps.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
it does help, thank you!

Though we live in a small town, i grew up a whole 10 minutes away, so the locals treat us like complete 'foreigners.' That part, i'm already used to at least!

Can you tell me more about the schools? The opinion among my husband's relatives is that unless you're out in the county, they're worthless. But they all did private school, so how would they know? Also, they're all pretty racist :\ That's probably their biggest issue.
post #5 of 11
I love living in St. Louis, but I also have a small house in SE MO. I love living in stl with so much to do and so much is convenient. I also love the quiet of our country house. What about living just outside where there are less ordinance?
Like Jefferson county or pacific? You can find pockets where you get more of a country feel.
There are definitely pros and cons. I'm actually thinking about moving to Illinois but I'm scared I will hate living so far from my favorite grocery store and restaurants. And that my kids will start doing meth or something. I have a bad view of the country because all I hear is about meth labs and stuff. When we're at our country house, a lot of people seem off. I like the diversity of the city. I live in crestwood, btw. It's not too bad, as far as the suburbs go and Lindbergh district is pretty good.
post #6 of 11

There are rural option and suburban options in the St. Louis area as well as outlying areas that are within commuting distance that might make both of you happy.  I live in Edwardsville, IL and we really like it.  We moved from a urban ranch with 25 acres and the closest store being 14 miles away and we were a homeschooling family.  It was fun and exciting to move to Edwardsville - there are very nice parks, nice grocery stores with variety, health conscious people, and the school system is the best in Illinois.  On the St. Louis side, you will have to homeschool (and there are many homeschooling friendly areas there) or invest in private school.  We were so impressed with the district here that we elected to put the kids in school. I now have one at the high school, one in middle school, one in intermediate elementary (4th gr), and one at early elementary (1st gr).  They divide the schools kinda weird here but it is actually pretty cool - K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.  

Anyway, St. Louis is undoubtedly a pretty good job market, if for no other reason than it is a big city with a lot of options.  If you would like to talk more, pm me your e-mail address and we can talk!

Good luck...change is always hard!

Nicole

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendyland View Post

There are definitely pros and cons. I'm actually thinking about moving to Illinois but I'm scared I will hate living so far from my favorite grocery store and restaurants. And that my kids will start doing meth or something. I have a bad view of the country because all I hear is about meth labs and stuff. When we're at our country house, a lot of people seem off. I like the diversity of the city. I live in crestwood, btw. It's not too bad, as far as the suburbs go and Lindbergh district is pretty good.

 

This is very funny!  So many people think that if you cross the bridge (into IL), you end up in corn fields and hick town.  It is not like that at all!  Just in Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, we have Dierbergs (upscale grocery store with fair natural foods section), Schnucks (mid-range nice grocery store), Shop N Save (cheap grocery store), Market Basket (down home grocery), Super WalMart, Super Target...plus Michaels, Best Buy, Old Navy, Starbucks, Kohls, etc. and we are 20 mins from a pretty decent mall.  We have one HS with 2400 kids, 2 middle schools, and numerous elementary schools (10?). There are no meth labs in the city but I imagine if you go anywhere rural, you are going to find some drug production.  

St. Louis is a short drive (25-60 min) and there are a ton of great free things to do for families.  It was recently rated one the best places to live if you are a cheapskate - so much cool stuff is free! As I said, there is a large homeschooling community there.  St. Louis has anything that you would want!  Personally, I would never want to live anywhere from North County to Downtown. Kirkwood, Creve Couer, Webster Grove, Frontenac, LaDue are very nice but we are totally priced out of that housing market and could not afford a house where we would send our kids to school (LaDue is supposed to be a great district but houses are in the $1M range) and we can't afford to send 5 kids to private school.  

No, there isn't a lot of diversity in this area.  Edwardsville has a very small population of black people - there are definitely less than 200 black kids out of 2400 at EHS - about 8% of the population is black.  I am now a full time student at SIUE (Edwardsville is a college town with a great Main St.) and the campus prides itself in its diversity.  

Here are the demographics http://www.cityofedwardsville.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7B112C9FDA-89C7-45B2-B36E-554B1CFCCEFA%7D

Hope that helps!

Nicole

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by thaler_19 View Post

It is always difficult to be away from family. I will say I have found it difficult finding a group of like minded friends. Many of the people that live here grew up here and have the same group of friends they grew up with. Other than that the people in general are very friendly and kind! Hope this helps.

Yes, the midwest is very closed off when it comes to new friendship - very clique!  It takes a lot of effort to make good friends.  For instance, church, homeschooling groups, women/moms groups, ladies wine club, MOPS, LLL, etc.  That is DEFINITELY a downside!!!

post #9 of 11

I have never lived in St Louis proper as an adult, but I agree that depending on where you move to it wouldn't be bad.  There are many smaller areas within driving distance to the city as well.  If you really like rural life look into towns like Richwoods/Wildwoods.  There is a decent ap/liberal/natural food atmosphere and I would do some many more things if I lived closer to the city than I do now (I live about an hour out and my husband works a ton).

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhats View Post
 

I have never lived in St Louis proper as an adult, but I agree that depending on where you move to it wouldn't be bad.  There are many smaller areas within driving distance to the city as well.  If you really like rural life look into towns like Richwoods/Wildwoods.  There is a decent ap/liberal/natural food atmosphere and I would do some many more things if I lived closer to the city than I do now (I live about an hour out and my husband works a ton).

 

I totally agree.  There are many places close to STL that have a country feel, where you can get a few acres.  Festus for example is about 40 minutes out and it seems like it has some rural, outlying areas.  I have only driven through though...

Because STL is a big city, you will find a fair amount of crunchy folks! :-)

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Visted relatives in the area over the weekend (it had been over a year since we'd been there before that) and i am completely overwhelmed!!

Everyone has a house for sale, of course, and they're all asking 'only' around $150,000. My current house cost us $65,000 so i think we're out of our league in any of our relatives' neighborhoods! And one cousin told us he had a lot of trouble getting permits for basic improvements (in Fenton), so that worries me too.

Not that i would want to live near most of the relatives anyway. That's the biggest con, and you guys can't help me with that one anyway, lol.
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