OK, by more educational opportunities, I really mean City Garden Montessori School. Beginning as a small pre-school, City Garden has actually been around since 1995. But it didn’t begin anew as a charter school until 2008.
Since then the Shaw Neighborhood has become really hot. Some of my clients were just involved in a competing offer situation on a home in the neighborhood. And I noticed that a 350K home on Botanical went under contract within 4 days of being listed. That got me wondering whether or not the new school had anything to do with the property values in the area. So, I decided to look at some of the sale data from 2009 to present. It’s all typed out below and I am including the screenshots of the MLS data at the bottom of the post for anyone who is interested.
Note: To be included in this MLS search the house had to have sold for more than 100K and be within the Shaw Neighborhood boundaries.
2009 Averages in Shaw
Sq Ft: 2435
Sold Price: $221,157
List Price to Sale Price Ratio: 90.15%
2010 Averages in Shaw
Sq Ft: 2439
Sold Price: $236,273
List Price to Sale Price Ratio: 92.73%
2011 Averages in Shaw
Sq Ft: 2010
Sold Price: $197,300
List Price to Sale Price Ratio: 90.40%
2012 Averages for Shaw
Sq Ft: 2454
Sold Price: $245,377
List Price to Sale Price Ratio: 90.74%
2013 Averages for Shaw
Sq Ft: 2670
Sold Price: $282,613
List Price to Sale Price Ratio: 92.60%
Looking at these numbers it’s really hard to draw any conclusions but it is interesting stuff. Compare the average sold price in 2009 ($221,157) to the average sold price in 2013 ($282,613). That’s pretty significant. But that could be due to many different reasons. A lot of the homes selling now in Shaw are new rehabs (especially those that are selling at the higher end) while in 2009 there were probably more resales. The market will deliver a higher dollar sale price for a home in mint condition rather than one that feels lived-in with deferred maintenance issues.
There has been a lot of rehabbing in the neighborhood over the last 5 years. Maybe the school gave the developers some reassurance that there would be buyers ready when the rehab became available. Note the difference in days on market for the homes sold in 2009 (106). Compared to the days on market for 2013 (67).
The strong involvement from the Shaw Neighborhood Housing Corporation whose mission is to “improve the quality of life in the Shaw neighborhood by addressing housing related issues” cannot be denied either. Another factor could be the overall economy. On a macro level the housing market is better than it was in 2009 and sale prices have increased in many areas.
Regardless, having the option of a great (FREE) school in the neighborhood cannot hurt home sales!
If you thought home ownership was out of your reach, think again! This home is a great opportunity in the Carondelet neighborhood! 5211 Alabama is 1200 square feet of awesome! It is move-in ready with 2 bedrooms and one full bath. The EAT-IN kitchen in enormous and the screened-in back porch is a rare find. The tipping point for this lovely little gem is the OVER-SIZED TWO CAR GARAGE!
At only $55,000 for the purchase price an FHA buyer will need only $1925.00 for a down payment and the monthly rent will be less than $500.00 with taxes and insurance included. Not sure how to get the loan process started? Just call Sean Zalmanoff with USA Mortgage and he will help you get started. Ask him about FIRST TIME HOME BUYER financing options!
Looking for a good investment? With 20% down the monthly payment would only be $375 a month! This home would lease for twice that with the garage!
St. Louis gets a bad wrap. It’s known as one of the Top Ten Most Dangerous Citiesin the U.S. But ask any long-time St. Louis resident and you will hear otherwise. This moniker is undeserved and has more to do with the way the stats are tallied rather than the crime statistics themselves.
Check out this short clip The Truth About Crime in St. Louis produced by St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation in partnership with the Convention and Visitor Center, RCGA and Partnership for Downtown St. Louis.
Highlight: Crime is down 46% since 2006 in St Louis City
Favorite Quote: “It is an unfair and wholly inaccurate portrait of crime in my community.” from national criminologist Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, University of Missouri-St. Louis as he discusses how crime is reported.
As an example of unbalanced reporting of crime stats, the video compares St. Louis and Memphis. St Louis City is 63 square miles and only includes 11% of metropolitan population compared to Memphis which is 315 square miles and includes 60% of metropolitan population.
If you are preparing to move to St. Louis (or even just a visit), don’t be fooled by the sensational headlines. With more in-depth research you will find that St. Louis is a great place to live, work and play.
St. Louis has a vibrant neighborhood scene, some of the best parks in the country, a thriving arts district and many many culinary options. The cost of living is low compared to other parts of the country and St Louis is home to 9 Fortune 500 Companies and 19 Fortune 1000 Companies.
I was looking over the 2013 3rd Quarter Market Watch Report from Maris and it confirmed many of my “feelings” about the market. I say “feelings” because as a single agent you never really know if you are just having a good (or bad) year, or if your business is a reflection of the market as a whole.
Here’s an example: Year-to-date I have represented 28 home owners on the sale of their home. Of the 28, I have sold 26. That is a 92.8% success rate – a personal best. I’m pretty proud of that. But I can see that I was working within a good market and the overall climate was very positive for home sellers.
Here is something I feel I can take a little more credit for: The sellers I represented received on average 97.4% of their list price (see below the average seller only received 93.3% of their original list price) and sold their homes within an average of 52 days (city wide average was 72 days). Those stats are actual representations of the skills I have acquired. It means I was reading the market correctly and clearly communicating the situation to my clients. I am actually quite proud of that. In hindsight, it is easy to see where the prices were especially with the help of the Market Watch data reports. But in the thick of it, when talking with the home owners and helping them project what their home will actually sell for, it’s a much different story.
Anyway, enough about me. Here is a quick synopsis of the 3Q Market for St Louis City. Looking at the current state of things and at the same data over the past couple years, it is hard not to be optimistic. Here are a couple quick take aways.
Median sale price is up 20.7%
Average sale price is up 14.8%
Closed sales are up 12.4%
Days on Market has decreased by 16%
In the 3Q of 2011 there were nearly 4x as many homes for sale as homes that actually sold. In the 3Q of this year (2013) that gap has been cut almost in half. The inventory of homes for sale is shrinking back to a more normal level.
Interested in seeing the full report? Email me, and I will send you a copy.
This past summer I listed and sold 563 N Woodlawn. We had 17 showings the first day it went on the market. By the end of that day we had 5 offers. Clearly there was a lack of inventory in the area. I was hoping that would have leveled out by now, but no such luck.
I have a client who needs 3+ bedrooms with a budget of $275-350,000 (depending on work needed) who wants to be in the Kirkwood school district. Currently there are 3 homes listed. All great places but unfortunately none of them fit the bill.
Here is the area we are looking in (highlighted blue section). If you or someone you know lives here and wants to move, please let me know
My first purchase was a two-family home where I lived with my roommate on the first floor and rented the second floor. The loan required little down payment since I intended the purchase as my residence and not strictly as investment. It lowered my monthly expenses and it allowed me to move on to my next venture without having to consider selling.
Purchasing a multi-family investment as an owner occupant makes sense for so many different situations. Consider these examples. I once worked with a family who wanted to live in a particular neighborhood but the cost of single family homes in the area was out of their reach. They bought a two family and rented one of the apartments for several years until they built up their equity. Then when the time was right, they procured a construction loan and converted the two-family to single family home. I also worked with a young attorney whose job took him out of town about 50% of each month. He knew real estate was a good investment and he wanted to invest in his own property rather than help pay someone else’s mortgage. He purchased a two-family and secured a great tenant. That tenant not only paid the majority of his mortgage but kept the place safe while he was away. There is a retired a couple on my block that sold their original house and purchased a two-family. They moved 4 doors down and across the street. They didn’t want the upkeep of a big old city house but they still wanted all the benefits of a city neighborhood. And finally I just learned of friend who intends to combine her household with her mother’s. My friend wants to live close to her mother but not necessarily in the same abode. They are planning to purchase a two family where grandma can live downstairs. Multi-generational house-holds are on the rise and buying a multi-family allows for the extended family to share expenses and still have their own space.
An owner-occupant investment purchase also makes a lot of sense for someone who may not be able to commitment to living in one place for more than 2-3 years. I have had several clients fresh out of grad school looking to buy their first home. However, those first few years in the professional world can be a bit tumultuous. There could be new opportunities on the horizon like a new job out of state or possibly the merging of two households. Either way, purchasing a multi-family home is a great solution that allows the client a place of their own, an opportunity to start earning equity and creates a long term investment all at the same time.
If you purchase a two family home, you get all the benefits of home ownership and the flexibility to pick up and move without having to worry about selling your home. Add to that the fact that you will have an income producing asset that can become a cornerstone piece of your retirement plan and it’s a WIN/WIN/WIN.
It has a great floor plan with a large living room and dining room. Both units have retro kitchens with the original farm house sinks, lots of closet space and a 2 car garage.
An owner-occupant using an FHA loan would only need a 3.5 % down payment ($4546.5) which would make the monthly payments $1060.01. With your tenant paying $600/month for rent, your portion of the mortgage would amount to $460.01.
That’s is probably less the rent you are paying now! Can you go anywhere in this city and pay $460 a month for an 1100 square foot space with historic details, wood floors and covered parking?
So, is it time to stop paying your landlord and become one instead? Let me know, there are more options than you may think.
(Other loan options apply and remember the larger down payment you have the lower the monthly mortgage!)
Flynn Park Elementary is a part of the School District of University City. Located at 7222 Waterman in U City it is, as you might have guessed, close to Flynn Park – a 6 acre neighborhood park that features 5 tennis courts and a playground. Flynn Park’s test scores are few points higher than the state’s average in grades 3-5.
Several reviews of the school noted that the diversity was one of the greatest assets found within and around the school’s community. Here’s a review from a parent found on GreatSchools.org:
We have several children enrolled at Flynn Park and we feel so blessed to be a part of this school community. The teachers are enthusiastic about learning, and the principal is a huge supporter of positive reinforcement for all children. We really like the diverse community that defines Flynn Park, and we like the neighborhood feel of the school – both during school hours and after. Our kids, all different learning levels and strengths, are challenged and encouraged based upon their interests, strengths, and abilities. The teachers are willing to meet and discuss our concerns whenever we feel the need, and have always set our concerns at ease or have readily suggested solutions to our issues. WE LOVE OUR SCHOOL!
Flynn Park looks like a proficient and inclusive school that draws its students from terrific neighborhoods. Here are the school disctrict’s boundaries:
Here are 5 homes that are on the market in Flynn Elementary’s district:
(c.) 1919 stately two and a half story in Ames Place welcomes you with a wide front porch. A gracious foyer sets the stage for the center hall plan. To the left is the bright spacious living room with fireplace and to the right the formal dining room.
Both rooms feature hardwoods, crown molding and arched doorways. The classic white kitchen has plenty of counter space with a BREAKFAST bar and features new(er) stainless appliances. BUTLER’S PANTRY offers extra storage.
HALF BATH on the first floor is great for guests. The second floor has two large bedrooms and a MASTER SUITE.
The third floor is home to the fourth bedroom and full bath. This makes great guest quarters or informal FAMILY ROOM. With a large lot and 2 car garage this home is a must see!
Other Properties in the Flynn Elementary School community:
After looking at dozens and dozens of homes, we were shown this home as an afterthought. Once I stepped out of the car, saw the unique cape-cod style, mature trees, fairy tale backyard and then… the railroad, my heart melted. Jason and I both come from railroad families. We were raised with the love and awe of the powerful majesty of the American Railroad. We were so excited to stand on the edge of the easement and see our first train go by.
Once inside the house, it is incredibly rare that you can hear the trains. All of the owners of 340 have taken great care to preserve the cozy story of this home. We know this because we receive Christmas cards from the family that owned this home during the 70’s and 80’s, they now live just a few streets over in Tuxedo Park (no one ever wants to leave this neighborhood!).
This neighborhood is magical. As we have taken our daily walks, greeting neighbors and meeting dogs, we have become connected in a very special way. The streets are filled with beautifully preserved examples of American architecture, many of them “Century Homes”. Everyone walks the neighborhood, making it an environmentally thinking community that wants to stay green and healthy.
We’ve put thousands of hours of sweat and joy into this home. I am going to miss snowy nights in front of the fireplace, the morning sounds of school-bound children and summer sunsets watching the trains while grilling. The amount of pride that comes from living in this special of a neighborhood won’t come from anywhere else.
We wish you all the joy that this house has given us, and more!
My clients go to great lengths to get their homes ready for sale. Some spend several weekends packing, de-cluttering and organizing. And it seems as soon as the home is photo-ready, the owner says “I wish I had done these things for myself”
Well, here is one thing that will help you sell, but please don’t leave it until it’s time to list: Closet Organizers!
Whether you get do-it-yourself racks from the Container Store or call St. Louis Closet Company for a custom solution an organzied closet provides a space everything.
Lack of storage space is one of the biggest complaints that buyers have. In fact, it could be the deal breaker for people touring a smaller city home. So this will not only make your life easier it WILL help you sell your home when the time comes.
I’m an experienced Saint Louis Realtor specializing in St. Louis City as well as neighborhoods like Webster Groves, Maplewood, Clayton, University City and Ladue. With an undergraduate degree in Education and Master's in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development — I have the heart of teacher.
I have been immersed in Residential Real Estate, helping home buyers and sellers understand the market, manage the ambiguities and negotiate the best terms for themselves. I am consistently voted a 5-Star Agent by clients and featured as one of St. Louis' Best Agents in Saint Louis Magazine.