Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Central West End of St. Louis: What to Do, Where to Go, and What to See

Central West End of St. Louis: What to Do, Where to Go, and What to See
Extending from Midtown’s western tip down to Union Boulevard, the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis is one of the city’s most affluent communities and home to an array of free attractions, as well as being the “heart of the city”. For example, this wealthy neighborhood is home to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, which has the largest collection of mosaics in the world, as well as Forest Park, and the quaint turn-of-the-century lamp posts and cobblestone streets that give the neighborhood its historic atmosphere. This community also has many residential areas, some of which are actually listed on the National Register of Historical Places, such as Westminster Place and Washington Terrace.
Central West End was historically the home of playwright Tennessee Williams, and also of poet T.S. Eliot. The 1904 World’s Fair—held in nearby Forest Park—gave Central West End even more popularity and its population grew after the fair was over and many of the fair’s visitors stayed in the area. The neighborhood is now a mix of residential areas and a commercial/retail space that is located along Euclid Avenue, stretching from Forest Park Parkway, Delmar Boulevard, and also many restaurants are nestled in the Euclid/McPherson and Euclid/Laclede areas. Maryland Plaza is another area with many of the neighborhood’s restaurants and shops, including resident favorites like Brasserie by Niche, Scottish Arms, Atlas, and Herbie’s Vintage 72.
This scenic and historic community also has other tourist attractions, other than just restaurants and shopping; the Saint Louis Public Library Schlafly Branch is located here, on Lindell Boulevard; the architecture of the historic homes and buildings is a tourist destination in itself, including the large homes in Westminster Place, built from 1890 until 1910, and also homes in Washington Terrace which date back to 1892; and Chase Park Plaza, located at Kingshighway between Lindell Street and Maryland Plaza, features hotels, opulent private homes, a movie theater, restaurants, and banquet facilities.
Nightlife is a plus in the neighborhood as well, with lots of great bars and pubs along Laclede Avenue, Euclid, and Maryland Plaza, including popular favorites like Rosie’s Place, Luna, Bar Italia, Club 34, Bad Dog Saloon, and the Viva Club.
Demographically, the Central West End neighborhood consists of mainly Caucasians (58%), with a mix of African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. The median household income was $64k as of 2012, with a home value of around $115k. Many of the homes in the historic residential areas are large, built in the mid 1900s, and several are on the National Register of Historic Places. Tourists are drawn to these large homes set along quaint cobblestone streets that truly give this “heart of the city” of St. Louis its reputation for being the best area for living, living it up, and enjoying the nightlife.

Visit Frank & Laurie at STL MO HOMES
Frank J. Helderle St. Louis, MO June 2013 ©

St. Louis Hills Community Has a Rich Past and is a Popular Location for Families

St. Louis Hills Community Has a Rich Past and is a Popular Location for Families
This neighborhood’s motto is “Country Living in the City” and sums up the popularity and atmosphere of St. Louis Hills. Located east of Hampton Avenue and southeast of Gravois Avenue, St. Louis Hills is a coveted neighborhood, with many attractions including two parks (Francis Park and Willmore Park), the famed Ted Drewes Frozen Custard shop, and also dozens of small businesses. The neighborhood is mostly residential, however, and is a popular location for young families and busy professionals who work in nearby communities or downtown.
St. Louis Hills has a rich history, having been first developed during the 30s, but the area actually dates back to mid-1700s when the land was deeded to French colonists, Madame Ann Camp and Anton Reihle by Pierre Laclede. The area remained mostly remote, with only a few residents until the 1930s when development really started. Cyrus Crane Willmore (whom the park is named) was the visionary builder of the St. Louis Hills neighborhood; he initially came to St. Louis in 1912 after he graduated from the University of Illinois’s law school and then worked for a realty firm until 1922, when he decided to start his own company. It was his goal to turn St. Louis Hills into a tree-lined residential area for families, with churches and schools, and plenty of parks for residents to enjoy. His English heritage was evident in the names of streets in the neighborhood: Nottingham Avenue and Devonshire Avenue are just a few. There are many great attractions in this neighborhood, including two popular parks (Francis Park and Willmore Park), the famous custard shop, nice restaurants, and events like concerts, festivals, and family activities at the parks. Tourists who come to St. Louis take in the beautiful architecture in this neighborhood; be sure to check out the Arts & Crafts-style homes along Eichelberger Street, and north of Eichelberger are houses, apartment complexes, and duplexes, most of which were built in the 30s and 40s. One home in particular stands out, as it was built with eight sides and is a striking house to look at. The Vedder apartment building on Nottingham Avenue is one of the neighborhoods architectural landmarks, with art deco details, circular windows, curved corners, and stunning brick work. Also on Nottingham Avenue are homes that showcase the neighborhood’s famous architecture; plenty of porthole-style windows, glass block trim, and stunning zigzag brick work.
Demographically, St. Louis Hills’ residents are primarily Caucasians (94%), and also a smaller number of African Americans (2%), and Hispanics (2%). The average household income of the residents was approximately $54k in 2010, and a median home value of $219k. This safe and diverse neighborhood is an ideal location for families, busy business professionals looking for a nice place to live that is near their workplace, and also retirees who want a serene, picturesque community in which to spend their golden years. Tourists also enjoy this area, thanks to the stunning architecture, the parks, and the many events the community hosts.
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The Helderle Team
2013 © All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 14, 2013

10 Items To Check Before Buying A Home

10 Items to Check Before Buying A House Buying a house is a big investment. Deciding to purchase a house is not a decision that anybody takes lightly because of the costs involved. You want the perfect house, a house that will be your home for years to come. If you are looking for your perfect house in St. Louis, we will be happy to help you out, please visit the Helderle team today It is easy for homeowners to fall in love with the house before they even tour the inside. When you find a house that has the perfect yard, the right number of rooms in a layout that you love and a great location, it is easy to forget that what is below the surface is just as important as the curb appeal and the interior of the house. Buying a house on looks alone can be a very costly mistake, adding a huge cost on top of an already large sum of money that the homeowner has committed to. Yet, many homeowners have purchases houses based on the looks along and then need to spend thousands of dollars in repairs shortly after buying the house. You do not want your dream house to turn into a money pit so you always need to check out several important features prior to buying a house. It is a common misconception that you only need to carefully inspect older houses. Do not be lulled into that line of thinking! Newer houses are just as prone to having problems as older ones. It is important to check the items on this list for both new and older houses. By taking a look at several key areas in the house that are prone to becoming a problem areas, you can help to determine if this is the house that you want and if you should go ahead and pay for the cost of a house inspection or if you should keep looking at houses. If you are having trouble finding a house that is right for your family, contact the Helderle team at, they know St. Louis and the surrounding area and can help you find a house that suits your needs at the best possible price.
10 Essential Items To Check Before Buying A Home
Avoid the necessity of paying for costly home repairs shortly after moving into your new house. These ten items are very easy to check when you are looking at a potential home for your family. Taking the time to do these will save you money in the long run. If the current homeowners are reluctant to let you check any of the following, that is a huge red flag.
· Test the tap water – Not all water is created equal, especially if it comes out of pipes that are old and corroded. A quick sip of water can tell you if you might need to redo the plumbing. By filling a clean, clear glass with water, direct from the tap you can see if the water is clear, and you can taste it to see how it tastes. Sometimes off tasting water is due to the city water supply, but it can be from old pipes. At any rate, if the water tastes or looks off, you know to take a close look at the plumbing.
· Check the drains – Sewer line backups are common problems, especially in areas where there are lots of trees or with older pipes and water lines. This is fairly easy to check for; fill up the tub and a few of the sinks and then let them drain at the same time. If the water line is bad, you will be able to easily tell.
· Check the faucets – Try all of the faucets in the house to make sure that they are all working and no leaks. Check to see that the stoppers work as well.
· Check the windows – This is often overlooked and replacing windows in a house can be costly. Check to see that the windows actually open without problems and that they are without cracks or other issues.
· Check the Fireplace – Ask to start a quick fire in the fireplace to see if the fireplace drafts correctly. Ask the family when the last time the chimney was cleaned; it is usually just the matter of giving it a good cleaning to get it back in good working order.
· Check the AC/heat – Turn on the AC and the heat to make sure that they work. It will save you time and money to make sure that they are working before you move in. Let them run for a bit to make sure that they work well, not just turn them on and turn them right back off.
· Check the toilets – Put a little bit of toilet paper in each of the toilets and flush them to ensure that they work well. Sticky handles are a fairly easy fix but toilets that back up with a little toilet paper are a bigger issue.
· Check the electrical panel – If the electrical panel is nicely labeled, that is a good sign. Look for a wire that look loose or frayed, that is a serious concern.
· Check the basement – Is the basement damp? Mold is a big concern to take a close look at the basement to make sure that there are no issues with dampness and moisture.
· Check under the carpet – Because they want the carpets to look nice for potential buyers, some owners may not let you do this, but it does not hurt to ask to see if you can pull up a corner of carpet in a closet to check the quality of the floor underneath the carpet.
Are you a buyer looking for homes in the St. Louis area? Take the hassle out of buying a home by using trusted experts. The Helderle team of realtors is here for you. If you have questions about buying property in St. Louis, we have answer for you; let us help you find your home today! Please visit the Helderle Team of St. Louis, MO.