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I'm an undergraduate at Saint Louis University and have absolutely fallen in love with the city! It reminds me a lot of home (I'm from another mid-size river city, Cincinnati), but is in and of itself unique. 

The cost of living in Saint Louis is relatively low and very doable. Apartments near where I live in midtown are ~$1000 a month for a two bedroom with two bathrooms, furniture, and electric/wifi/water/etc. Groceries are also pretty inexpensive depending on where you go; my boyfriend and I go to Schnuck's, which is pretty comparable to Kroger prices back home. It helps that a lot of the activities in Saint Louis (the history museum, art museum, zoo, etc.) are all free. You can do quite a bit in Saint Louis for very little money. 

There are really great, cool neighborhoods to check out in STL as well. I just did an internship in the Italian neighborhood, called the Hill, which is pretty well-known for its restaurants and the fact that it's where Yogi Berra was born. There are also some great bakeries and stores there as well; I particularly like Herbaria, which is a store that sells homemade vegan soap. A lot of people, I think, just write the neighborhood off as a quaint place where the restaurants are, but it's definitely worth exploring. The Loop, near WashU, is a cool, trendy area with a lot of cool shops; Central West End is also pretty cool and trendy, if you're into that. There's also a Bosnian neighborhood (Bevo Mill), since St. Louis has the largest Bosnian population outside of Sarajevo. Of course, downtown is great, and there are places in the neighboring county which are worth a day trip. I'm particularly fond of Saint Charles; my boyfriend is from there, and we spent a day exploring their downtown and the Lewis and Clark museum. It was quaint and really enjoyable. 

Saint Louis has some great food options as well. My personal favorites are Amighetti's (sandwich place), Marconi Bakery (they're a small pizza shop with great cannoli), Pickleman's (soups/salads/sandwiches/pizza), the Fountain on Locust (they have a really nice atmosphere), Peacock Diner (just a fun little diner in the Loop), Yiro Gyro, and Mission Taco. There are also some good dessert kinds of places: Clementine's (small creamery with non-traditional flavors, including boozy ones), Missouri Bakery (good little bakery), etc. 

As for public transport, it's pretty reliable and I've never had trouble with the bus or the train. I rode the bus alone every week (sometimes twice a week) and never had an issue. I also rode the train alone at night downtown and didn't feel unsafe. Having a car wouldn't be the worst thing; it's easier to get around via car than it is via train, and having a car gives you more access to things in St. Louis County or across the river in Illinois. 

Safety-wise, I've never really felt unsafe in the city. I think that the bad neighborhoods (especially East St. Louis) get combined with St. Louis crime statistics and give the city a bad rep. It's not a bad place at all, and has a lot of great history that people don't really ever think about. 

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On 4/3/2018 at 2:50 PM, kitcassidance said:

Hi!  Have done a decent amount of research already, but it's hard to get a feel for places from google alone.  Anyone have suggestiosn for neighborhoods with apartments that are (rank order priorities):
1) dog-friendly 
2) affordable (ideally under $1000 for a 2bd) 
3) reasonably safe 
4) have in unit w/d
5) exposed brick if we're picking and choosing
6) garage access 

Anyone have suggestions?  Or neighborhoods I should definitely steer clear of? 
 

Try the Standard in Midtown maybe? My friend lives there and her rent is out $931 for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom. She has a cat, but they're dog friendly. It's a nice area (I live there). 

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15 hours ago, historygeek said:

Try the Standard in Midtown maybe? My friend lives there and her rent is out $931 for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom. She has a cat, but they're dog friendly. It's a nice area (I live there). 

Hi!  Thanks for the suggestion!  Unfortunately, those prices are per-bed rents, and I'll be moving with my husband.  I'd definitely keep this in mind if I was looking for a roommate though!  Thanks again :) 

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On 6/2/2018 at 3:36 PM, Carly Rae Jepsen said:

I somehow found a place in University City within my budget. It looks big and nice and I am really excited, but living on my own sounds intimidating too. Oh well.

Congratulations! I can promise that living on your own gets less intimidating as time goes on. The nice things about leases is that they're temporary and you can change your living arrangements afterwards. :)

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On 4/2/2018 at 9:59 PM, Carly Rae Jepsen said:

Everybody: is there a substantial difference between Skinker Debaliviere and University City (North of Delmar across WashU's North Campus)? The Skinker place I am looking at is cheaper and frankly the difference between services offered is minimal so I am leaning towards there, but I am concerned about safety and such. 

I've also heard north of Delmar it can get rough, so I guess I'm wondering about safety for both places.

I'm not considering elsewhere, I want to be within walking distance due to lack of a car (someone suggested Pasadena Hills in another website, lol).

Current grad students were lukewarm or against housing with Quadrangle but their places seemed fine for me, and it would be just easier for me.

Hey! I live in Skinker Debaliviere. I have also visited friends in U city north of Delmar by Wash U. 

I think both areas are similar in terms of crime (this is my very unscientific perception/experience). You wont be exposed to violent crimes in these areas. However, due to the high residential density and the fact that they are adjacent to "tougher" areas, both neighborhoods are targets for crimes such as car break-ins (very common in Skinker Debaliviere) and the occasional robbery. I have not had any issues myself, but I do hear about these crimes often. 

You are right about north of Delmar having a bad reputation. It is, in fact, a low-income area with a high-crime rate. However, I don't think the "Delmar Divide" applies north of Delmar near Wash U/The Loop because there are so many students, businesses, and families in the area. 

 

Here's what I will say about Skinker Debalieviere:

 

I like living here because its nice and close to the park. There are two cafes in the area, but they are only open in the morning and they are nothing to rave about. Although the neighborhood is close to CWE, its not necessarily walking distance. We don't have a good restaurant or bar to walk to, which is a bummer. Now, that being said, you have Forest Park that you can walk to, and there are always people walking their dogs in the neighborhood (if you area  dog owner). 

 

If you are looking for a neighborhood that has bars/restaurants you can walk to, the i would say U City is a better bet. If you want a quieter, perhaps more walkable neighborhood, Skinker Debaliviere is your bet. 

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On 4/3/2018 at 1:50 PM, kitcassidance said:

Hi!  Have done a decent amount of research already, but it's hard to get a feel for places from google alone.  Anyone have suggestiosn for neighborhoods with apartments that are (rank order priorities):
1) dog-friendly 
2) affordable (ideally under $1000 for a 2bd) 
3) reasonably safe 
4) have in unit w/d
5) exposed brick if we're picking and choosing
6) garage access 

Anyone have suggestions?  Or neighborhoods I should definitely steer clear of? 
 

This is probably too late to be useful for you, but if you haven't found a place yet, I recommend getting in contact with FrontDoor! They were our landlords for the last two years... They tick every checkbox on your list (although there's a pretty decent jump in housing quality if you can push your budget from $1000 to $1100), they have a bunch of dog-friendly properties around town, and they're genuinely the best property managers my husband and I have ever had. Plus, they rent most of their properties in the Grove, and there's nowhere else I'd rather live in STL. Let me know if you have any questions, and best of luck!

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