From its iconic Arch to its famous museums and zoo, St. Louis has some undeniable bragging rights. After the city’s heyday following its 1904 hosting of the World Fair and first Olympic Games held in the US, St. Louis was suffering from urban decay and economic decline by the close of the century. But in recent years, the city’s neighborhoods and suburbs have been busy refurbishing and reinvesting in their strengths.
Moving to St. Louis? Read the following tips for a good start in the Gateway to the West.
You won’t need a moving permit in St. Louis.
St. Louis hosts some very popular annual events that bring lots of visitors to the city, such as the Whitaker Jazz Festival, Festival of Nations and the St. Louis International Film Festival. To ensure you don’t get stuck in the crowds, check the city’s event calendar before scheduling a moving date.
Plan on moving to St. Louis in the fall, if possible, when temperatures are mild and there’s less humidity.
Spring and summer bring severe thunderstorms and frequent tornadoes. If you’re moving to St. Louis during these times, listen to a local radio station while driving and take cover if you hear any warnings.
In addition, winters can be severe with lots of snow and icy precipitation, so winterize your vehicle before driving and be extra careful when on the road.
If you need to put any of your belongings into storage, make sure the unit is dry and well-ventilated so you have the least chance of mold.
St. Louis has a higher-than-average crime rate, though this usually pertains to a few notorious neighborhoods, not the entire city. However, locals advise checking neighborhood crime rates before deciding where to live.
Change your address online with USPS before moving to St. Louis. It’s easy and efficient, and ensures your mail arrives at your new place as soon as you do!
There’s an interesting mix of neighborhoods for anybody moving to St. Louis. From Downtown, with its many businesses and government agencies, to Skinker–DeBaliviere with its many retail opportunities, you can be sure to find anything from upscale to ethnically diverse. You can also look at popular Midtown, old Lafayette Square, upscale Central West End and hip Southampton, the Hill and Soulard. Commuters will appreciate family-friendly Florissant and Chesterfield.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in the state of Missouri is almost 20 percent lower than the US average, yet the cost of living in St. Louis is only 10 percent lower. However, this still means that the average household spends a lot less on necessities than it would in most other urban areas. Agriculture is one of the state’s main sources of income, which means that many foods are produced locally, keeping shelf prices affordable. In addition, many students here receive some form of state funding for their studies, which reduces the costs of education for families.
You’ll appreciate the city’s extensive infrastructure when moving to St. Louis. Well-maintained highways and state roads allow for efficient access to all parts of the metropolitan area, and reliable public transport provided by MetroLink and MetroBus makes commuting easy for those who don’t want to drive. There’s less congestion than in other large cities, but it’s still a good idea to avoid busy commute times if possible.
- Roads: A network of Interstate routes, US routes and state roads serves the city and surrounding areas.
- Railroads: BNSF Railway and Amtrak both provide passenger transportation.
- Public Transportation: MetroLink provides commuter rail and rapid transit in the city, and MetroBus maintains a reliable bus system.
- Airports: For air travel after moving to St. Louis, the nearest airport is Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in the northwest of the county.
When planning a move to St. Louis, start looking for employment right away. For a long time, St. Louis suffered from high unemployment rates, but in recent years, the city worked hard to create more jobs. The result of these efforts is clear: at the beginning of 2012, the unemployment rate was 8.4 percent—just 0.1 percent higher than the US average.
Traditionally, most St. Louis jobs were in manufacturing, transportation and education; but thanks to economic diversification, there are now also numerous St. Louis jobs in healthcare, business, retail and tourism.
Moving to St. Louis puts you in the middle of a thriving metropolis filled with a diverse citizenry. Your first key to discovering what St. Louis has to offer is to check out the local news sources for information on sites of interest, community events and breaking headlines. Here is a list of the most widely read citywide publications and a roundup of the local TV stations.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is one of the most widely read newspapers in the entire Midwest, with regular readership extending as far away as Tennessee and Illinois. Founded in 1878 by Joseph Pulitzer himself (the guy who the Pulitzer Prize is named after), the newspaper has a daily circulation of nearly 200,000 and over 325,000 on Sundays.
Published seven days a week, the Post-Dispatch covers local and world news, sports, arts and entertainment, business and jobs, and publishes information on community events.
Published every Thursday, the Riverfront Times brings a colorful blend of local investigative reporting and coverage of the city’s diverse music and arts scene. It also contains information helpful in the discovery of local dining and nightlife. Founded in 1977, the RFT (as locals sometimes call it) has a circulation of over 80,000 and is available free on newsstands and in bookstores throughout greater St. Louis.
The St. Louis American
Since 1928, The St. Louis American has been reporting on issues of interest and concern for the city’s African-American community. With a circulation of 70,000, this weekly publication covers local and international news, business, health, religion, sports and entertainment.
The Vital Voice
Published monthly, The Vital Voice is the city of St. Louis’ premier publication for the LGBT community. It was established in 2000 after the demise of the Lesbian and Gay News Telegraph. The Vital Voice has a monthly circulation of over 25,000 and reports regularly on local and national news stories impacting the city’s LGBT community.
St. Louis Business Journal
The St. Louis Business Journal is published every Friday and covers business-related news impacting professionals and business owners throughout the greater St. Louis area. In addition to in-depth coverage of the St. Louis business climate, the newspaper publishes a weekly calendar of forthcoming area events of interest to job seekers.
Local TV and News Channels
To keep up to date with developing news in St. Louis, tune in to the following TV stations:
You can expect some extreme weather when moving to St. Louis, as it’s situated between a humid-continental and a humid-subtropical climate. You’ll experience wet springs, hot and humid summers, cool falls (if you’re lucky, you might get an Indian summer, when temperatures stay warm well into the winter months!), and cold winters with lots of snow. Summer temperatures average around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter temperatures hover around 41 degrees.
Watch out for storms after moving to St. Louis: spring and summer are tornado season, while winters bring severe storm systems with snow, freezing rain and ice pellets.
There are some excellent schools, colleges and universities for students to attend after moving to St. Louis.
- Elementary Schools: Kennard Classical Junior Academy, Sappington Elementary and Truman Elementary are the top-ranked elementary schools.
- High Schools: Some of the best high schools include Metro High, McKinley Classical Leadership Academy and Lindbergh Senior High.
- Higher Education: College students can choose from a number of higher educational institutions including the University of Missouri–St. Louis, St. Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis, Ranken Technical College, St. Louis College of Pharmacy and St. Louis Community College.
For current information about living and working in St. Louis, visit the official website of the City of St. Louis. The following tips and online resources will help you settle into your new home faster.
- Tolls: Missouri doesn’t have any toll roads or bridges.
- Voter Registration: After moving to St. Louis, you can register to vote when applying for your MO driver’s license or by mailing in a voter registration form to the Board of Election Commissioners. You can also register at any public library, Health and Social Services Office, or tax-supported public agency with a Deputy Registrar.
- Waste Disposal: The city provides curbside pick-up for trash and recycling.
- Taxes: The state charges an excise tax or sales tax of 4.225 percent on any vehicle you buy in the state, and additional local sale taxes apply, too. You can calculate your total costs here. However, if you owned your vehicle for at least 90 days in another state, you’re exempt.
- Driver’s Licenses: New Missouri residents are required to apply for a MO driver’s license at their local Department of Revenue Office within 30 days of moving to St. Louis. The cost for a six-year license is $20.
- Vehicle Registration: After moving to St. Louis, you’re required to register your vehicle at your local Department of Revenue Office within 30 days. Costs vary depending on the vehicle’s HP. To give you an idea of the fees, a four-cylinder vehicle costs $24.75 per year and a six-cyclinder vehicle, $27.75. It costs $8.50 plus a processing fee of $2.50 to register a title, and $2.50 to record any lien.