Hyper-local St. Louis market question (Kirkwood vs. Webster)

7 Replies

I've been casually tracking single family homes for sale and/or rent in Kirkwood and Webster Groves. Seems, in general, there's a fair amount more in Webster. I've often thought of these two areas as comparable. Am I missing something?

I did a quick MLS search and found: 51 homes for sale and 6 for lease in Webster Groves. Kirkwood had 76 homes for sale and 2 for lease. Obviously this wouldn't include any FSBOs.

Also, keep in mind Kirkwood is approximately 9 square miles while Webster is only around 6.  This makes sense as to why more homes would be for sale.

IMO, these two areas are very similar.  I do believe that Kirkwood School District is thought of better than Webster.  Again, just my opinion

If you have any more questions or need help in your property search, let me know.  I have my MO real estate license.  Take care. 

@Corey Lawson  I think it depends on the "neighborhood" in those two areas. IMHO a good amount of Kirkwood homes look good on the outside but are falling apart on the inside. If you've looked at any of them it's not uncommon to see leaking basement and outdated systems. Not to say that Webster doesn't have that but I think you will find a good deal of the Kirkwood people want well over fair market value because it's "Kirkwood". That being said that could also get you a higher rent of people wanting to live in Kirkwood. While I personally love Webster Groves some people don't like the proximity to the city.  

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Hey Corey.  I think Webster has a few more "rougher" areas then Kirkwood does.  With a few exceptions, Kirkwood is mostly made of homeowners with a few renters sparsed in.  I think Webster has much more rentals in those rougher areas.  Also the universities in Webster tend to support more rentals in that area.  Just my 2 cents.

@Mark Struckhoff thanks for the MLS info. I should have been a bit more specific as I was looking at homes under $125k that wouldn't require a lot of work. Just intrigued by the amount of people I know whom want to rent 2/1 or 3/1 in Kirkwood and the lack of inventory.

Ryan D. great point about the universities. Didn't even think about that. 

I love the idea of "rougher" areas in Webster Groves. Kind of like debating who's the ugliest girl in the swimsuit edition. There may be a few more blue collar neighborhoods in Webster vs. a few more very high-end corners of Kirkwood, but on the whole I think both cities are extremely similar. Their high school athletics are even arch-rivals (Turkey Day game!).

Kirkwood schools may be viewed as slightly better, but considering all the public schools within the 270 belt, most would rank Kirkwood/Webster 1 & 2 in some order. I think the comments about "it's Kirkwood" have more to do with it as perception can be everything.

Drive around Kirkwood/Rock Hill/Glendale and then drive into & around Webster Groves. It's really hard to tell the difference, but once you hit Maplewood you'll know it.

IMO, the universities in Webster Groves and the proximity to the city should be seen as a positive for rentals. Students, young professionals, and young families who still want to be close to city living but want the better schools or the nicer address would be happy to rent in Webster whereas Kirkwood seems like more of a destination location to put down roots. Plus prices go up the farther you get from downtown so Webster is closer to that sweet spot on the city/county border. Not sure if stats back any of this up, but it's my 2 cents. I live in the city just on the other side of the city/county line from downtown Webster.

I grew up in Webster & my family is still there - both Webster & Kirkwood are great areas, home-wise. Kirkwood is bigger, so obviously, you'll get more overall inventory. Both school districts are highly rated - I wouldn't worry about that either way. And both are convenient to all the "hot spots" in the city, if that's important, yet you're not in the city proper.

Property taxes ain't cheap in either one.

Frankly, I don't think you could go wrong in either area - a "bad" property in Kirkwood/Webster is 100X better than you'll find in a lot of other places.

They are comparable in housing stock, schools and perception, but a key difference is taxes. I've always heard this, but just to be sure I pulled a quick report of the available homes between $200K and $250K (at time of my search 7 homes in WG, 5 in K). On average, the taxes in WG on these similarly priced and sized homes (note: lots in WG did run about 30% larger) was 50% higher in WG than in K ($3,515 vs. $2,362). Advantage (as an investor): Kirkwood.

I checked Rentometer and the average rent for a 3 bed in K is $1,358. The average rent for a 3 bed in Webster is $1,155. Advantage: Kirkwood.

As a counter, the website neighborhoodscout.com puts WG's appreciation rate higher than K's at 3.06% vs. 2.76% (107.87% vs. 95.02% over the last 10 years). Also, the crime stats appear to be better in Webster vs. Kirkwood (this was news to me). Advantage: Webster.