Greetings from the eastern shores of the Mighty Mississippi River where gas was $4.09/gallon today (yikes).
As I was pumping Regular into the Freestyle's tank, thinking of the good old days when something less than a $20 was needed for a fill up, it occurred to me that maybe the gas crisis could actually be good for the real estate business.(I am sure this is not an original thought, but it was new to me today.)
Before you come after me with lighted torches and pitchforks, let me explain what I mean. Then you can disagree in the comments section.
Here in the St. Louis metropolitan area, you could say that we've been in love with suburban sprawl for a long time. Give me my big McMansion on my half-acre lot and I'll drive a long way to get to work. To be fair, this issue exists on both sides of the big river in our two-state region of Missouri and Illinois.
Now, however, I think the close-in suburbs -- referred to by urban planners as the inner ring -- might be able to regain some of their old cachet. These were the first modern 'burbs, often with a smaller downtown core of their own, where subdivisions sprouted after WWII and families were raised in the following decades. Many of them offer good housing stock, decent civic ameneties, a nice quality of life and -- most important to this post -- a shorter commute to a downtown job.
I limit my business to Madison County, Illinois. We're located north and east of Downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The two inner ring burbs that come to mind first in my territory are Granite City and Collinsville.
Born as an industrial town, Granite City was named for the distinctive Graniteware cookware that was manufactured there. Steel was and is the city's major industry. Today homebuyers looking for a close commute are thinking more about Granite due to the recent reopening of the McKinley Bridge over the Mississippi. The bridge provides a quick zip across the river to both Downtown St. Louis and the major cross-country thoroughfare of I-70. Solid brick ranches, rehabbed turn-of-the century gems, affordable bi-levels and charming, quiet neighborhoods can be found throughout the town.
The city's newer mayor has spearheaded projects to beautify downtown and is beginning plans for an arts district. Wilson Park, with its pools, ice rink, tennis courts, ball fields and jogging paths is a civic gem. Pictured above is my listing, with partner Kristina Pratt, at 2256 State Street. To the right is another Granite listing at 21 Snowbird Lane.
Collinsville sits on a bluff overlooking the American Bottoms all the way to the Mississippi. From vantage points throughout the city, St. Louis' signature Gateway Arch can be seen soaring over the Downtown skyline. Coal was a way of life in old Collinsville which still boasts a big Italian community that originated with the northern Italian miners who immigrated to the area for work.
Brick bungalows, homes with a view, a lively downtown business district and popular annual festivals are staples of life in Collinsville.
The city also offers a busy convention center, an aquatic center, new shopping and dining opportunities and a close commute via I-55/70. You're in Downtown St. Louis in as little as 10 minutes.
Pictured right is a Collinsville listing at 908 Indiana.
Gas getting you down? Maybe a move closer to your job is worth investigating before the pump reads $5/gal.
Enjoy life in the (618) area code in Southwestern Illinois, St. Louis' Illinois suburbs. SEARCH FOR HOMES HERE.
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I help good people buy and sell good homes in St. Louis' Illinois suburbs, with special emphasis on the Metro East communities of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Collinsville, Troy and surrounding areas in Madison County, Illinois.
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For more information or to search for homes, visit my sites at NancyMilton.com, 618Life.com, or GoshenRealtyGroup.com or send an email to me at Nancy@GoshenRealtyGroup.com. Text or call Nancy Milton Holtzscher, your Edwardsville Realtor, at 618-791-8007 any time.
REMAX Preferred Partners is located at One 157 Center, Edwardsville, IL 62025, 618-791-8007 (direct) 618-655-1188 (office). We're easy to find on IL-157 in Edwardsville between Pasta House Co. and Shenanigans. Each office is independently owned and operated.