Saturday, December 27, 2008

Home for the Holidays: New Town

Two of our friends recently moved to a new community outside of St. Louis called "New Town." I'm not sure if it is creepy or cool. Their house is beautiful. The town looks like the movie set from the Truman Show dropped in the middle of St. Charles. The town has many of the conveniences of modern city life such as an amphitheater, their own post office, a coffee shop, a couple of restaurants, a wine bar, a corner market, etc.... Although the bars are only blocks away, people still drive there. There is a canal running right through the middle of the place and as you enter, this big monument that resembles the Washington monument on a much smaller scale. Home owners have to pay $800/year to maintain the landscaping and amenities. It seems like a good concept, but there are some drawbacks with the town regulations (You can only pick from set colors for your house, no two houses of the same color can be next to each other, only electric or push lawn mowers, no plastic furniture allowed on patios, etc.)

They started developing this in 2004 and the houses consisted of town homes, single family, and row houses ranging in price from $100K to $800K. They are currently in Phase 2 of 10 but the builder might have to file for bankruptcy. Hopefully they'll be able to attract some more nice restaurants once the development is complete.


DigitalCaffeine said...

I wanted to leave a couple of remarks, as I live in New Town also. I don't work for the home-builder, but I do try to keep abreast of the proceedings from the City of St. Charles and the developer.

There is an annual fee (not a monthly fee) that homeowners pay to cover common ground maintenance. That fee is determinied by the size of the lot. $800 sounds right for the annual fee for some of the smaller-to-mid-sized lots.

As to the stability of the primary home-builder in New Town, I don't believe that they are anywhere close to the dire circumstances you allude to. They are certainly facing tougher times now in selling homes than just a year ago. but they are still selling and building, but definitely scaled back.

It is anybody's guess what will happen over the next couple of years, but in the metro area there have been several developers that nobody thought would go out of business have gone belly up. I just don't feel that we're close to that point with New Town.

As to the regulations, there are quite a few. :) There are quite a number of colors to pick from though. There are limits of all kinds and you have to go to the mail center to pick up your mail. During the summer, a lot of people do get out and walk. But with freezing temps outside a lot more people drive, even if it is walking distance.

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