a manse in Compton Heights, St. Louis, Missouri
Photo: Courtesy of Gregory Zavaglia
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Best for Bargains

Compton Heights, St. Louis, Missouri

• The entire neighborhood is a historic district
• Incredible estates—yes, seriously, mansions!—for less than $200,000
• Walk to parks and art museums

The Neighborhood
In this storied southside St. Louis neighborhood, children cavort on shady front lawns bordering massive brick and stone houses, any of which could legitimately be referred to as "our manse." The streets, lined with towering trees, are named after men of letters, such as Hawthorne and Longfellow. The literary theme makes sense. Compton Heights has retained the look and feel of the 1880s, when it was developed, and to this day feels like it was torn from the pages of a Victorian novel. The neighborhood has other charms as well. "The homes here are unbelievable!" says Gregory Zavaglia, who along with his wife, Cayce, scored a 5,800-square-foot 1911 Beaux Arts house several years ago. Their home features massive roof overhangs, stained-glass windows, hand-painted murals, vaulted ceilings, and a red mahogany staircase. A similar, fixer-upper version of the Zavaglias' house a block over recently sold for less than $200,000.
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