Let's look at what Native New Orleans and Newcomers want to know.
When a Native New Orleanian asks this questions, it's not for the same reasons as a newcomer. Native New Orleanians already have a feel for the culture and the unique attributes of each neighborhood.
For Natives and Newcomers, here's my advice:
Let's look at #1 What size and style of house you prefer? #2 Zoom in on the ones in your preferred budget. #3 Look at the long term life expectation of the house as it is.
#1 and 2 are probably simple enough but you might be asking, what do you mean by #3?
The life expectation of a property means, the roof, the major systems, like central air, the plumbing, foundation, and the current elevation of the property. As everyone knows, elevation is critical. Some properties are in areas that are already higher elevated than all surrounding areas, and those that are low lying in comparison, you'll want to know if that property is lifted high enough to avoid flooding damage.
How do we figure all of this out?
Myself and my insurance broker will figure out the elevation of the land and surrounding areas. The inspector will determine how high the property is elevated, as well as determining the condition of all the other factors listed above: foundation, roof, major systems and plumbing.
Remember we have Local Lifestyle tabs with images and more info on each area, as well as Jefferson Parish and Lafayette, LA
Now for the Newcomers, you'll need to know more about each neighborhood.
As someone who loves this city, it bothers me when someone new to the city, moves into a neighborhood and then expects the neighborhood to change. These are old spaces, with long histories, and if you are going to move anywhere, I hope that you first learn about the space, and choose to live in a place for what it is; not for what you want it to become later.
Gentilly, Lakeview and the East are primarily residential in nature, with access to the typical needs of any community: groceries, gas stations, restaurants, doctors offices, parks, coffeeshops, etc. These are quiet spaces with homes ranging from 20 to 80 years old. The East has the largest yards of the 3, so if you plan to have a garden or a pool or some other exterior amenities, the East is your best choice. Gentilly is usually quiet but it does have some major streets that cut through, so there's a little more traffic here than the other 2. Lakeview tends to have smaller lots than the other 2, but there are some homes that are an exception.
Midcity and Uptown are expansive neighborhoods, both well-serviced by streetcars and buses, and with a large number of shops and restaurants throughout. Both also have the necessities, but these 2 also have lots of tourists, a louder restaurant crowd if you buy near those parts of the neighborhood, and both are central locations for Mardi Gras, so be prepared for that.
The 7th Ward and Treme are historical neighborhoods, with lots of old homes and a rich culture. Be prepared for lots of music and second lines every week. This is not a space to move if you like quiet. These are busy and vibrants parts of the city, and the history that built them deserves the proper respect of all newcomers.
There is a small section between the 7th Ward and the Marigny Bywater neighborhood that some are calling the "South 7th Ward." It blends the nature of both areas, but it is more similar to the 7th Ward. This small section between St. Bernard Ave and Elysian Fields is mostly shotgun homes, singles and doubles. Residents here have to visit the nearby neighborhoods for essentials, as this section has little to no business presence, but no worries, because everything else is pretty close.
Marigny-Bywater is a section riverside and lakeside of St. Claude (Newcojmers, this means north and south of St. Claude.) This is a gritty, artsy neighborhood with lots of theaters, bars and restaurants interspersed throughout the area. The St Claude corridor is almost entirely comprised of businesses. The section of the Bywater near Franklin Ave has a bridge that takes residents into the riverside park. This is a great neighborhood for artists and any one who doesn't need a larger home and yard.
The 9th Ward is another older neighborhood that has been slow to recover from the flood of 2005. Prior to the flood, most of these homes were owner-occupied and were family homes. Some families have returned, but a lot of these properties are rentals, which has changed some of the 9th Ward. The homes are beautiful and the yards tend to be spacious. One of the best restaurants in the city is here: Cafe Dauphine and there is a large community center with a wealth of classes, the Sanchez Center. There is no doubt that the 9th Ward will be revived, but the city has not committed to doing so.
The Quarter and CBD are the hub of activity, especially tourism, major business, and government related. Living here means accepting a lot of traffic and noise on a regular basis. You'll have access to great food, a wealth of art and music, street vendors and performers, and the energy of life near the river. The CBD has longer period of quiet, except during Mardi Gras, since most of this side of downtown is government and corporate. There are very few bars and late night spots in this area. But the Quarter at night is bustling and energetic. Moving here means embracing all of that.
Algiers - some newcomers might not realize that this area is actually a part of Orleans, because it is located across the river, but this beautiful historic neighborhood is a gem. A lot of the properties here are considered historic and any exterior modifications need to be checked with the local requirements. Algiers is a quiet space, with small cafes, restaurants and small businesses. Most streets have easy access to the riverfront, and if you want to enjoy the city without a car, you can hop on the fairy and take a short ride across.
In short, it's important to know what you want from your neighborhood and what you can expect from your house. If you love music, it doesn't mean you want to live one block from a bar. Remember living any where in the city means all parts of the city are within your reach. Home is supposed to be the environment you can thrive in.
I hope these short bios were helpful, and remember for more info and images, check out the "Local Lifestyle" tab at the top of our page and choose the neighborhood you are looking for in New Orleans, Jefferson Parish and now Lafayette, LA is also included in our list. (Some of these pages are still in development.)
Jessica Bordelon, Agent,