Let the seller pay your closing costs:
It's not unheard of. Ask us how.
Start collecting regional art; buy a shotgun.
Not firearms - architecture! The shotgun is celebrated room to room home of distinction, coming in all shapes, sizes, and neighborhoods. Often adorned with gingerbread, brackets, and finials too these little homes often serve the first time home buyer or empty nester best.
Who needs a driveway anyway?
Sell your car! New Orleans boasts walkability better than most major American cities. So buy some new kicks and maybe a second-hand bike. This city predates the automobile. Experience the Crescent City the way our city founders did. Go cup and all!
Markets, parades, and festivals! Oh my!
Which fest is best? Who can say? The Southeast Louisiana region isn't lacking in weekend distraction. And generally, all are accompanied by live, local music. Oh, and most of the time, it's free. Really. The music. And the parade. Or the market. Festivals like Jazz Fest and Voodoo charge. We have to pay our musician's some times. It's a fool's paradise, not a foolish paradise.
A raised basement is neither raised nor a basement. Discuss.
Architectural styles around New Orleans tend to fall into fairly recognizable categories. The Creole cottage, the creole townhome, and the shotgun double are among them. But the raised basement!? What is that? Often it's a side by side shotgun styled 2 level home with the living up and a raw opened up garage type space below. The garage - or basement - is perfect for car storage but very often are converted into additional living or even better, artist studios. Traditional basements are few in these parts; we are mostly below sea level, remember?
How's your mom n' them?
You say oyster, we say erster. Don't even get us started on the sink and toilet - or zink and terlet. We know we talk funny, and it's endearing not ignorance. We are proud and boastful, and we will definitely want to know two things depending on how well we know you. If we've just met, it's "Where you go to school?" Not college. High school. And if we've known you long enough an inquiry about your mother and extended family is in order.
We don't do north, south, east, and west.
Quite simply we do lakeside, Riverside, downtown, and uptown. You'll get used to it.
Put down 20% and live for free.
Wait. What!? It's true. It can happen when investing in a multi-unit that will also be your primary home. When Corinna C. and her husband Michael bought their fourplex in 2011 from the moment of the act of sale their tenants paid their note and then some. When the numbers work, the numbers work.
Some termites are faster than others.
In New Orleans we have three kinds of dwellings. Those that have had termites, do have termites, or will soon have termites. Keep in mind: Drywoods eat slow, Formosans eat fast, and your first springtime swarm may freak you out. The good news is there's a poison for every pest.
You don't have to live in New Orleans to be a New Orleanian.
But it helps. Adam and Jenn R. live and work in Philadelphia but invested in a double a few years back in an emerging neighborhood. Now their Pigeontown tenant not only keeps half of it occupied and financially in the black, it provides them a secure investment in their second home.
Hurricane season is a non-negotiable.
Every year from the beginning of June to end of November, anything goes. Keep your perishable food on short supply and your gas tank full. Evacuate early; evacuate often. Or as my mother-in-law says "You have to suffer to be beautiful."
Contrary to popular belief it is not location, location, location.
It is in fact timing. If there's a property on your radar, it's probably on someone else's too, and real estate whether in New Orleans or wherever is the same game: the early bird gets the worm. You want to have your offer accepted, and you want to go to sale. So have your ducks in a row and do your homework before you really start shopping.
Real estate and snowflakes.
No two pieces of real estate are the same. Like contracts and the clients that write them each experience is distinctive and unique. There will always be similarities but none are identical.
Owning real estate is one of the best ways to secure future wealth; just look at The Louisiana Purchase.
It's true. Imagine if The Louisiana Purchase never took place. The United States would have a very different profile and place in the economic world than it does now. Your investments might not achieve the same long term growth, but who can say?
The streetcar runs 24/7, but we never said it ran on time.
Mid-century post-war American brought about a mass transportation revolution in busses, atrophying a once vibrant streetcar line to but just one route Uptown. Now in the 21st century New Orleans is actively seeking to re-grow it's streetcar network, and unlike the Metro in Paris that ends service at midnight, the streetcar always runs, though riders have been known to wait a spell in the wee hours.
The Mississippi River endures as the lifeblood of the Crescent City.
The port of New Orleans remains an indispensable piece to the American economy. Homes built in 1700 and 1800s often faced the river as a point of reference to its primary relationship to the region. Railroads were just beginning to change the commerce dynamic, but even in her architecture the homes of New Orleans offer a sense of reverence and reflection of why she's here: the river.
The Big Easy is neither big nor easy. Discuss.
Since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the population of New Orleans has been slow to recapture its highest tally not to mention the footprint of the city was significantly impacted on the strength of returnees or lack thereof. Turns out re-populating a devastated area can be challenging. Conversely since 2006 area universities have successfully exceeded each subsequent year's freshman class in volume accounting for an unmatched level new blood hoping to maintain and enhance the sights, sounds, and culture of the Crescent City.
I bet I can tell you where you got your shoes.
On your feet. The parlance and catchphrases of the Crescent City roll like the rhythm of a hot brass band. You either get it or you don't. In a region rich with colloquially greetings of "How you doin'?" we remain less concerned with how you actually are and want you to know we welcome you. Even if you might fall prey to young French Quarter huckster's enquire of your footwear.
It's not the heat; it's the property tax.
Orleans Parish property tax ain't cheap. Be sure to file your Homestead Exemption, and with the present millage rate you will save roughly $1100 annually.
Many New Orleans homes are filled with original era lighting fixtures and the like. Don't be surprised if a chandelier or bathroom mirror may be excluded from a sale or sold separately.
What might be dry for you, may not be dry for some.
Know your history. Katrina was but one event in our centuries-old city. The May flood of '95 arguably did more damage to Uptown waterwise than the events of 2005.
Can't afford to buy it? Grow it!
Between the urban hen movement and our growing zone your yard may impact your grocery bill given some green thumb action. Though a soil test may be in order; lead paint was only outlawed in 1978.
Your umbrella and you.
If you don't like the weather in Southeast Louisiana, wait a minute. The Crescent City's storied summertime afternoon rain showers happen; traverse the town prepared or be okay being wet.
During hurricane season when a named storm enters the Gulf, insurers stop writing. Bind your policy just after the inspection period to avoid any potential issues.
To hunker or not to hunker?
That is the question. With the majority of the city sans power post Isaac for days on end, those that evacuate may find greater motivation next named storm.
This land is your land; this land is Milan.
It's not Mee-lahn, it's My-lan. We never said we conformed to otherwise universal pronunciations.
Please note T-c-h-o-u-p-i-t-o-u-l-a-s is pronounced Choppa-two-less, often known simply as Chop.
For the love of levees.
The Big Easy wouldn't be the same without our man-made earthen floodwalls, and the Mississippi is known to rise. Flood insurance (usually) is cheap; buy it.
We host the Super Bowl but also have won the Super Bowl.
And as a city we're happy to do either or both as often as possible.
Expect to inspect.
No home is perfect. After putting something under contract hire the holy trinity of inspectors: home, termite, and drain. Anything less is frankly too risky.
JazzFest sells houses.
The passion buy: those attending the 2 weekend long music and culture extravaganza are known to swoon over The Crescent City and snap up a home in the process.
Why is the Westbank in the East?
Shouldn't it be the Eastbank instead? The way the river winds oddly no, the west side lays on the east, therefore despite its obvious place it remains west.
Sleep is overrated; you might miss something. The Big Easy boasts 24/7 life the way most cities wish they could: bars, eats, and all.
Tree law and you.
That branch in your yard from your neighbor's tree is yours to deal with. Don't be an arduous arborist. Prune accordingly.
Verbal agreements are nice but remain legally unenforceable.
Get it in writing. Always.
No rest for the ticketed.
Parade routes happen. Park at your own risk and obey street signs.
Many Crescent City homes possess stories over decades and generations, in some cases centuries.
Southern exposure keeps it sunny.
And the north face of New Orleans dwellings stay shady, often cooler from wind off Lake Pontchartrain.
Big Easy rents can be high.
But mortgage rates remain low. Is it time for you to buy?
Going once, going twice.
The city holds a property auction every Thursday at noon. Visit www.civilsheriff.com to learn more.
"How's your mom n' them?"
Historically New Orleans boasts many multi-generational households, and the 21st century is no exception.
Most Crescent City homes boast wood frame raised pier builds. Poured slabs do happen but less so.
A mosquito's life.
Not the most glamorous, maybe the most annoying, some call them our state bird.
Festival season is a thing.
From Ash Wednesday through Memorial Day each weekend there's *almost too much to choose from.
Are there really three 24 hour bars on Magazine between Napoleon and Bordeaux?
Yes, yes there are. Ms. Mae's, Brothers Three, and Le Bon Temps. #yourewelcome
Read what you sign.
Pushing a button on your phone to e-sign eclipses easy, but your digital signature is not an ornament.
We don't do counties.
Our civil units of measurement are parsed out in parishes. Why? Likely a gumbo of Napoleonic Code and Roman Catholic designations.
Find your tribe.
Contribute to the celebratory fabric of the city and join a walking or dance krewe because costuming and civicmindedness go hand in hand here (and practically year round).
The case for chiffarobes.
An invention of the 20th century, most New Orleans housing stock predates the American concept of a closet.
Subfloors subsume post 19th century construction.
Pre early 1900s floorboards topped joists making structural integrity just so, daylight and/or drafts not so uncommon.
There's no such thing as a gumbo party.
There isn't. A writer for the short-lived post-Katrina TV show K Ville invented it as something the characters did, its birth so misaligned with reality, it stuck in the pseudo vernacular.
Flood insurance is your friend.
Often mistaken as hurricane insurance, due to the precarious sea level and levee composition a flood policy on the rare occasion when not required remains advisable.