I hate being disappointed. So I didn’t want to say anything until I was certain it was going to happen. But now that it’s official, I’m happy to announce we bought a house in New Orleans!!! Yahoo! Hurray! Hot Diggity! I’ve wanted a house in New Orleans for more than twenty years–since my dad and I first started visiting the city on our way to Elton where my Grandmother lived. We’d fly in, have dinner, and spend a few hours wandering around the French Quarter or Magazine Street before heading west. From the first visit, I felt a strange kinship with the city. It kept calling me, but I never looked into buying a house. Looking back, I think I loved New Orleans so much I was afraid to find out what houses cost for fear I couldn’t afford one. Little did I know, twenty years ago I probably could have purchased a house for less than than a year’s tuition at Berkeley.
Although places are more expensive than they were right after Katrina, New Orleans real estate is still much cheaper than San Francisco or NYC. You can still find a great little house for a fraction of what you’d pay elsewhere, especially if you’re willing to do some work. And if you’re really enterprising, you can buy a house at the Sherrif’s auction. You have to pay cash, but still . . .
Here’s the house we bought. It’s a shotgun double in a neighborhood they’re calling “The New Marigny,” but which is actually the 7th Ward–just a few blocks from the Marigny and the French Quarter. The neighborhood is a little rough, but it’s changing, and so far, the folks I’ve met are all very friendly and welcoming. Anyway, these are pictures of the house when be bought it.
Ta da!!! A big improvement, right??? We were lucky enough to meet a builder who is buying and restoring lots of houses in the area. I say lucky because it would have been difficult, if not impossible to do this work ourselves long distance. He wanted to make both sides feel open and airy, which I can understand, and I agreed to that layout for the rental side. But I wanted our side to feel more traditionally New Orleans. What’s the point of being here if the house feels like it could be anywhere in the suburbs?
So, there you have it. Our new little home away from home. I hope you’ll come for a visit.