Moving to New Orleans
Affordability 4 out of 5
Safety 3 out of 5
Healthcare 2 out of 5
Traffic Flow 3 out of 5
Property affordability 5 out of 5
Climate 5 out of 5
Environment quality 5 out of 5
To a certain extent, this is still a viable option in a city that was forced to move with the times following its almost biblical decimation at the hands of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The way the jazz fuelled phoenix rose from those ashes to become the New Orleans of 2015 is nothing short of phenomenal, and we have all benefited from it.
Way down south in Louisiana, the very air of New Orleans is thick with history and, of course, music. Described as having “the dynamism of a big city but on a human scale” there is nowhere else on earth quite like New Orleans; known affectionately as the Big Easy.
The laid back vibe is still in existence, but post Katrina the city is now a hotbed for young entrepreneurs and those who want to experience city life at an altogether more relaxed pace.
The old gin joints on Bourbon Street are long gone, as are some of the small and seedy clubs where some of the greatest musicians ever cut their teeth. What remains is a beautiful and quite unique city that offers a quality of life at odds with other mile a minute US cities. New Orleans is back, and better than ever.
Food and hospitality have long been the big player when it comes to employment in New Orleans. They are still up there but have new bedfellows in the shape of IT and realtors. The latest unemployment figure in New Orleans was recorded at 5.10%, below the national average.
With job growth of 39% expected over the next decade, moving to New Orleans means moving to a city that is definitely on the list of up and coming cities in terms of employment and economy.
The cost of living in New Orleans certainly doesn’t break the bank and locals and tourists alike can take advantage of a 3 course meal for 2 in a good restaurant for around $55. Local cheese comes in at $9 a kilo and a litre of milk will set you back $1.13. Cheap public transport and gasoline at 55c per litre makes getting around the city affordable whatever your chosen mode.
Basic utilities, including heating. Water garbage removal and electricity, garbage removal will cost you in the region of $196 a month. Internet with unlimited data costs $70 a month and a 1 minute call on your mobile phone on pay as you go will relieve you of 10c.
Prime real estate within the city centre is invariably more expensive that in the neighbourhoods on the outskirts of New Orleans. To rent a one bed apartment in the heart of New Orleans, you can expect to shell out around $1,059 a month, while the same apartment outside the city should only cost about $850 per month.
Similarly, a three bed apartment inside the city can be a pricey $1,675, though the same in on the outskirts of NOLA is only $1,525.
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A good mix of property mixing the old with the new gives newcomers plenty of choice when it comes to settling in New Orleans. Renovated properties in the historic French Quarter carry top dollar price tags whereas similar sized properties in other neighbourhoods cost a fraction of the price.
There is a smattering of top end condos in the heart of the city, many offering views over the Mississippi. Depending on the lifestyle you are seeking there is somewhere for everyone in the big easy.
Family Friendly – A short ferry ride from the city brings you to the gorgeous neighbourhood of Algiers. Think Brooklyn without the hustle and bustle, Algiers offer the best in family living for those who want the benefits of a country style lifestyle but within close proximity of the city and its benefits. Large houses, wide expanses of green space and several of the best schools in the city make this the ideal area for kids to grow up in.
Upmarket – The Garden District is one very classy neighbourhood. Not many properties in this area come onto the market and those that do carry a price tag of around $4m. This dynamic community is fiercely proud of its history to the extent that official flags to designated the Mardi Gras royalty are commonly seen during the carnival season. Many of the luxury homes here still bear the names of those families which built them more than a century ago. Remember that romantic image we mentioned in the first paragraph? It is very much alive and kicking in the Garden District.
Hip and Trendy – The historic French Quarter sits on a crescent of the mighty Mississippi and is one of the highest neighbourhoods in New Orleans, in more ways that one! The cultural hub of the city, the Quarter is also the oldest neighbourhood and is both unique and intimate. Software magnets and celebrities rub shoulders with local residents ensuring the glamorous image of the French Quarter is kept bang up to date.
Up and Coming – Back in the 50’s Marigny/Bywater was very much a ghost town as Classic Revival and Creole were abandoned as their residents headed out to the ‘burbs. The area became a run down wasteland whereas today it is a cosmopolitan area just down river from the French Quarter. The unloved homes have been brought back to their former glory, the historic buildings now house modern necessities such as banks and boutiques and music pours from the kind of clubs you thought only existed in the movies.
Cost of moving
The cost of upping sticks and moving to Nashville will depend on two things; where you are moving from and what you want moving. The prices are a rough guide to the current cost of moving a 20sqft shipping container:
Schools and education
Naturally, when moving to New Orleans with family, you should look into which schools are best for your children.There is a total of 144 schools in and around New Orleans covering all levels of education from preschool to high school. If you are looking to educate your child in the city you have the choice of a public (state) or private education.
Schooldigger.com is a very useful resource when it comes to finding a school in New Orleans and you can find out all about the school itself as well as the reviews it has received.
Universities in New Orleans
There are numerous options available when the time comes that students are ready to start their further education. The University of New Orleans, known as UNO, is a well respected establishment which is also an esteemed research centre. The Princeton Review has named it as one of the top universities in the US and it is also amongst the top 1000 universities in the world.
Ranking against the world
Moving to New Orleans is different from just visiting, and NOLA fares well against other US cities in terms of cost of living and quality of life. Readers of Travel and Leisure voted it the #2 city in America in terms of what it had to offer visitors. Sperling’s rank it highly in several key areas and as far as culture is concerned it’s right up there with the best.
Cost of living is low, crime rate average and the standard of education high. There is a burgeoning community of expats living in New Orleans but they have integrated themselves into the community rather than set up a separate area.
A day in the life
There is so much to see, do and enjoy in New Orleans that it’s virtually impossible to pack everything into one day. You will want to start with a super southern breakfast to get the day off to a great start, and there is nowhere better than the 24 hour French Market stand known as Cafe Monde. Whether it’s just a coffee or one of its selection of beignets you will get the rush you need for a full day ahead.
The classical beauty of Jackson Square makes it a great place to hang out for a few hours, and the amount of locals you spot here is always a good sign. Flanked by the Mississippi, this French Quarter landmark is packed with colourful characters, buskers, and has that wonderful ‘good to be alive’ vibe. The 1850 House on the edge of the French Quarter is part of the Louisiana State Museum and is a perfectly recreation of how life was 175 years ago.
Mardi Gras World at the port gives a unique, behind the scenes look at what goes on behind one of the world’s greatest spectacles. The craft and artistry that goes into creating this jaw dropping extravaganza has to be seen to be believed.
The hedonistic haven that is the French Quarter is one of those places you keep being drawn back to time and time again. From the classiest joints in the city to the seediest dives, visiting the ‘Quarter’ is an experience not to be missed.