New Orleans is an ideal place to retire. Afterall, it’s known as the Big Easy for a reason.
Retire to New Orleans becasue you love an affordable easy going place to live out your days. Leslie Heindel knows this city up, down, backward and forward and she drops some wisdom vital to anyone thinking about retiring to New Orleans.
Who are you? What is your Real Estate background?
I am Leslie Heindel, 3 years as a licensed agent and I worked behind the scenes for a couple of years before that. I work with a boutique brokerage, Crescent City Living.
Can I say you are a second Generation New Orleans agent?
Yes. My mom is Lisa Heindel, the owner of the brokerage. She did NOT hire me because she had to. She hired me for my good looks, charm and natural smarts.
What do people who retire to New Orleans love?
My area is the Lower Garden District and I love that I can walk everywhere. I walk to my bar, restaurants, coffee shop, friends houses. I don’t move my car unless I’m working. People who retire to New Orleans are often pleasantly surprised by how walkable everything is.
When it’s Mardi Gras season, I’m close enough to walk to parades, but enough removed that when I want a break, I can take it.
It’s a very diverse neighborhood. Lots of renters and homeowners.
When you retire to New Orleans, what do the homes look like?
A home like that is a 3 bedroom 2 bath home, maybe 2000 sqft and is going to be around $475k.
Is this for a retiree in the “thick of things”?
Yes, this is for the well known areas. Now, lots of people live in areas just a little further “out”. Areas like Gentilly, Algiers, and Broadmoor are popular with first-time buyers and people with a lower budget. You can get a ranch style or New Orleans style cottages from about $140,000 – $200,000k
How far “out” are these neighborhoods?
Maybe 10 – 15 minutes away. But our lifestyle is very neighborhood centric. people who retire to New Orleans are surprised that we think getting in our cars to go anywhere is a big freaking deal. If we could, we would live, work, eat and play in just one neighborhood so that everything is walkable. We love to eat, we love to drink- don’t even try to reach one of us after 12 noon on a Friday- and no one wants to have to Uber all over the place. We don’t even like to visit our friends in other neighborhoods!
What is the cost of living for people who retire to New Orleans?
Property taxes vary a lot here. It’s calculated on your assessed value, which is usually pretty low in comparison to the real price. Example: one client’s house is assessed at $285k, we just sold that house for $425k. Taxes, with the homestead exemption, are about $3500/year. You must occupy the home as your primary residence for homestead exemption.
Utilities – it’s always higher in the summer and barely anyone runs their heat during our “winter”. I would say the average electric bill is $150/mo. Some much higher, some much lower. Mine is lower. It’s hard to say because it’s so hot here for 5 months.
Groceries– well, I don’t buy milk. But my friends tell me around $4. I have no clue. I don’t even really buy groceries anymore. Gas is about $2/gallon right now. Expensive places are $2.30/gallon
I’ve heard everyone is related here. How does a retiree to New Orleans fit in?
This city is so welcoming to everyone! We open our arms to new folks… just as long as they don’t try to change our ways. Which, has happened a lot over the past 5 years. But, a lot of old-school New Orleanians will remind you that you are not actually from here if you aren’t born and raised here.
I like new people until they start thinking they are “NOLA-ier than thou” because they go to every festival. Going to parties and festivals does NOT make you more of a native than me, thank you very much! It’s a weird dynamic, for sure. I think, for the most part, we really embrace new people but we hate change.
What is travel like for a retiree to New Orleans?
The airport is about 20-25 minutes from the city. There are not a lot of direct flights to here, but the airport is easy to get to.
If you retire to New Orleans, what are the people like?
We are into it all. Lots of young attorneys in this town, people deeply into causes, lots of partying, SAINTS FOOTBALL. Each person is going to have a different answer. I was a bartender for 11 years and would have said football and hanging out as my lifestyle. Now it’s work, football, and volunteering. This city is a melting pot of people.
Can I retire to a non-touristy area of New Orleans?
Non-tourist neighborhoods? I would rather not say. Y’all have infiltrated enough. Seriously though, the non-touristy neighborhoods aren’t places people would go anyway. They are very residential and almost suburban. Like Gentilly, Lakeview, Broadmoor. People live there, mainly, because they can’t afford to buy in these hot areas with lots of restaurants and cool bars. Out of towners bought up a ton of our property and forced locals further out. Our prices went up, but wages did not.
If you retire to New Orleans how do you deal with hurricanes?
We rarely ever see a hurricane. It’s not as common as people perceive it be. We basically have Caribbean weather. It’s hot and humid and we don’t really have winter. But the humidity will keep us looking young forever.
Have we piqued your interest? Would you like to find out more about Leslie and New Orleans? Leslie has created one of the most beautiful websites about an area that I have ever seen. I dare you to watch the opening video and not think about moving there right now. Click Move To New Orleans.
If you want to start shopping for a home in New Orleans start here.
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