The Market for second homes in New Orleans is as good as I can ever remember it since I got into real estate in the late 1990′s. There are few new projects on the drawing boards. There have not been any foreclosures in the last two years as the rental market is tight and places are easy to rent.
Oddly enough many of my clients for second homes live in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Mobile and Jackson is the most common towns that they hail from. This makes it even harder for people living further away as when something nice and priced right comes on the market it sells quickly. We can get the people living close to come down and look at the condo on day one. This is much harder for people living further away.
At one time the bulk of the second homes were centered in the French Quarter and along St. Charles Ave. This has changed and people are focusing on the French Quarter, Warehouse District, Garden District, Lower Garden District, Uptown New Orleans and adjacent areas. In areas that never flooded from Katrina as they are in older areas of town that were built on higher ground.
A sale that I have now sold the first day to one of my clients. They lived in Baton Rouge and was able to introduce them to the market and look at the most likely spots where listings would come up. We toured the complexes to give them some ideas. I then sent them the past sales from 2012 to date so they could see what they would get. I then set them up on a watch list to get the new listing each day that met their criteria. I could then answer there questions about the condos and if they were priced correctly. We did see a couple of overpriced units, but I knew they would come down in price as time moved on.
Then when the right one came along they were ready to purchase and had a good idea of what to offer. They were prepared to make an offer quickly. They just happened to be cash buyers which makes it easier. Borrowers will need to get their duck in a row and use a local lender by all means. We have seen too many deals not make it in a timely manner from out of town lenders or large banks. We are too happy to give you the best people that do deals in these locations all the time.
That is the way it has had to be done for the quality places that people are looking for. There will be more time if the place needs work, complex dated in need of repairs or is overpriced. These units will tend to stay on the market longer.
The result of a successful search is to be patience and the right thing will come up. Many times we here about new listings from our agent friends so we can get our clients some advance notice. It has helped me sell several listings quickly after I had them listed. It does help to be prepared and in the know as to what are going to be the future choices….
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St. Charles Gardens Condos, 3915 St. Charles Ave, New Orleans…Halfway between Audubon Park and The Central Business District
St. Charles Gardens Condo, New Listing #312 $269,312
The St. Charles Garden Condos is 93 units spread over the 6 floors with all the units having an exterior view with a balcony and very similar floor plans for all the two bedroom and two bath units. The units have secure gated parking with each having an assigned spot. This is very valuable.
The location is in the center of Uptown New Orleans almost in between the Central Business District and Audubon Park. You have an easy commute to either or just take the streetcar when the days are nice. This is an ideal location for medical students for LSU Medical or Tulane Medical Schools. Its an easy commute to Loyola and Tulane undergraduate schools and the law schools of each. If my kids were still in school this would would be an ideal place to live. It is also a great location for a second home.
The amenties include a tropical courtyard and swimming pool on the ground level. There is several elevators in the back and front. All the parking is in a gated assigned spot. The manager has an office on site. There is a large laundry on the first floor for those large loads. Most units have a stack-able washer and dryer unit in the condo. Each unit has a small balcony with exterior views. There is a well equipped gym on the 3rd floor.
The condos were converted from apartments in 2005 and most were redone then to update the kitchens, baths and the isides of the units. All the two bedrooom units have the same basic floor plan with kitchen at one end of living area and the balcony at the other end. Units get natural light without a lot of direct sun. The concrete construction keeps the noise down and the units well insulated.
Condo Unit for Sale is a 2/2 with assigned parking
The condo is 950 square feet of living with the total with balcony of about 1000 sq. ft. The livng area and kitchen have wood floors. The kitchen has granite counters, stainless appliances, the baths have been update. Master has a shower and the hall bath has a tub. The unit unit goes from the courtyard to the exterior wall so you have a bedroom on each side of the bath. The Master Bedroom looking to the outside with the second bedroom towards the courtyard.
The condo fees are $400 per month for the two bedroom units. The fees include water, sewerage, garbage, insurance of the building, Upkeep of the common areas, management fees and maintenance of the common elements. The condo association has very adequate reserves. They are paying for new elevators out of the fund so there is no assessment. This is a sign of an healthy condo association.
The main points are secure parking, a great location, great amenties and an updated place where you can lock and leave easily. St. Charles Gardens……Check out your other condo choices on St. Charles Avenue Condos in New Orleans
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The trend of people wanting second homes is trending upward. The demand is solid and the supply is low. This is the case in all areas where people are looking. Purchasing a condo is the way to go for 98% of second home owners. Prices are trending upward over last year.
A second home buyer needs to do his or her homework so they will know the one when it comes on the market. Since most second home buyers are not local they cannot see the condos as they come on the market daily and sell within a few days. One major change I am seeing is that a lot of the buyers are “near local” from places like Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Houma, Mandeville, Mobile and even some from Metairie.
Second home buyers will need 20% down as a general rule. Rates are at 3.5% or there abouts right now. Best to have a pre-approval letter from a local lender once the decision is made to purchase a condo. Your addition expenses are taxes, HO6 Insurance policy and the condo fees which may be a little different depending upon the condo association.
Second Home Buyers should be open to several areas unless they are completely set on a specific area. Many times buyers do change their minds once exposed to other areas of town. Other areas may have cheaper prices and larger condos.
Once a purchaser decides on what area of New Orleans he wants then the buyer has to decide on the type of condo he wants. The complex that has a lot of amenities. The Small association with a lot of historic features. Want a certian area and are not concerned with the style. There are few complexes in the French Quarter. There are few small associations in the Warehouse District. You see both in the Garden District, Uptown and along St. Charles.
What you seldom find is that larger complex uptown with that historic feel. Knowing what to expect is the first step where a realtor schooled in all the areas can really help your search. My focus is on the resale value of your purchase. I will know the plus and minus of each unit and will share my knowledge with you as we search.
Let your keyboard do the searching and I can answer most of your questions as you begin the search. If I do not know the answer I can find it out. One of the most asked question I get is ” Did the condo flood during Katrina” 99% of the time the answer in no. The popular areas for condos are in the older areas of town located on high ground. Most had little damage and suffere little or no damage….
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The market has been very strong for condos in the city of New Orleans so far in 2013. The market is good as it has been since 2007 when things were going really well. One of the main differences is the number of second homers who are interested in all areas of the city. This coincides with people paying high rents and want to take advantage of the low rates currently around 3.5%.
When you have very few units for sale in all categories you see the prices rising. The prices are above the same time as last year. However it has to be within reason when you price your condo or else it will sit on the market missing many buyers that would otherwise be viewing it. When I see something overpriced I tell my clients to wait for the price to drop. Buyers are much more educated with all the information on the Internet. They know right off its too expensive…..
The agent should be able to give the seller a price range that they will likely get factoring in the past years and the up market. With fewer properties you will get the condo more showings. The agent may not know the numbers or the seller is just being unrealistic. It could be both. Some agents push the number to just get the listing so ask to see the track record of their listings.
The Condo Becomes Stale on the Market
Many sellers just want too much and are not motivated til the condo gets harder to sell. They miss too many buyers when they are listed 10% above the market. Its much eaier to see in condos as the comparisons start with comparing sales within the building and the chosing like complexes. In the end the appraiser will do the same thing. Lets just call it being too greedy….
I tend to take a different approach and go much closer to the price we will end up getting. If I think the condo is worth $205,ooo the we can list at 209,000 as fewer condos are priced in the category. My last couple of listings prices and sale prices were much closer….255k-250 sales price, 249k-245 sales price, 209k-sales price 205k, 189k sales price 185k , 279k and sales price of 275k and so on. No reductions were needed and all the units were shown a lot. Purchasers are going to give you a lower bid but it is much easier to strike a bargain in this market…
Telling your client what they are going to get as a sales price makes the process go smoother and makes the agent review the figures and fully explain the market to his or her client. The majority of agents that are top of there game do this…
Keep the Gap between the selling price and sale price closer.
You get the condo sold Faster and for a Better Price…
The condo seels faster and at a better price because you not miss the season are a group of buyers that would be your buyers. People will look but will not take out the check book and as it gets stale people will want an even better deal….
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The Julia Place Condos at 333 Julia Street in the New Orleans Warehouse District is like being in the center of the Warehouse District. You are close to everything and easily walk fro the Convention Center to the Super Dome, World War II Museum, Harrah’s Casino and the French Quarter. Its also easy to hop on the interstate or walk to St. Charles Avenue to catch the street car.
The Condo #310 is one of my favorite floor plans in the complex because the rooms are large and the amount of windows you have looking into the atrium. Just a lot of natural light. I took this pictures on a cloudy and overcast day but still the unit was bright and cheerful….
The multiple windows, high ceilings, concrete beams, original wood floors, updated kitchen, updated bath and large master makes this condo feel much larger than the 677 sq. ft. of living. The Third floor has some of the highest ceilings in the building. The unit has a good bit of storage with extra closets in hall and in master above the regular closet. The living area is 16×19 with enough room for a breakfast area next to the kitchen.
The condo fees are among the lowest in the Warehouse District with Julia Place having some of the nicest amenties. The condo fees are very reasonable at $229 per month. That includes water, trash, exterior cleanup and maintance, insurance plus all the amenties that you have to enjoy. Parking does not come with the unit but you can park within 2 blocks in lots that have availiable parking. Many people are second home people that may let you park in there spot while they are not here….
The amenties incude a beautiful roof top viewing area with pool, clubhouse, grilling area plus a nice gym on the first floor facing Julia Street. The complex is gated with coded entry. The condo association is well established and is professionally managed. For second homers this means closing the door and not having to worry about your New Orleans Condo.
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The Federal Fibre Mills Condos in the New Orleans Warehouse District, New Listing in a favorite building… Condo #413
The Federal Fibre Mills in the Warehouse District located at 1107 South Peters has always been a favorite of mine. Its a block from the Convention Center, several blocks to St. Charles Ave. and a longger walk to the French Quarter. Today I parked there and walked to French Quarter Fest at Jackson Square. The building is becoming a favorite for second homers because you get a lot and can get all over town quickly.
The association features some of the nicest tropical courtyards that you will send in the Warehouse District. The grand lobby is second to none. The staff and management are all top notch. You have the spa and pool in the courtyard. The gym and rest rooms are just across the way. The grounds are always kept up and used by the residents to grill and just hang out. You need not go outside the building. Pets are welcome and people take care of them as well.
The Condos all have some common features. Exposed Beams, Exposed Brick, Large Warehouse Windows, Lots of natural light, high ceilings, exposed metal supports and wood ceilings that were oonce forming boards for the concrete between the floors. All the condos have a gated parking spot in the lot half a block away. Its a large lot that is rarely ever fully used. All the units have their a/c from a central chiller system that is very efficient. The condo fees are higher as your ac is include in them. But the electric bills will be very low…
The Warehouse District Condo #413 is offered for sale for $249,413. Its about 900 sq. ft of living with a loft bedroom. You can see the updated kitchen and bath. Bamboo floors are on the main living area with tile in the kitchen. The city views form the 4th floor are top notch day and night. There is a decent amount of storage on the lower and upper level. The unit has been freshly painted down.
All appliances stay with the unit including the washer/dryer that is in the kitchen closet. The elevators are right down the hall to the lobby and in the rear to the courtyard. The condo fee is $461 per month but does incluse the a/c which is easily $100 per month in New Orleans and the parking comes with the unit. Water, Insurance, Exterior upkeep, staff and management are in the fees. The condo association is currently well funded.
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The real estate market in the New Orleans French Quarter is as strong as it was before Katerina. Lots of buyers and fewer properties by half than just over a year ago. I had a client in early Spring last year who could have bought 4-5 nice properties in her price range. The sales were just beginning to pick up then in 2012. Three of the ones I showed her sold before she left and returned to Canada. Today she may have one nice choice at higher prices.
The higher end properties are few and far between as are the almost all the categories as well. You have to be ready to act when a unit does come up because if it is nice it will sell quickly. We are seeing many more Louisiana people buy places than ever before. I have had a number of clients from Kenner, Slidell, Mandeville, Baton Rouge and Lafayette searching for their weekend place.
They all use it more than they thought as they are not that far away. They live close by and didn’t even know how many things there were to do.
The vaste of the condos in the French Quarter are second homes for people that love to come to New Orleans because there is always things to see and do. I have pictured a few below but there is always much more.
Drink in some of the oldest bars in the United States…
Eat in Five Star Restraunts that are short walks from your Condo
Enjoy Sidewalk artist and their clorful displays…
You like Music then New Orleans likes you… Something going on..
People Having fun, it wears off on you and you get in to it…
Shopping in unique stores and shops, You can still bargain in New Orleans
Always a festival going on in or around the French Quarter
Always a great walk along the Mississippi River
Historic Buildings one right after another, block after block…
Street Musicians play on many corners, Some are quite good….
You can Just hang out and decide what you are going to do next….
Historic Tours, Let the guide talk as the mules have the route memorized….
Take the River Front Street Car to the Warehouse District….
Unique Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts are all “one of a kind”
A sky line of short building looking towards Canal Street…
This is just a few reasons that people visit the French Quarter…
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One of the questions I am commonly asked is that I want a condo in the Warehouse District with a balcony or gallery. The immediate answer is that they are far and few between. There are 3-4 condo associations that do have them. The are all larger units in smaller buildings.
The three pictured here are within a block of each other on Tchoupitoulas and Girod. The 711 Tchoupitoulas, 633 Tchoupitoulas and the red building on the corner of Girod. Its most likely that these structures were office-warehouse combinations. Most of the other warehouse were much more industrial and larger.
The only other one that comes to mind is Mills Row which also happens to be on Tchoupitoulas behind the Federal Fibre Mills. Mills Row is a brand new structure that was built in 2006.
The other question I am often asked is why there are so few high rises. The only 2 Warehouse High Rise condos are One River Place and 625 St. Charles. Both of these buildings were built as condo complexes. We are overdue another one.
The Tracage was going to be a 25 story building that was cancelled in 2008 during the financial crisis. It is rumored to be back on the drawing board. Since the pre-sales reached almost 70% it would be a success this time around.
It did not make sense for the 1900′s building to be too tall and most were industrial and basically built by hand.
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The prices are on an upward trend and are getting back to the levels of 2007 when business was last booming. The big difference is that there is just not a lot of things for sale. There are currently 25 active listings in the Warehouse District of New Orleans. Out of the 25 listings there are 7 listings at 1201 Canal which I really do not consider the Warehouse District.The prices range from 169k to over a million. So choices are limited in all categories. There are 20 condos under contract.
I had several listings last month and they all sold within a week of getting people in the units. If a seller prices them correctly they can get a sale in short order. You still have to have what people want. There a a large demand for 2/2 units that are selling for up to 400k.
Several of the reasons for the demand is that few new places have come on the market since 2008. The second home market is doing extremely well and those buyers are ready to buy when things do come on the market. The odd thing about most of my second home buyers is that they live rather close by in places like Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Kenner, Mandeville and other local towns and cities. This was not the case three years ago.
Many of the second home buyers pay cash or put down large amounts towards the purchase. People still ask about foreclosures but they are few and far between. Those that will pop up have been in the process for years. Then you add to the buyers those that are renting and want to buy with the low rates you have some increased demand.
The Warehouse District is also a favorite place for medical students, residents and law students. Many are not selling when they finish but decide to rent or use their condo as a second home. The demand will increase in that area with the completion of the new VA and LSU hospitals which are under construction.
I have pictured these buildings which are not yet condos. The area of expansion is going to be the areas in the CBD and towards the Super Dome. The construction or conversion of rental units have greatly increased in this area. Once that happens its will be like a ball rolling down a steep hill. Blocks away from the French Quarter where you get larger more updated units for less money and you will have access to parking.
That is what I am predicting is going to happen. The areas just tend to spread out as prices and available space become available….I have had no problems with financing as long as people stay local and use lenders that we know will give you the best deals and get the job done. Out of State Lenders are stressful and much less successful. Add in the large out of state banks to that number. I will not mention names but all Realtors know them… Ask them who is most successful. I never mind saying….Stay away from XXXXXX Brand…
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This is the last condo of 7 units in the Danny barker House Condos located at 1027 Chartres Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Its a couple of blocks from Jackson Square on one of the demanded streets in the French Quarter. These units are one of the few examples of a historic renovation that is basically new Construction.
The building was gutted and redone by Mark Fusiler in one of the best renovations that I have seen to date. The National Park Service approved it as a historic renovation. Its all new but its made to look old. Its very hard to find a courtyard like this with only seven units.
Below is the view from condo A that runs from the front of the building onto this price courtyard. There are three fire places, two sets of French Doors that are on the alley and this fantastic view of the courtyard. The 13 foot ceilings, wood and tile floors, natural light make this unit that is under a 1000 sq. ft. seem much larger. Its a two bedroom and two bath condo. The hall is on one side, the alley on the other and the courtyard on the rear.
The unit is furnished and priced at $535,000. The unit comes with appliances, full size washer and dryer, granitecounters, custom cabinets, new doors and windows, new floors, new wiring, new plumbing, security system in each unit, new a/c-heat, and much more. The bricks are old and that is about all. New Construction carries a premium and once you see this unit you will know why. Reasonable condo fees of under $400 per month.
In the end its all about location and condition and this unit has both. You will need to check this unit out before it gets sold. Has been on the market since Mid February 2013.
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