One of the hottest segments in the New Orleans Condo Market is the sale of upscale condos that were once single family homes and historic Duplexes. Its easy to see why when you see how nice some of these fully restored buildings have become. It makes sense where the neighborhood is right. You can be in great neighborhoods for half the price and even more of your single family neighborhoods.
The Uptown, Garden District, and Lower Garden District is where you will find most of these condo complexes. The majority of the these will be between Magazine and St. Charles Ave. The areas are great for walking, biking, and streetcar rides to the rest of town. Walking to a coffee shop, sandwich shop, local store, antique shop, art gallery, and fine restaurants are all within easy reach.
The main attraction remains the old world charm of these homes that are now condos. The high ceilings, balconies, porches, wood floors, large windows, natural light, and that neighborhood feel. The best ones are the ones where the developer kept the old fireplaces and tried to duplicate the old features by refurbishing many of the details. Once this was done he made modern baths and kitchens.
The one pictured above is on St. Charles Ave. nestled among million dollar homes. The one picture below is in the Lower Garden District. I sold one of the balcony units several years ago for around 160k. You could not find it in today’s market at that price however.
The purchasers are split between second homers and purchasers using them as their residences. Financing was once an issue with these complexes but that hurdle can now easily be overcome with all the local New Orleans Banks wanting to do more business.
If you are a second home purchaser you do have to think about not being there as many are not managed but taken care of by the people living there. You want to make sure the complex is well taken care of and the maintenance is up to date. Many over come this negative with the desire to have a historic property. They make arrangements to have someone take a look at the property when they are not there.
When you do your inspections you will have to do a more in depth inspection than you would have to do in a large managed complex. Since you are going to be one among four or five units, your expenses for major repairs are going to be more. So looking at the roof, foundation, and checking for termites is strongly recommended. Most of the condo fees are going for insurance and the week to week upkeep of the grounds and minor repairs that come up.
One of the things I do get feedback on is how much the purchasers of these historic condos enjoy their choice. They enjoy the feel and love the idea of walking the neighborhood and leaving the car behind. Pets are almost always welcomed.
There are quite a few condo associations where the developers has purchased several homes next to each other to make a larger condo association making the association larger and easier to maintain. Almost of all these developments figure the condo fees on the size of the units. The more valuable units are the ones with the balconies and porches. The resales are always better on these as it is something people desire to have.
The condo above were on Magazine Street. It was a total renovation of 5 units where almost everything was new including electrical, heat, air, and plumbing. The one below was on Prytania and was also a total redo. It sold recently within a week of coming on the market.
Many clients start looking in other areas of town because they have less knowledge of these areas. Then if they are interested we review and look in this segment because they just get so much more for their money than they would in the Warehouse District or French Quarter condos.
There are not going to be that many choices but since I really like this segment I try to see as many of these that I can in order to stay on top of this market.