Archive for the 'Second Homes' Category

The Historic New Orleans Condo Look or the 1970’s Apartment Conversion is a Big Search Point….

When most people begin their New Orleans search they have an fairly good  idea of what they will like or dislike.  For the second home buyer they will generally say give me the historic look first.  Buyers looking for a condo as a primary residence may still want the same things but is willing at all options that are availaible.

2625 St. Charles Ave. Condos, New Orleans Condos

      Outside of the Warehouse District  you will find the more historic condos to be smaller associations that were once grand home turned into appartments years ago.  Then turned into condos in the last 10-12 years.  They will have the high ceilings, wood floors and the historic feel.  Most will not have amenties such as a pool and many will not have gated or covered parking.  Its about 50/50 with parking. A Lot of these are what I call neighborhood condos as they are in  neighborhoods.

Some few will be large units that are quite elegant like the one condo of 5 units that is on St. Charles Avenue.  These are like living in a house and of course much more expensive depending upon the updates of the condo itself.

1122 Felicity Condos, New Orleans Condos

      Another common conversion in Uptown is the old 1920’s apartment houses on St. Charles Ave. and nearby main streets.  These will mainly be smaller one bedroom condo units over 3 floors at most.  Many will have parking beneath or behind the building. They have a great feel but are not going to be large.  A great size for weekend place or student who needs a place to live.

3300 St. Charles Ave, Commodore Condos in New Orleans

      The larger 1970’s complex with amenties and services will be larger units that will have parking, gyms, pools, courtyards and such things.  They will generally be managed by a local management company.  Most will be very secure and in great areas right on the St. Charles Ave. Streetcar line.  Most will not have that historic feel but other things to make up for the lack of that feel.

3915 St. Charles Condos, Pool and Deck, St. Charles Gardens

      In the end its all about what you will like and enjoy.  I have the knowledge of most of the condo associations so can guide you once I hae a good idea about what your criteria is. I am happy to give you the positive and negative of each….

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Just Not a Lot of Inventory in The New Orleans Condo Market…..Second Home Market is Strong

We are seeing a strong market in New Orleans Real Estate for second homes.  The demand has been there all year but the amount of sales is down because the supply is just not there.  When something does come up it tends to sell quick if it is priced correctly and is nice.  This has been especially ture in the French Quarter and Warehouse District.  I now see this trend spreading to other areas.

It spreads to other areas because ther is just not a lot to view when you limit your selections to specific areas and price ranges.  For people purchasing from out of town  it is even harder because what is here on one trip will be gone the next month.  I have had several clients who will drive in when something does come up.  They are eager to purchase.  Others are eager but just cannot come into ton on a short notice and will miss out on the better deals.

It also happens to the people who live here and want to wait for the weekend.  This is good for the sellers if they have something nice and its priced right.  Some sellers see the tight market as a chance to get more than their condo is worth.  There are many of these in the market and once those are taken out its easy to get to the best 2-3 choices quickly.  When a seller is over 10% of the market price the condo will sit there until it gets reduced and they fall within the market price.  Many times it takes a while for this to happen.

This week I got a new client and we narrowed to choices to about 8 units.  They reviewed the photos and the areas and were quicky down to five units. They had a dog so that knocked one condo complex out that does not not allow dogs.  Once we started looking, they did not want a 70’s feel apartment even in the best neighborhoods on St. Charles Ave.  That knocked out two more selections.  That left us with two selections.

One was a little overpriced and the condo association has not done a good job at keeping the place clean and pretty.  The other one had a well maintained common area and overall great job at maintaince.  I mentioned that these condos have always shown nice as I have shown in there over the last 5 years.  The condo association and the level of maintaince and how the areas are keep clean do matter a lot.  My clients made a nice offer on the nicer association.  Thats kinda how it works…..You see It You like it, Then you better put in an offer……


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The Lower Garden District of New Orleans is on a roll as a “Place to Be and Live”…for Condo Sales…

New Orleans Condos in the Lower Garden District

The Lower Garden District of New Orleans is fast becoming the next Warehouse District of New Orleans.  The Warehouse District Prices are increasing so the value next door in the Lower Garden District are going to more growth than ever.  I have sold a lot of places in the area and know all my clients who were second home purchaser and those that bought their condo as a primary residence are all happy and glad.

Right now you are getting a larger and more updated place that you could find in the Warehouse District.  Parking is rarely an issue with a lot of condos having their own parking or easy street parking.  The prime area is between St. Charles Avenue and Magazine.  This area has seen strong retail growth in all categories over the last several years.

The Best way for me to show you the area is through photos of the condo associations, historic homes, parks and places people go to enjoy themselves.  Check out the full page on the New Orleans Lower Garden District Condos for a more in depth look.

Lower Garden District Map, New Orleans

 Overview of the Lower Garden District with Photos

Coliseum Square In New Orelans, Fountain

Coliseum Square, Lower Garden District, New Orleans

The Coliseum Square was laid out as a planned community in the early 1800’s and the Square was a focal point of the neighborhood.  Now you have this as a green space for recreation for the entire area. It is only 5-6 blocks from the Warehouse District.

Historic Homes in the Lower Garden District

Garden District Home, New Orleans Condos

Lower Garden District Home, Looks like a Plantation

Condo Associations in the New Orleans Lower Garden District, These are a few of the Many

1520 St. Mary Condos, New Orleans

1520 St. Mary Condos

2325 Prytania Condos, New Orleans

2025 Prytania Street Condos

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Historic Fences and Gates in New Orleans, Garden District Neighborhood, The Right Place for That Condo…

Gates in New Orleans Homes 1

    Giving you an idea of the sites and sounds of the New Orleans Garden District may open your eyes to a wonderful place to own a condo in New Orleans. These are just some of the fancy gates and wrought Iron entries that you find in the area’s homes.

Most of the condos in this area are going to be on Magazine and St. Charles Ave. with several projects sprinkled around.  The more I show in the area, the more I like it.  You can walk almost anywhere for eats and drinks.  You can take the streetcar on St. Charles.  You get to live among some of the most historic and costly homes in the New Orleans Market.

This is a “photo tour of doorways and Gates.  The walks are some of the best in the United States.  Bring your camera and enjoy the area as I do.  Check out the photos and see for your self.  Visit New Orleans Condos Website for more info.

New Orleans Fences, Now that is a post..

Gates in New Orleans, The Growing Wall

Garden District Home-Mansion under the tree

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The Market for Second Homes is Great….Buyers are looking at all areas of New Orleans

I am selling a lot of condos that are being used as second homes in all areas of town.  This year half my condo sales are from second home buyers.  A few are from out of state but many are from nearby cities such as Baton Rouge, Mandeville, Covington, Slidell, Lafayette, Houma, Mobile, and Jackson.  Its an easy drive to New Orleans.

They all have some connection to New Orleans.  Many have grown kids and it will be like a family home in New Orleans.  A condo is ideal when you are not going to be in town every week.

Most are looking for something move in ready where little has to be done.  Its going to be a fun thing so few want to spend the time and money updating.  Most of the things I am showing have all been in great shape.

Many are looking  for two bedroom so they can have family and friends visit them.  Others are looking for that New Orleans feel where they can park the car and enjoy a weekend of walking, eating, shopping, and the enjoyment of a city filled with things to do within a few miles or a short street car ride away.  It is never hard to have a reason to come.

A lot of the sales are cash.  You will need 20% down for a second home so most of the buyers are very stable with good earning with money to spend on each visit.

3300 St. Charles Ave. Condos, New Orleans Condos

Uptown Condo Market is Moving

        Today’s Buyers want something that looks like it belongs in New Orleans.  These conversions are becoming more popular and can be found all over the Uptown New Orleans Area.  The Warehouse District and French Quarter is still a demand area but more and more people are looking in the Lower Garden District, Garden District and Uptown.

The prices are better. Everything is still very close and you just get more for you money in terms of space, parking and price.  You can take the streetcar to the French Quarter and you are always close to St. Charles, Magazine where there is always a lot of activity.

Part of the demand is because the housing market is doing so well in the area.  Condos do follow the trend as beginning Homes are getting very hard to find in the 400k range.  So condos make a lot of sense for the second home market in this area.


3300 St. Charles Ave, Commodore Condos in New Orleans

Historic Condo Conversions in New Orleans

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The Second Home Market in New Orleans is Hot……If its nice and priced right it sells…

     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.

Lower Garden District Porches in New Orleans Homes 

     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….

 2625 St. Charles Ave. Condos, New Orleans Condos

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New Orleans French Quarter Condos, always a lot to do within walking distance…

      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.  

New Orleans French Quarter Bar

Drink in some of the oldest bars in the United States…

 Court of Two Sisters, French Quarter in New Orleans

 Eat in Five Star Restraunts that are short walks from your Condo

French Quarter Artist on Royal Street in New Orleans

 Enjoy Sidewalk artist and their clorful displays…

Jazzz Fest 2012 Trumpet

 You like Music then New Orleans likes you… Something going on..

Girl Watching Fest 2

     People Having fun, it wears off on you and you get in to it…

French Quarter Window Shopping, Lights

  Shopping in unique stores and shops, You can still bargain in New Orleans

French Quarter Fest 2012

      Always a festival going on in or around the French Quarter

Creole Queen sails the Mississippi in New Orleans

 Always a great walk along the Mississippi River

Balconies in French Quarter Corner

     Historic Buildings one right after another, block after block…

French Quarter Artist at work

     Street Musicians play on many corners, Some are quite good….

French Quarter Alley off Pirates Alley

     You can Just hang out and decide what you are going to do next….

Carriages on Chartres in French Quarter of New Orleans

 Historic Tours, Let the guide talk as the mules have the route memorized….

French Market Streetcar in New Orleans

    Take the River Front Street Car to the Warehouse District….

Cornstock Hotel in New Orleans French Quarter

     Unique Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts are all “one of a kind”

French Quarter Roof Tops in New Orleans

     A sky line of short building looking towards Canal Street…

Fest Girl Watching, Bridge

       This is just a few reasons that people visit the French Quarter…

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New Orleans Warehouse District Update…Fewer Listings and More Ready Buyers

     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.  

Warehouse District Building in New Orleans

        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.  

Warehouse District Colors, New Orleans Buildings

      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…

Warehouse District Widows in New Orleans

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Christmas Season in New Orleans, Great time for people owning a second home….

      I sell a lot of second homes  to clients from all over the country.  I am now selling a lot to people that do not live that far away like Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Jackson, Miss and such places.  They tend to know New Orleans is much more than Bourbon Street and there is a lot of things to do.  You can eat and drink at some of the most historic places and enjoy yourself to no end.

    Some of the best things are free however.  There is really no need for a car so just leave it at the condo and take the streetcar or cab to your favorite spots.  The weather has been great and its like Spring in reverse.   

     You can write a book on all the great Christmas decorations this time of year.  Below is just a small sample of what I have seen this past couple of weeks.  From simple decorations the the elaborate ones like at the Roosevelt Hotel few do as good a job as New Orleans.  They may just need practice for Mardi Gras and as a filler from Halloween.  People just like to do such things and then they become memories of years past.

    The weather is still mild.  These ducks found New Orleans recently and come all the way from South America to enjoy the season at Audubon Park.  The trees are just beginning to change color.  These crepe myrtles do show up well among the oak trees which will stay green all winter.  They have to leave their leaves soon as they need to bring new leaves out in March…

    The window shopping trips are something that has moved to the malls in most of America but you can still window shop here for the most unusual things.  This is just the tip of the iceberg but wanted to let you knwo there is so much to do, it is worth planning a trip.  Plan as their is a lot to see.  See a few scenes below and multiple it by 50 and it will fill up several days.  Bring your walking shoes….. 

New Orleans Homes, Christmas Decorations 2012

Christmas Lights at Roosevelt 3

Christmas Lights at Roosevelt 1

Christmas on St. Charles in New Orleans

Audubon Park Colors in December

Audubon Park Ducks 2012

Condo Searching in New Orleans, Finding a condo

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Historic New Orleans Condo, 1520 St. Mary G, The historic Feel in a Great Location

       This condo located in the lower Garden District is a great example of an historic renovation of an apartment building into 8 condos.  Most likely this was not always an apartment complex but a townhouse double from the 19th century.

    The location is half a block off St. Charles Avenue and several blocks from Magazine Street.  Great area to walk or ride to various locations.  No need for a car here. There is no parking but parking on the street is easy 95% of the time.  The parades go by here so then it gets tough to park.

1520 St. Mary G Balcony View

      One of the nice things about this unit is the high ceilings, wood floors, many windows, crown molding, large rooms and the balcony that runs the length of the unit on the second floor.  The condo is over 850 sq. ft with one bedroom, an eat in kitchen, large updated master kitchen and bathrooms.  The condo fees are very reasonable at $229 per month.

      The kitchen has been updated with newer cabinets, granite counters and appliances.  All appliancesdo stay along with most of the furniture.  The eat in kitchen has gas cooking which is not the norm in most complexes.  The gas is in the condo fees.  You can open the kitchen door onto the balcony to get the fresh morning breeze and light.

     The large rooms give the condo  a much larger feel as all rooms have tall ceilings and wood floors with multiple windows.  The master bedroom and updated master bathroom  are large for a condo.  The second bath is a half bath and laundry off the kitchen.  The second floor is generally the best place to be in a complex such as this. More light and better views.

    Sold furnihed for $175,520 excluding some personnel items and artwork.  Would make a great second home just in time for the holidays.

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Eric Bouler Realtor
Gardner Realtors
Metairie - New Orleans, La. USA