Homes for Rent in New Orleans, LA: What You Need to Know
New Orleans, in southeastern Louisiana, is famous for its Mardi Gras celebration, French and Spanish heritage, and the kind of good time signified by its moniker – The Big Easy.
A Rich Local History
In 1718, Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville founded New Orleans in what’s known today as the French Quarter. Under the 1763 Treaty of Paris, the French ceded the Louisiana Territory to Spain. As a Spanish outpost, New Orleans became an important trading partner to Cuba, Haiti, and Mexico. In 1801, Spain ceded the Louisiana Territory back to France. The arrangement lasted only until 1803 when France sold the territory to the U.S. as part of the $15 million Louisiana Purchase.
The Cost of Living in New Orleans
New Orleans is an affordable medium-size city (population: 390,144). Its cost of living and transportation costs are 7.3% and 20.6% lower than the national average. However, food costs are 11.5% higher than the national average. The city’s median gross rent is $973 while the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,519. Louisiana has a progressive income tax rate ranging from 2% to 6%. The state’s sales tax rate is 4.45% to 11.45%.
Know Your Neighborhoods
Downtown, where the central business district is located, offers modern high-rise apartments and condos, which attract professionals who want to be close to work. The suburban communities of Elmwood and Metairie are very close to New Orleans. The majority of Elmwood’s residents are renters. Metairie is known for its small-town feel and amenities. Luling is farther from the city, but residents love it for its topnotch schools.
The Local Weather
Louisiana is the #3 state in the U.S. that gets hit the most by hurricane landfalls, behind Florida and Texas respectively. New Orleans is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes because it’s six feet below sea level. In 2005, the city was spared a direct hit of Hurricane Katrina’s intense winds, but the levees holding back rainwater were breached. At the storm’s worst, the city was 80 percent underwater. It was the costliest hurricane in U.S. history with property damages reaching over $125 billion.
Things to Do in New Orleans
Most people visit New Orleans to experience Mardi Gras (meaning “Fat Tuesday” in French), a long carnival before Lent. Mardi Gras events begin as early as January and culminate the day before Ash Wednesday. Apart from Mardi Gras, the city hosts 130 art, music, and cultural festivals a year.
The French Quarter, the city’s oldest neighborhood, offers a front-seat view to Mardi Gras festivities and other events. St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square are both located in the neighborhood. Bourbon Street, spanning 13 blocks through the heart of the French Quarter, has lots of live music and shows. Want to get out of the city? Listen to jazz music aboard a steamboat as it cruises along the Mississippi River or take a guided boat tour of a bayou.