High New Orleans Prices Leads Home Buyers to the Suburbs

With rising home prices in New Orleans, many potential homebuyers have been priced out of the market. Many consumers are looking in areas that have not had such dramatic jumps in prices. One of these areas is Marrero, Louisiana.

After moving out of New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina, Janine Lewis moved back to New Orleans in 2010. Around a year ago she decided to buy a home instead of renting. Hollygrove is where Janine grew up and after renting her whole life she decided to purchase a home in the New Orleans area.

The search for a home close to the area she grew up turned out to be disheartening for her. Home prices in Metairie, her old neighborhood around West Napoleon and Cleary Avenues, are rising at a steady rate. The house prices per square foot on average for the first six months of 2019 was $171.

“I didn’t like the West Bank since I was little,” Lewis said. “At first I was looking in Kenner and parts of Metairie, and I didn’t mind a little fixer-upper. But when I started to look at new-builds in the West Bank, it was actually cheaper than the old houses in Metairie that I was looking at.”

Marrero, located on the West Bank, has an average price for single-family homes at just $107 per square foot. Janine was able to purchase a new three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Brentwood, a 100-unit subdivision in Marrero, where homes have sold from $236,900 to $247,900.

Lewis’ story is the same for many other metro area residents. Steed “Steedie” Ubas Jr. who was born and raised in Marrero, purchased a home in the area. He chose to purchase in Marrero over New Orleans where he works as a welder for Textron because of the lower home prices. Proximity to work was not as  important to the cost of living for Steedie.

Steedie now is the proud homeowner of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in a brand new community called Pelican Bay in Marrero. His new home, in the 218 unit neighborhood, only cost him $190,000.

“I bought in Pelican Bay because it’s close enough to the city and it’s close to the swamp, to Lafitte (National Historical Park), right in the middle of everything,” Ubas said.

Morrero is seeing a big push in new homeowners in the area according to Nell Francipane, a sales representative for DSLD Homes, which built both Brentwood and Pelican Bay.

“Some are single and in their 20s, others in their 30s, 40s, 50s,” Francipane said. “We have had first-time home buyers and some might be on their fourth property. There are teachers, nurses, firemen, police officers, retirees, empty-nesters. Really, from all walks of life.”

This trend has been seen around many suburbs in the metro area. Jefferson Parish had more house sales than Orleans Parish in the first half of the year. St. Tammany Parish was the busiest of the eight metro parishes with the most home sales according to the Realtors Association.

Single-family homes rose 2.4% across the eight-parish metro area in the first half of 2019 according to the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors and the Gulf South Real Estate Information Network.

“There has been a lightening-up period in terms of (price) appreciation,” said real estate consultant Wade Ragas, who compiled the data. “Orleans Parish had been taking all the air out of the room, but about a year ago it started to shift and suburban parishes started to have more increases.”

The trend is reflected by the percentage of increases seen throughout the metro area. Jefferson parish only rose 4.7%, St. Tammany Parish saw a 2.1% increase, St. Charles rose 6.2%, St. John the Baptist Parish prices rose by 2.7% and the Belle Chasse area of Plaquemines Parish saw a 5.7% increase.

The Greater New Orleans area sees the most sales in the $200,000 – $400,000 range. According to local Brokers, golf communities in St. Tammany are doing the best. The first half of the year this area saw an 8% increase in home prices.

This trend will still run strong for the time being as the priciest home in the 70130 area code sold at $286 per square foot. The rising land cost will also keep pushing the large developers farther out from areas closer to the Lower Garden District, the CBD and the French Quarter.

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High Graduation Rate At West Bank’s New Orleans Maritime and Military Academy

A unique charter school based in Federal City, on New Orleans’ West Bank, was recognized as one of the top four New Orleans public high schools which had the highest percentages of students scoring 3 or above on AP exams along with a 97% graduation rate for the 2017-18 school year.

New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy (NOMMA) opened its doors in 2011. The public charter school is mainly for military families that are stationed in New Orleans and offers free education to their children. Civilian families can attend the school which is 8th through 12th grades but military families do have priority.

All students who attend NOMMA are cadets of JROTC(Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Program) and wear uniforms at all times. In fact, NOMMA has the largest JROTC unit in the United States but only 15% of NOMMA graduates join the military. JROTC duties at the school are taught by ten retired Marines and include military drills and marching, marksmanship, color guard competitions, education bowls and physical competition.

Civilian teachers do teach core subjects to the students which do include maritime industry, cyber engineering, digital media and business management. The main curriculum is STEM-focused so students are well versed in reading, English language arts and math.

“We are a college preparatory school and we also offer career and technical education in the form of Louisiana’s Jump Start programs,” NOMMA Commandant Col. Chris Schlafer says. “The idea behind that is a student will take a certain pathway of courses in ninth through 12th grades. By the time they graduate as seniors, they have earned nationally recognized credentials and certifications that will allow them, upon graduation, to enter the workforce, because college is not for everybody.”

“Our focus is to try to inculcate in them core values, honor, courage, community and instill in them habits of respect, self-discipline and respect for others — habits that will serve them well in whatever field they choose,” says Schlafer.

2019 Gretna Heritage Festival, September 29, 2019

Live music at the three day event in Gretna.

gretna-festGretna Heritage Festival 2019

Gretna, La 70053

September 29, 2019
11:30am – 7pm

Tickets:$20 – $400

Music Lineup:
Cowboy Mouth
Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas
Julio & Cesar
Jose Feliciano
Rumba Buena
The Iguanas
Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Uptown Phunk
Lost Bayou Ramblers
Brandon Bennett – Elvis My Way

Over 30 food vendors, an Italian Village, a German Beer Garden, carnival rides and games, clothing booths and craft booths.

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Three Day Gretna Heritage Festival, September 28, 2019

The Wallflowers, Better Than Ezra, KC & The Sunshine Band, Rick Springfield and more live in Gretna.

gretna-festGretna Heritage Festival 2019

Gretna, La 70053

September 28, 2019
1:30pm – 12:30am

Tickets:$20 – $400

Music Lineup:
The Wallflowers
Better Than Ezra
KC & The Sunshine Band
Rick Springfield
Papo Y Son Mandao
La Tran – K Band
Ovi G & Los Froggies
Banda De Honduras
MJ & the Redeemers
Bucktown Allstars
The Chee-Weez
Rockin’ Dopsie Jr
Shake Em Up Jazz Band
New Orleans Jazz Vipers
New Orleans Swamp Donkeys
Al “Lil Fats” Jackson

Over 30 food vendors, an Italian Village, a German Beer Garden, carnival rides and games, clothing booths and craft booths.

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Gretna Heritage Festival, September 27, 2019

Live music at the three day event in New Orleans.

gretna-festGretna Heritage Festival 2019

Gretna, La 70053

September 27, 2019
3pm – 11:15pm

Tickets:$20 – $400

Music Lineup:
Rechelle Cook & the Regeneration Band
Irma Thomas: Soul Queen Of New Orleans
Foundation of Funk with Zigaboo Modeliste, George Porter & More
Alexei Martí
Fermin Ceballos
Luis Vargas
Perfect Love
Amanda Shaw
James Martin Jazz Band
Louisiana Spice

Over 30 food vendors, an Italian Village, a German Beer Garden, carnival rides and games, clothing booths and craft booths.

Click Here to Purchase Tickets or Click Here for More Information.