U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Louisiana
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-17-2007, 04:14 AM
 
Location: Santa Fe, NM
504 posts, read 876,841 times
Reputation: 285
Default considering a move to Lake Charles or Lafayette, could use some input...

Hi. I am very seriously considering a move to Lake Charles or Lafayette. I have been to both, but have spent far more time in Lake Charles.

I am a 27 year-old single male. I am Caucasian. I grew-up Catholic and in a comfortable middle-class area. I am not a big party or nightlife person, but it is nice to have those things available to me when I do want them. I am originally from Orange County, CA, but have spent the last two years, the longest years of my life, in Santa Fe, NM. I hate Santa Fe and cannot stand to live here much longer. I had considered returning home to Orange County, but home prices being what they are, I am really not interested in moving back home just to be poor. I was originally deciding between Ohio and Louisiana. Now that I have settled on Louisiana, it is just a matter of which city.

I was in both Lafayette and Lake Charles in August of 2005. (About 3 weeks before the hurricane Rita) I thought most of Lake Charles seemed pretty nice… decent mall, polite people, plenty of restaurants – including a Jack in the Box in Sulphur. (I have missed Jack’s since leaving CA.) Like any place, including Orange County, there seemed to be good areas and bad areas. Lake Charles also seems much less humid than Lafayette… was I just there at the right time or is that generally true? I didn’t get a chance to explore Lafayette as much as I would have liked. I got the chance to drive around ULL and what seemed to be a downtown area. I did not get a chance to see the mall or many neighborhoods. On the whole, Lafayette seemed prettier… lots of red brick building and trees… I find that very appealing.

I am going back to Louisiana in August and hope to get a better feel for both places. I will try to make a decision and then probably then go back in September to look for a home, and hopefully I will be moved and happy by the first of the year.

I guess my number one concern is home prices. I am single and live alone, so a small cottage or condo is plenty for me. I am hoping to be in safe area for between $75,000 and $100,000. Lafayette homes seemed more expensive. Is that correct? Lake Charles seemed to have homes available for far less than $75,000, but I am concerned about the area those homes are in. I do not by any means consider myself racist, but at the same time I do not want to live in a neighborhood where I will feel out of place – I am a little concerned about that. Also, and I think this would apply more to Lafayette, is there a large French speaking population? I was told there was. Of course everyone speaks English – the comparison I was given is that it is kind of like how there are a lot of Spanish speakers in southern California. Is this true? Is my two years of French in high school going to come in handy?

Thank you in advance for any feedback, thoughts, or suggestions. Moving to a new place, especially when you have no friends or family there can be really scary. I am very excited, but at the same time I have a lot of doubts. I would really appreciate anyone’ input.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-18-2007, 10:20 PM
 
76 posts, read 378,852 times
Reputation: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdmagana View Post
Hi. I am very seriously considering a move to Lake Charles or Lafayette. I have been to both, but have spent far more time in Lake Charles.

I am a 27 year-old single male. I am Caucasian. I grew-up Catholic and in a comfortable middle-class area. I am not a big party or nightlife person, but it is nice to have those things available to me when I do want them. I am originally from Orange County, CA, but have spent the last two years, the longest years of my life, in Santa Fe, NM. I hate Santa Fe and cannot stand to live here much longer. I had considered returning home to Orange County, but home prices being what they are, I am really not interested in moving back home just to be poor. I was originally deciding between Ohio and Louisiana. Now that I have settled on Louisiana, it is just a matter of which city.

I was in both Lafayette and Lake Charles in August of 2005. (About 3 weeks before the hurricane Rita) I thought most of Lake Charles seemed pretty nice… decent mall, polite people, plenty of restaurants – including a Jack in the Box in Sulphur. (I have missed Jack’s since leaving CA.) Like any place, including Orange County, there seemed to be good areas and bad areas. Lake Charles also seems much less humid than Lafayette… was I just there at the right time or is that generally true? I didn’t get a chance to explore Lafayette as much as I would have liked. I got the chance to drive around ULL and what seemed to be a downtown area. I did not get a chance to see the mall or many neighborhoods. On the whole, Lafayette seemed prettier… lots of red brick building and trees… I find that very appealing.

I am going back to Louisiana in August and hope to get a better feel for both places. I will try to make a decision and then probably then go back in September to look for a home, and hopefully I will be moved and happy by the first of the year.

I guess my number one concern is home prices. I am single and live alone, so a small cottage or condo is plenty for me. I am hoping to be in safe area for between $75,000 and $100,000. Lafayette homes seemed more expensive. Is that correct? Lake Charles seemed to have homes available for far less than $75,000, but I am concerned about the area those homes are in. I do not by any means consider myself racist, but at the same time I do not want to live in a neighborhood where I will feel out of place – I am a little concerned about that. Also, and I think this would apply more to Lafayette, is there a large French speaking population? I was told there was. Of course everyone speaks English – the comparison I was given is that it is kind of like how there are a lot of Spanish speakers in southern California. Is this true? Is my two years of French in high school going to come in handy?

Thank you in advance for any feedback, thoughts, or suggestions. Moving to a new place, especially when you have no friends or family there can be really scary. I am very excited, but at the same time I have a lot of doubts. I would really appreciate anyone’ input.
If I had to choose between living in Lake Charles and Lafayette, it would be Lafayette without hesitation.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-18-2007, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Santa Fe, NM
504 posts, read 876,841 times
Reputation: 285
Why Lafayette? What makes it better?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2007, 11:40 AM
 
83 posts, read 370,980 times
Reputation: 60
I am from the Lake Charles area. There is a nice thread about it a little further down. Lake Charles VS Houma
W
e are about your age but we're married and live out in the country. We don't do anything but go out to eat and to the movies.

The humidity is the same in both towns. The weather changes all the time. You just never know.

You don't have to worry about the French speakers either. You'll be just fine. The cajun french language is almost a lost language. It's mostly the older people who still speak it and that is usually only to each other.
There are a handful of us youngun's who try to keep the Cajun culture alive.

I personally don't care for Lafayette, but that's just me. It's bigger than Lake Charles, more to do, I guess. We don't do anything anyway. We go out that way for the zoo. That's about it.

I'd think housing prices may be a little lower in Lake Charles but alot of things have changed here since Katrina and Rita.

Being someone who is actually there in town quite often, who does all their shopping and business there, I don't care what "official" statistics show.

Since Katrina, there are alot more people in town. Most of the new people are black and mexican. There has been a rise in crime. I don't like to go to town by myself at night anymore. You have to be more aware of your surroundings.

Things only got worse after Rita. It looks like we're on our way back to normal with most things but it seems any unsavory characters that came here are planning to call it home.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2007, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Santa Fe, NM
504 posts, read 876,841 times
Reputation: 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by WendyW. View Post
I am from the Lake Charles area. There is a nice thread about it a little further down. Lake Charles VS Houma
W
e are about your age but we're married and live out in the country. We don't do anything but go out to eat and to the movies.

The humidity is the same in both towns. The weather changes all the time. You just never know.

You don't have to worry about the French speakers either. You'll be just fine. The cajun french language is almost a lost language. It's mostly the older people who still speak it and that is usually only to each other.
There are a handful of us youngun's who try to keep the Cajun culture alive.

I personally don't care for Lafayette, but that's just me. It's bigger than Lake Charles, more to do, I guess. We don't do anything anyway. We go out that way for the zoo. That's about it.

I'd think housing prices may be a little lower in Lake Charles but alot of things have changed here since Katrina and Rita.

Being someone who is actually there in town quite often, who does all their shopping and business there, I don't care what "official" statistics show.

Since Katrina, there are alot more people in town. Most of the new people are black and mexican. There has been a rise in crime. I don't like to go to town by myself at night anymore. You have to be more aware of your surroundings.

Things only got worse after Rita. It looks like we're on our way back to normal with most things but it seems any unsavory characters that came here are planning to call it home.

Wendy, thanks for the info. I was really surprised to see you mention an increase in the Mexican population... when I was there I didn't see a single one. (Just sonething I noticed, since they are such a large group in CA) When I took a look an the demographics for Louisiana, I think they only made up like 1%, which actually had me a little bummed out... I think Mexican food is great, but I didn't see one restaurant in Lake Chalres. (Taco Bell does not count.)

Like you, I eat out a lot too. Lake Charles had a Jack in the Box but no Whataburger, and Lafayette had a Whataburger but no Jack in the Box... but aside from that they both seemed to have all of the normal fast food joints.

Which has the better mall? Or are they about the same?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2007, 02:49 PM
 
83 posts, read 370,980 times
Reputation: 60
Lately everytime I go into WalMart, it is full of Mexican people so there are plenty here.

There are several Mexican restaurants in LC. Theres a Casa Manana(very good) and Casa Ole both on Ryan street, one at either end. Cancun is across the street from Casa Ole. Theres an all you can eat one called Tequilas. It's over by the old WalMart. There's Peppers and Que Pasa Taqueria(yum yum).

And of course you can't pass up all the Cajun food. There's lots of Chinese places and a couple Italian places. The Nelson road area has built up since you've been here.

We do have a Whataburger. It's down Ryan street by McNeese.

I would have to say that the Lafayette mall is bigger. But believe me, the LC mall is plenty big enough. It has everything you could ever need. It's even got a movie theater. If you feel the need to go shopping in Lafayette, it's a nice day trip.

Rentals are a little harder to find because they are still renovating and rebuilding but you would in no way find yourself homeless. Unless of course, you're broke. LOL

If you're looking for something small to buy, you should be able to get a nice townhouse for your price range.

Google "lake charles real estate agents" that should bring you quite a few with online listings.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2007, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Santa Fe, NM
504 posts, read 876,841 times
Reputation: 285
Thanks for the info. I didn't remember seeing a Whataburger or any Mexican restaurants last time I was there, so that's good to know. I did have a chance to see the mall in Lake Charles - it was totally decent, nothing like the malls back in CA, but certainly better than anything I have here in NM. I did not get to see the Lafayette mall, so I will have to check that out next time.

I found a real estate agent online. She seems nice and sent me some listings. I was hoping to find a small condo or townhome. Since it is just me, and I hate doing yard work, something like that would work out well. I should be out there in August to take another look around and do some home shopping.

Do many people commutte to Lafayette for work? I think it was about an hour drive if I remember right? I am hoping to start pecking away at a masters at ULL... is there a commuter bus or train or anything like that?

Thanks again for the info!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2007, 08:03 AM
 
83 posts, read 370,980 times
Reputation: 60
In my opinion, if you are going to work and go to school in Lafayette, you should live there. Gas is just too high to drive that far everyday.
You would probably like it just as well. Especially since you are already used to being in cities. In a lot of ways it's the same as Lake Charles just bigger. There's a nice size young, single adult population. Lots of culture, festivals, within a days drive of just about anything you want to do, family friendly. Closer to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, etc. You will probably have more variety in choosing a townhome too. I don't know it well enough to advise on any specific areas. There are nice towns around Lafayette too if you want to live a little outside the action. My best friend lives in Youngsville in an awesome subdivision. It's actually really close to the mall. She's a city girl too and the Lafayette area has enough to keep her entertained. That's saying alot. LOL We're total opposites but I lover her!

There is no public transportation between towns but I'm really not sure if there is a bus inside city limits of Lafayette. If I remember correctly I THINK I've seen some bus stops but it's probably not the kind you're thinking of.

Lake Charles has one but I personally wouldn't step foot on it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2007, 08:28 AM
 
6 posts, read 21,435 times
Reputation: 13
It may actually be a good time to buy in Lafayette as several companies, including the one I work for, moved their operations to Lafayette after Hurricane Katrina flooded their New Orleans offices. Along with moving our office to Lafayette, the company bought around 50 houses, all of them being brand new or under 5 years old, for employees to live in since so many employees' homes were damaged and commuting between New Orleans or the Northshore and Lafayette was out of the question for those few fortunate enough not to have damage to their homes. After Katrina, new houses were springing up in Baton Rouge and Lafayette like you wouldn't believe. Hopefully the quality of construction wasn't compromised for the sake of quantity. Anyway, we've now moved back to NOLA and have sold nearly all the houses in Lafayette. While putting our 50 houses on the market in a town the size of Lafayette isn't in and of itself going to cause housing prices to fall, combined with recent listing by other companies disposing of their Katrina surplus properties I'd think the average time a house is on the before it sells is going to increase as the pool of potential buyers shrinks. This could cause a drop in asking and/or selling prices. Just a thought. Make sure you retain a GOOD Buyers agent that knows the market and can advise you accordingly and a GOOD home inspector if you're considering buying one of the houses thrown up during the post Katrina building boom.

Good luck.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-28-2009, 08:25 PM
 
5 posts, read 12,949 times
Reputation: 12
Iam from Lake charles, well actually Sulphur.. I have lived in Lafayette and I would move back to Lafayette in a heartbeat, and will soon... so much more to do and much more culture..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Louisiana

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top