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Old 07-07-2019, 11:14 AM
 
14 posts, read 6,426 times
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i've read a lot of the posts concerning moving to lafayette, so i know i'll repeat questions that have been asked before, but i figure that more input can't hurt.

i'm looking to move to a small affordable city in the south that's good for young adults/professionals and i am reading great things about lafayette. i am from the northeast and have lived in new orleans before a long time ago. i've always loved the south from afar. right now i'm gathering all the information i can on what it's like to live in different cities i'm considering, and will be coming down for a visit in a few months. i have some questions below. any/all replies are very appreciated!

can you tell me about life in lafayette in general? pros and cons of living there?

would you recommend that someone move there? anything you think they should know before making the move?

has anyone moved to lafayette from far away - the northeast for example? i'd love to hear your experiences. i'm wondering how people have fared with adapting to the culture, becoming part of their communities, meeting people, etc.

input on the job market? at first glance i am seeing a lot of medical jobs and office jobs. my background is in office work/accounting. i am not sure yet how hard it would be to land a job before moving there. i read a comment somewhere that you have a definite leg up if you know people, though i imagine that would be true anywhere.

thoughts on cost of living? housing and rental costs are way (way way way lol) lower than where i am from, but then i've read it really evens out with lower wages. i am also trying to gather information on various costs like utilities, car insurance, flood insurance, taxes, etc.

do you think this is a good place for young (30+) adults who want to meet people and have an active social life? i'm coming from an extremely expensive area with practically all retirees and nothing to do, so anywhere else would be an improvement, but it looks like lafayette is a pretty vibrant and outgoing city with something always going on, which makes it very appealing.

how easily does it flood there? are you in good shape if you don't rent/buy in a flood zone?

what about hurricanes and their risk to/impact on the city? do you worry about them?

do you like the medical facilities/care in the area? i could potentially have a family member come along who needs ongoing pain management, PT, etc. i am not sure what the pain management care is like in LA. here in MA it's a mess because there is a very serious opioid problem, so getting help for chronic pain can be extremely difficult.

are the traffic and drivers THAT bad? as a mas*shole would i be ready? LOL.

when i visit do you have any suggestions for things to do/places to see to get a good feel for the city? i'll have a car. i was thinking of checking out some houses for sale and/or apartment complexes and taking a drive around different neighborhoods.

that's all i can think of for now. this move would be a huge decision so again ANY input from locals is so appreciated. thanks!
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, La
2,049 posts, read 4,722,848 times
Reputation: 1447
life in Lafayette isnt relaxed but its not crazy either. it is an enjoyable pace. Except for two things, the traffic is pretty heavy because of bad planning, and the weather is pretty oppressive in summer for some. There is also a growing worry about crime as the area gets more population.

Lafayette is a bit touristy for out of towners, but it is the hub of cajun culture and the French take on everything is pretty genuine. Youll see signs, radio ads, tv ads, billboards in french and the music especially. Its a city that feels like a much smaller town because of the culture. We love to have fun and dance and especially drink.

overall cost of living is pretty low, especially for a northerner, but housing is starting to rise and flood insurance is a must. Be sure to check if your planned home is in a zone first. property taxes arent too bad though. Lafayette has its own city fiber network that offers fairly cheap gigabit fiber and also the utilities so its a wired and well connected city.

car insurance sucks here. very high. traffic for a northerner wont be a big deal but it can get pretty congested in the morning and evening. if you learn backroads though you can actually avoid a lot of it because a lot of lafayette housing is in grid streets off the main roads.

if you are social, there are so many bars, clubs, restaurants, festivals, and general social experiences that I dont think that boredom should be a problem on most days.

it does flood here and rather badly as discussed earlier and this week will get another test with the hurricane. I dont recommend you buying or building a place with large trees in the yard.

medical facilities are adequate and a big part of job market here, although i find mixed reviews about the care. lots and lots of specialty doctor offices though and some nice hospitals. overall Lafayette doesnt seem to have as bad an opioid problem as many places, although the epidemic is everywhere. gang activity is pretty low if its around at all. mostly its localized drug related violence when it happens.

as for stuff to see, check out Vermilionville by the airport to see historic Acadian life, find a restaurant guide because youll need it from the overwhelming choices, and maybe take time to learn some basic french to read various things and appreciate the area more.

oh yes speaking of the food, its not just Cajun. you can sample a lot of different cuisines and fusions. we seem to open new restaurants every week! personally I fell in love with a llace called Patacon that makes patacon maracuchos and venezuelan food, and food trucks can be found all over
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:17 AM
 
450 posts, read 225,997 times
Reputation: 307
I've been to Lafayette a fair number of times and I agree with the traffic and flooding. Then again, I don't know any major cities in Louisiana that don't have traffic at rush hour. There are cool sights to see, as Innotech has pointed out. You are only an hour from Baton Rouge which has the state capitol, LSU, and some great food options as well.
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Old 07-23-2019, 01:41 PM
teb
 
76 posts, read 81,652 times
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What is there to do for fun? middle age
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Old 07-23-2019, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, La
2,049 posts, read 4,722,848 times
Reputation: 1447
festivals year round
live music downtown
bars/clubs
boating down the vermilion
cable operated skiing facility
vermilionville/acadian village
epic entertainment complex
southern stone (formerly rockhaus) climbing wall
ice skating
VR park in youngsville
year round events/concerts in Cajundome
lake martin/atchafalaya swamp tours
concerts at Heymann center
Zoosiana
Girard Park (soon Moncus park too)
Lafayette downtown Science museum
Acadiana cultural center
Lafayette farmers market
Jockey lot flea market
cathedral of st john
Acadiana mall
Lafayette Lanes and Acadiana lanes and Rock n bowl bowling alleys
UL football/baseball/basketball
Escape Rooms
various golf courses
Sky Zone trampoline park
nature station
Laotian temple down in broussard
Avery Island tour about 30 mins away

Last edited by Innotech; 07-23-2019 at 02:53 PM..
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:19 PM
teb
 
76 posts, read 81,652 times
Reputation: 31
thanks can you recommend a few good authentic cajun food restaurants.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:03 AM
 
450 posts, read 225,997 times
Reputation: 307
Quote:
Originally Posted by teb View Post
thanks can you recommend a few good authentic cajun food restaurants.
I haven't been to many, but Prejan's is all right.


Not Cajun, but the Borden's ice cream store is delicious. If you like ice cream or frozen dairy desserts, you have to try there!
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:20 PM
 
8,291 posts, read 4,655,173 times
Reputation: 17388
Visit there. Don't move there.

I was born and raised in SW LA, and lived in Laf. years ago for a short while. I moved to the big city for several decades, and moved back.

If you are a young professional, there are far better cities and states than Louisiana to make a profitable and happy life with a low COL. Try Dallas, TX. Very hot, but no natural disasters to speak of. TX doesn't have state income taxes, has low sales tax, reas. cost for real estate, and it does have a bit of a winter season (which is a good thing). The humidity is normal, making the weather more comfortable, whatever the weather happens to be. The best shopping in the world, which is great for competitive shopping. Tons of employment opportunities. In past recessions, Dallas has generally done better than most parts of the country, because its economy is diverse (financial, apparel, O&G headquarters & services, law, headquarters of major corporations, retail....). Salaries are very good; a hard working middle class person can do very well for himself. If someone is laid off, there are a number of contracting and temp firms a person can get on with; it's an active business in Dallas, for certain fields.

If you end up being a homeowner in Laf., you will pay twice the amount for homeowner's insurance because south La. is a natural disaster area. Auto insurance is considerably more, too. Salaries are low, on average. It's extremely humid so I sweat buckets doing simple tasks outside when it's not even that hot. I house hunted there a couple of years ago. Housing there is the same as or more than it is in Dallas, and $20k or more more than similar cities of the same size in TX, like Tyler TX. The quality of housing construction is not good, from what I saw (older houses are built better; there was a rash of fast building in recent years for incoming oil industry employees).

Lafayette isn't that attractive, any more. I'm not sure what happened to that. But some neighborhoods are attractive.

It's an industrial area mainly, although it does have other businesses. Lots of oil & gas related businesses. But it does have some entertainment industry and other industries. Industrial businesses = a dirtier environment than normal, and some businesses rotate employees, so housing may not be maintained, because workers come in to live for 2 years, then move on. When there's a recession, SW La has historically been hit very hard because its economy is not very diverse, compared to other areas.

The weather in SW La is a constant worry during hurricane season. You have to be prepared to evacuate...cash on hand, hotel far enough way picked out ahead of time (it has to be pet friendly, if you have a pet), car gassed up, house boarded up and protected if necessary, etc. Even if the hurricane/storm doesn't hit the area directly, there can still be flooding and wind damage from one that passes near. Most areas in the country don't live under an evacuation threat for several months out of the year, every year.

The good part is there are a lot of clubs with wonderful music. All of Louisiana has an abundance of great music. The food is good, but it's unhealthy, so if you want to be healthy as you age, you'll have to eat the normal foods that everyone in America eats for health. Food is good just about everywhere I've been, though. You can always visit Laf. once a year and eat up a storm and visit clubs for great music. It has a decent size airport.

In case you care about politics or outlook on things, Louisiana is dark red. Lafayette Parish voted for Trump 2 to 1. That could be good or bad, depending. Although La. currently has a moderate Dem. Governor...I'm not sure how that happened, since I wasn't here at the time. Backlash against the prior Governor (Jindal), maybe.

Taxes: La. has a state income tax. It's not much, but it's still an income tax and is a hassle to file that people don't have in some other states. Property taxes are pretty low, but that may be why the cost of housing is so much higher than a comparable city in TX for a comparable house. Check to see what the state and parish sales taxes are. Some parishes in La. charge a sales tax on groceries and prescription drugs, unlike most of the U.S. (the state of La. doesn't charges sales tax on those things, though.)
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Old 07-28-2019, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, La
2,049 posts, read 4,722,848 times
Reputation: 1447
Dallas is way too crowded for me. to each their own. It also has an elitist complex about it, like NoVa. The low humidity is nice though.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:15 AM
 
450 posts, read 225,997 times
Reputation: 307
@bpollen - On the income taxes.... LA charges 6% on any income over $50,000. That is quite high for a state where our public services, education, and infrastructure are of poor quality.
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