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Old 10-27-2010, 11:14 PM
Location: New Orleans, United States
4,230 posts, read 9,987,379 times
Reputation: 1439


^The problem is that the cost of living in New Orleans increase, but the wages stayed the same. As a whole N.O. is still below average in terms of housing costs in the nation, the rest of the south is just cheap, but there's a large disparity between housing costs and disposable income.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:06 AM
Location: San Antonio
1,496 posts, read 2,709,511 times
Reputation: 1866
Thank you!! One of my main reasons why I live down South is because you don't have to put up with the b.s. in New York or San Francisco in terms of cost of living. It's not nearly as competitive due to this..southern hospitality is no mistake. Nashville, Houston, Atlanta and Dallas are examples of large cities that have higher salaries than us as well as very low cost of living (in terms relative to their big city size).

And if yall were paying attention you would've noticed that I clearly said, "YES! This city is on the rise! I'm so happy for it, BUT it still comes at a price". High prices are not a sign of decline, they are a huge sign of a rise. But in terms of the bottom line for a lot of folks, it is a negative side effect. This adds up in so many ways. This to me is putting more of a strain on the middle/working classes than anyone. This is evident in many services such as cell phone stores and auto repair where no one competant is willing to work for the pay given the cost of living. Services here suck. A gentleman on here just mentioned how he's a professional and has all the concerns I do about cost of living and making the salaries here into a good living wage. Another poster said that they wanted to see New Orleans as a more integrated place.. unless you count the Hispanic labor influx (which I do) as more diversity, we haven't accomplished anything. Unless you count the white drug addicts who have moved into Central City as "progress in integration", I feel like things are more polarized in terms of who chooses to live in city limits.. it's often now the very rich and very poor in town and then a legion of young people who don't have to worry about the long-term economics of living here just yet. Middle class? Move to Metairie. The Westbank's ever cheaper! (No thanks and no offense)

I love this city and I am very optimistic about it's future in terms of education and increasing the climate for business and development. However, we need to examine the effects of gentrification in terms of the overall picture. We need to develop, but it must be done in a certain way. Crime is the same here (per capita) as before the storm, so are the salaries. Prices, taxes, and insurance have gone up. There are tons of pros (schools, accountable government, economy) but we must address the cons to move forward. I'm not down on New Orleans but there are two sides to the post-Katrina recovery

Last edited by aab7855; 10-28-2010 at 12:28 AM..
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:27 AM
640 posts, read 1,152,498 times
Reputation: 459
The reason Nashville, Houston, Atlanta, and Dallas have very low cost of living compared to their higher salaries is because these are newer cities. They still have land on which to build new houses, even in the city proper. The fact that there is such an abundance of land and housing options over a huge area of land even in the cities themselves results in cheaper housing. Also, I couldn't imagine really caring if I lived in the city itself in Houston Dallas or Atlanta. New Orleans, like SF and NYC, is a unique city with city life incomparable to the suburbs. Most big cities in the South don't have this. Therefore, naturally, housing prices in the nicer, safer parts of the historic city center are going to be much higher. When you have a one of a kind living experience (and a one of a kind home) for sale, it's hard to keep the price low. It also comes down to your idea of what a safe neighborhood is. For example, I would be comfortable buying a home in many different areas of the city that most would scoff at.

It really is inevitable, as the city continues to get rid of blight and create better neighborhoods, the prices will continue to rise. My advice, buy now, the values will only continue to rise.
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:36 AM
Location: Alexandria, VA - Kingstowne Subdivision
404 posts, read 569,169 times
Reputation: 405
How could someone compare living in New Orleans to living in Lafayette? I went to ULL and there's nothing in Lafayette. I can actually see why New Orleans so much more expensive. Whose planning vacations to goto Lafayette?

We have a small city and low housing inventory. N.O. can fit inside a 15 mile circle. Can Dallas, Houston or Atlanta fit inside the same circle? No. Who wants to live in Dallas. The food sucks. Think about it. We eat 3 - 4 meals a day. Eating is and will always be apart of our lifestyle.

Down the street in New Orleans means down the street. Down the street in Dallas could very well be a 15 min ride.

You can't expect to live this close to the Gulf, live in one of the most visited cities in America, live in a flood free zone, and live in a safe neighborhood, for the same price that people in Lafayette pay for housing.

Where would the people with money live if everyone could afford to live in a good neighborhood inside a major city? That doesn't even make sense when I type it. As long as people make more money than the average JOE or JANE, they will increase the cost of living in their respective neighborhood (like a gateless gated community). It's classic supply and demand. If everyone could afford to fly 1st class, they would change the name to COACH.

Safe cost money, good neighborhoods cost money, living in the city cost money. People say they want to live inside of New Orleans but pay Laplace prices. That's absurd.

If you think that you can find a 100K home, in a major city, in a safe neighborhood, with excellent schools, and still live in the city, you are living dream. It's hard to find a 100K house anywhere in the Metro Area.

I would like to go on the record with this next comment: If you think New Orleans is expensive now, wait till they fix the school system. You won't be able to live in Kenner for 150K.
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:17 PM
Location: San Antonio
1,496 posts, read 2,709,511 times
Reputation: 1866
Forget it. Yall don't understand Moderator cut: modified . This city was completely affordable before the storm. The salaries haven't gone up. The repairs are done, stop billing renters for them!

Lafayette's economy is the strongest in the state, and yes quite like Texas space isn't a premium, but that's inexcusable to dismiss New Orleans prices on lack of huge spaces. It's not Manhattan, there's still a ton of space here. I don't expect things to be perfect but I shouldn't have to pay what is being asked of properties in the city limits, only to find out that I have to (and I mean HAVE TO) pay 7 grand+ per child per year in order for them to receive any sort of education that will prepare them for what lies ahead. New Orleans doesn't want to be Lafayette I know.. which by the way a lot of people visit Laffy from all over the world.. it's the epicenter of one of the most unique cultures in the world.. oh wait you still think New Orleans is "Cajun". ULL has more international students than I've seen anywhere, and I went to UNO and Loyola.

I don't expect a house for 100 K Uptown, but for me and my life and what I want I will have to go elsewhere. I can't afford this crap. It's really heartbreaking because I spent my whole life before the storm here and I was always one to give people the positive sides of living here, even back then when all of the people who now have I <3 NOLA shirts and rock the Saints as a fashion statement were down on this place. My beef is purely economic, it's just not fair to the people. Enjoy the "fruits" of gentrification. Let me remind you crime is the same.

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 10-29-2010 at 10:54 AM..
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:32 PM
640 posts, read 1,152,498 times
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Who said anyone thinks New Orleans is "cajun"?

I think the problem is that you are expecting WAY too much for 100 thousand dollars. You can't even find a good neighborhood in Metairie or Kenner for that much, let alone the Westbank. I think you are being way to picky in this situation. To live in a safe neighborhood, good school district, no flooding, etc. will automatically run you more than 100k no matter if gentrification was happening or not. I think it's unfair to blame the city on rising real estate prices. It might not be fair to the people but as more and more people choose to live in the city the prices have to rise. And, it seems as if plenty of people are willing to pay the price. Also, there are plenty of great public schools in NOLA.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:45 PM
Location: San Antonio
1,496 posts, read 2,709,511 times
Reputation: 1866
Anyone who thinks Lafayette is a cow path with absolutely nothing going on and no tourism either hasn't been there in a long long time or must think New Orleans is the Cajun capital.

Can't say I disagree with the rest of that. I don't blame the city itself at all for rising prices, but nobody better say space is the reason behind the expenses. In a city that once had 600,000+ as late as 1965, and 450,000 just 5 years ago, space is a serious issue? Not buying it. We only have 300,000 now. There aren't that many houses still flooded out. Visitors from elsewhere swear to me it feels like the city fits a million and a half.

I might expect too much from 100,000. In fact I only quoted that number to show you how cheap it can be elsewhere. The point is that I could say 200,000 or 250,000 and I could easily still be in a very shady area that will flood again. The point is that Uptown is now positively ABSURD in price. I don't mean the Garden District, I mean houses right off Tchoupitoulas, modest single frame homes, are crazy expensive. But if that's how it goes thats how it goes. No point in cursing the sky because you hate the color blue. I just don't quite FULLY understand it.

As for the public schools, the system has a long, long way to go. Your kids can get into a good one with a combination of stellar test scores and luck. If my child had a learning disability or even is a bad tester, what would they do? Lusher ain't taking you. That would be a private school MUST. Until we can have a few good DISTRICT schools, the system is still broken in a sense, but that's a "chicken or the egg" situation. Lusher currently turns away kids from its own district and students who test off the charts outside of its district because the children of Tulane facultly are guarenteed admission there. This is of course because Scott Cowan gave all kinds of money to Lusher, and I don't think he cares that other students who are more entitled to a Lusher education are being pushed away. This is the same guy who said at orientation in 2006, "Ever since Katrina a lot of the crime you saw on TV after has since left the city. THANK YOU HOUSTON! THANK YOU ATLANTA!" My sister's jaw dropped.. they must've thought everyone in there was from out of state. Who says that and gets away with it? Seems to me the school that allows the students who pay the most to get in first shouldn't be considered public, don't you? Where's the justice in that?

You know if yall are happy with the status quo, you're right, it's not going bad. But there are still tough questions we need to ask. And there are expectations that we shouldn't view as unattainable.

Last edited by aab7855; 10-28-2010 at 08:00 PM..
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:47 AM
Location: New Orleans, LA
310 posts, read 819,711 times
Reputation: 260
Originally Posted by aab7855 View Post
The repairs are done, stop billing renters for them!
If I were to be renting my house right now, I'd be charging quite a bit too! The repairs to my little house in Kenner (which was unreasonably pricey before the storm) tacked an enormous amount onto my mortgage. Not all of us got our insurance to pay enough to help nor were we approved by Road Home.

And, right now, the influx of people to places like Uptown are willing to pay those high prices. Simple economics right there. Do salaries stink? Yes. Does the school situation REALLY stink? Yes! But unless you're sweating money out of every pore on your body, not a whole lot of important people listen to you around here.

Who thinks New Orleans is Cajun except for uneducated tourists? I don't remember seeing that in this thread unless it was deleted. Heck, even I know that and I'm not native. Calling people dense? For real?

The positive vibe is all about the current changes: government, blight reduction, tourism back to high levels, etc. It's a start. Here's an example: after the storm, we used to say "Lakeview looks like Baghdad." It stayed that way for a good 2 years. I was driving around it yesterday and got the vibe we're talking about here. It's amazing to me how far they've come. It's only been 3 years since I saw the last FEMA trailer leave my neighborhood and, while we're not New Orleans proper, I still feel pretty amazing about how far everyone's come. Hopping over that 5 year mark helped a ton of people. Again, it's a slow start, but it's there.
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:51 PM
1,037 posts, read 1,260,905 times
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Originally Posted by rpmgatech View Post
NOLA seems to have a positive vibe ever since the Saints won the superbowl and Mitch Landrieu has replaced Ray "Chocolate City" Nagin. I hope the city turns around, being a former resident who can't move back because their aren't any jobs in my industry there. I have a love for New Orleans, so seeing it revamp the Saenger, Orpheum, etc. is great news. I just hope they have the money to do it without raising taxes too much (forcing out business), I pray that it isn't just talk, and I hope that all these changes are done soon enough so as to stop the bleeding off of the population and businesses in New Orleans.

Another thing that I think must happen (this is just my opinion, and I know some may disagree with this) is: people who moved to the North Shore (for good reason: cheap and less crime) from Lakeview and the surrounding areas need to get back to where they previously lived for tax purposes. Those were some great sources of revenue for Orleans Parish that would be greatly appreciated if they are added to the tax pool again. Also, due to the large growth of the North Shore since Katrina, St. Tammany is receiving more tax income, but they will also begin to experience some burdens that are introduced by this new population boom. As long as they can handle it properly when the negatives of a large population present themselves (in ~10 years), they should be fine.

Finally, I think New Orleans has to become more integrated. If you look at a map of New Orleans on a race basis, it is VERY segregated. Link here: Race and ethnicity: New Orleans | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkingsf/4981408757/in/set-72157624812674967/ - broken link) This segregation is not a good thing, IMO.

Overall, I think the people who are positive about New Orleans' future are right. The future is bright for that great city, and with Landrieu in office, things are looking even brighter. I just hope that the action begins to follow the talk, because as all New Orleanians know, talk is cheap.

Go Saints!
God Bless New Orleans!
Newsflash: New Orleans has been the most integrated major city in America from an historical standpoint. White flight has made it less integrated over the past few decades and yet it still is probably the most integrated major city in America. New Orleans is also a place where racial conflicts among it's residents is basically non-exsistant and the only racial component in everyday life of New Orleans is tied to political agenda's of elected officials or poverty pimping African American pastors.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:35 AM
101 posts, read 283,287 times
Reputation: 54
^ I grew up in New Orleans, so I would know just as well as you that although blacks and whites live together in New Orleans and get on well together, there are very distinct lines of where blacks live and where whites live. That's what I was hinting at.

Moderator cut: personal attack I agree with them. New Orleans has been dropping in population ever since I have been around, yet real estate prices aren't reflecting that. When new people want to move to New Orleans (i.e. they aren't inheriting a house and don't have any help from family ... most typical people) it's very difficult for them to purchase a $300k + home that is probably old, requires tons of upkeep, has high property taxes, and high insurance rates. In San Fran and NYC, people are compensated to pay for that high priced real estate and taxes, but in New Orleans, the average salary is on par with other southeastern cities, yet their real estate is much more expensive. I suppose this problem will gradually fix itself because capitalism usually allows for that.

As I said in my original post, New Orleans is recovering, but there is still much more work to be done. All of that work cannot be done by people currently living there. It will require people from other states moving there for work because the population of New Orleans right now is still rather small, which means less taxes for the government and less income for businesses. Can New Orleans do this? Sure, so long as it gives incentives to new businesses and continues to cut out the "inside deals" that many companies in the past had to make with the local government.

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 11-02-2010 at 01:02 PM..
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