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Everything You Need To Know About Living In New Orleans As An Expat

living in New Orleans

New Orleans is a booming city with opportunities on every corner. The vibrant music scene, charming architecture, the most delicious food, friendly people, and exciting festivals are just some of the reasons people fall in love with NOLA. Besides this, the economy and job market of this beautiful city are on the rise. This implies many job opportunities and an affordable overall cost of living.

So, it comes as no surprise that many people are choosing New Orleans as their forever home. If you’re one of them, you’re on the right track in life. However, since NOLA is showered in uniqueness, you’ll have some adjusting to do as an expat. Therefore, let’s talk about everything you need to know about living in New Orleans as an expat.

Economy and Job market

Sixteen years after the devastation and flood of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has evolved, constructed, and grown. It’s unquestionably different but also undoubtedly greater and stronger. NOLA sets the bar high and shines in more sense than one. Let’s just say it has been voted as the #1 city for employment, income, and population by NerdWallet.

When it comes to NOLA’s economy, we can say it’s rather diverse. You can find anything from maritime and international trade to healthcare and oil and gas industries. Additionally, New Orleans houses eight private and public universities filled with outstanding students and world-class professors.

Speaking of the job market, some of the leading employers and companies include Ochsner Health System, Woodward Design + Build, Whitney Holding Corp., and Superior Energy Services.

All things considered, living in New Orleans as an expat will come with many job opportunities and affordable living costs.

Real estate stats

Since we’re talking about everything you need to know about living in New Orleans as an expat, we can’t overlook the real estate market. Given that you’re moving to a new country, you’ll need someplace to live. Therefore, you have to get familiar with current real estate stats and the housing market. So, let’s talk numbers and trends:

  • The median listing home price in New Orleans for 2021 is $349.9K, making it somewhat affordable.
  • The median rent is $1,634, which is considered within the national average.
  • In 2021, New Orleans was predominantly a buyers’ market. This means there are more houses on the market than buyers on the streets. So, this might be the perfect time for you to buy a house.
  • Types of homes in New Orleans range from Creole cottages, (double) shotguns, and townhouses to double-gallery homes, central-hall houses, and bungalows.

The best neighborhoods in NOLA

When it comes to real estate, we must mention that NOLA has many charming neighborhoods perfect for families, young professionals, singles, and retirees. Every community is unique and has something that others don’t. Everything from excellent schools, lush green parks, restaurants with unique menus, and fun community activities you’ll find on the map of each neighborhood. So, let’s take a quick look at the areas perfect for expats:

  • Freret
  • Bywater
  • Central Business District (CBD) & Warehouse District
  • Faubourg Marigny
  • Gentilly
  • Garden District

Whichever neighborhood you choose, you won’t regret your decision. And once you make your pick, make sure to hire a reliable moving company that will help you with relocation. Oh, and don’t forget to protect all your belongings during the relocation process. We suggest finding a safe space for your possessions you won’t use right away. Fortunately, New Orleans is home to many reputable storage facilities, so we’re sure you’ll find one that suits your needs.

Things to do

One thing you should know about living in New Orleans as an expat is that you’ll never be bored in this amazing city. There are endless possibilities for entertainment. Additionally, New Orleanians are so friendly, you’ll always have a few friends who are ready to have fun with you. After all, NOLA is famous for its hospitality and friendly locals. Therefore, you’ll never feel alone or bored in this city. Here are the things you can do and try in New Orleans:

  • Food & Drinks: New Orleans prides itself on its unique cuisine influenced by Creole and Cajun cuisine and soul food. You can try famous dishes such as Gumbo, Jambalaya, Muffuletta, and Beignet in 1,400 restaurants across the city. Additionally, New Orleans is famous for its cocktails. Locals also enjoy the city’s lenient open container rules, which allow them to get a drink to go and walk around the city sipping their drinks as they go.
  • Eclectic music scene: New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz. Here in Nola, street dancing is not only common but encouraged! This year’s Jazz Fest celebrates its 51st anniversary and attracts around 670,000 visitors to the Fair Grounds in Mid-City. And that’s only the beginning. In this bustling city recognized across the world as a music Mecca, every day and night, from mid-afternoon until the small hours of the morning, there is music all across town.
  • Strong sports culture: New Orleanians cherish their Saints! However, they support all of their sporting teams. At the Smoothie King Center, you can watch the New Orleans Pelicans play basketball. If you’re into baseball, visit the At The Shrine on Airline and see the New Orleans Baby Cakes in one of their games.

Prepare for quirky and unique elements of NOLA

As we mentioned before, NOLA is a unique city. So, living in New Orleans as an expat may be strange initially. That’s why you need to prepare before you move in order to adjust quickly.

For example, Louisiana (including, of course, New Orleans) split its maps into church parishes premised on a Catholic church-based system that dates back to Louisiana’s French and Spanish origins. This is something that can confuse you in the beginning.

If you ask a New Orleanian which way is north, they’ll probably scratch their head. This is because the river’s crescent bend flips everything upside down, creating a tangle of looping streets in a city surrounded by so much water that it may as well be an island. That’s why the locals have a warped sense of location. Instead of using common north, west, east, and south, locals use uptown, downtown, lake bound (as in the city’s northern boundary), and river bound (Mississippi). So, this is definitely something you should learn before you move to avoid getting lost a million times.

Additionally, if you want to make your life in New Orleans easier, you should probably find a YouTube channel or a podcast hosted by someone from New Orleans. Why? Let’s just say they have a unique dialect. So, it’s better to get used to it before you start living there.

New Orleans is a state of mind

New Orleans is something else. The rituals, traditions, and culture of Creoles, Irish, French, Spaniards, Italians, and people of color have shaped New Orleans. This city’s authentic sensations are fueled by free minds, innovative spirits, and non-conformists, and they can’t be found anywhere else. This is definitely one of the reasons why so many people fall in love with NOLA. It all adds up to superior life quality, unique culture, and a strong sense of community that nourishes the soul. All things considered, New Orleans is not just a city; it’s a state of mind. This pretty much sums up everything you need to know about living in New Orleans as an expat.