I’ve recently gained an appreciation for this great part of town. It is a historic district, so the homes are built in the traditional New Orleans style. At one time this neighborhood was made up of middle class locals. However, the rise in property values have recently attracted people with more than just a modest income.
It has been nice to see the growth here since Hurricane Katrina. Most of the homes flooded during the storm, but they have been restored. Growing up here, there are many parts of MidCity that I was scared to even drive through in the middle of the day. But now, people have invested in those areas, restored the homes and are now able to get higher rent from tenants. This tends to keep the quality of tenants up and the crime levels down.
Next to City Park and Bayou St. John, my favorite feature of MidCity is its accessibility. It is very easy to get into and out of, and I have never experienced heavy traffic, even during peak traffic hours. It also has the streetcar lines on Canal Street and Carrollton. This is ideal for commuters who do not have a vehicle. The new medical district has created thousands of new jobs, which will continue to bring many young professionals in town over the next few years. I have helped place several of them. I think from a commercial standpoint, the medical district will entice local entrepreneurs to bring their businesses to MidCity. Residential sales will be the next to follow, and I predict that property values will continue to rise, specifically in the areas immediately surrounding the medical district.
In my opinion, MidCity is the perfect place for middle class renters and investors who want to start their portfolio. If you’re looking to rent, you will be getting more bang for your buck in terms of space and quality. Because the owners recently renovated after Katrina, they tend to take more pride in and care of their rental properties. If you like to be outdoors, you can go to City Park or Bayou St. John, where you can go kayaking, festivals, etc.
If you’re looking to invest your money in New Orleans, this is definitely where you should start your real estate portfolio. Although property values have risen, it is not as exorbitant as Uptown, the Marigny, or the French Quarter. I recommend starting with multi-family housing. Either live in one unit and rent out the others, or rent out all of them to get a steady cash flow going. Something to keep in mind when purchasing in MidCity: It did flood during Katrina, so expect flood insurance to be on the high side, but that also depends on the height of the house and other factors. In regards to major flooding during Katrina, MidCity had what I like to call an “egg-crate effect.” The flooding was different on every block and some houses flooded right next to others that didn’t. It’s best to be aware of this because I’ve seen the price of flood insurance put people over their monthly budget and kill a deal.
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