Jun 2, 2013 00:20 5520 Samovar Dr. in New Orleans East 5520 Samovar Dr. in New Orleans East 5520 Samovar Dr. Advocate story June 02, 2013 Comments You could describe this listing at 5520 Samovar Dr. in New Orleans East as another “three-bedroom, two-bath ranch,” but that would hardly be doing it justice. This house has been renovated into “gorgeous.” And that’s not an exaggeration. “This house was damaged during Katrina, like a lot of houses in New Orleans East were,” explained its listing agent, Jerome G. Winder with Gardner Realtors, “but it came back much, much better.” Winder noted that the house received a total renovation that included all-new wiring, plumbing, walls, ceilings and floors plus a new Seal Tab roof. Its concrete patio was re-done as well. “This is essentially like moving into a new home,” said Winder. And the renovation wasn’t just done – it was done with taste and style. For example, when you walk in, to your right is a spacious living room, with three large floor-to-ceiling windows. The surprise, though, is the floor. Its ceramic tile has been designed in an inlaid block-within-block pattern, lending interest to an already beautiful room. As if an inviting living room isn’t enough to pique your interest, it opens into a kitchen with all the requisite appliances and wooden cabinets plus plenty of granite-covered counter tops and a laundry room at one end. The kitchen services both the living room and as you come out of it – gasp! You’re in a gorgeous great room. “This room is perfect for entertaining,” said Winder. “It’s built for large family parties, for watching the Saints games with your friends or for just hanging out on Sundays.” Winder pointed out the inlaid ceramic tile blocks used to mirror the living room, the giant stone wood-burning fireplace – and the enviable must-have of all New Orleans homes – the free-standing wet bar. “It looks like it’s just waiting for that wall-sized TV with Drew Brees passing footballs on it,” laughed Winder. “The beer is all chilled and the snacks are ready to go.” If weather permits, or if parties get too large, they can spill right out onto the private patio, just outside the sliding glass doors. The three bedrooms are secluded from all these public rooms and the inlaid ceramic floors are used here also. And, the master suite is a dream with a private adjoining Jacuzzi bath. “This house is in move-in condition,” said Winder. “It’s ready for you to hang your clothes right in the closets.” Eastern New Orleans, where this listing is located, developed from the 1960s onwards with all installed utilities buried below ground. It was marketed as “suburban-style living within the city limits”. Today, its character remains notably suburban, resembling typical American suburbia much more than the characteristic New Orleans landscape of cast iron and mature live oaks. The neighborhood is becoming more of how it used to be Pre-Katrina. Many retail shops have opened on Bullard Avenue. A Walmart, Big Lots, and a CVS Pharmacy are planned, as well as a new library. Joe Brown Memorial Park has been newly renovated and Methodist Hospital is planning to be reopened by the end of this year. An exciting outlet mall is planned for the former Jazzland site. “Plenty of the housing stock has been renovated as well,” said Winder, “and buyers are finding great homes at affordable prices.” Part of the fun of having Winder show you around the house is just meeting Winder himself. He’s a huge bear of a man, but gentle, gentle and caring about his clients. “I like to work with buyers who have trouble getting into a home,” he explained, adding that his largest client base might be single mothers. “They might have spotty credit, or they might applied for home loans before and been turned down. I like to see if I can help them get into a home that’s just for them.” And with that in mind, this may be just the home for you. Angela Carll may be reached at email@example.com or 504-947-6575.