1021-1023 Leonidas St. in the Riverbend

If you’ve been put off from buying a condominium because you’d like to be in a single-family home, this is just the listing for you.

“This is a newly constructed condo project built to look like it’s been there for 100 years,” said Colleen Loria, the listing broker/owner of The Property Shoppe, “and it’s in the hot Riverbend neighborhood.”

This property is two side-by-side condos, but it looks just like a typical shotgun. Its gleaming white paint, lime green shutters and doors and nicely appointed porch give the property a fresh look, but allows it to blend right into its Riverbend neighborhood.

“One of the great features of this property is that it’s located right at the levee, which not only puts it close to the bike path and easy access to Audubon Park,” said Loria, “and it’s in an area which doesn’t require flood insurance and won’t be negatively impacted by the new FEMA flood rates.”

The condo has a great room with sparkling white walls, high ceilings and gleaming wooden floors. Carrera marble counter tops give the space an upscale look. The kitchen sparkles with all-white cabinets, stainless steel appliances and plenty of storage. It also has two independent bedrooms and two high style bathrooms in its open floor plan.

“For someone looking for low maintenance and low costs,” concluded Loria, “this property is a great alternative to renting and thoughtful changes designed to meet the wants and needs of today’s homeowner are in evidence.”

The Riverbend area, where St. Charles Avenue meets Carrollton Avenue, is a residential neighborhood with many great places to eat, drink, and shop. Boutique shops line its streets, and there are more ice cream parlors in this neighborhood than in any other. The famous Jacque-Imo’s restaurant cooks up delicious Cajun and Creole contemporary fare in a fun and colorful atmosphere and the Maple Leaf Bar is a cozy spot to hear live music and participate in poetry readings.

In addition to Jacque-Imo’s, the Riverbend neighborhood offers some of the finest restaurants in the city. Lebanon Café has Middle Eastern dishes, Squeal’s has barbeque, Jazmine Café has Vietnamese, La Macarena has Mexican food, Saltwater Grill has seafood, Refuel Café has brunch, China Orchid has Chinese and Barcelona Tapas Café has Spanish.

Forget dress codes and month-long reservation waits. The neighborhood restaurants give you an authentic taste of life here. Rub shoulders, and possibly bump elbows, with locals as you dig into their favorite dishes, in their coziest dining rooms. New Orleans feels very accessible and smells very delectable in this neighborhood.

Not only is this an attractive listing, but this is also great time to buy a home. Bolstered by job growth and action from buyers hoping to take advantage of low interest rates, the seven-parish metro area’s housing market gained strength in the first half of the year.

Interest rates are still low compared with historic figures – but climbing. Average rates on fixed mortgages have risen steadily each month this year. The average rate on a 30-year loan was 4.37 percent in July, up from 3.41 percent in January, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.

Not only were prices higher, there were more buyers, with the number of home sales jumping by 15 percent, according to a story in The Morning Advocate August 11 by Jaquetta White. An average of nearly 900 homes sold each month from January through June, putting the metro area on pace to record 10,500 sales this year. That compares with 9,150 houses sold in 2012, when buyers laid claim to about 761 homes per month.

Since buyers now have a sense of urgency, with fears mounting that waiting longer will mean either mean paying more for a house because of having to compete with more potential buyers or having interest rates shut them out of the market, it’s an excellent time to get in the market and buy a home of your own.

Angela Carll may be reached at angcarll@gmail.com or 504-947-6575


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