So far for Renters Week we've told you about the hottest apartment buildings, beautiful rentals on the market, and we've also brought you some tales of renters woes. While we can't, say, prevent your building owner from being a Peeping Tom or a parade of terrible people from crashing at your place, we would like to present what we think are the best New Orleans neighborhoods to be a renter. We factored in a variety of things, including availability of rentals, how easy it is to get around without a car, amenities, statistics from the New Orleans Crime Map, and the all-around coolness of the 'hood (which is admittedly not very scientific). Disagree or want to add your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments.
We might not have recommended this part of town in the past, because even though there's always been a good amount of vacancies in the neighborhood's apartment buildings, nightlife used to be sleepy and the neighborhood lacked in amenities. But now this is the place to be: the formerly nine-to-five centric Poydras Street corridor is booming with bars and restaurants, the South Market District — which has a sweet apartment building of its own — is primed to be a New Orleans hot spot, and planned development along Convention Center Boulevard make this the place to be. And, there's plenty of apartment buildings in the area. The neighborhood also has a huge grocery store, access to public transportation, and, very soon, bike and car sharing services (the neighborhood also gets high marks from Walk Score). With violent crime being low, this is a great place to be, especially if you're young, single and can afford the rent (average rent according to a 2013 report was $1,291).
Lower Garden District
Amid the giant mansions there's usually a ton of rentals in this neighborhood, from standalone houses to apartments. This is a beautiful, eminently walkable neighborhood, with the bars, restaurants and coffee shops of Magazine Street close by. Crawling with young people, the neighborhood also boasts hip amenities like a micro-brewery and a coffee roaster. You're also blocks from the Warehouse District, CBD and French Quarter without paying the higher rent of those neighborhoods. Violent crime is less frequent the closer you stick to Magazine Street. This three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,200-sqaure-foot home on Phillip Street is going for $2,500.
This neighborhood has a good amount of affordable rentals available, but there's also the American Can apartments if you want that luxury apartment lifestyle. If you're outdoorsy but still want the convenience of city living, this is your neighborhood: you're surrounded by the beautiful Bayou St. John, City Park, and the upcoming Lafitte Greenway. Living here puts you closer to Jazz Fest and the Voodoo Experience; the neighborhood has two supermarkets and plenty of coffee shops, restaurants and bars; and the streetcar rolls down Carrollton Avenue. Incidents of violent crime are lower as you get farther away from Broad Street, but there's been a recent rash of robberies and assaults in and near City Park. But overall, there's a very strong sense of community here that provides a feeling of safety. This newly remolded three-bedroom off Canal Street is going for $2,300.
Rentals aren't always easy to come by in this in-demand neighborhood (although there are vacancies in the pricey Rice Mill Lofts), but this is an extremely walkable, hip neighborhood filled with restaurants, coffee shops, bars and two parks, Crescent Park and Markey Park. There's no true grocery store in the area, but there's a co-op on St. Claude Avenue in the neighborhood Marigny and it seems likely that St. Claude will get a supermarket in the near future. Violent crime is becoming less frequent as the neighborhood becomes more popular, but it's still best to be careful when outside at night. This colorful two-bedroom shotgun at Poland and Royal Streets is renting for $1,200.
The quality of rentals here can vary wildly, and when you get closer to the universities you start to venture into slumlord territory. But there's always places available and at every budget, and so many pockets within Uptown to suit every style. There's public transportation via bus and the streetcar on St. Charles Avenue, and although there's bike lanes on St. Charles and Carrollton, it can be harder to bike because the streets are so narrow. But depending on where you live, there's plenty of grocery stores, coffee shops, bars and restaurants. Crime runs the gamut across the area. This two-bedroom, 1,100 square-foot half of a double shotgun at Camp and Milan is going for $1,200.
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