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Trading Up

I’ve put a lot of my heart and soul into our old house. Xy has too. So I thought it would be painful to contemplate moving. I thought I’d agonize over that decision more, weighing the pros and cons.

But it really hasn’t been that hard. Once I framed the idea as “trading up,” it actually became quite easy, even exciting to think about.

By “trading up,” I mean that if we sell our house and buy a new one, we will probably improve our quality of life somewhat. Central air and heat would be nice, for example. An actual yard might be nice too. Things like that.

Apparently, out there in most of the country, it’s a bad time to sell your house, but a good time to buy one. New Orleans has had a different dynamic going on; we’ve been in a “recovery bubble,” if you will. In the last year or so that bubble has dissolved somewhat, and home prices in New Orleans have indeed taken a hit — except, it seems, in our zip code where values have gone up.

If we were really smart, I guess we’d buy in one of these other zip codes where home prices have declined. There are some real bargains to be had.

But I’m not sure that we are that smart. As we’ve started to look around, I’ve discovered it’s very difficult to contemplate leaving Mid-City. There are plenty of other cool neighborhoods, but Mid-City is really where we want to be. I like the walkability of Mid-City, as well as its proximity to my place of employment (and Xy’s).

But there’s more to it than that. We’ve put down some roots here, and especially after Katrina we have invested ourselves emotionally in the local community.

My other geographical fixation is, of course, the Lafitte Corridor. Right now we are living just a couple blocks from it, and I think it will be a tremendous asset once it actually gets built.

So I am hoping we can find the right house, at the right price, in Mid-City, near the Lafitte Corridor. We are looking in other places, but that’s the dream location.

I drew up a quick wish-list of things we want in a house.

  • 2000+ sq ft
  • yard or gardening opportunities
  • central air/heat
  • pool, or room for one (Xy’s fixation)
  • big bathtub
  • nicer area
  • lead-free

The only real absolutes on that list are the last two. We will only be able to discover if a house is lead-free in the inspection phase after we’ve made an offer. As for the “niceness” of the immediate area, that’s highly subjective of course. I don’t mean fancy or posh. Bohemian is more my style. But a certain feeling of safety and comfort is essential.

Published inNew OrleansOur House


  1. Wendy Wendy

    Sending you great house finding vibes! 🙂 Y’all deserve it!

  2. Lee Lee

    It sounds like you have “the bones” of what you want. Now it’s just finding a place that fits. Does Louisiana have a law like Indiana where if a house is built before a certain date it must be tested for lead based paint? Our house was built in 74 and had to be tested (at the sellers expense) for it. I wish yall the best of luck and will be sending vibes your way as well.

  3. Grampa Ray Grampa Ray

    Bart mentions that Bohemian is more his style. This does not surprise me because I happen to know that Bart has a genuine Bohemian ancestry. In fact, his father’s Mother’s, mother’s, mother moved from Bohemia to America at age eighteen so that she could marry a commoner. Her name was Veronica (for whom Bart’s Aunt was named) and she was a member of Bohemian royalty which was part of what is now known as the Czech Republic.So, you see, both Bart and little Persephone have royal Bohemian blood in their veins.

  4. […] only owed $88,000. Thus, I realized that we had enough equity in our house to enable us to “trade up.” It wasn’t the lead paint or the destabilized neighborhood or any single factor […]

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