Is New Orleans, LA a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons of Living in New Orleans

New Orleans, LA, often referred to as “The Big Easy,” is a culturally rich city renowned for its unique blend of history, music, cuisine, and architecture. But is New Orleans a good place to live? While the city offers endless opportunities for entertainment and a bustling urban lifestyle, it also comes with its fair share of challenges like high cost of living and high humidity. In this Redfin article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of living in New Orleans to help you decide if it’s the right place for you.

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Quick Facts about New Orleans

Median home sale price $323,500
Average monthly rent $1,550
Walk Score 58/100
Transit Score 44/100
Bike Score 66/100

1. Pro: Rich history

New Orleans has a rich history that dates back to its founding in 1718 by the French, and this heritage is evident in landmarks like Jackson Square and the historic St. Louis Cathedral. The city’s past is also intertwined with its role in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, when it became a key port and cultural hub under American governance.

2. Con: High humidity and heat

One of the downsides of living in New Orleans is the high humidity and heat, especially during the summer months. The sweltering temperatures often exceeding 90 degrees Faranheit, can make outdoor activities uncomfortable and even unbearable at times. The humidity can also lead to issues like mold and mildew in homes, which can be a persistent problem for residents. If you’re considering a move to this city, you’ll want to take caution in the summer months.

3. Pro: Culinary delights

New Orleans is a food lover’s paradise, offering a diverse array of culinary delights that are unique to the city. From beignets at Café du Monde to po’boys and gumbo, the local cuisine is a delicious blend of French, Spanish, and Creole influences. The city is also home to numerous renowned restaurants, such as Commander’s Palace and Antoine’s, where residents can enjoy world-class dining experiences.

4. Con: Vulnerability to natural disasters

New Orleans is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, especially hurricanes and flooding. The city’s location below sea level makes it susceptible to severe weather events, as evidenced by the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Residents often have to prepare for and evacuate during hurricane season, which can be both stressful and disruptive.

5. Pro: Vibrant music scene

The music scene in New Orleans is unparalleled, with a rich history that has given birth to genres like jazz and blues. The city is home to numerous live music venues, such as Preservation Hall and Tipitina’s, where residents can enjoy performances by talented local musicians. You’ll also find various street performers in Jackson Square, that make New Orleans a good place to live.

Street car on canal street New Orleans Getty

6. Con: High cost of living

While New Orleans offers many unique benefits, the cost of living can be relatively high compared to other cities in the region. With the median sale price at $323,500 and the average monthly rent at $1,550, housing prices can be steep, especially in desirable neighborhoods like the French Quarter and Garden District. Additionally, the cost of goods and services can be higher due to the city’s popularity as a tourist destination.

7. Pro: Stunning scenery

New Orleans boasts stunning natural beauty, with its picturesque landscapes and lush greenery providing a serene backdrop to city life. The expansive City Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, offers a beautiful oasis with its ancient oak trees, scenic lagoons, and vibrant botanical gardens. Additionally, the nearby bayous and the Mississippi River create unique opportunities for outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, and wildlife watching, enhancing the appeal of living in this captivating city.

8. Con: A lot of mosquitos

However, living in New Orleans also means contending with a significant bug population, which can be a major drawback. Mosquitoes are particularly prevalent due to the city’s warm, humid climate and abundant water sources, making outdoor activities challenging at times. Additionally, termites are a common issue, posing risks to wooden structures and requiring regular pest control measures to manage.

9. Pro: Unique festivals and events

New Orleans is home to a plethora of festivals and events that celebrate the city’s rich culture and history. In addition to Mardi Gras, the city hosts events like the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, French Quarter Festival, and Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. These festivals offer residents the opportunity to enjoy live music, delicious food, and vibrant parades, all while celebrating the city’s unique heritage.

10. Con: Infrastructure challenges

New Orleans faces several infrastructure challenges, including aging roads and a drainage system that struggles to cope with heavy rainfall. Potholes and uneven streets are common issues that can make driving and biking around the city difficult. Additionally, the drainage system’s limitations can lead to frequent flooding during storms, causing inconvenience and potential damage to property.


Methodology: The median home sale price and average monthly rental data is from the Redfin Data Center. The Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score data is from Walk Score.

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