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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Metairie, LA

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Get up close and personal to the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain to find out what southern living is all about in New Orleans' first suburb, Metairie. With rich French and Spanish heritage still prominent in the framework of the city, Metairie is a lower-key alternative to the pulsating party city of New Orleans.

If you're relocating to the area, or having trouble deciding whether or not Metairie is the right place for you, let the following guide offer you information and tips to help make your transition as effortless as possible.

Metairie Climate

Hot and humid summers and short mild winters typify the climate in Metairie, so heavy coats and scarves won't be a top priority. Summers generally range in temperature from 80-90 degrees, but can feel much hotter with high heat indices and moist air. Rainfall is common throughout the year, though it slows down in winter months.

While mild temperatures between 45 and 65 degrees are most common during the winter, the high humidity can make the air damp and frigid - feeling colder than the actual temperature. Temperatures in the fall and spring average in the 70's.

Metairie's elevation is a mere three feet, and being in close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico; the area is highly susceptible to tropical storms and hurricanes. The city is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina damages in 2005.

Metairie Neighborhoods

Since Metairie is technically a suburb of neighboring New Orleans with a reputation for high crime rates, many will choose various areas in the Metairie suburbs for living and commute to the city for work.

What is considered "Old Metairie" is a small area in the city that is bordered by Airline Highway, Veterans Boulevard and Causeway Boulevard. You'll find many different types of residential architecture in this historic town from Mission, Colonial and Greek revival to English Tutor-style homes. As the area shifts from mainly residential to mixed with commercial, it has become home to Lakeside Shopping Center, one of Louisiana's largest shopping malls.

To experience Metairie's nightlife and entertainment, you'll enter an area known as "Fat City," or Metairie's commercial district. The area has various nightclubs, bars and restaurants like Drago's - known for its famous charbroiled oysters.

Registering Your Car

Once you become a resident, your registration must also be updated within 30 days in the state of Louisiana. Once you do so, you will need to surrender your old license plates to your former state. For more information, visit: OMV's policy and procedure.

You also have 30 days to switch your out-of-state driver's license to a Louisiana driver's license. You must, in person, go to your local Office of Motor Vehicles to apply. You will need your current valid driver's license, proof of insurance if you own a vehicle, Social Security Card, and proof of address. The class E cost is $24.50 and does not include any individual parish fees that may exist.

Metairie Schools

For families relocating to Metairie with school-aged children, Jefferson Parish Public School System operates all public schools in the city. High School students will attend either East Jefferson High School or Grace King High School. The city has five middle schools, and numerous elementary schools in addition to private schools. The Jefferson Parish Public School System touts being one of the largest districts in the state, and is nationally ranked in the top 100 for student enrollment. With 80 schools on the east and west banks of Jefferson Parish, the district has over 45,000 students enrolled.

Higher education in Metairie and the greater New Orleans area includes: Louisiana Technical College, Delgado Community College, Notre Dam Seminary Graduate School of Theology, Xavier University of Louisiana, Tulane University, University of New Orleans and Loyola University.

Metairie Employment

Big oil booms in Louisiana, carrying the bulk of the economy in the state, while the tourism, big business and port operations follow close behind. New Orleans has one of the busiest ports in the world based on volume of cargo handled, making shipbuilding, shipping and logistics another major part of the industry in the New Orleans area and Louisiana. Many offshore riggers and drillers find work here.

Some top employers in the greater New Orleans area include: Ochsner Health System, Tulane University, Tour Infirmary and Acme Truck Line. The average salary in the area is approximately $50,000.

Living Costs in the City

For most expenses, the cost of living in Metairie is slightly below the national average, with food costs, utilities and miscellaneous expenses being less costly than other areas of the country. In addition, individuals who choose to live in the more suburban area of Metairie versus the metropolitan area of New Orleans can save on their utilities significantly.

The average home price (retail) is approximately $180,000, while many homes being sold in the area recently go for over $250,000 depending on the size and condition of the home, and the area. However, property taxes are much lower in Louisiana in relation to the rest of the country.

One-bedroom apartments start at around $500 and upwards, price varying on size of unit and utilities and/or amenities included. For a small apartment, your electric bill can be as low as $20 in the winter (without running heat) and can climb to almost $200 in the summer based on how often you run the air conditioning.

Metairie Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are happy to help you with your move to Metairie, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Louisiana. You should get at least three estimates from reputable moving companies before choosing one for hire. Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at Movers.com to get quotes for the following services:

Metairie Transportation

The only public transportation method in Metairie is the Jefferson Transit (JeT), but it does not run on Sundays, holidays or late night - the most common form of transportation is a personal vehicle. Once you've ventured out of Metairie and into New Orleans, you'll have the option of using the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, which has a 32-bus route service including three streetcars and special paratransit services.

Interstate 10 is the main highway in the area, and runs eat to west through Metairie. Other major roads include West Esplanade Avenue, Veterans Memorial Boulevard, West Napoleon Avenue, West Metairie Avenue, Metairie Road and Airline Drive.

Culture & Contemporary Life

Come to south Louisiana with a hefty appetite, because much of the culture in Metairie and the New Orleans area is centered on the cuisine. With bountiful seafood fresh from the Gulf waters, there are many seafood restaurants in the area that painstakingly weave the diverse culinary threads of the city. You'll diversify your palate with cuisine showcasing an array of cultures from Italian, Mediterranean, Indian, Mexican and Japanese all the way to kosher delis and classic Texas barbeque.

Metairie, like New Orleans has a kinship to New Orleans Saints football. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome can be seen from miles away, and serves as a beacon for sports entertainment, just recently hosting the 2013 Super Bowl. Local restaurants and retail establishments proudly display Saints paraphernalia year-round.

If you'd rather listen to music than follow sports, you can take the short trip east to the Big Easy and partake in the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival ("Jazz Fest") - one of the largest music festivals in the nation that draws in both locals and tourists. Experience jazz influenced by the likes of Louis Armstrong, and other music genres with nationally known bands.

Stay within Metairie and enjoy one of the many recreational parks it has to offer to get a taste of Louisiana outdoors.

Metairie Relocation Tips

  • There can be a lot of construction on major highways all over Louisiana. Update your GPS maps frequently, and ask for directions - people are friendly and will usually be willing to help you.

     

  • Contact your local police department or neighborhood watch organization - they will be able to help you learn about potential dangerous areas to avoid.

     

  • If you're a new homeowner, look into first-time homebuyer tax credit, which may get you a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the home's purchase price up to $8,000.

Jenna Farmer  Posted by Jenna Farmer on March 13, 2013

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