1st Lake Blog

Renting Vs. Buying: Why Renting Wins

“The housing bust taught us to be wary,” says the Washington Post in a recent article about falling homeownership rates – rates that are expected to continue to fall until the amount of renters exceeds the amount of homeowners in the United States. “Viewed another way,” the article continues, “a big surge in renters is coming.”

With the housing market still in a state of flux, many Americans have chosen to forego a mortgage and take solace in the ease of renting a place to live.

Renting has all the comforts of homeownership, plus some surprising benefits. Our Clearwater Creek community truly feels like home.

Renting has all the comforts of homeownership, plus some surprising benefits. Our Clearwater Creek community truly feels like home.

The National Apartment Association notes that by the year 2030, a majority of the estimated 22 million new U.S. households will be renters, not buyers. These combined articles suggest that perhaps the future is dim for homeownership but, as the old adage goes, where one door closes, another opens.

Home lending regulations have become much more restricted since the collapse of the housing market, and many people don’t want to deal with the hassle and red tape involved in taking on a new mortgage. In addition, young people are increasingly wary of laying down roots in a particular area. Because of this, the flexibility of renting has become more attractive due to the short term options of a lease.

If renting and buying battled it out in a boxing ring, they’d be well matched. There are many benefits to buying a home, of course, but recent research shows that renting is a viable option that can leave you with more money in your wallet – money you can put toward retirement, stocks and bonds, and more.

More People Choosing To Rent

In 2014, CBS News honed in on an obvious misconception. According to their article, “the vast majority of homebuyers say thought bought because they thought their home was a great investment. But, in many cases, they could have done far better investing in a diversified portfolio.”

One study performed by Hart Research Associates found that 57% of adults believe buying a home is less appealing, 54% prefer apartment renting to home ownership and 45% of surveyed homeowners expressed interest in returning to apartment renting.

Among the key findings in the National Apartment Association survey:

  • Leasing rental property perceived as more favorable to holding a mortgage: 76 percent of adults feel that there are advantages to renting vs. owning in the current real estate market, an increase of 5 percent from 2008. 64 percent cited having no responsibility for major repairs or maintenance as the primary reason, followed by 50 percent who cited financial reasons such as not being impacted by an unpredictable real estate market(33 percent – an increase of 1 percent from 2008), and not being susceptible to foreclosure (tied at 33 percent).
  • Renters are not eager to make a change this year: 60 percent of renters plan to continue renting their current residence or rent new residences within the next year. 12 percent of renters said they have plans to buy a new home this year and only 14 percent believe that buying a house is preferable to renting given the current state of the market.
  • Homeowners tied down and staying put: 71 percent of homeowners will stay in their current home over the next year, mirroring almost exactly the response from 2008 (72 percent).
  • Adults continue to experience economic backlash from the foreclosure crisis: 93 percent of adults feel that the financial security of homeowners is more or equally affected by the current state of the housing market – no change from 2008 – illustrating that the economic impact of the foreclosure crisis has not shifted or improved.
park oaks pool

Lush landscaping and sparkling pools are just a few of the many benefits of renting vs. buying.

Renting Means Extra Money You Can Invest

Putting your hard-earned money toward a hefty mortgage means you won’t have anything left over to invest in the stock market even IRAs. Renting gives you the option to upsize or downsize based on your needs and financial position in accordance with your budget: if you choose a company like 1st Lake Properties, your options for renting are practically endless, meaning you can rent an apartment home that’s right for you and use your extra income more wisely.

Renting Offers Flexibility

Moreover, HelloWallet found that the average homeowner moves within 9 years. That sounds like a long time, but when you’re tied to a 30-year mortgage, you end up paying more of the money to interest rather than principal. On average, “households would build 50 percent more wealth over a 10-year period by renting,” according to HelloWallet.

The takeaway? Renting and investing the difference helps you stay comfortable in the present – thanks to lush amenities like pools, gyms, and balconies or home offices – while also contributing to your future.

Here are a few other reasons to rent:


A home mortgage is sometimes not an option for those of us with less than great credit.  It’s interesting that apartment renting can actually build up poor credit and should be considered an investment in your credit rating.

Location, Location, Location

Purchasing a home in a city like New Orleans is incredibly pricey, but renters get the advantage of unbeatable proximity without the high monthly mortgage and insurance. Many of our properties are just a quick drive to sought-after areas like the French Quarter and the Central Business District without the high price tag.

It’s More Affordable

In addition to providing money up front for a down payment, when you buy a home, you’re also responsible for a monthly mortgage, property taxes, insurance, and even the possibility of homeowner’s association fees. Plus, you’re responsible for maintenance and repairs, water, utilities, and trash. It adds up!

Apartment Amenities

It’s unlikely your home will include a full house of amenities like resort-style pools, an attached covered garage, backyard cabanas, and a state-of-the-art fitness facility – but these are all a reality when you rent from a 1st Lake Property (like Bella Ridge, for example).

Free Up Your Free Time

No yard work. No maintenance. When you rent, all these annoying chores are taken care of by professional staff at a moment’s notice. If something breaks in your apartment, just contact our main office. We’ll take care of the rest.

There’s no better time to make an apartment rental your first choice.

Even if you plan on eventually becoming a homeowner, renting is a great way to become acquainted with the responsibilities of living on your own and the flexibility of a lease can allow you to wait until the perfect time to buy a home of your own.

We’re constantly improving at 1st Lake Properties, from updating apartment communities to adding seasonal landscaping and so much more. We’ve recently built new communities, too, like our Bella Ridge property in Elmwood with luxury units that have all the comforts (and more) of any standalone home. An on-site dog park, gorgeous pool, and state-of-the-art fitness facility are all worthwhile additions we’re so pleased to be able to deliver to our residents.

What’s more, our improvements aren’t limited to actual buildings – we’ve added helpful assets on our website like our apartment moving checklist designed aid residents during transitions from one 1st Lake community to the next.

Consider being in that growing number of apartment renters and check out all of our New Orleans area apartments for rent.

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Related posts:

First Apartment Essentials: Checklist and Guide To Finding and Moving Into Your First Apartment

Moving Tips: 5 Apartment Search Considerations

1st Lake Moving Tips: Renting a Moving Truck

Moving Tips: How to Save Money With A Moving Company

Prepare Your Pets for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season started June 1, which means if you haven’t prepared, it’s time! We know the basics: keeping our car serviced, creating a supply kit with stable food, water, and medical needs, and setting up a communications plan during the event of a storm. But what about your pets?

cats dogs

Remember to include your pets in hurricane preparation plans. (Photo courtesy

As (the local resource for hurricane preparedness) puts it, “your pets’ survival during a disaster largely depends on advance emergency planning you do today.”

Take a look at how to prepare your pets for hurricane season below.

Include Your Furry Friends in Your Evacuation Plan

Remember that pets will be unable to fend for themselves if you leave them outdoors or even indoors in the event of flooding. During Hurricane Katrina, many residents made the difficult choice not to evacuate so that they could stay with their pets. Since then, city officials have now allowed residents in New Orleans to evacuate with their pets: it is the best choice for all parties involved. If you live in Jefferson Parish, visit their website for more information on evacuation plans with pets.

You’ll want to make sure you have suitable carriers available for all of your pets so that you can transport them easily and safely in the event of an evacuation.

Have Supplies Handy

We’ve been there: we let our pets’ food run out completely and then have to scramble to the grocery store. In the event of a hurricane, however, there will be no time for scrambling, which is why advance planning is so important. Just like you would gather an emergency supplies kit for yourself, plan to create a separate kit for your pets that will last at least three days.’s sample supply kit includes:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Daily medicines, if applicable
  • De-worming or monthly pills, just in case
  • A litter box
  • Extra tags
  • A can opener for canned food
  • A couple of toys
  • Vet information
  • Vaccination records

Schedule a Vet Appointment

Pets will need to be up-to-date on all vaccinations in order to be boarded or stay at a pet-approved hotel. Plan a vet appointment to get your pet up to speed on any required vaccinations, and make copies of all immunization records. Keep the records in a safe spot, such as your pet’s emergency supply kit (see above) or even in your car’s glove compartment in the event of an evacuation.

If finances are a concern, Petco has special vaccination clinics on Saturdays where pet owners can bring their pets for simple vaccinations. Keep in mind that a full exam is not included – this is simply a way for pet owners to quickly and cost-effectively get their pets any required vaccinations for travel.

Meet Five of Our Favorite Southern Blogs

We’re New Orleans, but we’re also N’awlins – which means, of course, we’re pretty Southern. Whether we show it through our signature hospitality or our irresistible comfort foods, New Orleans is a Southern city, and today, we’re embracing it!

Check out some of our favorite Southern lifestyle blogs. You’ll find enticing recipes, gorgeous décor inspiration, and style to (cowboy) boot. See what we did there?

leahs pralines

Southern Living’s blog The Daily South often features New Orleans food and lifestyle items, like these treats from Leah’s Pralines. (Photo courtesy The Daily South)

The Daily South

It’s no surprise that Southern Living, the famed magazine, has a pretty great blog. The Daily South has fun features on Southern movers and shakers, interactive quizzes, competitions, recipes, and so much more. We especially love this blog for its constant stream of new and engaging content. You can typically expect multiple posts per day, and each one is definitely worth of a click and a read.

Southern Bite

Foodies, this one is for you. Southern Bite has a pretty delectable tagline (“Simple. Sustaining. Southern.”) and site manager Stacey Little has a real passion for sharing his Southern-influenced recipes with the world.

In addition to sweet and savory recipes aplenty, Little also has helpful how-to videos like how to safely cut up a whole chicken. Fun, interactive elements like his recent Virtual Potluck let readers share their favorite home-style recipes. Extra points to Little for his authenticity, too: he has a category called Lagniappe!

Magnolia Homes

HGTV star Joanna Gaines has a blog that’s as addictive as her show, “Fixer Upper.” Her Magnolia Homes blog features fun Q&As, easy (yet beautiful) DIY projects, and tips on using greenery inside your home. Everything on the site is simple and gorgeous, presenting a Southern-rustic aesthetic just like the homes she helps design with her husband in Texas.

Back Down South

Photos and music make for a great combination on Back Down South, creating a sensory experience for site visitors. From photographer Caroline Fontenot, the blog also includes interviews from fellow stylish Southerners.

A recent trip to NOLA on the blog talks about “killer po-boys” and includes popular spots like Erin Rose and the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone. Did she nail it?

Haute Off the Rack

Louisiana represents with Haute Off the Rack, a style blog from New Orleans gal Jennifer Palpallatoc. But don’t worry – the blog isn’t limited to fabulous outfits. Visit Haute Off the Rack for helpful categories like “Haute Home Décor” and “Top New Orleans Hotels and Restaurants.”



Explore Fat City and Nearby 1st Lake Apartments

The area of Metairie known as Fat City has seen some incredible improvements over the past few years, with even more to come. After a heyday during the 1970s, Fat City’s popularity waned in the following decades. However, a recent resurgence has made it one of the most desired locations in Greater New Orleans. And, lucky for you, we have a range of First Lake Properties located in and around Fat City.

Ready – set – explore! 


A rendering of pedestrian-friendly details in Fat City. (Image courtesy the Regional Planning Commission and

New Developments

Severn Avenue, a main thoroughfare in Fat City, has several development and revitalization projects in the works. From new hotels to pedestrian-friendly details like widened sidewalks, benches, trellises, and more, Severn Avenue is in the midst of a renaissance.

Enticing Restaurants

It wouldn’t be a part of Greater New Orleans without dozens of incredible restaurants. In addition to Morning Call for beignets, café au lait, and other New Orleans cuisine like red beans and rice, Fat City is home to several Asian-style restaurants.

Sample a variety of Asian dishes at Kanno in Fat City. (Photo courtesy

Sample a variety of Asian dishes at Kanno in Fat City. (Photo courtesy

A few of our favorites include: Ohana for incredible sushi rolls; Korea House for authentic bibimbap (a savory bowl of white rice with a variety of toppings like beef and fried egg); and Kanno for fresh, California-style sushi.

Not craving Japanese or Korean food? No problem. Fat City is home to other enticing restaurants like Mellow Mushroom, Taqueria Corona, Acme Oyster House, and Drago’s Seafood.

 Ways to Work Off Those Calories

Perhaps you ordered the barbecue chicken pizza at Mellow Mushroom (it’s our favorite) or indulged in piping hot beignets from Morning Call. Fortunately, Fat City is also home to a sleek gym called Chronos Body Health and Wellness that features more than 7,000 square feet of space.

From a variety of workout classes to an on-site day spa and med spa to a fresh juice bar, Chronos is a beautiful, fully equipped facility to keep your body in tip-top shape. It’s also open 24 hours – no excuses!

What You’ll Find at First Lake Properties Near Fat City

Gallery Apartments in the Metairie area is nice and close to Fat City. The small, limited-access gated community features attractive landscaping, and inside each apartment you’ll find smartly appointed details like oval soaking tubs, bay windows, recessed lighting, and alarm systems. The interiors speak to contemporary luxury with plenty of space – and you’re just a short drive from Lakeside Shopping Center, Fat City, and the business districts of both New Orleans and Metairie.

In addition to a meticulously landscaped courtyard and sparkling swimming pool, Millstream offers convenient access to the best of Fat City. It’s also just a short drive to Lakeside Shopping Center and other Metairie retail destinations.


Things to Do in River Ridge, Harahan and Elmwood

The New Orleans suburbs are fast becoming some of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the region. Offering close proximity to downtown New Orleans for work and play, the suburban area of River Ridge, Elmwood and Harahan are that perfect mix of convenience and quiet you simply won’t find in the city.

Things to Do in River Ridge, Harahan and Elmwood

What’s more, apartments in River Ridge offer you space and luxury amenities like a pool, on-site dog park, gym, and much more. Our Bella Ridge property, for example, is in the heart of River Ridge and boasts perks like a covered parking garage.

Are you new to River Ridge, Louisiana? Whether you’ve just moved or are considering taking the plunge, explore a few of the things to do in River Ridge, Harahan and Elmwood.


With easy access to New Orleans, this neighborhood offers an endless array of activities for all ages, but you don’t have to drive into the city to be entertained. Here are a few of our favorite entertainment options in your backyard:

AMC Elmwood Palace

1200 Elmwood Park Blvd, Harahan, LA
The AMC Elmwood Palace movie theater in Elmwood offers 20 screens, including a full IMAX experience. In true New Orleans style, this movie theater also features a full-service bar, making it a great place for date night.

The Shrine on Airline

6000 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA
Sports fans will love living so close to Zephyr Field. The local minor league baseball team hosts plenty of special events and promotions throughout the year, such as Military Night, Star Wars Night, Japanese Heritage Night, Italian Night and even a Luau themed event!

Adventure Quest Laser Tag

1200 Clearview Parkway, Suite 1106, Harahan, LA
Adventure Quest Laser Tag offers a variety of fun indoor activities for groups of any age. In addition to laser tag, they also offer bumper cars, cosmic golf, an adventure maze and an arcade. Look for their weekly specials and check out their membership option for extra savings.

Colonial Bowling Lanes

6601 Jefferson Hwy, Harahan, LA
This locally-owned bowling alley features 24 wooden lanes and a laidback atmosphere. Colonial Bowling offers a variety of league bowling as well as group rates and parties. Need a break from bowling? Just head to their gameroom for arcade style games, or visit their Lamplighter Lounge for cocktails.

Lafreniere Park

3000 Downs Boulevard, Metairie, LA
Nearby Lafreniere Park offers 155 acres of outdoor fun, including a 2-mile jogging trail, 18-hole disc golf course, two playgrounds and a 20-acre lagoon. It’s the perfect place to get away from it all with a good book and a picnic.

theo's pizza

Local chain Theo’s Pizza offers a variety of pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and other Italian favorites in River Ridge. (Photo courtesy Theo’s Pizza on Facebook)


River Ridge is home to several casual dining options to sate any craving. We love how you’ll find a mix of not only prominent national chains but also local restaurants. Some of our favorites include:

Seither’s Seafood

279 Hickory Ave, Harahan, LA
New Orleans is of course known for its great seafood, and the suburbs like Harahan are no exception. Seither’s Seafood is one of the top-rated locally-owned restaurants in this neck of the woods, and for good reason. Enjoy classic Southern dishes like shrimp po-boys, gumbo, crawfish, fried green tomatoes and raw oysters.

Phil’s Grill

1640 Hickory Ave, Harahan, LA
Phil’s Grill offers multiple locations throughout the greater New Orleans area, including one in Harahan. Customize your burger as you choose your perfect protein (options range from the traditional like Angus beef to vegetarian options like Portobello mushroom to exotic like bison or alligator). Opt for your favorite bun and toppings or skip the carbs and choose a lettuce bun or turn your meal into a salad.

The Ridge Bistro and Deli

1827 Hickory Ave, Harahan, LA
A local’s favorite, this hidden gem is located in the heart of Harahan and features delicious daily specials as well as staple salads, sandwiches and wraps. Entree options include pecan crusted red fish, chicken marsala pasta and portabello stuffed ravioli.

Zoe’s Kitchen

1208 S. Clearview Parkway, Suite D, Harahan, LA
Specializing in Mediterranean flavors with a Southern twist, Zoe’s Kitchen is your ideal destination for healthful dishes like grilled chicken kebabs, veggie pita pizza, orzo soup, Greek salads, and much more. They offer a menu for those with food allergies (several items are gluten-free or vegetarian) plus a menu called “Simply 500” where all items clock in at fewer than 500 calories. Not counting calories? Finish the meal with a slice of their YaYa’s Hand-Made Chocolate Cake.

Theo’s Pizza

1212 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, LA
This local pizza chain is a regular winner of foodie awards, including most recently a Gambit Best of New Orleans Award for best pizza, and a New Orleans Magazine Tops of the Town nod. In addition to a comprehensive wine and beer list, Theo’s main draw is its pizza. Unexpected toppings like yellow squash, Anaheim peppers, goat cheese, and jalapenos make Theo’s a step up from your basic Margherita. Build your own pizza or choose from their own creative specialties. Salads, sandwiches, and appetizers are also available.

Kyoto 2

5608 Citrus Blvd, Harahan, LA
Noted for its consistently fresh and delicious sushi, Kyoto 2 is the Elmwood/River Ridge outpost of its Uptown New Orleans location. We go crazy for the poke salad or the ponzu-topped ceviche. Kyoto 2 also gets points for creative sushi names: order the No Name, Tiger Eyes, or Funky Margarita rolls on your next visit.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

1212 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, LA
Sometimes you just need a burger and fries. Skip the typical drive-through options and head to Five Guys Burgers and Fries instead. At Five Guys, handcrafted burgers and real, handmade fries are just a dollar or two pricier than a drive-through and infinitely more delicious. Choose as many free toppings as you want (may we suggest the grilled mushrooms…) and try the fries Cajun style for an extra kick of heat.

Oak Oven

6625 Jefferson Hwy, Harahan, LA
Oak Oven is a locally owned Italian style restaurant with a casual bistro atmosphere. Any restaurant in the New Orleans area can’t help but be inspired by local cuisine and Oak Oven is no exception… Not only does Chef Adam Superneau pair southern Louisiana influences with his classic Italian recipes, but the restaurant also uses many locally grown and house-made ingrediencts. (The fresh mozzarella, pasta and Sicilian semolina bread are all made from scratch in-house!)

La Madeleine Country French Café

5171 Citrus Blvd #2000, Elmwood, LA
Comfort food classics with a Francophile spin are the order d’jour at La Madeleine. Quiche Florentine is the perfect meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and if you’re unsure what to order – well, they have an on-site bakery. Specialty coffees and a selection of wine are available; so, too, are traditional French classics like Croque Monsieur, Quiche Lorraine, and flaky Spinach Pochette.

Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt

1212 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, LA
Frozen yogurt is that perfect blend of tart and sweet that really hits the spot on a warm day. Pinkberry, an international chain, is known for its inventive flavors and options for people with food allergies. For example, their dairy-free mango frozen yogurt has bright, tropical flavors without any gluten, dairy, or added sugar.

Hickory Chicks Boutique in River Ridge features a fashionable assortment of clothing and accessories for women. (Photo courtesy Hickory Chicks Boutique on Facebook)

Hickory Chicks Boutique in River Ridge features a fashionable assortment of clothing and accessories for women. (Photo courtesy Hickory Chicks Boutique on Facebook)


Shopping is as easy as it is fun in River Ridge. Convenient shopping centers like Elmwood Shopping Center on Clearview Parkway pack a punch, while local boutiques offer unique finds.

Here’s a peek at our favorite shopping spots in River Ridge:

Hickory Chicks Boutique

1915 Hickory Ave, Harahan, LA
This locally-owned fashion boutique is located in the heart of River Ridge and features trendy women’s clothing, shoes and accessories at affordable prices. Be sure to check out their sale rack for unbeatable deals.

Ulta Cosmetics

1126 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, LA
Ulta is the ultimate high-low mix when it comes to cosmetics. Shoppers will delight at department store beauty brands like Bare Minerals, Tarte, and Benefit right alongside drugstore favorites like Covergirl and Almay. Check their website before you go: there’s almost always a sale and a coupon you can print or download.


1126 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, LA
Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW for short) has shoes for the whole family. With hundreds of pairs in stock, DSW offers a wide variety of styles, sizes, and prices. It’s the go-to spot for shoes whether you need a formal pair for a wedding, classic work pumps, or vacation-ready sandals.

Charming Charlie

1126 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, LA
Have you ever noticed how accessories can change the whole look of your outfit? That’s the ethos behind Charming Charlie, a sprawling accessories store with affordable jewelry that ranges from bohemian-chic to preppy. Hair accessories, purses, phone cases, and select styles of shoes are also in store. All you need to do is add your favorite outfit!

World Market

1134 S. Clearview Parkway, Elmwood, LA
In addition to furniture and other housewares, World Market features an international grocery store where you can find global favorites like Milka chocolate bars from Germany, Australian vegemite, and Britain’s favorite topper, HP Sauce.

Need more shopping options? Lakeside Mall in Metairie and Esplanade Mall in Kenner are both within just a few miles of River Ridge and the boutiques in downtown New Orleans, such as The Shops At Canal Place, are just 15 minutes away.

Annual Events

St. Rita Pecan Festival

This annual festival in Harahan celebrates everyone’s favorite Southern nut, the pecan, with plenty of food options including pecan pepper jelly, pecan pralines, pecan pies and much more. The weekend-long event takes place each November and features live music and fun activities for all ages.

We want to know!

Jefferson Parish residents, what are YOUR favorite things to do in the neighborhoods of River Ridge, Harahan and Elmwood?

If you live in one of our River Ridge apartments, be sure to join us on Facebook or Twitter and let us know your favorite neighborhood spots!