New Orleans Real Estate News

Aug. 17, 2017

Wayne Gretzky's For-Sale Home is More Like a Luxury Hotel Than a Residence

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Former professional ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky recently sold his plush Los Angeles Sherwood Country Club estate for $6 million. The Canadian hockey great designed the home’s interior to emulate his favorite boutique hotels, and the luxury both inside and outside the estate is endless.

Gretzky and his wife, Janet Jones, bought the property in 2009 for $2.765 million. It features five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and 7,600 square feet of living space. Drenched in finery, the estate’s amenities include a guesthouse, a gym overlooking the palatial pool, a sauna, an outdoor kitchen and an office with a roaring fireplace.

The property sold to Trixy Weiss, co-founder and co-chair of the Board of Directors of Genesis Capital.

Posted in In the News
Aug. 16, 2017

Lisa Kudrow's Recently Sold Gorgeous Ski Resort in Park City

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Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at

Located slope-side at the base of Deer Valley Resort, Lisa Kudrow’s Black Diamond Lodge offers a warm and inviting mountain ambiance. With the ease and comfort of its unique location, this gorgeous two-story ski-in/ski-out penthouse creates the ideal environment for friends and family.

Enjoy the views of the ski resort and lots of natural bright light with the floor to ceiling windows. The private deck off of the downstairs guest bedroom is suped-up with a hot tub overlooking the slope. On the second level there’s a private entrance for extra privacy. Another private balcony can be found just off of the master bedroom, ideal for viewing Deer Valley summer concerts and winter events.

The Black Diamond Lodge is a full-service complex with front desk, shuttle service, concierge, children’s play room, fitness room, steam room, and ski valet with prep room and individual lockers. Only one mile from Park City’s Historic Main Street, its new owners will find fine dining and boutique shopping just a hop away.

Sold by: Paul Benson, Engel & Völkers
Sold for: $3.6 million


Photos: Engel & Völkers

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Posted in In the News
Aug. 15, 2017

You Can Own Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's Santa Barbara Villa

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Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at

Do you want to live with Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi? Well you can’t, but you can live in their old villa. That is, if you have a spare $45 million roosting in the bank—the posh Santa Barbara pad just hit the market. Known simply as “The Villa,” the estate boasts a lap pool, sunken tennis courts, a super fancy indoor-outdoor entertaining pavilion for all of your fabulous future parties, and incredible views of the ocean, harbor, and mountains.

Originally built in the 1930s, the two-story, 10,500-square-foot spot was created by famed architect Wallace Frost who modeled the home after a traditional 17th century Italian villa. The six-bedroom, eight-bathroom space was featured in Ellen’s 2015 book “Home.”

The comedian/author/talk show host and her Australian actress wife bought the place in 2012, gobbling up the properties on either side to make the villa the expansive estate that it is today.

Listed for: $45 million
Listed by: Suzanne Perkins, Sotheby’s International Realty 



Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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Posted in In the News
Aug. 14, 2017

Development in Destrehan

Destrehan development to include 250 homes, shops: report

shovels in ground
File photo - A 1,400-acre development that includes houses, retail shops, restaurants and warehouse space is being planned in Destrehan. (BRETT DUKE, The Times-Picayune archive)
Littice Bacon-Blood, | The Times-PicayuneBy Littice Bacon-Blood, | The Times-Picayune 
Email the author | Follow on Twitter 
on April 20, 2017 at 10:24 AM, updated April 20, 2017 at 10:55 AM

A new community development that would include 250 residential lots, retail stores and restaurants, has been announced for a 1,400-acre site in Destrehan,according to the St. Charles Herald-Guide newspaper.  The development, called Destrehan Plantation Estates, is being planned for a site that runs alongside the Interstate 310 bridge near River Road toward Airline Drive, the newspaper reports.

The land owner, Washington, D.C. environmental attorney Gary Silversmith, has hired Murray Architects of Destrehan to lead the project, according to the report.  The portion of the site on Airline Drive would include industrial use and warehouses, the reports states.

The St. Charles Parish Council recently gave Murray clearance to start construction on the first 30 lots in the subdivision. The average lot size in the subdivision will be 90 feet by 160 feet, according to the Herald-Guide.

Posted in In the News
Aug. 13, 2017

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Posted in In the News
Aug. 12, 2017

Prices of Homes in New Orleans Are Slowly Rising

New Orleans' real estate market showing signs of cooling, data signal

New Orleans' booming real estate market is showing signs of cooling.

After years of steady price increases, sales of single-family homes in Orleans Parish in average-or-better condition climbed less than 3 percent in the last half of 2016, compared with a year earlier, according to figures released Tuesday by a local real estate trade association.

That modest bump — about $4.50 per square foot — came a year after home prices posted a nearly 14 percent increase from 2014 to 2015, as pent-up demand and a dearth of available units in many of the city's most sought-after neighborhoods propped up the local real estate market.

For the last half of 2016, the average sale price for a single-family home in New Orleans in average or better condition was roughly $353,400, or about $177 per square foot.

Across the region, average home sale prices were up 5 percent overall.

The latest analysis, compiled by real estate consultant Wade Ragas, is based on figures from the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors and the Gulf South Real Estate Information Network. The data do not include sales of multifamily homes, townhouses, condominiums or vacant lots.

"Prices are still rising in Orleans. They're just slowing down and rising slower than the suburbs, but they're still going up," Ragas said.

In New Orleans, homes in the 70130 ZIP code — which includes parts of the Irish Channel, Garden District, Central Business District and French Quarter — saw the biggest year-over-year jump in average sale price, climbing 32 percent, to almost $319 per square foot.

The next-largest gain was in the 70128 ZIP code, which includes part of New Orleans East; sale prices there rose about 19 percent, to almost $85 per square foot. A dozen years after Hurricane Katrina's devastation, the East is enjoying an economic revival, attracting new retail and other services, such as the New Orleans East Hospital, which opened in 2014.

Overall, New Orleans' 70122 ZIP code, which includes Gentilly, had the most home sales —169 properties, which averaged about $138 per square foot, good for a 12 percent jump from the same period a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the number of single-family homes in need of renovation sold citywide in the second half of 2016 fell roughly 19 percent from a year earlier, while their average price per square foot climbed nearly 25 percent — a signal that the city's once-plentiful supply of storm-damaged homes is evaporating, and most of the more easily renovated ones have already been scooped off the market.

"We're simply running out of housing that investors want to acquire and renovate," Ragas said.

Elsewhere in the metro area, single-family home sale prices rose by 13.5 percent in St. Bernard Parish, to $90 per square foot; 10.7 percent in St. John the Baptist Parish, to $88 per square foot; 8.2 percent in Jefferson Parish, to $116 per square foot; 7.3 percent in Plaquemines Parish, to $130 per square foot; 2.9 percent in St. Tammany Parish, to $117 per square foot; and 1.5 percent in Tangipahoa Parish, to $93 per square foot.

Prices stayed flat in St. Charles Parish, at $108 per square foot.

St. Bernard has enjoyed three years of rising home prices, which Ragas views as "an encouraging sign of growing consumer confidence." Prices for average-or-better homes there hit $90 per square foot in the second half of 2016, compared with $79 in 2015.

Amid the state's burgeoning industrial revival, suburban parishes had begun attracting new buyers, but the fall in oil prices that started in mid-2014 has slowed job growth and likely stunted sales figures, Ragas said.

That's particularly true in St. Charles Parish. The Ormond neighborhood in the 70047 ZIP code saw about a 1.2 percent jump, while the Luling area (70070) had a 1 percent average price increase, but the parish as a whole saw no rise from the second half of 2015.

In Jefferson, the average sale price for a single-family home was about $209,700. In the 70002 ZIP code, which includes parts of Metairie, sale prices rose about 11 percent, to $144 per square foot. In the priciest ZIP code, 70005, which includes parts of Old Metairie, the average sale price was about $491,300, or nearly $198 per square foot.

As the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Isaac approaches, home sale prices in St. John Parish have bounced back. Prices in the LaPlace area — in the 70068 ZIP code — rose about 11 percent to $90 per square foot, which helped buoy the rest of the parish. The average home sale price parishwide in late 2016 was about $162,600, up from $141,200 a year earlier.

Sales volume in St. John is also back to pre-Isaac levels, Ragas said.

Looking ahead, Ragas is keeping an eye on several factors to get a feel for where the market is headed, including whether rebounding oil prices can help the metro area stem the tide of recent job losses — about 4,000 jobs disappeared last year in the New Orleans area — as well as the pace at which the Federal Reserve raises the benchmark interest rate, which could hike costs for some mortgage borrowers.

In turn, that could cause some homeowners who were considering upgrading to a bigger property to instead hold onto their present property so they don't lose their lower mortgage rate. That, in turn, would have a ripple effect, with fewer properties hitting the market.

But Rick Haase, president of the New Orleans-based Latter & Blum company, said the local real estate market is strong enough to absorb the three interest rate hikes that the Fed is widely expected to approve in 2017.

"The issue is how fast it goes there," Haase said. "We can handle some incremental steps for sure, but the rate at which they go up has to be very, very slow."

Posted in In the News
Aug. 11, 2017

Louisiana is One of the Top 5 States with the Lowest Property Taxes

How Do Your Property Taxes Stack Up?

The average American household spends $2,149 on property taxes for their homes each year, according to U.S. Census data. But depending on where you live, that can vary drastically.

Read moreQuestions to Ask About Property Tax

For the third consecutive year, New Jersey ranks as having the highest property taxes in the nation, according to a new report released by WalletHub. Its effective tax rate of 2.35 percent means homeowners there pay about $7,410 annually on a $316,000 home, the median sales price in the state.

On the other hand, Hawaii has the lowest property taxes in the nation. At just a 0.27 percent effective tax rate, annual taxes on a median price home in Hawaii at $515,300 comes to about $1,406 a year.

WalletHub’s research team culled Census data on real estate property taxes in analyzing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It divided the median annual property tax payment for the state by the state’s median home price.

The five states with the lowest property taxes (based on the effective real estate tax rate):

  1. Hawaii
  2. Alabama
  3. Louisiana
  4. Delaware
  5. District of Columbia

The five states with the highest property taxes (also based on the effective tax rate):

  1. New Jersey
  2. Illinois
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Connecticut
  5. Wisconsin

View the property tax ranking of your state.

Source: WalletHub

Source: “2017’s Property Taxes by State,” WalletHub (March 1, 2017)

Posted in In the News
Aug. 10, 2017

521 Arlington Dr, Destrehan LA 70047

Mirambell Realty Presents:

521 Arlington Dr

Destrehan.LA. 70047

$ 229,900

3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathes

Living Sq Ft Total Sq Ft

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Posted in In the News
Aug. 9, 2017

Congratulations to 3 Mirambell Realty Agents For Making over $1,000,000 in Sales In the Month of July

Congrats to  Jared Fousch, Michelle Soliman, and Mary Dominach for your outstanding sales in the month of July.

Posted in In the News
Aug. 9, 2017

A Must on a Hot Summer Day


Snow patrol: diving into New Orleans snowballs 

Chatting – and eating – with the author of a guide to snowball stands

click to enlargeThough rainbow snowballs are a perennial favorite, in recent years snowball makers have gotten even more elaborate with toppings and stuffings, including candies, cheesecake and other sweets with the snowy ice.

Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Though rainbow snowballs are a perennial favorite, in recent years snowball makers have gotten even more elaborate with toppings and stuffings, including candies, cheesecake and other sweets with the snowy ice.

It's a muggy spring afternoon in early March, and the temperature gauge on my dashboard is inching toward 90 degrees. Even with the windows rolled down, the broken air conditioner in my rickety Subaru seems to be quietly laughing at me, while the sweat trickling down my forehead is a palpable reminder that a New Orleans summer is near.

  Thankfully, I'm not far from my destination, a multicolored raised shack on St. Bernard Avenue in Gentilly, a place that beckons with the promise of a syrupy sweet and icy cold refuge: the New Orleans snowball. I'm here to meet local author, mother, student, social media provocateur (and former Gambit writer) Megan Braden-Perry, who's added a new moniker to her list: snowball expert.

  Braden-Perry signs her emails with snowball emojis. She shopped the city's jewelry boutiques until she found the perfect pair of snowball earrings and a snowball necklace to match. She believes snowballs make for better tokens of affection than birthday cards, and she'd rather get a snowball than first-date flowers. Over the past couple of years, Braden-Perry combed the city for variations on the frosty New Orleans treat, eating at more than 50 snowball stands along the way. Her new book, Crescent City Snow: The Ultimate Guide to New Orleans Snowball Stands, was published this month from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press.

  Hawaii has its shaved ice. In Philadelphia there's multi-hued "water ice" and everywhere else, it seems, has snow cones. But the snowball, whether stuffed with ice cream or drenched in condensed milk, is a uniquely New Orleans phenomenon. And — like Carnival king cakes, springtime crawfish boils and trips to Casamento's when oysters are at their peak — snowballs are a seasonal tradition.

click to enlargeC    Crescent City Snow digs deep into New Orleans snowball culture and what makes each stand unique. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • C Crescent City Snow digs deep into New Orleans snowball culture and what makes each stand unique.

Though she grew up in the 7th Ward, Braden-Perry spent a lot of her childhood in New Orleans East, and her snowball memories are from spots all over the city. Her all-time favorite is the Melipone Mexican vanilla snowball from Magazine Street's SnoWizard Snoball Shoppe, which she says has a "creamy and divine" kick, but she loves trying out other flavors when she can.

  One of her earliest memories involves an afternoon at the snowball stand outside Brother Martin High School, when her older cousin took her to get a cotton candy snowball, and her first thought was that it tasted like a drink her uncle liked — a drink that happened to involve a lot of Jack Daniel's.

  "I just remember thinking, it tastes just like his drink, even though I had no idea what that was. It really did taste like Jack," she says with a laugh.

  Now her palate has matured a bit and she enjoys what she calls "grown-up" flavors, such as pralines and cream, nectar cream and sour apple. "I think that's how we all started," Braden-Perry says, "with bubble gum and cotton candy [flavors]. But as people get older, that changes."

  Though most New Orleanians have at least visited Hansen's Sno-Bliz, Pandora's Snowballs or Plum Street Snoballs, Braden-Perry's book points to the wealth of far-flung and off-the-beaten-path snowball stands. While working on the book, Braden-Perry discovered a plethora of wild cards. At Scuba Steve's in Marrero, a lime green pickle snowball arrived speared with a giant dill pickle. At Abracadabra Snowballs in Westwego, slices of red velvet or cherry cheesecake topped some of the most decadent snowballs.

  It's not just about the snowballs, though. Her love for the brightly colored shaved ice extends to whatever other snacks might be found at a stand. That could mean anything from jalapeno-topped nachos, dripping with Velveeta cheese and chili at Rodney's Snowball Stand in New Orleans East to the yakamein (called yet-ca-mein) and fish platters at Red Rooster in Central City to the fresh oysters at the newly opened L&G Snowballs & Oysters stand on St. Bernard Avenue and Frey Place.

  This is where we're meeting, a dollhouse-sized stand in the shadow of the I-610 highway overpass, in the middle of an auto repair and tire shop parking lot off St. Bernard Avenue. It's a place where one can just as easily grab a fried oyster po-boy as a blackberry snowball dripping with blood-red syrup. Braden-Perry picks the blackberry, a deep burgundy treat, and I order a coconut, sweet and light, with a sugary Almond Joy aftertaste.

  After that, we head out to New Orleans East to Rodney's, a place Braden-Perry remembers visiting frequently as a child. Many of her family members and friends lived nearby, and she recalls fondly the trips her family would take to the little white and blue stand on Lake Forest Boulevard.

  One of the oldest snowball stands in the area, Rodney's opened in the 1980s and sells a wide selection of both sweet and savory options, from ice cream-stuffed snowballs and sundaes to floats and malts, tamales and chili cheese-topped hot dogs. For Braden-Perry, it's all about the nachos: Like a movie theater version, the ones here are served piled high with dark red chili gravy, a tiny mountain of jalapenos and a blanket of melted American cheese. To balance the heft, Braden-Perry orders a bright green sour apple snowball while I succumb to the butterscotch cream, a golden treat that tastes like an icy version of the popular hard candy.

  The ice at Rodney's is fluffy and soft, and Braden-Perry considers it one of the city's best. When perfected, the snowball's consistency is a lighter-than-air shave that tastes, quite literally, like fresh snow.

  "It's got to be really, really soft," Braden-Perry says. "And moldable, so when it forms you can see peaks and ridges, almost as you would with whipped cream."

click to enlargeKids enjoy snowballs at Stop Jockin Snowballs in the 7th Ward, where the treats come with gummy candies. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Kids enjoy snowballs at Stop Jockin Snowballs in the 7th Ward, where the treats come with gummy candies.

Last on our list is River Breez Sno Balls in Meraux, so we head out to St. Bernard Parish, getting lost a couple of times along the way. If not for the giant neon snowball on the side of the road, one could easily miss the nondescript tan building on St. Bernard Highway. Debbie Tassin opened River Breez four years ago, selling a mix of original syrup flavors and over-the-top combinations.

  "I won't tell anyone what I put in my flavors," Tassin says with a smile. "It's my secret recipe."

  The Hello Kitty looks exactly as it sounds: hot pink cotton candy ice with toasted marshmallow, stuffed with whipped cream and decorated with sprinkles and multicolored gummy bears. A berry Chantilly cake version includes wedding cake-flavored ice stuffed with vanilla ice cream and topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and whipped cream. Irish mint — a seasonal flavor — comes stuffed with mint chocolate chip ice cream, drenched in a deep emerald mint syrup topped with whipped cream, chocolate nibs and sprinkles.

  While we chat with Tassin, she brings her small dog to the sliding glass window, and her grandson stops in briefly to say hi. She proudly pulls up photos of her daughter's recent trip to Iceland on her phone, and the three of us stand there chatting lazily, slurping on our icy sugar bombs until the sun starts to slip behind the clouds and a cool dusk breeze settles in. Braden-Perry signs a copy of her book for Tassin, and they reminisce about the last time they saw each other.

  "This is what I love most about snowballs," Braden-Perry says. "It's been a long time since I've been here, but it's like nothing's changed. It's just something that helps us connect, and something that brings everyone together."

Posted in In the News