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Why Ash Wednesday is the Real First Day of the Year

When you think of the start of a new year, you're obviously thinking of January 1. Right?! Well, maybe not if you're a New Orleanian. Because when you live in the Big Easy, it's easy to think of Christmas flowing right into New Years, which then goes right into January 6, the official start of Carnival. Especially in a year like this, where Fat Tuesday is in early February, it can honestly feel like the holiday season never really ended. How can you really stick to your resolution to eat healthy this year when every week features a new king cake at the office? And can you really be expected to adhere to "dry January" when you're attending balls every weekend and lining the streets for a marathon of parading and "merry-making?" Even the most disciplined among us would have trouble staying focused when the party is on in the city. As a residential real estate agent in New Orleans, I definitely feel this. After all, the start of January has me making lists of sales goals and marketing plans, only to find that no one wants to list their home during Mardi Gras! So many clients ask that we "circle back" after Carnival, and let's be honest... I'm not fighting them. After all, buyers aren't exactly knocking down doors to view homes on the weekend when they'd rather be parading, and with kids out of school, half the city is in Orlando, Vail or the Smoky Mountains during Mardi Gras week anyway. So what's a girl to do? Time to let you in on a secret. When it comes to the New Year, realtors in town know the truth. The true start of the year is Ash Wednesday, at least by real estate standards. That's the time to get serious, move on from the holiday season and focus on buying and selling homes. I've got several listings planned for the days after Mardi Gras, and I know many of my colleagues do too. And it's common for me to reassure buyers that there will be more options once the Carnival season is a distant memory. Have you been thinking of selling your home for a while, but you weren't sure when the best time to list is? Have you been hoping for a new house but haven't seen much out there? This is about to be your time. Take advantage of the week after Mardi Gras to get your home search started. It's a New Year! It just comes a little bit later here in NOLA.

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