While rent in Slidell fluctuates depending on the housing type and city area, the median rent is a bit higher than the rest of the state, but not by much. When you begin looking for apartments, give yourself about two weeks to locate a new residence. That way, you can really get to know the area before you get locked into a lease. Make sure you try the commute into New Orleans from each apartment that makes your final list to see if the drive is really doable. You won't find many apartments that are all utilities included, so unless you want to go au naturale and forgo heat, lights or cooked food, make sure you factor in a few hundred bucks a month for utilities.
Don't forget to bring proof of income with you when you start searching for apartments. Most landlords want to see that you make at least one and a half times the rent. Expect to pay a security deposit and pet fee (if you're moving with a pet). Each of these fees can be a few hundred dollars, so prepare for these expenses.
Slidell is divided up into several distinct areas, some of which are popular spots for renters.
Eden Isle: Nope, you're not in Venice, but canals do make up most of this neighborhood. The closer to the lake, the more you'll pay. Rentals aren't abundant here, so you'll have to really search if your heart is set on this slice of watery heaven. Both I-10 and Pontchartrain Drive make it a cinch to get into New Orleans from here.
Howze Beach: Canals give way to lagoons here, so expect plenty of rental houses on stilts. Apartment complexes are found mostly west of Spanish Trail near I-10. Both I-10 and Chef Menteur Highway will take you into New Orleans.
North Side/White Kitchen: A large swath of area on the east side of town with a lot of it taken up by the Pearl River wildlife area. Chef Menteur cuts through the 'burb. Most of the rentals are homes, with some smaller apartment buildings.
North Shore Beach: Just to the west of Eden Isle, you can score a lakefront rental for a lot less. Has lots of wide open space.
Enjoy acclimating yourself to the regional fare: po-boys are sub-like sandwiches (but so much better! Order it "dressed" if you want lettuce, mayo and tomatoes), red beans and rice are a Monday staple, and seafood -- especially shrimp, crawfish and oysters -- is king here.
Oh, and scared of bridges? Get over it if you ever plan to leave your apartment. Between the swamps, bayous, canals, lakes and rivers, pretty much every road turns into a bridge at some point. There are three roads that cross over Lake Pontchartrain alone, with Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, at 23.9 miles, being one of the longest bridges in the U.S, and the longest continuous bridge over water in the world.
You can also tour the swamps, where you can see alligators. Head out to one of the wildlife refuges or make use of one of the parks' jogging trails or tennis courts. The humidity takes some getting used to, but if you plan outdoor activities in the morning or late afternoon, you should still be able to get out and enjoy the outdoors any time of year.