Where Are LGBT Individuals Vacationing?

Want to know where some of the best places to live are for members of the LGBT community? One tip is to check out where they’re vacationing. While it’s not always true, some gay and lesbian real estate agents have found that cities with a growing LGBT tourism industry do tend to be much more open and welcoming. No one wants to vacation in a city where they’re going to be looked down on because of their sexual orientation. Some people get enough of that in their day-to-day lives—they don’t want to deal with it on vacation, too. So where are LGBT people spending their vacations in 2017? Here are some of the top spots.

Palm Springs

Where Are LGBT Individuals VacationingCalifornia is always a welcoming destination for LGBT people, so it should be a surprise that Palm Springs is on the list. What is interesting is that it’s the California city of choice this year, not San Francisco. There was a time when Palm Springs seemed played out – people were bored of it. Then the Coachella Music and Arts Festival moved in and brought the crowds back. What’s great for those looking to buy a house is that Palm Springs is just as welcoming as San Francisco or LA but is more affordable. It’s still fairly pricy, of course, but if you live on the outskirts of the city, you’ll find prices aren’t as bad.

Denver, Boulder, and Other Cities in Colorado

The entire state of Colorado has become very open and relaxed. In fact, few people realize that a county clerk in the state actually issued some marriage licenses to same-sex couples back in 1975! The state has become known for its laid back, live and let live attitude that prevails in most of the larger cities. It’s also seen in vacation towns such as Telluride and Aspen. Living in those areas may not be for everyone. The huge influx of visitors during the tourism season is a lot to handle. However, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, and other locations may fit all of your needs.


Orlando, Florida, is often on lists of the best LGBT areas to visit or live in. Last year, the city made headlines with the tragic shooting at the Pulse Nightclub. This mass shooting was the worst in the country’s history. Despite this, Orlando hasn’t lost its status as one of the best places for LGBT people to visit or live. In fact, the community became even stronger after the tragedy. Orlando offers a lot to its residents, and in some parts of the city, you’ll hardly ever see tourists.

Finding a Place to Live if You’re LGBT and Homeless

While many people have the goal of becoming a homeowner, it’s something that isn’t always easy for LGBT individuals. Many are uncertain about applying for a loan together and even for looking for homes due to discrimination. Even if they can’t prove it happened, some do feel as if their real estate agent or other person involved in the process discriminated against them. Even working with a gay or lesbian agent doesn’t always mean that the process will be smooth sailing.

But what about those young LGBT individuals whose dreams of living on their own, going to college, and being successful have been sabotaged by their own families? It’s very difficult for a young LGBT person to start planning for the future if they’ve been kicked out of their home and have no place to live.

Getting Help

Finding a Place to Live if You’re LGBT and HomelessFortunately, there’s help for these individuals. While some do find temporary housing in homeless shelters, some gay and lesbian centers have opened transitional housing facilities. The Los Angeles LGBT Center, for example, offers housing to those who are between the ages of 18 and 24.

This option and others like it are more than just a place to stay. While individuals do get a small room and meals, there’s much more to an LGBT center housing program. These programs don’t want people to simply get off the streets—they want to prepare those in need with the skills to move forward in life. This means LGBT youth will get help with finding and enrolling in college, getting a job, and much more. Financial education is also usually offered, so they can start learning how to save, invest, and prepare for the future. Some programs even help participates with finding housing once they’re ready to start their independent lives.

Finding a Center

While not every LGBT center offers housing, you’ll find that more and more are providing at least short-term rooms for those in need. Even centers that don’t have the space offer help to those in need. If you’ve been pushed out of your family and are not sure where to go, your first stop should be your local LGBT community center. They can provide you with information and suggestions. If you aren’t sure where your local center is or live in an area without one, you can also look at the National Coalition for the Homeless, which includes a section on LGBT homelessness and resources you can reach out to.

Great Towns for LGBT Families in Iowa

Thinking about making the move to Iowa? The state is certainly a great place to live for some, but how is it for the LGBT community? The good news is that many cities in Iowa have passed a number of laws that protect LGBT citizens. If you’re looking to move to a city that has everything you’d want from a modern metro area, but isn’t as large or as crowded as cities in New York or California, Iowa may have what you’re looking for. Here are some of the best towns and cities in Iowa.

Iowa City

Great Towns for LGBT Families in IowaLet’s start with what is possibly the most LGBT-friendly city in the state. The HRC gave Iowa City a perfect 100 on its Municipal Equality Index. That means the city scored very highly in a number of different areas. Iowa City has also ranked highly on Forbes’ small metros for doing business list, claiming the number two spot in 2008. The home of the University of Iowa, many people see this small metro of 70,000-some people as a college town. It certainly is, but it’s also a great place to make your home.

Des Moines

The capital of Iowa is also its largest city, but with just a little over 200,000 people, some may not find it that large. While it didn’t score a 100 on the HRC index, it did earn an 85. Des Moines is also a very welcoming city, and it may be a better fit for those moving from larger cities. The downtown area is full of shopping, dining, and entertainment venues, including some LGBT-owned clubs and bars.

Mount Vernon

If, on the other hand, you want to live in a fairly small town, Mount Vernon may be exactly what you’re looking for. With only around 4,500 people living there, including the students at Cornell College, Mount Vernon is almost the textbook definition of the word “quaint.” But that doesn’t mean you’ll easily get bored there. Budget Travel Magazine actually named Mount Vernon as one of its Coolest Small Towns, mostly thanks to the activities that go on at Cornell College.


With just under 100,000 people, Davenport itself is fairly small. However, it’s part of the Quad-Cities, four different cities so close together that they’re lumped into a metro area with more than 375,000 people. Housing is quote affordable here, and many people who move to Davenport elect to buy a home rather than rent.

Should LGBT Couples Rent or Buy a Home?

If you’re in a same-sex relationship, but aren’t married, you probably assume that you should rent a house or apartment together. Many couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, do this because they don’t want to be tied to a mortgage together if they decide to split up. While same-sex marriage is legal now, some couples either don’t want to get married or are not ready to take that step. However, because interest rates on mortgages hit record lows in 2016 and are still quite reasonable, many people see it as a very good time to purchase a home. Should you do it, or should you continue to play it safe by renting?

The Advantages to Buying

Should LGBT Couples Rent or Buy a HomeBuying a home does mean that you can take advantage of a number of different tax breaks. You can deduct the amount you pay every year in interest to your mortgage from your income taxes. If you’re not married, though, you and your partner will have to file separately. This means you can’t claim the deduction together. You can split the deduction, or one of you can claim it all. It really depends on what your income is and where the deduction will do the most good.

If one of you makes a good amount more than the other, it makes sense for that person to claim all of the deduction. It helps if that person’s name is first on the mortgage, but it’s not a requirement. If you plan on splitting the deduction, it can help if you’ve both paid the mortgage through two separate payments.

Establish Joint Tenancy

If you are buying a home, you will need to establish that you have a joint tenancy with right of survivorship. This way, if one of you dies, the other person automatically becomes the sole owner of the property. If you aren’t both on the title and have it specified that you are living in the home as joint tenants, one partner may end up with nothing if the person whose name is on the title dies. A gay or lesbian real estate agent can provide you with additional information on how to establish joint tenancy.

The Downsides

Purchasing a house isn’t as easy as renting a home, of course. You do have to qualify for a mortgage, deal with property taxes, and handle all of the repairs yourself. However, you’re also building up equity in your property and have control over everything. That’s why many see homeownership, even if they’re not married, as a reward worth working towards.

4 Reasons Renters Need Realtors

Renting a space isn’t as large of a commitment as owning one. When you rent, you’re able to pick up and leave more easily and you’re not liable for damages to the home that you didn’t cause. However, renting can be a bit more risky than home buying because anyone can do it. You need to be extremely vigilant when you decide to rent from a landlord because the property isn’t yours. You could be subject to a lot of annoying quirks and negligence if your landlord is unscrupulous.

Renters Need to Have Realtors Helping Them Out Just As Much, If Not More, Than Homebuyers DoFor some strange reason, people often don’t bother finding realtors when looking for rental properties. But it’s just as dangerous to buy without a realtor as it is to rent. Here are 5 reasons why you should find a realtor when renting something.

You’ll Get Access to More Renters

Most people find apartment listings on sites like Zillow, Trulia, or Craigslist. Zillow and Trulia are fine, but Craigslist is usually a mess. Oddly enough, craigslist usually has the most homes listed.

Instead of dealing with all of the risks that come with Craigslist, contact a realtor. They have access to channels and libraries that the average person doesn’t. They also know where to look for homes if you can’t find any.

If your realtor is particularly well connected, they might even know about places where the tenants haven’t even finished moving out yet so you can snag it before it even hits the market.

You Can Thoroughly Check Landlord Backgrounds

Good realtors also have access to special channels that they can use to investigate landlords too. There’s no better way to find out the worthiness of your new landlord than by investigating her track record.

For example, your realtor might be able to track down a few of her past clients and ask them about your landlord’s habits.

You’ll Catch Houses Before They Fall Through the Cracks

In some cases, there are simply way too many properties for rent in a given area. The overflow might be so much that you could pass right by the perfect house without even knowing it. An extra set of experienced eyes will eliminate the chance of this happening. You don’t want your dream home to be gobbled up by someone else!

It Still Doesn’t Cost Anything

Remember how realtors get their commission from the seller of a property when buying a home? The same thing applies to renting. There’s absolutely no financial incentive that encourages a buyer not having a realtor.

We are well versed in rental properties – contact us today so that we can help you locate your dream home!

The Top Gay and Lesbian-Friendly Universities in the U.S.

Some people move to a new city for work.  Others do so to be closer to their family.  But some people contact a gay or lesbian realtor because they want to move to further their education.  There are many great universities in the country, but some of them are more welcoming towards LGBT students and educators than others.  Here are a few of the universities that are more accepting and diverse as ranked by the Princeton Review for 2014-2015.

The Number of LGBT Friendly Universities is On the RiseThe top honor was given to Stanford University.  This California university is one of the most prestigious in the world, and it’s very difficult to get accepted due to the large number of applicants and high standards.  It’s no surprise to see Stanford at the top of the list.  The university has actively sought out minority students, including LGBT students, since the 1960s.  There’s even an unofficial LGBT co-op house for residents.

Taking second place is Oberlin College.  Oberlin isn’t as famous.  In fact, unless you’re considering a move to Ohio, you might not have even heard of the city of Oberlin.  What makes this private liberal arts college rank so highly?  Like Stanford, Oberlin has strived for a diverse student body for years.  It was one of the first colleges to admit women students on a regular basis, for example, and the administration supports a number of LGBT student groups.

Emerson College is third on the list.  Located in Boston, Emerson’s focus is on arts and communication.  In addition to welcoming LGBT students, the college was also one of the first to extend benefits to domestic partners, doing so in the mid-90s.

Following Emerson is another Massachusetts college, Smith College.  This private liberal arts institution was once an exclusively women’s school, but it has since become co-ed.  Smith’s more liberal stance on its student body would come as a surprise to the three LGBT professors who, in 1960, were fired from the university for being gay.  The administrator later admitted this was wrong and created a lecture series to discuss civil liberties and freedom of expression.

Rounding out the top five is Warren Wilson College.  This is another surprising choice because it’s located in North Carolina, a state not known for its early or vocal acceptance of the LGBT community.  However, Warren Wilson is in Asheville, which is one of the more diverse and welcoming cities in the state.  Warren Wilson has an active LGBT student group and a diverse student population.

Apps for Testing Out Color Schemes

Have you ever walked into a new home for sale to see its walls all painted that sterile white or neutral cream tint and then wondered, “What would this place look like if I painted the walls a different color?”  It used to be that we had to hold up color chips from the paint store and work our imaginations quite hard before we could picture how a place would look if the walls were redone in a different shade.  Nowadays, however, there is an app for that!


If you own an iPhone, Android or Blackberry you are able to download any of the virtual room painting and color visualizer apps that are available online for absolutely free.  The very best ones enable you to walk into any room in a house, take a photo of a wall or room and then choose a color from an electronic palette.  With the tap of a finger your can deftly obtain a photo of the room that you think might look better painted with a certain hue and then share and upload it on social media or with someone with a similar interest in the personalization of the property.

These apps are not just handy for buyers to have on hand but they also are of great assistance to people trying to choose paint colors for the walls in a staged home as well as real estate agents that might want to show an interested party the possibilities of newly painted walls.

Big paint companies also sponsor many of these apps, so it is easy for you to just order the paint that you want online or at your local seller.   You can also save your color choices in a “favorites” color list on most of these phone programs.

Good examples of smart phone paint apps that will take the picture of the room on the spot and then virtually paint the photograph are Behr Colorsmart and Benjamin Moore Color Capture. An excellent app that is not owned by a paint store company is Paint Harmony and this are available for download on Mac or Android. You can get Mac programs by shopping the Mac store or iTunes and you can get Android apps by shopping the Google Play store.  Blackberry World is the main place online from which to download paint color visualizer programs from the Internet.

If you don’t want to upload a smart phone app you can also find online paint visualizers for your desktop or laptop computer.  Behr Paint Your Place, Benjamin Moore Personal Color Viewer and Sherwin-Williams Color Visualizer will all allow you to upload a photo of the room you intend to paint and allow you to “drag and drop” colors where you intend to paint.  The Benjamin Moore program can be used as either an online or offline program but the Sherwin-Williams  and Behr color visualizers might require you to install or update programs such as Java or Flash.

10 Hottest Rental Markets

Realtor.com® recently released a list of the top rental markets in the country, based on the most-searched markets at its site the last month. Among the top 10 markets:

1. Las Vegas
Median rent: $1,100

2. Austin, Texas
Median rent: $1,450

3. Charlotte, N.C.
Median rent: $1,195

4. San Antonio, Texas
Median rent: $1,100

5. Orlando, Fla.
Median rent: $1,195

6. Raleigh, N.C.
Median rent: $1,095

7. Chicago
Median rent: $1,550

8. Los Angeles
Median rent: $2,650

9. Atlanta
Median rent: $1,353

10. Houston
Median rent: $1,355

The author of this article is: realtormag.realtor.org

 See the original post at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2013/06/12/10-hottest-rental-markets

At GayRealEstate.com, we keep you updated with all the gay realtor, lesbian realtor, gay realty, gay real estate and general real estate news affecting the LGBT community coast to coast, and in your neighborhood.

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More Americans Become ‘Rent-burdened’

Rental costs have been on the rise, outpacing stagnant salaries and widening the affordability gap, according to a new study by DePaul University.

“After the housing crisis, households shifted to renting for a number of reasons,” says Geoff Smith, co-author of a study on the affordability gap and executive director of DePaul University’s Institute for Housing Studies. “The weak economy, homes lost to foreclosure, increased difficulty receiving a mortgage, a lack of confidence in the housing market and flexibility with renting all contributed to a boom in the rental housing market.”

Households that spend more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent are often considered “rent burdened.”

But with rental prices and home prices on the rise, how are families supposed to be able to save up for a down payment on a home?

“In strong markets, keeping housing affordable is the challenge, while in weaker markets the focus is on community development and rebuilding demand,” Smith says. “In transitional markets, understanding whether the increase in rental demand is short- or long-term will inform the appropriate policy response.”

The author of this article is: realtormag.realtor.org

 See the original post at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2013/04/24/more-americans-become-rent-burdened

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If you have a real estate story that you’d like to share with us with the gay and lesbian real estate community, please contact us at: manager@gayrealestate.com

Investors See Rising Profits From Rental Properties

Rental income produced by residential properties rose 12 percent year-over-year in September 2012, CoreLogic reports.

“The rapid growth in rental income is a byproduct of fundamental shifts in the housing market, driven by a large increase in affordable investment properties and rising rents,” CoreLogic reports.

This residential investment will contribute to additional economic growth. “Overall market uncertainty can be reduced further by a reduction in mortgage risk, investment-driven economic recovery, and further clarity on housing policies, leading to more sustainable profits and outcomes for real estate and housing finance,” CoreLogic reports.

The author of this article is: realtormag.realtor.org

 See the original post at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2012/12/18/investors-see-rising-profits-rental-properties

At GayRealEstate.com, we keep you updated with all the gay realtor, lesbian realtor, gay realty, gay real estate and general real estate news affecting the LGBT community coast to coast, and in your neighborhood.

Click here for list of gay realtors, lesbian realtors and gay friendly realtors Nationwide.

If you have a real estate story that you’d like to share with us with the gay and lesbian real estate community, please contact us at: manager@gayrealestate.com