Should You Move to a Gayborhood?

Many larger cities have a gayborhood, an area that has traditionally been home to many LGBTQ residents. If you’re looking to purchase a new home or move to a new city, should you consider looking in one of these areas? There are a number of reasons why a gay neighborhood might be for you, but there are also reasons why you may want to look at other areas, too.

You Won’t Have to Worry About Your Neighbors Accepting You

Should You Move to a GayborhoodOne of the biggest reasons why people ask gay and lesbian real estate agents to find them a home in the gayborhood is because they know their orientation or gender identity won’t be an issue. You won’t have to worry about neighbors harassing you for being in a same-sex relationship. Of course, your neighbors may harass you for something else—there’s no guarantee everyone will live in peace and harmony, even in the gayborhood!

You’ll Be Near LGBTQ Businesses

In most cities, LGBTQ business owners open their stores near the areas where LGBTQ residents live. You’ll find a number of restaurants, bars, clubs, and other businesses catering to the LGBTQ community near gay neighborhoods. Services such as an LGBT community center may also be located in this area of the city.

Another nice benefit for those with children is that the school district that serves the neighborhood is usually very accepting. There will be a number of children from LGBTQ families there, which will help decrease the chance of your child being bullied for having same-sex parents.

Always Consider Other Factors

If living in the gayborhood means you have a much longer commute or have to pay significantly more for your home, you may want to consider looking elsewhere. While it can be great to live in one of these neighborhoods, you shouldn’t take out a mortgage that’s more than you can handle. Gay neighborhoods often experience gentrification, and the housing prices increase dramatically as homeowners put more work into their properties.

Another thing to consider is that many people who live in these areas have done so for years, if not decades. They’re not looking to sell, so be aware that homes that fit your needs and your budget can be difficult to come by. You may have to look outside of the gay neighborhood to find a property that works for you. Weigh all of the factors before deciding that the gayborhood is the best home for you.

Cities with the Best Pride Festivals

While an amazing pride festival may not be on your list of needs or wants for a new home, it is a nice perk. Being able to celebrate who you are with others in the LGBTQ community is a lot of fun. A big pride event is also usually a good sign that the community and the city are supportive of the LGBTQ community throughout the year. Here are a few of the cities that offer the most amazing pride events around.

San Francisco

Cities with the Best Pride FestivalsOf course it should come as no surprise that San Francisco has a great pride festival. There are more than 1.5 million people who come to the SF Pride event every year. With a couple dozen stages spread across the area, there are many different things to see and do. Of course, as any gay or lesbian real estate agent will tell you, San Francisco isn’t the most affordable real estate market. This is especially true if you’re looking at the Castro gay neighborhood.

Chicago

Chicago is home to another amazing pride festival and a great number of LGBTQ events throughout the year. June, however, features Chicago Pride and many other events. Things kick off Memorial Day weekend, continue through Pride Fest in the middle of the month, and close out with the parade the last weekend of June. Those considering a move to Chicago may want to look at homes in Boystown, the oldest gayborhood in the country.

Austin

If you’re from the south or considering a move there, Austin is one of the most welcoming cities in Texas. It’s also home to a major Pride parade. The festivities include dances, a fashion event, and much more. Many of the local bars participate, providing plenty of locations to hang out with other LGBTQ people and allies. Real estate in Austin is pretty affordable, too.

Boston

Up in the New England area, there are a number of great pride festivals. Boston, unsurprisingly, takes the cake with its Pride Week. With great food, live entertainment, and a parade that brings in people from around the state, Boston’s pride is definitely worth attending. Even if you decide Boston real estate isn’t for you, the suburbs and nearby towns may have just what you’re looking for.

Of course, there are many more amazing pride events held throughout the U.S. While some may be smaller than others, they all have one thing in common: bringing together the LGBTQ community to celebrate.

Up and Coming Gay Neighborhoods

Despite some reports, the death of the gay neighborhood is far from true. These areas may not be as prevalent today since more and more people are welcoming LGBTQ individuals and families into their neighborhoods, but they still exist. In fact, there are a number of new “gay ghettos” that have burst onto the scene, giving people options other than New York City, San Francisco, or Boystown in Chicago. Here are a few of these up and coming gay neighborhoods you could as your gay or lesbian real estate agent about.

New Orleans – the Bywater District

Up and Coming Gay NeighborhoodsNew Orleans has always been a very welcoming place for LGBTQ people, though it hasn’t achieved the fame some other cities have. It’s home to the oldest continuously open gay bar in the country, and many people come to celebrate Mardi Gras every year. While the French Quarter has served as something of a gay neighborhood over the years, the Bywater District has become more and more popular lately. This area contains many unique boutiques, artist stands, and more.

Denver – River North

Denver, Colorado, is another city with a long LGBTQ history. The city held one of the first pride events in the country and is home to organizations such as the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association. In 1990, the city even passed laws banning discrimination based on orientation, something few other cities were doing at the time. Today, River North is one of the up and coming gay neighborhoods. It’s an art district, which shouldn’t be a surprise—many LGBTQ people express themselves through art.

New condos have recently gone up in the area, but there are still a number of older homes here that are quite affordable. You’ll find new art galleries and boutiques next to older factories and historic areas, creating an interesting mix of old and new.

Salt Lake City – The Marmalade

Salt Lake City is often a surprise to LGBTQ people. They think of the city as home to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a religion that hasn’t exactly been welcoming to LGBTQ individuals. But Salt Lake City is actually fairly liberal and welcoming. The city has actually had an openly gay mayor and hosts a major pride celebration every year. The Marmalade district is the city’s biggest gay neighborhood, although it is a fairly new part of the city. Despite that, it’s growing quickly and has become home to many young professionals who have moved to Salt Lake City.

These are just three of the newest gay neighborhoods. If you’re looking at moving to a different area, do a little research—chances are, there’s a gay district there!

Life in Boystown

If you’re looking for a gay neighborhood in Chicago, most LGBTQ real estate professionals would point you to Boystown. It’s the most famous gayborhood in the city, and it has a long history of acceptance. Boystown is a part of the larger neighborhood of Lakeview East. It runs from Belmont to Addison and from Halsted to Broadway. But why is Boystown so popular?

The Beginning of Boystown

Life in BoystownChicago has always been a haven for LGBTQ people, even back in the 40s and 50s. During these times, many people in the community lived in Tower Town or River North. However, they were slowly pushed out of these neighborhoods as rent went up. Eventually, many of them moved towards Boystown, especially during the 1960s.

Illinois actually repealed its sodomy law in 1961, allowing gay men to have more freedom in coming out of the closet. By 1970, there were enough LGBTQ people living in the area to organize the very first pride parade. It wasn’t long after that event that the area became unofficially called Boys Town. Later, the name became the more official Boystown.

That first pride event had less than 200 people participate in it. Today, the pride parade draws in over one million attendees, making it one of the largest pride festivals not only in the U.S. but in the world.

Boystown Today

Over the years, Boystown continued to grow and gain more prominence. As one of the first, if not the first, gay neighborhood, it has always been a popular home for members of the LGBTQ community. While real estate prices have gone up, they are still more reasonable than some popular gay and lesbian neighborhoods, including those in San Francisco.

In 1997, Chicago devoted $3.2 million dollars to Boystown to improve the area. This facelift not only made the area more colorful and visually appealing, it also helped to improve the safety of some streets. One of the biggest additions was the 23-foot-high pillars. Eleven of these pillars were added in 1998 and are painted in the colors of the rainbow.

Is Boystown Right for You?

History and importance to the LGBTQ community aside, is Boystown the right place for you? Home prices may not be near what they are in California or New York, but they’re still fairly high for the area. However, the greater Lakeview East neighborhood has a lot to offer. Many new businesses have moved into the area in the past few decades. Even if you don’t live in Boystown proper, there are a number of great (and more affordable) homes in the vicinity.

Where Do LGBTQ Homebuyers Stand in 2018?

LGBTQ rights have come a long way in the past ten years. While the fight for equality isn’t over, things have gotten better in some areas. Thanks to Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage is now the law of the land. Being able to marry your partner provides you with many more legal protections and options.

This is especially true when it comes to buying a home. Some couples aren’t aware of these changes or where exactly same-sex couples stand when they’re buying a home. Things are different now, and you need to know about these differences before you begin your home search.

Marriage Makes It Easier

Where Do LGBTQ Homebuyers Stand in 2018If you’re married to your partner, buying a house is an easier process. You don’t have to worry about setting up joint tenancy documents or whether it’s better to be tenants in common. Unless you file as married filing separately, you also don’t have to decide if one person should claim the entire mortgage tax deduction or if it needs to be split. There’s no question that the two of you own the property as a married couple with all the rights and privileges that brings.

You’re also protected from discrimination from lenders. In September of 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which is a federal agency, determined that the Equal Credit Opportunity Act’s protections on sex discrimination extended to orientation and gender identity. Banks, mortgage companies, and other lenders cannot deny your application just because you’re in a same-sex relationship or marriage.

More Protections Exist

Many states and cities have passed ordinances or other legal protections that prevent discrimination based on orientation or gender identity. According to Trulia, 55.2% of housing options (homes, apartments, etc.) are protected by laws. Twenty-two states and Washington, D.C. have passed protections that cover housing, employment, and public accommodations. Unfortunately, if you plan on buying in an area that doesn’t have these protections, you may find yourself facing discrimination.

Discrimination Is Still Lurking

LGBTQ discrimination is still widespread in some areas. Even if the seller isn’t upfront about it, if they want to deny your bid based on the fact that you’re a same-sex couple, they will find some way of doing so. Some real estate agents will also discriminate, showing you only a few houses or obviously not dedicating much time to your needs. That’s why many look for a gay or lesbian real estate agent. In addition to being a better fit for your needs, they also understand the legalities around housing discrimination.

The Best Cities in Hawaii for LGBTQ Individuals

Thinking about moving to Hawaii? The island state is gorgeous, and even better, it’s very welcoming to LGBTQ individuals and families. Hawaii is a diverse place where just about everyone will fit in. Of course, housing costs here are fairly high, especially if you’re living on or near the beach. For those who can afford it, though, Hawaii is a beautiful place to live. Here are a few of the best towns and cities for LGBTQ people who are thinking about making the move to Hawaii.

Honolulu

The Best Cities in Hawaii for LGBTQ IndividualsThe capital of the state and its largest city, Honolulu has a thriving LGBTQ population. The city is home to an annual pride festival along with a number of other events. Many are hosted by the Hawai’I LGBT Legacy Foundation. Honolulu has become a popular destination for LGBTQ couples planning a destination wedding.

Waikiki

Known for its gorgeous beaches, Waikiki is also a nice city for families. There are many things for children of all ages here, including the zoo and aquarium. You won’t find many single-family homes in Waikiki—most houses here are condos. If you’re looking for a place with very little maintenance, that might be perfect for you. You can exchange your yard work for a day at the beach! There are many gay and lesbian real estate professionals who can help you find the perfect condo here.

Lahaina

Lahaina, which is on the island of Maui, is a popular vacation destination for LGBTQ individuals. That doesn’t mean it can’t also be your ideal home. “Convenience” is the name of the game on Lahaina—you’ll find just about everything you need within walking distance. The city is fairly compact and dense, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea. For those who are fine with this, Lahaina offers a lot of LGBTQ-friendly venues and activities.

Hilo

Hilo is the go-to destination for many LGBTQ people looking to get away from their daily grind for a bit. Some love it so much they retire here. Crime rates are low, and most everything is within walking distance. There are many different activities to do on the weekends for families, too. Hilo is nice for those who want everyone a large city has to offer, but would prefer some place that’s not as densely populated as Lahaina or Honolulu.

Manoa

One of Hawaii’s college towns, Manoa is a very diverse town. The University of Hawaii brings in many young people and offers a number of activities throughout the year. It’s also a fun town that’s fairly relaxed and offers very affordable housing.

Are there LGBTQ Friendly Towns in Kansas?

Kansas isn’t known for being at the forefront of the battle for LGBTQ rights. Because of this, some people wonder if moving to the state is a good idea. If you reach out to a gay or lesbian real estate agent, though, you might be surprised at the number of places they will tell you are very welcoming and diverse. Kansas does have a lot to offer the LGBTQ community. If you’re uncertain where to make your new home, here are a few cities where you can start your search.

Kansas City

Are there LGBTQ Friendly Towns in KansasYou might start your search for a great LGBTQ community in Kansas City, the largest city in the state. It’s very diverse and welcoming. This large city has everything you’d expect from a major metro area, including a thriving downtown area, an arts district, and more. The city has been called one of the most underrated LGBTQ-friendly destinations in the U.S. In addition to a number of gay bars in the city, you’ll also find the LIKEME Lighthouse, a LGBTQ community center.

Topeka

The capital of the state, Topeka also features a few gay bars. In fact, these bars bring in people from all around the area. The Kansas Equality Wedding Expo was held here in 2015 and brought together many wedding vendors who support the LGBTQ community. Topeka Pride, held every year, is a week of fun events and activities.

Wichita

Wichita is another underrated city that is quite welcoming to LGBTQ individuals and families. The city is home to The Center, a LGBTQ community center and safe space for those in need. It’s found in the downtown district and is located next to Equality Kansas, a group that works for LGBTQ equality throughout the state. Wichita is a great city for those who want to live somewhere with many amenities and comforts yet still want to feel like they’re in a small community. Living in the suburbs gives you both.

Lawrence

The University of Kansas is located in Lawrence, making it something of a college town. This university is known for having the largest LGBTQ student population in the state, and that’s reflected in how welcoming the city is. The university has built a LGBTQ resource center that anyone in the community can make use of. Many of the local bars transform into gay bars on Wednesday, too.

Ready to move to Kansas? These are just a few of the welcoming places to live in the state.

Great LGBTQ Cities in Missouri

Missouri is often lumped in with the southern states, but it’s really more central. It’s a place where diversity is more welcome than you might think. If you’re a part of the LGBTQ community, there are a number of places in the state where you’ll find that you’re not just accepted, you’re celebrated. So, if a move to Missouri is in your future, grab a gay or lesbian real estate agent and look for properties in one of these great locations:

Kansas City

Great LGBTQ Cities in MissouriStraddling the border between Missouri and Kansas, Kansas City is known as being one of the most welcoming cities in both states. It’s even been called one of the best in the nation for its openness. Kansas City hosts an annual pride festival, has several LGBTQ support group and community centers, and more. If you’re looking for a large city to settle in, Kansas City should be on your list. Housing prices are even very fair here, especially if you live in the suburbs.

Columbia

Columbia is home to the University of Missouri, which means that it’s something of a college town. This centrally located city is home to many open-minded young people. The university itself offers a number of LGBT clubs and other services, plus they host many great art exhibits and theater performances throughout the year. Housing costs in Columbia are even more reasonable than Kansas City. If you find a place near the university and have a spare bedroom you can rent out to a college student, you can even make a little extra money.

Joplin

Joplin made news in 2011 when it was hit by a major tornado, and it has spent the past years rebuilding from that disaster. Everyone in the community, regardless of sexual orientation, pulled together to make this happen. Today, the city is still has that atmosphere to it. Everyone is friendly and welcoming here, making it a great city for LGBTQ individuals and couples. While it’s a good sized city, Joplin also has a bit of a small town feel to it, making it a good option for those who are looking for a quiet place to live.

Kirkwood

Finally, there’s Kirkwood. It’s technically classified as a suburb of St. Louis. It’s considered a fairly trendy city, but even so, housing costs aren’t outrageous here. If you have a job in St. Louis but don’t want to live in the city itself, Kirkwood is a good option.

Finding the Perfect New Home in Minnesota

Are you ready to move to Minnesota? While it might not be the place some LGBTQ people want to call home, for others, this northern state is the ideal destination. If you love the cold, you’ll find Minnesota has it in spades! But there’s more to this gorgeous state than that. There are many welcoming places for those who identify as part of the LGBTQ community, and there are many gay and lesbian real estate professionals here just waiting to help you find a new home. If you’re thinking about heading to Minnesota, here are some of the most welcoming cities.

Minneapolis

Finding the Perfect New Home in MinnesotaLet’s start with Minneapolis, one of the most well-known cities in the state. It’s also considered the most welcoming city for those looking for a great LGBTQ neighborhood to settle in. Many of those look to live in either the downtown or the uptown area. Unfortunately, housing can get expensive there. Fortunately, Nokomis, Hiawatha, and Linden Hills are all very affordable, quiet, and safe neighborhoods. If you decide to make your new home in Minneapolis, don’t miss out on the annual Midwest Pride Week festival or performances by the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus!

St. Paul

The capital of the state, St. Paul may not be quite as large as Minneapolis, but it’s still quite welcoming. In fact, some say that its downtown area is actually a better place to live than the downtown district in Minneapolis. The city does host Twin Cities Pride and has a number of different LGBTQ support groups and organizations. Those who think about moving to St. Paul might want to check out Como or St. Anthony Park, two very diverse and quiet neighborhoods.

Rochester

Rochester is definitely not as well-known as either St. Paul or Minneapolis, but it should be among the LGBTQ population. It’s a very welcoming city that also has a lower-than-average unemployment rate. The city and the Gay Lesbian Services of Southeast Minnesota, which is headquartered here, host Rochester Pridefest every year. That’s an event you don’t want to miss.

Pine City

Want to live in a small town? You should start your search in Pine City. This small town is just as welcoming as Minnesota’s larger metro areas. You’ll find everything here, including East Central Minnesota Pride, an outstanding annual event. There are also a number of LGBTQ organizations and businesses in this quiet little town.

These are just a few of the places in Minnesota you might find fit your tastes. Don’t discount this state just because of its weather!

Where’s the Best Place to Live in Wisconsin if You’re LGBTQ?

Thinking about moving to Wisconsin? The state may not be known as a beacon of hope for the LGBTQ community, but it also doesn’t have a negative reputation. In fact, it’s a fairly neutral state. That said, there are a number of cities here that are very welcoming and progressive. If you’re considering a move to America’s Dairyland, as it’s sometimes called, here are some towns and cities to think about. Many are home to gay and lesbian real estate agents who can help you find your dream home.

Milwaukee

Where’s the Best Place to Live in Wisconsin if You’re LGBTQOne of the most well-known cities in Wisconsin, Milwaukee is known for being the home of the Green Bay Packers football team. It’s also the home of PrideFest Milwaukee and a number of LGBTQ events and businesses. In fact, many in Milwaukee identify as progressive, open-minded individuals. The housing market in the city has recently undergone several changes. The downtown area has been revitalized, and a number of neighborhoods are experiencing gentrification. While that means housing prices have gone up, it also means the properties here are in great condition.

Madison

Another large city, Madison is often considered Wisconsin’s my LGBTQ-friendly area. In fact, The Advocate has recognized the city as one of the most welcoming in the country. As the capitol of the state, Madison is a fairly large city with many different events and activities. There are some great LGBTQ-owned businesses here, plus you can take advantage of the local LGBTQ community center, too. With an average age in the 30s, many in Madison are young professionals who are ready to seize the future.

Eau Claire

Eau Claire is another city where the average age is fairly young. This is mostly because it’s the home of the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, which attracts many students from around the country. The city is known for being a gay getaway, especially during the annual Chippewa Valley Pride festival.

Oshkosh

Another college town, Oshkosh is also home to a branch of the University of Wisconsin. While its median age may be a bit older than Madison or Eau Claire, it’s still young enough that the city overall is very welcoming and liberal. You can visit a number of different LGBTQ businesses here, including a few bars and clubs.

Superior

Superior is located in the northern part of the state and is great for those who love the outdoors. Of course, that also means it has some pretty cold winters, but if that doesn’t bother you, Superior is a great place to live. It and its sister city, Duluth, host a combined Pride festival every year.