Is Gaytrification Real?

You’ve probably heard of gentrification, the term for when a run-down neighborhood is built back up until it attracts residents who are more affluent. Often, this means those who used to live there are unable to afford the area and are forced to move to a cheaper place. Recently, another, related term has been coined: gaytrification. It’s basically the same idea as gentrification, but it’s occurring in gay ghettos and neighborhoods across the country.

The Founding of the Gay Neighborhood

Is Gaytrification RealDuring the 70s and 80s, most LGBTQ people were in the closet. Discrimination was very real, and many who were out or even hinted at being out were denied rental properties or housing. Many found that they were only really accepted if they lived near other like-minded individuals. Since they weren’t always able to find housing in the more popular parts of cities, they ended up moving into the less desirable neighborhoods. These were the first gay villages.

But while they may have moved into run-down houses and old apartments, it wasn’t always because they lacked money. These modest mortgage payments meant these LGBTQ homeowners were able to put more money towards renovations, transforming areas that were once somewhat abandoned into gorgeous neighborhoods.

It’s Not a Thing of the Past

Today, these older gay neighborhoods such as San Francisco’s Castro District or Chicago’s Boystown are quite pricy. Many people can’t really afford to buy a house there, while those who did purchase a home with prices were lower don’t want to sell. These areas have definitely gentrified, but the process is still going on. When they’re unable to purchase homes in the traditional gay villages, LGBTQ homebuyers may start to congregate in a new area of the city, starting the process of gaytrification all over again.

It’s Not Just Homeowners

It’s definitely a stereotype to say that any LGBTQ homeowner is going to transform their property into a shining house worth millions, but it does certainly happen. Part of the reason these areas grow so quickly is that where the LGBTQ homeowners go, the businesses that cater to them follow. Bars, clubs, and other businesses owned by LGBTQ entrepreneurs help build up these neighborhoods, bringing in more revenue and developers.

While gay neighborhoods haven’t been growing as quickly now that LGBTQ acceptance has become more popular, they do still exist. A gay or lesbian real estate agent can help you find one of these areas if you’re looking to move into one.

Posted on February 6, 2018 in City & Neighborhood Information, Gay and Lesbian

The Top Cities for LGBTQ People in Indiana

Moving to Indiana? The state may not seem that exciting to some, but it’s actually got a lot going for it. Indiana residents have shown great support for those in the LGBTQ community. In addition to this, the state has a fairly strong housing market and has shown economic growth in recent years. If you’re moving to Indiana, here are some of the most welcoming cities in the state.

Indianapolis

The Top Cities for LGBTQ People in IndianaAs the capital of the state, it’s no surprise that Indianapolis is home to a diverse population. It’s one of the most welcoming places for LGBTQ people in Indiana and has a number of businesses owned by members of the community. The city also hosts an annual pride parade and has a gay and lesbian community center. Home prices are quite affordable in some of the suburbs, while the downtown area tends to be a little more expensive.

Evansville

Home to several universities, including the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana, Evansville’s demographics tend to skew younger. This means the city is quite welcoming since the younger generation tends to be more accepting of everyone. Evansville has passed several city ordinances protecting individuals on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity. Homes here tend to sell for around $100,000. That’s fairly affordable compared to many other cities in the area.

Carmel

Carmel is a welcoming city that has worked hard to pass laws protecting LGBTQ individuals in employment, housing, and other areas. The local government has offered domestic partnership benefits to employees, too. The only downside to Carmel is that it’s one of the most expensive places to live in Indiana, with the average home selling for more than $350,000.

South Bend

South Bend, on the other hand, is one of the more affordable places to live in the state. Homes here often sell for less than $80,000. Just because home prices are lower, though, doesn’t mean that South Bend is any less diverse or welcoming. In fact, its population is quite diverse. This is partially thanks to St. Mary’s University and the University of Notre Dame. Many LGBTQ people choose to stay in South Bend or the surrounding area after graduation. The city is also home to a large number of same-sex married couples.

These are just a few of the best places to live in Indiana. Other great cities include Michigan City, New Albany, and Bloomington.

Finding the Right Location for Your New Home

Looking for a new home usually involves carefully picking and choosing what goes on your “must-have” list and what goes on the “would like” list. Many gay and lesbian real estate agents find that location is almost always on the must-have. Even if it’s not in a specific neighborhood, most people have a vague idea of where they want to live in the city. For some, the location may be defined by a certain school district. For others, it might be the distance from work. But these vague ideas may not always lead you to the right location. Here are a few tips to help you determine if you’ve found the right place.

Do You Know the Area?

Finding the Right Location for Your New HomeMoving into an area you don’t know very well is often risky. You might find that you really don’t enjoy living there for one reason or another. Instead of simply going to see the property a few times while you’re deciding if you want to buy or not, you need to investigate the neighborhood. Visit it at several different times, including at night and on the weekends. This will let you see how loud it is at night and how busy it is on the weekend. Also see what it’s like driving to that area when you’d be going to and getting home from work. This will let you see how the traffic is.

What Do the Neighboring Homes Look Like?

Take a look at houses on the same block and on a few blocks in either direction. Would you be happy living in one of those homes as it is now? If not, why not? Homes that look like they’re in disrepair or aren’t being kept up may indicate that the neighbors aren’t the best. If you find that most of the homes in the neighborhood look run down, you may want to reconsider your purchase.

Consider a Gay Neighborhood

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, you may want to consider moving into a neighborhood where like-minded individuals live. While not every city has what’s sometimes referred to as a gay ghetto, many of the larger metro areas do. These neighborhoods are usually very welcoming and populated by many diverse individuals and families. While it’s true that you may be welcomed in many parts of the city, you may find that you’re happiest in a neighborhood where you don’t have to fear being targeted for your gender identity or sexual orientation.

Great Places in West Virginia for LGBTQ Families

Are you considering a move to West Virginia? If you’re looking to relocate to a city where LGBTQ families are not just accepted, but welcomed, there are a few different places to consider. West Virginia overall is known as a friendly, accepting state, so you don’t necessarily have to avoid any certain places. However, it’s always great to live in a city that values all of its residents equally. Here are some places where you’ll find that.

Athens

Great Places in West Virginia for LGBTQ FamiliesAthens is a small college town where many people’s lives revolve around Concord University and the events on campus. Even though it’s small, it’s considered a gorgeous hidden paradise. Bush Creek Falls provides an amazing outdoor experience, and there are plenty of places to hike and picnic. The university puts on a number of different events throughout the year, and the town is home to a functional drive-in movie theater. Local ordinances protect people from discrimination based on orientation.

Morgantown

Is Athens a bit too small for you? Morgantown is a nice mid-sized city with around 30,000 full-time residents plus another 25,000 students. It’s another college town, so you have that welcoming atmosphere that often accompanies these areas where the demographic skews younger. With an average home price around $150,000 it’s also quite affordable. Morgantown’s located in a central area that makes it quick and easy to get to a number of large metro areas.

Charleston

Charleston is the capital of West Virginia, and it’s one of the most liberal cities in the state. LGBTQ individuals are protected from discrimination in a number of areas thanks to city ordinances. You’ll also find that the housing market here has revitalized itself. Today, everything from trendy downtown lofts to traditional homes with classical layouts are available at reasonable prices. In fact, the median price for houses is even less than Morgantown, so you’ll find some great deals here. As the capital, you can also expect to find many cultural activities in Charleston, and there’s always something to do.

Huntington

Another city of around 50,000 is Huntington. Like the other cities on this list, it also has a number of anti-discrimination ordinances that offer protection to its citizens. The city’s homes are even more reasonable than Charleston’s, and many people will pay less than $100,000 for a nice single-family home. If you’re looking for a city that’s affordable yet very welcoming, talk to a gay or lesbian real estate agent about homes in Huntington.

Moving for Employment? Try these Cities

Trying to find a job in a city where few places are hiring isn’t easy. This is especially true if you’re in a specialized career. Marine biologists, for example, might find it hard to get a job in the central states. But if you’re in the LGBTQ community, you may have another requirement when moving: you want to move to an area that has both great job opportunities and is friendly to LGBTQ individuals. Finding such places isn’t always easy, even with the help of a gay or lesbian real estate agent. Fortunately, a new survey has helped highlight some of the best places to look for employment in 2018, and a quick look at the HRC’s equality index can help determine which of these places are LGBTQ friendly.

Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Chandler, Arizona

Moving for Employment - Try these CitiesAs a part of the larger Phoenix metro area, Scottsdale is definitely quite LGBTQ friendly. It has more of a suburb feeling than Phoenix, so it’s a good option if you don’t want to live in a huge metro. It’s situated in the eastern part of the Greater Phoenix area, which makes it fairly close to the cities of the East Valley – Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, and Mesa. You can live in Scottsdale and commute to any of these other locations and vice versa.

In fact, Chandler and Gilbert are also listed as two of the best cities to find work in 2018, so if you really want to get away from the larger cities, you can.  Because they’re smaller, you can often find more affordable housing in Chandler and Gilbert. On the other hand, you won’t find much gay culture here, but you’re close enough to Phoenix to hit up its various LGBTQ nightlife options.

San Francisco, California

It shouldn’t be any surprise that San Francisco is on a list of great LGBTQ cities to live in. What might be a little more surprising is that it’s on a list of places to find work. Not only are employers looking to hire more people in the Bay Area next year, they also pay quite well. According to a list by Wallet Hub, employers in San Francisco pay the second-highest average starting salary in the country, coming in behind their neighbors to the south in San Jose.

That’s good since the cost of living in the city is quite high. Property values in San Francisco proper may be a little out of your price range at first, but you can always live in the suburbs in use the BART mass transit system to get to work.

The Best Cities for LBGTQ Living in Virginia

Are you considering moving to Virginia? It’s a lovely state that was one of the earliest places to approve same-sex marriage. Virginia is home to a good number of LGBTQ individuals and families, and the state has done a lot to provide them with many different resources and protections. Virginia has an official Office of Diversity and Inclusion that offers many different tools to LGBTQ people, plus groups such as Equality Virginia offer help in finding welcoming churches, legal advice, and more. Naturally, some parts of Virginia are more welcoming than others, though. Here are some great cities that you’ll feel right at home in.

Richmond

The Best Cities for LBGTQ Living in VirginiaThe capital city of Virginia, Richmond has done a lot in recent years to reach out to the LGBTQ community. This has resulted in more LGBTQ people coming in as tourists, and some have even decided to move to the city. PrideFest is held every year in September in Richmond, bringing in people from around the state for the festivities. Virginia Commonwealth University has also received high ratings as an LGBTQ-friendly campus.

Alexandria

Alexandria, which is located very close to Washington, D.C., also hosts several different pride events throughout the year. The city is home to groups such as Rainbow Families DC and the Alexandria Gay and Lesbian Community Association, both of which provide social activities and support for the community.

Blacksburg

A smaller city you may not have heard of, Blacksburg is home to Virginia Tech. This college has several different LGBTQ support groups that host various events and provide support to students in the area. They bring in various authors to read and talk with students and put on theater performances. Don’t be put off by the fact that Blacksburg sits in what many consider the more conservative part of the state. Many gay and lesbian real estate agents will tell you that the town is actually one of the more liberal in the area.

Arlington

Arlington is a part of the DC Metro Area, a place known for a large number of LGBTQ families. The city has appeared on Advocate Magazine’s list of the 10 Gayest Cities in the U.S. and is well-known for its friendly, welcoming attitude. The city has a group for LGBTQ parents, is home to the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance, and provides affordable housing to those who work in DC but can’t afford to live there. While the city doesn’t have its own pride festival, many of the LGBTQ groups in Arlington participate in the Capital Pride Parade.

Homeowner’s New Year’s Resolutions

Whether you’re gay, straight, pansexual, or don’t do labels at all, if you’re a homeowner, you share some common concerns and joys with others who own real estate. There are a lot of little tasks that come with homeownership. You’re in charge of everything from taking care of the lawn to replacing the furnace if it goes out. That can equal a lot of time and money if you’re not careful. With that in mind and with the approaching new year, here are a few resolutions homeowners, regardless of orientation, should consider making.

Don’t Put Off the Small Tasks

Homeowner’s New Year’s ResolutionsGot a crack in one of your walls from when your house settled? Have some tiles that are cracked in the bathroom? Do you see a fascia board coming off your roof? Don’t put these tasks off. While doing them in January may not be feasible due to the weather, take the time to make a list of all of these minor home repairs and set deadlines to take care of them. It may not seem like a big deal—a few cracked tiles might not be a problem—but these little tasks do add up. Some become much more troublesome if you let them grow into big issues, too.

Do You Need to Make an Insurance Claim?

Another thing homeowners tend to put off is making insurance claims. If your roof has taken damage due to a storm, you need to make your claim as soon as you can. Again, what might seem like minor damage could result in buckets of water leaking into your attic the next time it rains.

Is This the Year You Sell?

Are you thinking about selling your home? Even if you haven’t committed one way or the other, if you’re thinking about it, make a few New Year’s Resolutions related to getting your home in shape. Resolve to finally do some of that landscaping you’ve always thought about, or make the decision to paint the interior. These little updates and changes can all add value to your home. Doing them ahead of time will definitely make it easier when you do decide to sell, as any gay or lesbian real estate expert will tell you. If you ultimately decide to keep the house, then you have a nicer home to live in.

Commit to that Remodel

Do you keep going back and forth on remodeling your kitchen, bathroom, or other part of your home? If you do, what’s holding you back? Take a good look at what you really want out of your home. If it’s not there, ask yourself why. If it’s something you can add through a remodel, why not go for it?

Posted on December 21, 2017 in Gay and Lesbian, Home Inspection, Home Remodelling, Renovation

LA’s LGBTQ Community

Los Angeles is known for being the heart of the U.S. film industry, but it’s also known for its history with the LGBTQ community. LA may not have played quite as large a role as San Francisco or New York City in the community’s growth and acceptance, but it has been the site of a number of important steps for gay and lesbian rights. The Counterculture Movement of the 1960s was one of the first major LGBTQ movements, highlighting the culture and bringing equality into the political discussion of the time. Riots, protests, and other events took place during the 1960s, leading to a number of gay bars being the targets of police raids.

West Hollywood and Silver Lake

LA’s LGBTQ CommunityToday, Los Angeles is still a hub of LGBTQ culture. In fact, West Hollywood is made up of about 40 percent of people who identify as a member of the community. A wide number of LGBTQ-owned businesses are also located in this part of LA.  At one point, West Hollywood was almost exclusively LGBTQ, but today, as more and more people have become accepting, the city has become more of a melting pot of different sexualities, cultures, and races.

Silver Lake is another major LGBTQ community in LA. This residential area sits in the center of Los Angeles near the city reservoir. Silver Lake is home to Walt Disney’s first studio, although that studio was demolished years ago. The neighborhood has also been one of the central locations for the leather subculture.

LGBTQ Community Resources

If you live in Los Angeles or are talking to a gay or lesbian real estate agent about moving there, you may be curious about what community resources are available. The Los Angeles LGBT Center is one of the top community centers in the state. In fact, it’s considered one of the largest LGBTQ community centers in the world. It offers a wide number of services and programs, including health, housing, education, and advocacy services. The center has been active since 1969.

The University of Southern California is home to the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. This archive includes years of different materials related to the LGBTQ community and operates a public museum. The Gay Women’s Service Center is also located in Los Angeles.

Pride

Naturally, LA also has its own pride parade. The Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade and Festival is annually held in June every year in West Hollywood. More than 400,000 people attend this huge celebration.

Great Places to Live in Connecticut

Thinking about moving to the New England area? There are many beautiful sights to see and places to live here. If you’re a part of the LGBT community and want to make sure you’re comfortable and safe in your new home, you might want to consider some of the cities in Connecticut. It was the second state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage, which should give you an idea of how open and welcoming it is. Many gay and lesbian real estate agents are active in the state, too, so you can get help in finding that perfect home. Here are a few of the cities that have good-sized LGBT populations and are definitely more than welcoming to all.

Westport

Great Places to Live in ConnecticutWestport is home to a number of famous names. Martha Stewart herself even lived in the city for some time. It’s full of people who are very liberal and highly educated, which is why many LGBT people feel right at home here. With low crime rates, a top notch school system, and a number of pride events, Westport may seem like the perfect place to live. There is one downside: most of the people here make a good amount of money, and the cost of living has increased to match.

New Haven

Home to Yale University, New Haven is one of the best cities in the area for LGBT students and non-students alike. One area you definitely want to visit is Wooster Square, the center of the LGBT community in New Haven. There are many great restaurants and parks here as well as affordable homes. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the New Haven Gay Pride festival in September and Gay Pride Weekend.

West Hartford

If Hartford is a bit too large and crowded for you, you might want to step over to West Hartford. This suburb is a little smaller, although it’s still home to more than 60,000 people. It’s nice if you want everything a city of that size offers but don’t want to feel crowded all the time. There’s very little crime here, which is great, and the education system is outstanding. It’s similar to Westport in that regards, and just like Westport, the cost of living is higher than in some other areas of the state. There are many different LGBT events here, too, plus a number of services provided by the city.

If you’re thinking of moving to Connecticut, you can’t go wrong with one of these three cities.

The Gayest Cities in California

California is known as a haven for the LGBT community. A gay or lesbian real estate agent will tell you that people move from around the country to San Francisco, thinking it will solve all of their problems. But while San Francisco has a long history with the LGBT community, it’s also just one of the very open and supportive cities in the state. As it’s quite expensive, many people find themselves looking at other places in California. Here are some of the gayest cities in the state based on a number of factors, including the number of same-sex couples in the city and the number of city ordinances protecting LGBT people.

Palm Springs

The Gayest Cities in CaliforniaWhile it’s still fairly expensive, Palm Springs actually has more LGBT households per capita than any other city in California. More than eight percent of all households here are same-sex, so you know you’ll be able to find some LGBT friends pretty easily. This also means that the school system is very open to kids with same-sex families.

West Hollywood

While technically different from Hollywood, West Hollywood is still as open and welcoming as its more popular sister. It’s also much less expensive than Hollywood proper, though it is still a part of LA, so you can expect housing costs to be a bit higher than they’d be elsewhere. Still, with more than six percent of households made up of LGBT-identifying individuals, it may be worth the extra cost.

Cathedral City

You may not be familiar with Cathedral City. It’s not one of the most well-known cities in California, but it is home to many LGBT people. The city only has a little over 50,000 citizens, so it’s nice and small. It’s located in the Coachella Valley not too far from Palm Springs. Overall, things are cheaper in Cathedral City, so it’s a nice change of pace from the rest of the area. In addition to its lower cost of living, Cathedral City is known for its number of gorgeous parks.

Rio Dell

Another small city, Rio Dell has less than 4,000 people living in it. Out of these, around three percent of households are same-sex. Like Cathedral City, it’s more laid back, relaxed, and low-cost. This town is also in the Northeastern part of the state, so it’s perfect for those who don’t want to get caught up in the rush of LA or San Francisco.

These are just a few places where the LGBT community is very large and strong. Check them out if you’re planning a move to California.