Monthly Archives: May 2013

Moving Not Possible for Many LGBT Families

Couple

As a recent article in the Los Angeles Times addresses, lesbian and gay parents are often rearing children in unexpected places. Namely, according to the analysis of U.S. census data, more than one in four same-sex couples in Salt Lake City, Utah, are rearing children. Besides the Utah capital, other large urban areas where high percentages of same-sex couples are raising children include Virginia Beach, Va.; Detroit, Mich.; and Memphis, Tenn., all of which are places where more than a fifth of same-sex couples are bringing up children. Indeed, according to the article, “a striking percentage of same-sex couples are rearing children … in conservative places not known for celebrating gays and lesbians.” For example, among states, Mississippi has the highest percentage of gay and lesbian couples raising children (26 percent), according to the analysis of U.S. census data.

As the Los Angeles Times article notes, “this fact may seem at odds with perceptions that San Francisco and New York are the centers of gay and lesbian life. Pop culture depicts gays and lesbians turning to adoption, sperm banks or surrogacy to form families in decidedly liberal cities such as Los Angeles.”

So why are same-sex couples raising children in these areas, as opposed to moving to more gay-friendly and urban areas? Among the key reasons are cost of living and family ties. Indeed, as I told the Los Angeles Times, “When you ask, ‘Why are you living here?’ [lesbian and gay parents in rural areas] almost always say family. It shouldn’t really be surprising. They value family — and now they’re creating families of their own.”

Little research has focused on the experiences of lesbian and gay parents living in rural and/or conservative geographic areas. Yet it should. As I describe in my book Gay Dads: Transitions to Adoptive Fatherhood (NYU Press, 2012), lesbian and gay parents — and prospective parents — in rural and/or conservative areas of the U.S. often encounter many barriers and challenges related to their sexual orientation. In an ironic twist, many of the states with the highest percentages of same-sex couples raising children are those with the most anti-gay laws. For example, they are among those with constitutional amendments banning marriage for same-sex couples, and those that prevent same-sex partners from jointly adopting children. Thus, lesbian and gay parents living in these areas encounter legal obstacles in building and protecting their families, which contributes to a sense of legal vulnerability. As Gregory, a 40-year-old gay man whose partner legally adopted their son because their state did not allow same-sex partners to jointly adopt a child, shared with me, “It’s not just my rights. It’s the child’s rights. If I get killed in a car accident … the child has no rights to inherit anything from me. He has no rights to my Social Security. No one does, actually” (Gay Dads p. 83).

Becoming parents may make same-sex couples more sensitive to legal inequities and the importance of legal equality (e.g., with respect to gay adoption, and with respect to marriage equality). For example, I found that many of the gay men in my study felt that parenthood had fostered in them a greater sense of awareness — even activism — about legal equality, such that they were more impassioned advocates of gay rights than they had been pre-parenthood. The couples I interviewed voiced their sense that not only would access to adoption and marriage provide legal recognition of their family ties, but it would provide social recognition. They felt that being able to have both men adopt their child, and being able to get legally married, “would probably add some validation to our family as a unit … in the eyes of … society in general.” As Russell, 41, explained, “It’s weird that [my feelings about marriage equality] have changed, but [they have]. I think that with the addition of Christopher, it becomes more important. I don’t want him as a child to feel second-class status about his family” (Gay Dads p. 89).

Now well into the second decade of the 21st century, we are marching toward a future where equality for LGBTQ people seems possible — at least in some parts of the country. But it is important not to forget all those LGBTQ people, and same-sex couples with children specifically, who reside in the “less obvious” places in the U.S., and who deserve — but often lack — legal rights and protections. Moving is neither possible nor desirable for many of these families. Thus, our efforts to secure equal rights for all families must extend into these regions, until equality becomes the national language.

Source: Abbie Goldberg, Associate Professor or Psychology

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

Millennial Generation Prefers Smaller, More Functional Homes

The millennial generation is showing differing housing tastes than their parents generation. For example, millennials say they prefer smaller, functional homes than sprawling “McMansions,” and they’re not interested in “cookie cutter” homes that look like everything else on the block. Instead, this generation of do-it-yourselfers wants to put their individual stamp on their home and make sure it reflects them and their tech-driven lifestyle.

Millennials are the next big demographic of home buyers emerging in real estate.

“It’s critical that real estate professionals understand what embodies a quintessential home for the millennial generation, which vastly differs from the traditional norms of generations before them,” says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. Better Homes and Gardens recently conducted a survey of 1,000 adults aged 18-35, known as “Generation Y” or the millennial generation. “Understanding technologies to communicate with this generation is now only one piece of the puzzle for agents; smart technological capabilities must now be ingrained into the home itself.

About 30 percent of millennials surveyed say they prefer a “fixer-upper” home rather than a home that needs only a few repairs.

They desire homes where they can entertain, and they don’t necessarily need all the upgrades. Fifty-nine percent said they prefer extra space in the kitchen for a TV rather than having a second oven.

They’re also technology driven and they want their homes to reflect that too. Forty-one percent of Millennials surveyed say they are more likely to brag to a friend about a home automation system rather than a newly renovated kitchen. Seventy-seven percent say they want a home with technology capabilities.

They also want each room in their home to have a purpose. One in five of Millennials surveyed said they’d prefer the name “home office” be used for their dining room since that’s how they would usually use it. Forty-three percent said they’d like to change their living room into a home theatre, according to the survey.

Source: “Millennials Say They Don’t Want a Home Like Their Parents’,” Realtor.com

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Gay Real Estate News

Gay Kansas City | Real Estate and Neighborhoods | Housing

If you are gay and thinking about relocating, make sure to do some should do some research into Kansas City. Those in the gay community have so many great things to say about their town. Although there are no gay-specific neighborhoods located in the city, you will find many open and welcoming areas. Westport is among one of the communities that really stands out, the Ward Parkway area is another area that gets high marks.

Westport is one of the neighborhoods in Kansas City frequently mentioned and recommended to others as welcoming. It is one of the top gay neighborhoods in Kansas City. Westport is traditional yet trendy – the community was established about 150 years ago, one of the first neighborhoods to become established in Kansas City. Now it has become a destination for entertainment, clubs, unique shops and restaurants. The 8th annual AIDS bicycle ride recently took place in Westport. Housing options abound, with several in-demand apartments located in the area. Most are located within easy walking distance of restaurants, shops, bars and parks. Options from studio apartments to roomy two-bedroom arrangements are available. Several real estate offices are also located in Westport for those looking to purchase a home. Many businesses and services are located in Westport – everything from financial advisors to tattoo artists — making Westport not only an enjoyable but convenient place to live!

The Ward Parkway area is another top gay neighborhood in Kansas City. It is located near the Kansas and Missouri state line. It is a beautifully landscaped area with several homes located on the National Register of Historic Places. Like Westport, the West Parkway area has a lot of history. It was originally designed by J.C. Nichols, and he envisioned Ward Parkway becoming more beautiful than any other street in Kansas City. Ward Parkway was, and still is, one of the most desirable areas of Kansas City to reside. A variety of housing is offered in the area, from apartments to large homes. Those in the gay community are particularly drawn to the Country Club Plaza. The Plaza is both a shopping and residential neighborhood located near Ward Parkway. Restaurants, shops and entertainment abound. The Plaza and Ward Parkway have long been popular with the gay community.

If you are looking for a gay friendly community in the Midwest, you will be pleasantly surprised by how much Kansas City has to offer!

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of http://www.GayRealEstate.com. Free Instant Access to the Nation’s Top Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast. FREE Buyers Representation ~ Free Relocation Kit to any City, USA ~ Free Sellers Market Analysis for home sellers.

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Housing

Featured Prescott Gay Realtor: David, HomeSmart Fine Homes and Land

Gay Realtor David Sommer

“If you are considering a move to The Greater Prescott area let me assist you!”

I have lived in the area for 16 years and 8 of those years I was employed as the President / Chief Executive Officer for the Prescott Chamber of Commerce. Because of this experience I know the business community and the area in general.

The Greater Prescott area is a great place to live, work and play with countless activities to keep you busy 365 days out of the year.

With over 300 days of sunshine and a low humity I think it is one of the best climates in the United States. Yet we have 4 seasons!

Click here to search for a gay or lesbian real estate agent anywhere in the country.

Professional/Personal Distinctions:

GRI – Graduate of Real Estate Institute SFR – Short Sale Foreclosure Resource CNE – Certified Negotiation Expert ABR – Accredited Buyers Representative

Specialties:

Relocation, Vacation Homes, Retirement, Second Homes, Golf, Recreational.

View David’s  Complete Profile & Contact Him Immediately by Clicking Here

Occasionally we’ll feature one of our top gay real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some of the great Gay Realtors, Lesbian Realtors, Gay Friendly Realtors, and other Real Estate Professionals at GayRealEstate.com

At Gay Real Estate, we keep you posted about all the residential real estate news, gay real estate news and Gay Realtor stories affecting the gay and lesbian home buying and selling 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 LGBT community, please contact us at: manager@gayrealestate.com

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Gay Realtors

Featured Pittsburg Gay Realtor: Christopher, Prudential Preferred Realty

Gay Realtor Christopher Gregg

I proudly represent the LGBT community in the City of Pittsburgh, East Suburban, South Suburban and near North Suburban neighborhoods.

As an “Out” Real Estate professional, I understand the needs and concerns of my clients and work hard to achieve the results they expect. As “your” agent, I understand how important your real estate representation is. I take the worry out of the transaction and make sure you receive a fair price for your home or your new dream home!

I look forward to working with you and helping make your housing dreams come true!

Contact me today for a FREE buyer consultation or seller’s home market evaluation.

Click here to search for a gay or lesbian real estate agent anywhere in the country.

Professional/Personal Distinctions:

Professional Distinctions: QSC (Quality Service Certified) E-Certified Relocation Certified Member West Penn Multi-List National Assoc. of REALTORS Pennsylvania Assoc. of REALTORS RAMP (REALTORS Assoc. of Metro PGH.) Personal Distinctions: Member of Human Rights Campaign Member of National Humane Society Member of ASPCA

Specialties:

Single family residential; New Construction and Resale Townhomes, condominiums and loft living!

View Christopher’s  Complete Profile & Contact Him Immediately by Clicking Here

Occasionally we’ll feature one of our top gay real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some of the great Gay Realtors, Lesbian Realtors, Gay Friendly Realtors, and other Real Estate Professionals at GayRealEstate.com

At Gay Real Estate, we keep you posted about all the residential real estate news, gay real estate news and Gay Realtor stories affecting the gay and lesbian home buying and selling 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 LGBT community, please contact us at: manager@gayrealestate.com

 

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Gay Realtors

Mortgage Rates Climb to Highest Level in Year

Fixed-rate mortgages soared higher this week, reaching their highest averages in a year, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage — the most popular choice among home buyers — has climbed nearly half a percentage point since the beginning of this month — from 3.35 percent to 3.81 percent this week.

“Fixed mortgage rates followed long-term government bond yields higher, following a growing market sentiment that the Federal Reserve may lessen its accommodative policy stance,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Improving economic data may have encouraged those views.”

Despite the uptick, mortgage rates remain low by historical standards, Freddie Mac reports.

The mortgage giant reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending May 30:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.81 percent, with an average 0.8 point, rising from last week’s 3.59 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.75 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.98 percent, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 2.77 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 2.97 percent.
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.66 percent, with an average 0.5 point, also up from last week’s average of 2.63 percent. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.84 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.54 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 2.55 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.75 percent.

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

 See the original post at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2013/05/31/mortgage-rates-climb-highest-level-in-year

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

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Mortgages

Treasury Department Extends Mortgage Relief, Refinancing Program

The White House announced that it is extending the Making Home Affordable Program, a refinancing program that has helped home owners lower their monthly mortgage payments and obtain loan modifications. The program, originally set to expire at the end of this year, has been extended two years until Dec. 31, 2015.

The Making Home Affordable Program encompasses the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), among other consumer protections.

More than 1.1 million home owners have received permanent loan modifications on their mortgages through HAMP as of March 2013. The median savings of borrowers who have participated in HAMP is $546 a month — or 38 percent of their previous payment, according to the Treasury Department.

The program encourages lenders to lower monthly mortgage payments of struggling home owners by either reducing the interest rate on the loan or forgiving some of the principal.

“The housing market is gaining steam, but many home owners are still struggling,” said Jacob J. Lew, the Treasury secretary. “Extending the program for two years will benefit many additional families, while maintaining clear standards and accountability for an important part of the mortgage industry.”

The mortgage program was introduced by President Obama in early 2009. Banks and other lenders were slow to participate in the program, however. The government has since tweaked the program to allow more borrowers to qualify for it, after spending only $5.2 billion through March of the $29.9 billion allocated for HAMP.

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

 See the original post at:  http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2013/05/31/treasury-department-extends-mortgage-relief-refinancing-program

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

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Mortgages

Millennials Say They Don’t Want a Home Like Their Parents’

The millennial generation is showing differing housing tastes than their parents’ generation. For example, millennials say they prefer smaller, functional homes than sprawling “McMansions,” and they’re not interested in “cookie cutter” homes that look like everything else on the block. Instead, this generation of do-it-yourselfers wants to put their individual stamp on their home and make sure it reflects them and their tech-driven lifestyle.

Millennials are the next big demographic of home buyers emerging in real estate.

“It’s critical that real estate professionals understand what embodies a quintessential home for the millennial generation, which vastly differs from the traditional norms of generations before them,” says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. Better Homes and Gardens recently conducted a survey of 1,000 adults aged 18-35, known as “Generation Y” or the millennial generation. “Understanding technologies to communicate with this generation is now only one piece of the puzzle for agents; smart technological capabilities must now be ingrained into the home itself.”

About 30 percent of millennials surveyed say they prefer a “fixer-upper” home rather than a home that needs only a few repairs.

They desire homes where they can entertain, and they don’t necessarily need all the upgrades. Fifty-nine percent said they prefer extra space in the kitchen for a TV rather than having a second oven.

They’re also technology driven and they want their homes to reflect that too. Forty-one percent of Millennials surveyed say they are more likely to brag to a friend about a home automation system rather than a newly renovated kitchen. Seventy-seven percent say they want a home with technology capabilities.

They also want each room in their home to have a purpose. One in five of Millennials surveyed said they’d prefer the name “home office” be used for their dining room since that’s how they would usually use it. Forty-three percent said they’d like to change their living room into a home theatre, according to the survey.

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

 See the original post at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2013/05/31/millennials-say-they-dont-want-home-their-parents

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

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

Vancouver BC – Emerging Gay Friendly Neighborhoods

vancouver

The gay neighborhood in Canada’s Vancouver, British Columbia is in the west end of the city ~ the gay “strip” is anchored off of Davie Street which is a main street that stretches from Granville to Jarvis Street. This area is populated with many gay-friendly businesses as well as most of the famous gay hotspots in the city including Celebrities, Numbers, Pumpjak Pub, Fountainhead Pub, Numbers, Score, 1181 Lounge and Score.  There are also many gay-friendly Bed and Breakfasts that you can stay in while searching for gay real estate in Vancouver.

Vancouver’s gay neighborhood is exceptionally central to everywhere you might want to go in Vancouver. If you stroll a bit north on Davies Street you end up at English Bay and Sunset beach and the bustling business street of Robson and the artsy area of Yaletown are also just a short walk away.  At the end of Davie Street are Granville Island and the Kitsalano neighborhood.

The city of Vancouver has really changed in the last decade and it is also a city whose population is exploding. This has led to the emergence of several new neighborhoods that are being gentrified and becoming very hip, gay-positive and artsy neighborhoods.

One of these is Vancouver’s Chinatown, which has experienced a boom in urban development in the past ten years.  Famous old Chinese restaurants are interspersed with brand new art galleries and arts and crafts studios. The area also has many fun bars including The Union, The Electric Owl and the Jimmy Hendrix Shrine. On the main street and side streets of this neighborhood are many refurbished little Victorians and brand new loft spaces.

Another up and coming neighborhood in Vancouver used to actually be called “Junkie Central.”  Now it is boasting the brand new community moniker of Hastings Sunrise. Sometimes this area is also called the East Village. The center of the neighborhood is the ancient Waldorf Hotel with its Tiki Lounge, which has been reinvented to be a creative space complete with art shows, performance art and live bands. This area of Vancouver is where it is still possible to buy a whole small building and turn it into the space you life. The architecture is mainly Victorian to mid-fifties industrial in flair.

South Slope, also known as South Hill is a multi-ethnic area in south east Vancouver where there is still a great deal of affordable housing. It still has a lot of old world charm and the neighborhood has many hole-in-the-wall restaurants offering cuisine from Tibet, China, Japan, India and the Philippines.

Crosstown is also a desirable area of Vancouver to live. This is a neighborhood that runs parallel between the ultra-expensive Gastown neighborhood that is along the waterfront and Chinatown. This area is a mix of affordable lofts, Victorians and mid-century homes.

Urban development is happening fast in the hip city of Vancouver so to get the best deal it is highly recommended you take advantage of the good advice of a resident Vancouver gay realtor to help show you around and find the best property.

Posted on May 30, 2013 in City & Neighborhood Information

Making Home Affordable Program Extended 2 Years

A federal program that helps troubled homeowners receive modified mortgages is being extended by two years, and will run to the end of 2015, administration officials said Thursday. The extension of the Making Home Affordable Program, which includes the Home Affordable Modification Program, follows a two-year extension of a government
refinancing program. “The housing market is gaining steam, but many homeowners are still struggling,” said Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. “Helping responsible homeowners avoid foreclosure is part of our wide-ranging efforts to strengthen the middle class.” As of March, more than 1.1 million homeowners have received a permanent mortgage modification through HAMP. However, HAMP has come under fire for high default rates and fewer-than-expected modifications.

Read the Full Story at Market Watch

Posted on May 30, 2013 in Gay Real Estate News