Monthly Archives: May 2015

5 Trans and Intersex Friendly States

The LGBTQIA movement has taken massive strides in the past few years. It was only 10 years ago that Massachusetts became the first state to allow homosexual couples to marry.

While these advances are no doubt amazing, transsexual and intersex people still face a great deal of hardship because of other people. Luckily, there are a great many states that have special statutes that protect them and social climates that welcome them.

There Are Many States That Are Becoming More LGBT FriendlyThe following is a list of states (in no particular order) that are exceptionally welcoming to gay, intersex, and transgender people.

California

This one shouldn’t be a surprise. California has the best legislation that any member of the LGBT community could ask for. What’s even better is that it’s jam packed with us, so you’ll be able to surround yourself with people just like yourself if you choose.

California does suffer from one particularly annoying problem though. The cost of living is very high regardless of what city you choose to live in. If you’re looking to be frugal or get your first apartment, you might want to look elsewhere.

New Jersey

When you consider the fact that crowded metropolitan centers tend to have lots of discrimination and poor social infrastructure it’s surprising that a place like New Jersey would be here.

But New Jersey absolutely deserves this spot due to its great anti-discrimination laws that prevent LGBT people from being taken advantage of. It’s also a stone’s throw away from New York, which (while extremely liberal) doesn’t have a law distinctly prohibiting genderqueer discrimination.

Iowa

Iowa has legal gay marriage, legal gay adoption, and anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT people. There’s nothing to complain about here. You also get to enjoy the gorgeous Iowa scenery as a side perk!

Connecticut

Connecticut has the perfect trifecta of legal rights that you’d expect from a liberal state (adoption, discrimination protection, marriage). It also has the benefit of having many nice neighborhoods of varying income levels, so you can live in a nice house even if your budget is tight.

Lastly, it’s well within the vicinity of larger city centers like New York, so you won’t be cut off from the world if you move here.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts is basically the birthplace of gay acceptance. It boasts gay marriage (of course) discrimination laws, and pretty stable real estate market. However, the cost of living can be a tad high. It’s nowhere near the likes of New York or San Francisco though.

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!

Posted on May 20, 2015 in Gay and Lesbian, Relocation / Moving, Rental

Where to Move When You’ve Got Money To Burn

There are pages and pages of articles devoted to finding affordable places to live. But there aren’t nearly as many resources for those of us with more cash than usual. Whether you’re an older couple that’s finally spending that retirement money, or a young person with a high power career and money to burn, these 3 places are sure to please.

If You Have Money to Spend As You Please, There Are Many Great Cities to Move to That Have Booming LGBT CommunitiesHawaii

Hawaii is highly regarded as one of the best tourist spots in the U.S. But for some reason, everyone is too intimidated to actually get up and move there.

If you’re into fresh seafood, deep sea diving, and gorgeous island wilderness, then moving here shouldn’t be a question. Hawaii life is often compared to being in paradise. This isn’t just an urban myth, however, everything is gorgeous and life moves very slowly there. Things that you could get in the blink of an eye in New York or California may take days in Hawaii. Because of this, you may want to reconsider moving here if you’re looking to advance into a high powered executive career.

Hawaii is very expensive, with the median home price being about $550,000. LGBT rights in Hawaii are also very good with legal same sex adoption and marriage.

Los Angeles California

If you’re into clear skies and fabulous beaches, then Los Angeles might be right up your alley. LA is sunny and warm for 9+ months out of the year and only dips into the low fifties in the coldest months. This city has some of the most diverse scenery and people in the entire U.S. as well, so there’s no shortage of multicultural venues.

California is also one of the leaders in LGBT legislation. The state supports gay adoption, weddings, domestic partnerships, and gender changes for trans-folk. What’s not to like?

If you’re considering moving to California, you should have no less than $500,000 as a baseline for a mortgage. The rates extend to the multi-million dollar range the closer you get to the touristy areas.

Stamford Connecticut

If you’ve got a family, then Stamford, Connecticut is a great place to raise your little ones. It’s in close proximity to some of the best schools in the country including UCONN and Yale and it’s got some of the best crime statistics in the country.

There are quite a few companies that are based in Stamford which makes job opportunities with high-power employers quite plentiful.

The average rate for a house is around $450,000. It’s quite high, but it doesn’t compete with places like New York or LA.

Connecticut’s LGBT legislation is progressive. Gay marriage and adoption have both been legal for years, and there is a fairly good amount of LGBT households in the state.

How to Recover From Buying a Dud

At the end of the day, real-estate is a business. And in every business there’s bound to be a few bad deals. Things like structural issues or faulty plumbing aren’t obvious to the average homebuyer, and some problems might even slip past your inspector.

Your Realtor Has the Responsibility of Helping You Buy a Safe Home, So Make Sure You Pick the Most Reputable Real Estate Agent You CanOwning an unfit house can make you feel helpless. You can’t sell it to anyone else because you could lose 30% or more of your investment (not to mention selling damaged houses are illegal) and you can’t fix it because it’s expensive and you might not have the money.

You don’t need to feel helpless as you have a few options. First, it’s critical to know how to find a good agent to keep yourself on the good side of the real estate market.

Preventative Tip: Always Use a Good Agent

Agents are your eyes and ears when buying a house. Therefore, it’s imperative that you put the time into finding a good one. Picking a realtor out of the Yellow Pages at random won’t work. Instead, work with realtors with experience and desire to find you the best house, as you will find at GayRealEstate.com.

Likewise, find your own inspector. If you can, find an inspector that isn’t recommended by the seller or the seller’s realtor. You can never over-inspect a house. Also make sure you attend the inspection to avoid any unscrupulous behavior.

Look at testimonials and past work history to ensure your realtor and inspector are the real deal so you don’t wind up with a house with severe preexisting problems.

However, if you’re one of the few who buys a home with severe preexisting problems, there are a few things you can do.

Determine the Severity of the Issues

The first step is determining the severity of the issues. If your house has minor plumbing or electrical issues, you’re still in pretty good shape. However, if the central support beam in your home is threatening to collapse, or your house is caked in asbestos, it’s imperative that you mobilize right away.

Get the house inspected again (multiple times if you have to) to get a true look into the situation.

See If the Seller or Inspector Knew About the Issues

If you can find a way to prove that the seller or the seller’s agent knew about the preexisting issues, you have leverage. They’ll have to pay for the damages in full. But if your problem is minor, you might just want to pay for it yourself. If it costs $5,000 in legal fees to get $3,000 of compensation it’s clearly not worth it.

If the damage is higher, you might have legal recourse against the home inspection company for negligence if it was inspected. Things like mold damage should be picked up during an inspection, and if your inspector didn’t catch it, it’s on them.

If you can prove that the seller knew about the issues, or the inspector neglected to tell you about the issues, then you have a case. Consult an attorney right away to see what your options are to make good on your investment!

6 Things To Do When Touring A House

Picture yourself purchasing a beautiful bag of produce from the grocery store. The ones at the top look shiny and fresh. But as you eat more and more of them, you find out that the ones towards the bottom that were out of sight were spoiling.

When Touring a Home, There Are Specific Things You Need to Take Note Of, In Order To Make Sure You Are Getting the Perfect Home for You And Your FamilyMany homebuyers suffer a similar issue when they buy homes. They buy houses that look beautiful on the outside, but then a few months later they notice all sorts of nicks and structural problems that could’ve been found during their tour.

Avoid this by using these six quick tips to make sure you don’t ever suffer from home buyer’s remorse. All you need to bring with you is a measuring tape, a pencil, a notepad, a light bulb, and a portable electronic device.

Inspect The Perimeter of the Home First

The outside of a house can tell you just as much as the inside. Circumnavigate the entire house and pay special attention to the basement windows and corners.

You should also take a quick glance at the neighbor’s houses as well. If you’re in the process of closing on the home, go over and introduce yourself. Remember that your neighbors can color your experience in the house as well.

Measure The Rooms and Closets

It’s entirely possible that the home was mis-measured when it was listed. Measure it yourself to ensure that the price matches the actual size of the house.

There’s also the possibility that your 4,000 square foot home is made up of lots of little rooms. Measure each one yourself to make sure you know what you’re getting.

Check The Plumbing

Go into the kitchen and each bathroom and make sure that the toilets and faucets work properly. Check underneath the sink fixtures and the bases of the toilets to find out if there’s any need for repairs. You should also time how long it takes for the hot water to kick in.

Test The Electricity

Turn on every light switch to find out if there are any broken fixtures or faulty wires. If you find that any of the lights don’t turn on, you should screw in your own lightbulb to find out the source of the issue. You should also take something like a portable radio or electric night light to find out if each of the outlets works.

Check The Heating and Cooling Systems

The only way for you to truly know if the heat and air conditioning work properly is by getting a real inspector. However you should check the hot and cold air vents, and the thermostat anyway. You’ll still be able to find any major problems.

Thoroughly Inspect Countertops, Walls, and Floors

The last thing you should do before you leave is look at all the floors, countertops, and walls to see if there are any bumps or mistakes that need to be removed. If it’s something that can be wiped away with a damp cloth, you have nothing to worry about. But dark spots on the walls or cracked counters can mean some hefty post-purchase renovation costs.