Combining Households? Here’s What You Need to Know.

Perhaps you’ve discovered this article because you find yourself in a relationship that makes you very, very happy – happy to the point that you’re considering moving in with the man or woman of your dreams. If so, congratulations! Love is wonderful, and there’s truly nothing in the world quite like it.

Maybe you’re young, and unencumbered, and falling in love for the first time. On the other side of the coin, perhaps you’re 30, 40, or 50.  Perhaps each of you already have homes full of furniture, full-time jobs with retirement accounts, pets, and well-established daily routines. If all of this sounds familiar to you, you may be asking yourself – how do we go about combining our lives, and everything they entail? That question is certainly a reasonable one, and at GayRealEstate.com, it’s one that we’ve heard often.

While love is certainly wonderful, the truth is that like anything in life, it’s not without its own particular kinds of stress. Despite how much you may love someone and want to be with them, there are still plenty of logistical matters to think through. This can be true if you live in the same city, and it is certainly true if you’re in a long-distance relationship that will require one or the other of you to relocate across the country.

The good news, however, is that no matter how far apart you may live, or how complicated your life may be, it doesn’t mean this transition can’t ultimately become the start of a wonderful new chapter in your life. When you think it through carefully, and take the necessary steps to combine your households after thoroughly planning ahead, it can be a very positive and life-changing experience for both of you.

What sorts of things should you consider, as you think about combining households? At GayRealEstate.com, we have been fortunate enough to help many couples, just like you, transition from two households to one.  Here are a few helpful tips that we’ve learned along the way:

  • Living Arrangements: Perhaps first and foremost when merging your households and your lives is deciding which house you will actually live in. If both of you own a home, your first step should be to discuss which of the two homes is the more ideal spot for you to reside as a couple. For some, this may be dependent upon a job – perhaps one partner is able to work from home, while the other has to be on-location for his or her job. In other cases, it might be dependent upon family circumstances – does one partner have young children who are happy in school and used to a daily routine? In other cases, perhaps it’s more about location – where do you, as a couple see yourselves living? Where, ideally, would you like to be? You may also take a look at the markets in your different communities – is one market better for selling right now than another? All of these factors are important, and can be helpful to consider as you decide whether to sell or rent out one or both of your homes, or buy a new one entirely.
  • Envision Your Space: It’s likely that if each of you have lived on your own for some time, you’ve likely accumulated a good deal of furniture and other household belongings. As you prepare to combine your households, it only makes sense for each of you to consider paring down some of your own belongings so that together, you can combine the things that you truly love into one happy home. For example, when you’re living together, chances are that you won’t need two toasters, two coffee makers, or two master bedroom sets. Think carefully about which items have personal meaning and value and keep those, but be willing to discard or donate some of the rest. Work together to make the space you share peaceful, happy, and personal to you both.
  • Planning for Pets: Do you, or your partner have a pet (or several pets) that you love? If so, you may be worried that your pet might not like your partner’s pet – that they might literally fight like cats and dogs. While this is an understandable concern, the good news is that gradually, most pets do adjust. It is best to be patient, to not try to force the pets to spend too much time in close quarters at first, and to reward them for instances where you do see them behaving well and getting along together. Eventually, your pets will likely adjust, and you can all have a happy home together.
  • Thinking Through Your Financial Future: As you initially begin testing the waters of living together and all that it entails, it is generally wise to keep the majority of your finances, retirement accounts, and investments separate. As your relationship deepens, or if and after you marry, you can decide how much you want to comingle your finances.  For some couples, particularly those who come together after both are financially established, some make the choice to keep the finances they accumulated prior to moving in together in separate accounts, but to combine their incomes to contribute toward their home and lifestyle moving forward. In truth, each couple, and each set of circumstances is different, and an arrangement that might be perfect for one couple may not work out well for another. Often, as you try to determine what is best for you as a couple, it may be wise to meet with a financial advisor who help you understand your options and decide on what’s best.

If you, or the special person you love find yourself considering selling an existing home and relocating, at GayRealEstate.com, we’re here to help. If you’re both considering selling and buying a new home together, we’re here to help with that too. With our helpful free relocation kit, free seller’s market analysis and buyer’s representation, and access to a network of talented and experienced gay, lesbian, and gay-friendly real estate agents across the country, we’re here to make your buying, selling, and relocating experience the best it can be. Wherever you ultimately decide to begin this chapter, we can point you toward an agent who will be able to help. Congratulations on the love you’ve found, and the life you’re working to build together. We would be honored to help. Call us today 1-888-420-MOVE (6683).

It’s true, the Gayborhood is changing.

Prices and rents are rising as many longtime residents of neighborhoods like The Castro in San Francisco, The Village in New York, and Boystown in Chicago are aging up, moving out and taking their businesses with them. Time-tested old gayborhood haunts can still be found in each and are fun for a weekend but, for most homeowners, they are hardly sustainable places to live.

The disappearance and gentrification of the gayborhood does not mean that you cannot find your own LGBTQ community to call your new home, it only means that you may need to look outside the places most people initially think of.

LGBTQ people have always existed and lived in places all over the globe. You only need to look at Queering the Map for a heartwarming archive of LGBTQ experiences worldwide.

The oldest gayborhoods in the United States were formed as safe havens from the homophobia, misogyny, and racism, of straight culture in the surrounding cities. In fact, the Greenwhich Village Society for Historical Preservation writes that what eventually became part of New York’s Gay Village between Spring St. and West 3rd was, in the 19th century referred to as “Little Africa,” and was populated around the farmland of “partially-freed slaves.” Throughout the 20th century the area was also populated by transgender sex-workers and then later by many others from New Work’s disaffected queer community.

Marginalized and underpaid, the neighborhoods they created tended to be low-income and offered places where diverse people and communities could gather with moderate safety. In the last few decades, astronomical price increases in many of the gayborhoods and increased acceptance of LGBTQ people has meant that some were forced out, and some left with a fat wallet able to move to new builds and new places.

Access to technology has likewise mitigated the necessity for self-contained neighborhoods. Thanks to apps like Facebook, Grindr and Tinder almost any place can host an impromptu gaythering which means there is more flexibility in where to live than ever before.

Still many LGBTQ people choose to search out housing with their intersecting communities. Gayborhoods continue to form in new places all across the United States: east-coast, west-coast, and no-coast.

Many lesbians opt for more rural places. The outskirts of Iowa City, for example, a liberal bubble and home to the University of Iowa, has a thriving lesbian community. In places like this Heather Dockray, writes “Lesbians may feel more accepted in rural areas, where female masculinity isn’t as tightly policed as male femininity; lesbians have less capital than gay men (women, including queer women, continue to make less than men) and therefore may not be able to afford urban neighborhoods; lesbians are statistically more likely to have children (and therefore different housing requirements).”

The Marmalade in Salt Lake City, Utah is now the site of affordable living and a sizable amount LGBTQ owned and operated businesses and clubs. It is located just blocks away from the state Capitol building and offers easy access to the best of the city and to scenic rolling foothills beyond.

In Chicago, Andersonville and the neighboring Edgewater, on the north-side just off the coast of Lake Michigan, have become alternatives to the rapidly developing Boystown. Andersonville, an originally Swedish enclave, maintains that culture with a wide variety of bakeries and restaurants, the Swedish American Museum, and is home to the relocated Women and Children First feminist bookstore. Edgewater has become a popular location for the city’s lesbian women.

Bywater, New Orleans, is also a neighborhood with a vibrant history rooted in the struggles and successes of people of color. Located in the city’s 9th Ward, Bywater is a quieter and more affordable alternative to the French Quarter, but still allows access to colorful artwork, mosaics, music and, of course, bottomless mimosas.

What can you do to find the gayborhood of your dreams?

First, determine what it is you are looking for. Do you want to be in a place with a queer history you can see, where plagues adorn the buildings and benches? Are you looking for affordability without compromising commonality with your neighbors? Are you looking for nightlife? Would you like to be somewhere urban or rural?

Seek out the local LGBTQ community in many cities. There is no better way to get your bearings in a new place than by finding your local center. Even if you do not end up moving into the block adjacent, the people you will meet there can introduce you to new resources, assistance, and events. Everybody wants neighbors they like and the community center may be the best place to find your new neighbors.

Finally, connect with an LGBTQ Realtor at www.GayRealEstate.com – Start a conversation with agents that have been serving our community for over 25 years! Nobody is more familiar with the culture and affordability of queer neighborhoods than queer people. The most important rule to finding yourself a new gayborhood to call your own, is to learn about the individual history of the space and your neighbors.

Palm Springs: The Largest LGBTQ Community in the Country

Laidback and resort casual, Palm Springs is the American epicenter of the LGBTQ community. Boasting over 325 days of sunshine and a 50% gay population, residents here feel truly at home. From charming village shops to unique artsy stores, wrapped up in old-Hollywood glamour, this desert town is far from sleepy.

Hollywood’s Waiting Room for Heaven

That’s the city’s nickname due to the large population of celebrities that live in Palm Springs. Located within Coachella Valley (yes that famous festival) the city is 107 miles east of L.A. Native Americans settled the area for thousands of years and many streets in the Palm Springs have Native American names.

The municipality became a booming resort in the 1900s when tourists arrived to treat health conditions with dry heat. Today, it is a sprawling desert empire where everyone and their mother are LGBTQ-friendly.

Quick Palm Spring Stats

  • Palm Springs has the highest per capita gay population in the country.
  • The city covers approximately 94 square miles.
  • There are more than 50,000 pools in the city.
  • Palm Springs is home to more than 100 golf courses.
  • Palm Springs has one of the greatest mineral water aquifers in the world.

Here are some more fun facts about Palm Springs.

The LGBTQ Palm Springs Community

 LGBT Community Center of the Desert

The cornerstone of the LGBTQ community in Coachella Valley, affectionately called “The Center,” they see more than 65,000 guests every year. Classes include everything from painting to yoga and AA.

Desert Business Association

The gay Chamber of Commerce, the Desert Business Association is a network of gay and gay-friendly businesses that offer a variety of resources to the community.

A Laidback and Arid Climate

Palm Springs has a dry, desert climate. The winter months prove the most comfortable. Summer can get quite hot with an average July temperature of 108 degrees. So, it’s best to have your air conditioning ready to go before moving in.

Key LGBTQ Events in the City

Palm Springs International Film Festival – January

This is a popular film event held every January that features hordes of A-list celebrities

The White Party – April 

This has widely been considered the largest gay dance festival in the country. Over the years, the event has evolved to become a social and cultural phenomenon. It is attended by over 30,000 people every year.

The Dinah – April

Named after the great Dinah Shore, Dinah Shore Weekend is the biggest girl party for the LGBTQ community this side of the Mississippi! The Dinah has been doing it for over 30 years now.

Gay Pride Week – November

Gay Pride is a sanctioned Palm Springs event that happens every year and can’t be missed. It starts off with a parade, followed by food, fun, dancing, and live entertainment. The party doesn’t stop when everyone heads over to the many bars on Arena’s Street. The festival is free and held in downtown.

The Best Palm Springs Neighborhoods

Palm Springs is half gay, so virtually anywhere you move you’ll feel comfortable. Two zip codes are both 30-times higher than the national average for LGBTQ residency. These are:

92264

This neighborhood has a diverse economy with lots of recreation. The cost of living is 23% higher than the national average but the median commute is only 18 minutes. In this community, there are 12.4% LGBTQ couples per household. Homes range from 1-4 bedrooms with beautiful landscaping and Spanish flair.

The median sales price for 92264 is $337,500.

In this area, homes are selling for about $258 per square foot and the neighborhood typically has hundreds of homes for sale. Home appreciation in the last few years has been 2%.

92262

This is a bustling residential area with many hotels, spas, and cafes right around the corner. This zip code is closer to North Palm Springs and in the same vicinity as the airport. There are 11.3% LGBTQ couples per household with 1-4 bedroom homes.

The median sales price for 92262 is $433,000.

Homes are selling for about $281 per square foot and there are currently over 350 homes for sale in the area.

A City Known for Art

Palm Springs Village Fest

Every Thursday night, Palm Canyon Drive is closed off to traffic and becomes a lively street fair. Local vendors, artists, craftsmen, and residents all share in the free entertainment. The fest is held down the entire length of Palm Canyon Drive from one end to the other and is a great place to people watch.

Parks and Recreation

Joshua Tree National Park

Everyone has heard of this park, and it’s a favorite spot for hiking and off-roading. There are plants and rock formations that are entirely unique to this one spot on the earth. The region is named for the twisted and brittle Joshua Trees that pop up everywhere and it’s a great place to spend an afternoon.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is known for the incredible views of the desert. Ascending to 5,783 feet (1,790 meters), the tram carries you to a peak in the San Jacinto Mountains. From Ponderosa trees to mountain spires and unspoiled wilderness, the ride ends at Mountain Station where you’ll be there just in time for a cocktail.

Never Ending Nightlife

Oscar’s Cabaret

A fun evening of drag emceed by beloved James “Gypsy” Haake, meet your favorite stars like Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire. You can choose a three-course meal and watch the world-record-holding oldest female impersonator.

Toucan’s Tiki Lounge and Cabaret

Established over two decades ago, this is a fun and fruity spot that’s dedicated to everything tropical. It has the city’s longest-running drag show, with drink specials and a comedy cabaret.

Palm Springs is perhaps one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities you will find. With a long-running history of acceptance (the first all gay city council), it continues to flourish as the community grows steadily each year.

Connect with a Palm Springs Gay Realtor for a no obligation conversation today!