Maybe you’ve received an offer for your dream job – but it requires you to move halfway across the country. Or, perhaps you’ve worked hard all your life, and now you’re ready to retire – and a house by the water on a beautiful stretch of beach is calling your name. Maybe you’ve fallen in love and you don’t want your long-distance relationship to be so long-distance any more. Or possibly, you just want a change of scenery and a fresh start. Whatever your reasons – and there could be many – relocation is often an option that many people find themselves considering.
Often, as people contemplate relocating, they consider a number of factors – things like job opportunities, cost of living, and housing prices to name only a few of many. While thinking through these sorts of considerations and contemplating a relocation thoroughly is important for everyone, here are some things particularly worth considering if you’re attempting to relocate to an LGBTQ-friendly community that you’ll love:
- Spend some time in the community: One of the best ways to truly learn about a place is to experience it for yourself. Consider taking an extended vacation, if possible, to the community to which you’re considering relocating. Visit the neighborhoods and amenities that interest you. Spend some time talking to those who live in the community and in the particular neighborhoods that interest you. Ask about the things they love – and the things they may not enjoy so much. Reading about an area online can provide valuable information, certainly – but it is no substitute for experiencing a place yourself.
- Consider your social options: Some of us are more social than others. Some of us want to fill our days with activities and social outings and time with others who share our interests, while others of us are happier spending quiet evenings at home. If you are a person who enjoys social activities, it is a smart decision to look into how socially active the area you’re considering might be. Are there many LGBTQ-friendly restaurants, businesses, and social groups? Are there opportunities to become involved in things that interest you with others who share those interests? Spend some time looking into the social aspects of the community. You’ll be glad you did.
- Consider the anti-discrimination laws in the area that you’re considering: In many cases, if the area to which you’re considering moving already has a large, socially active, and thriving LGBTQ community, the chances are probably good that the community has strong anti-discrimination laws and policies in place, and that it is a community which is accepting and friendly to LGBTQ individuals. Nevertheless, it can’t hurt to do a bit of research on the laws in the community that you’re considering. While all states now allow same-sex marriage, some have stronger anti-harassment and discrimination laws than others. Likewise, different states have different laws when it comes to things like employment, adoption, housing, and any number of other matters that might affect your quality of life generally. Taking the time to research will be well worth it in the long run.
- If you’re job-hunting, consider the number of LGBTQ-friendly companies in the community: If you aren’t relocating for your job, and are instead hoping to find a job in the community of your choice, it is always smart to research whether there are LGBTQ-friendly businesses in the area. This might include asking those who live in the community, researching potential employers online, and reviewing the annual list of Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality published each year by the Human Rights Campaign. For many of us, our jobs consume a large part of our time, and it is important to spend that time in a place where we feel truly and accepted and valued for who we are.
- Choose a real estate agent who knows the community well: The importance of taking this step cannot be overstated. Finding an agent who you enjoy working with and who knows the community well will be a tremendous help as you explore the various neighborhoods and housing options in the community that you might be interested in. Additionally, you can request a free relocation kit for a city you may be considering. If you’re searching for an agent who will be an excellent fit for your needs, at GayRealEstate.com, we’re here to help.
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