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In the mid 1990’s Jeff Hammerberg a Gay REALTOR working at a successful ReMax Office in Colorado witnessed discrimination first hand and has spent his career changing the way the Gay & Lesbian Community buys or sells a home. “My goal is to make sure when you walk in to or call a real estate office, you have an appointment with a top producing agent that you know stands in full support of you as a gay or lesbian person and works with you as your advocate throughout any transaction. Let’s make sure the commissions earned by an agent you employ, are not being used to fund positions or causes that don’t stand in full support of the LGBT Community. Many of our Gay & Lesbian REALTORS are Top Producers in their communities, offering unparalleled service today and in the future. There is no cost or obligation to use any of our services or directories.”

Finding the Right Contractors to Work on Your Property

While it’s 2019 and LGBTQ people are enjoying more and more acceptance, the sad truth is that there’s always the risk of running into someone who will discriminate against you. This is especially true if you live in a fairly conservative area. We’ve all heard the horror stories about bakeries and restaurants refusing service to LGBTQ customers. While you may have never directly experienced this type of behavior, you may be concerned that it could happen to you.

One area where it can be hard to hide the fact that you’re in a same-sex relationship is when you hire a contractor to either work on your home before you sell it or to do some renovations on your new home. How can you find contractors who won’t be judgmental or flat out discriminate against you?

Ask Your Agent

Finding the Right Contractors to Work on Your PropertyIf you’re working with a gay or lesbian real estate agent, they likely know contractors who do not discriminate. Simply ask them if they have any contractors they can refer you to. Most agents will give you several different contractors to talk to so you can get quotes to compare. Remember that these are only referrals. These contractors don’t work for the agent, and your agent has no control over the quality of their work. However, most agents only refer clients to contractors they know will do a good job or that previous clients have favorably reviewed.

Look in Local LGBTQ Publications

Most large cities have a LGBTQ newspaper, magazine, or other local publication. Many of these are even free and can be found at businesses that support the community. Many LGBTQ-owned businesses, including roofers, flooring experts, and other contractors, advertise in these papers. You may be able to find exactly what you need, and if you know they’re advertising in a LGBTQ publication, there’s no fear of discrimination.

Go Online

There are a number of websites out there that provide the opportunity for LGBTQ people who live in the same city or neighborhood to connect with each other. These sites are the perfect places to ask for recommendations or to inquire about specific contractors. There’s nothing better than getting a recommendation or a review from someone who has used the contractor and was very happy with their services.

These three resources will usually result in a number of different contractor options for you. Of course, be sure to talk to the contractor yourself before hiring them so you can get a good sense of who they are and if they will be a good fit with your projects.

Asbury Park, a Great LGBTQ Community in New Jersey

If you’re considering living in New Jersey, one of the areas you may initially think about avoiding is the Jersey Shore. Made infamous by the reality TV show, people have a misconception about this area. Not everyone is a Snooki or has a weird nickname like “The Situation.” Many people in the Jersey Shore area are incredibly nice and friendly, including those who live in the gay village of Asbury Park.

The Community

Asbury Park, a Great LGBTQ Community in New JerseyAsbury Park is a small city with around 16,000 people. Originally a small town, it’s grown over the years to reach its current population. Since it sits on the shore, it does have a beautiful beach area, but unlike some other parts of the Jersey Shore, it’s not a huge tourist destination. Some of he hotels that once sat on the beachfront have actually been demolished due to a lack of use. This means residents don’t have to worry too much about their neighborhood being invaded by tourists regularly.

The city does hold a number of live music events, festivals, and other events that do draw people in from around the area. Asbury Park is home to the New Jersey Music Hall of Fame and has a strong hip-hop community.

History of Asbury Park

Asbury Park was founded in 1871. Originally a residential area, the city soon expanded, adding a waterfront area, pavilion, restaurants, and many different hotels. Soon, more than 500,000 people were visiting the area during the summer for vacation. The population hit highs of 200,000 during tourist season, though that’s not always the case today.

By the 1920s, the town underwent a major change as a theater, convention all, and casino arena were added. Changes continued for the next several decades. The 1950s saw the addition of various suburbs, while the 1970s brought discord to the peaceful city after riots broke out in protest to the demolition of a number of historical buildings. This includes some buildings that were considered historic places.

From the 2000s on, Asbury Park has been in a revival period. The downtown area, the site of many of the demolished historical buildings, has been improved, as have the boardwalk and beached area.

The LGBTQ Community in Asbury Park

The LGBTQ community took root in the 1950s and has continued to grow over the years. Many LGBTQ people who are unable to afford the increasing cost of housing in New York City have moved to the area. Many have worked to restore the historic Victorian houses that make up some of the older parts of Asbury Park, gentrifying them into gorgeous properties. The Empress Hotel, a gay-oriented hotel, is a major attraction for those visiting the area. The city also hosts the Jersey Gay Pride festival every summer.

Interested in moving to Asbury Park? Ask a gay or lesbian real estate agent for more information about the properties available here.

Which Large Metro Areas Are Home to the Most LGBTQ Residents?

Are you thinking of moving to a large metro area, but want to make certain you’re also near other LGBTQ individuals and couples? You’ll find an LGBTQ community in every metro, but some of these communities are larger than others. Here are the metro areas that have the largest percentage of LGBTQ residents.

The San Francisco Metro Area

Which Large Metro Areas Are Home to the Most LGBTQ ResidentsIt’s no surprise that the San Francisco area has the largest proportion of LGBTQ people in the U.S. According to surveys, some 6.2% identify as LGBTQ. Many people flock to San Francisco metro, which includes Oakland and Hayward, every year to visit, and many decide to stay.

The Portland Metro

The Portland metro area, which includes Vancouver and Hillsboro, has an LGBTQ population of 5.4%. Portland has become more and more popular with young people and with the LGBTQ community in recent years. Portland Pride has grown into a huge celebration of identity that brings in people from across the country.

The Austin/Round Rock Metro

Surprisingly, New York City doesn’t make the top three metro areas—in fact, it doesn’t even make the top ten! While Texas is a fairly conservative state, Austin is something of a haven for the LGBTQ community. Some 5.3% of its population identify as LGBTQ, and the city is home to the famous Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival. For those who want to live in Texas, the Austin metro is certainly an area to consider.

New Orleans/Metairie

The New Orleans metro area, which includes Metairie, is home to a large LGBTQ population. The many different festivals and events held in New Orleans, especially Mardi Gras, bring thousands of people into the city throughout the year. Home costs in New Orleans are fairly affordable, especially when compared to San Francisco, so you can find a great home here for a very reasonable price.

The Seattle Metro

Going back north, the Seattle Metro area (Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma) rounds out the top five cities with the largest LGBTQ population. Some 4.8% of the metro’s population identifies as part of the LGBTQ community, and they’re a very active group. The metro has two pride festivals and two LGBTQ choruses. The city’s hospitals have even been identified for always treating LGBTQ patients with dignity and respect.

If you’re looking to move to a large metro area that you know is accepting and friendly towards the LGBTQ community, these five are a good place to start the search. You’ll find many gay and lesbian real estate agents ready to help you make the move.

Does the Gayborhood Have a Future?

The gayborhood, gay ghetto, or whatever you want to call it exploded during the 80s. Boystown in Chicago, the Castro District in San Francisco, and many other neighborhoods attracted LGBTQ people because they offered a safe space. Over the years, the people who moved into these communities transformed them from run-down areas to gorgeous neighborhoods where many people, regardless of their orientation, want to live. But has this gentrification extended the life of the gayborhood or is it going to bring about the fall of these communities?

Higher Costs Could Spell the End

Does the Gayborhood Have a FutureWhen many of these gay neighborhoods began, they were low-income areas that were in disrepair. LGBTQ people were more or less forced out of the nicer neighborhoods due to discrimination. However, rather than live in dirty, run-down areas, they began repairing the homes and building up a sense of community. Today, many of these areas feature restored historical houses that look amazing.

Unfortunately, this cost does come with a downside: many people can’t afford to live in these neighborhoods. Those who can don’t always identify as LGBTQ. The result is that many are becoming more like every other neighborhood with a large mixture of people. They’re great communities, but they’re no longer predominately LGBTQ.

There Are More Choices

Higher home prices aren’t the only factor threatening the future of the gay ghetto. In the 80s and even the 90s, being LGBTQ meant facing discrimination, and many people stayed in the closet. Today, thanks to wider acceptance, most people are proud to be known as LGBTQ. Many want to live close to work or in a specific school zone. They’re selecting their homes based on other factors, not on who their neighbors are. Few see the need to live in a gay neighborhood. It’s no longer the only option for out LGBTQ people.

New Builds Are Attracting New Homeowners

Some people seek out historic homes or houses that may need a little love and maintenance, but some don’t. Some people want to live in new houses and condos that are move-in ready with no repairs or changes. As more of these new homes pop up, the gay neighborhoods get left behind. This is especially true for neighborhoods that are within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and other amenities. These communities are attracting more and more young homebuyers.

In fact, a few of these newly constructed or revived neighborhoods have actually become LGBTQ communities. So, the gayborhood may not be dead—it may simply be moving to a new location. It varies from city to city. In some areas, older gay ghettos are vanishing with no new replacements. In others, new communities are popping up. Some of the older areas, such as Boystown, haven’t been affected that much.

No matter where you want to live, be sure to seek out the services of a gay or lesbian real estate professional. They will help you find the home of your dreams.

Phoenix – A LGBTQ Haven in the Southwest

The southwest is known for its dry heat, native American influences, and deserts. It’s not exactly known for being an LGBTQ destination or a place to live, but Phoenix, Arizona, has a thriving gay and lesbian community. This metro area is gorgeous all year long, so if you love bright, sunny days, it may be the perfect place to call home. There’s a lot to do in both the LGBTQ community and in Phoenix as a whole.

Phoenix is home to dozens of luxury resorts, so there are many tourists here throughout the year. Many of these tourists and residents alike love taking hot air balloon rides or riding horseback through the unique landscape. Golf is another popular hobby in Phoenix, and the city has an astonishing 200+ golf courses. With shopping, art exhibits, and sporting events, there’s a ton to do in the city.

Phoenix’s LGBTQ District

Phoenix – A LGBTQ Haven in the SouthwestUnlike some cities, Phoenix doesn’t really have a major LGBTQ neighborhood. The city is very spread out, and the LGBTQ community is, too. Even though there’s not really a gay ghetto here, there are a number of LGBTQ-owned businesses in the Melrose District. You’ll also find the Central Phoenix LGBT Community Center there along with some great clubs and bars. The Phoenix Pride festival is held every year at Steele Indian School Park and brings in thousands of LGBTQ individuals and allies from Phoenix and the surrounding areas.

One of the more unique things about the Phoenix LGBTQ community is that it spreads out beyond Phoenix. Many of the suburbs and nearby cities that have grown into Phoenix have large gay and lesbian populations. Scottsdale, for example, has a thriving LGBTQ community thanks to the large arts movement there.

Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert, and Apache Junction, collectively called the East Valley cities, also have a good number of LGBTQ communities. Arizona State University brings many younger LGBTQ individuals to Tempe, while Mesa is one of the fastest growing cities in Arizona. Many have moved there in response to the commercial boom the city is experiencing.

No matter what brings you to the Phoenix area, it’s certainly a great place for LGBTQ individuals and families. Home prices in the area are reasonable, especially if you compare them to other large metros such as New York, LA, or Chicago. You’ll find many gay and lesbian real estate agents who can help you find the perfect home in Phoenix.

LGBTQ-Friendly Cities Where the Real Estate Market Will Improve in 2019

As with any year, you can expect 2019 to bring about many changes in your life. Will one of those changes include moving to a new city? If so, you might want to be aware of which cities are going to have a higher-than-average housing market. Moving to one of these cities may be a bit more costly, but it could also be a major opportunity for you.

Of course, you also want to make certain these cities are fairly welcoming to the LGBTQ community. Working with a gay or lesbian real estate professional is certainly one way of learning about the area and finding the right home for you. If you already live in one of these cities and have been thinking about selling, now may be the time.

Dallas, Texas

LGBTQ-Friendly Cities Where the Real Estate Market Will Improve in 2019Dallas has always been a fairly open metro. It’s home to the Cathedral of Hope, one of the largest inclusive church congregations that’s mainly LGBTQ. The city has also received a score of 100 on the HRC’s Municipal Equality Index, which shows that it’s very progressive and that city officials have made it a point to protect and include the LGBTQ community.

Experts in real estate and the economy expect homes in Dallas to continue to sell for slightly above the national average, but they will continue to sell. Homes will improve in value, which means even if you’re not looking to buy, you may want to consider selling. For example, if you’re an older couple and your children have left home, selling your current home and downsizing could net you a very nice profit.

Washington, D.C.

It’s no secret that living in the capitol city of the U.S. is expensive, which is why many people prefer to live nearby and commute to work. Those who do own property in D.C. will see housing market do exceptionally well. One of the reasons some experts are giving for the growth in D.C. is because Amazon has selected the city and New York City for its new headquarters buildings. Originally, the company was only going to build one additional headquarters, but executives later decided to build two smaller bases.

Denver, Colorado

Denver may not have been chosen for Amazon’s HQ, but it was a finalist, and even that has had an impact on the city. With a number of LGBTQ neighborhoods, it’s certainly a great place for anyone looking to live in the Midwest U.S. While there is some concern about the housing bubble bursting, analysts believe those concerns are unfounded and that the Denver housing market will grow in 2019.

These are just three LGBTQ-friendly cities that are going to see a strong housing market in 2019. While that may not affect your housing decisions, it is something to keep in mind if you’re looking to buy or sell in these cities.

Delaware’s Gay Ghetto, Rehoboth Beach

If you love the Northwest, you may want to think about moving to Delaware. While it may not get as much recognition as other northern states such as New York and Pennsylvania, Delaware has a lot to offer. For those who are part of the LGBTQ community, Delaware even has its own gay neighborhood in Rehoboth Beach. Unlike some gay ghettos, Rehoboth Beach is actually its own recognized city. It’s located in the Cape Region, one of Delaware’s up-and-coming areas, and is a part of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metro Area.

Rehoboth Beach and the LGBTQ Community

Delaware’s Gay Ghetto, Rehoboth BeachRehoboth Beach was officially founded in 1873, although people had lived in the area for quite some time before that. While it originally was a Methodist camp area, the area soon became a vacation area for those from Washington, DC, and later the nation.

In the 1940s, the LGBTQ nightlife scene took off. Poodle Beach, the area at the southern end of the boardwalk, became a haven for gay men. Bars such as the Pink Pony Bar sat on the boardwalk itself, drawing in many LGBTQ people. Despite having a reputation as a family resort, the area became more and more popular with the LGBTQ community, leading to dance clubs, hotels, and other businesses that catered to the community.

The 1990s and Gay Bashing

Unfortunately, not everyone in Rehoboth Beach was welcoming. IN the early 1990s, there are a number of incidents of gay bashing. The phrase “Keep Rehoboth a Family Town” appeared on signs and bumper stickers as a slogan for rallying anti-homosexual sentiments. One of the popular clubs in the city, the Strand, became the central point of the conflict when it was denied a liquor license. City officials passed a law banning any bar that wasn’t attached to a restaurant. This mostly affected LGBTQ businesses.

Because of this, LGBTQ activists, leaders, and allies formed an organization dedicated to bringing the Rehoboth Beach community together. Today, the city’s LGBTQ population has expanded and is seen as a welcome, equal voice in the community. Rehoboth Beach has been named one of the country’s beast gay beaches and one of the best retirement destinations.

If you’re considering retiring to the area or simply want a change of location, Rehoboth Beach should be on your list of options. Its welcoming attitude and amazing coastline make it an ideal place to live, work, or just visit.

Gentrification and the LGBTQ Community

If you’ve looked at homes in a gay neighborhood or have lived in one before, you’ve likely heard the term “gentrification.” This term is used when a poor neighborhood is improved and maintained to the point that those who once could afford to live there are no longer able to. Gentrification is often connected to the LGBTQ community due to its history in areas such as the Castro and Boystown. Once, these were the only neighborhoods where LGBTQ people felt safe. Today, however, many find that they simply can’t afford to live in these historically gay areas.

The LGBTQ Community After WWII

Gentrification of GayborhoodsThe history of gentrification begins after World War II. Those who had fought in the war were quickly and efficiently kicked out of the military if the let it be known that they were gay. Others found themselves the victims of hate crimes and were forced to leave the neighborhoods they were living in. With often little money and nowhere else to go, they settled in poor, often run down parts of the city.

Over time, these brave LGBTQ individuals and families began changing the communities they were forced to live in. They repaired the homes, improved the landscaping, and in general made the neighborhoods nicer than they were before. Developers saw these up-and-coming neighborhoods and began building new apartment complexes and housing developments in them. The result is that after a few decades, suddenly these “gay ghettos” were affluent neighborhoods with rising property values.

The Benefits of Gentrification

On one hand, the LGBTQ community is able to take advantage of the benefits of gentrification. Many of these homeowners are able to sell their houses for much more than they paid for them. Many even make a profit after subtracting out the cost of maintenance. The neighborhoods such as Harlem, East Village, and West Village were once mostly LGBTQ communities, but today that’s no longer true because many of the gay or lesbian homeowners sold their properties for a nice sum. Those who continue to live in these areas now enjoy safe neighborhoods that are the envy of many.

The Downsides

Of course, there are some downsides to gentrification. Young LGBTQ couples and individuals may find it impossible to move into the gayborhood of their choice. Those who continue to live in a gentrified gay district are likely to find their property taxes have greatly increased. Their overall cost of living may have increased, too. Some may even find themselves forced to sell their beloved home because they can no longer afford it.

Whether you love it or hate it, gentrification is something that many LGBTQ people have to face at some point. Fortunately, there are great gay and lesbian real estate professionals here to help you buy a home in the gay neighborhood of your choice or sell a property you already own.

The History of the Gay Village

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, you may feel more comfortable living around other individuals, couples, and families who are also a part of the community. This often means moving into an area that has become known as a gay village, gayborhood, or gay ghetto. While you’re working with a gay or lesbian real estate professional to find your perfect home in one of these neighborhoods, you may find it odd that so many LGBTQ people decided to live together. Where did these gay neighborhoods come from?

The Gay Village Started in Germany

The History of the Gay VillageThe first neighborhood to be recognized as a gay village was in Berlin. The neighborhood of Schoneberg became popular with LGBTQ homeowners during the 1920s, several decades before the idea of the gay village even existed. Most LGBTQ people gathered in bars rather than certain neighborhoods.

In the U.S., the gay village didn’t become a recognized concept until the late 1960s and 70s. Thanks to the Stonewall Rebellion in 1965, the LGBTQ community became more recognized, leading to the appearance of more gay neighborhoods across the country. The shift from bar to community was a major transition for the LGBTQ community and helped to show that its members were just like anyone else—neighbors, co-workers, and families.

What Makes a Gay Village?

What exactly is a gay village, though? Is it simply a neighborhood where a certain percentage of homeowners or renters identify as LGBTQ? For some, that is enough of a definition. Most neighborhoods do have more identifying characteristics, though. Originally, gay ghettos were run-down areas that were fairly cheap. These parts of town were considered areas where “disreputable” people lived. Many LGBTQ people were forced to move to these areas due to threats of violence and intolerance in the more affluent parts of town.

Because many of these LGBTQ homeowners took care of their homes, many gay villages went through gentrification. Today, these older historic homes are often worth a lot of money. In Chelsea, New York, for example, home prices have dramatically increased since the area became a gay neighborhood in the 1990s. The same is true with areas such as Andersonville, Chicago; South End, Boston; and West Hollywood.

The Modern Gay Village

Fortunately for the LGBTQ community, there’s no longer as much antagonism as there once was. Today, while there is still some persecution towards LGBTQ individuals and families, it’s not as wide-spread, and fewer people are finding themselves run out of a neighborhood because of who they’re in love with. Because of this, there aren’t many new gay neighborhoods appearing. The gay village isn’t likely to vanish overnight, but there is, thankfully, less of a need for them.

Buying within Budget – Do LGBTQ Homebuyers Spend More?

According to studies done by Nielsen and by Prudential, LGBTQ individuals and families tend to spend more than straight individuals and families. Some believe this is because LGBTQ individuals feel a pressure to look a certain way in order to fit in. For example, gay men often feel as if they have to be fashionable because the stereotype is that gay men dress very nicely. This often leads to a large amount of credit card debt.

According to the studies, many LGBTQ people spend their money at liquor stores and on wine. This corresponds with the fact that many young LGBTQ people often turn to alcohol and drugs to deal with their conflicting emotions about their orientation or gender identity.

But what about housing? Does this trend of spending more continue?

 

Buying in the Gayborhood

Buying within Budget – Do LGBTQ Homebuyers Spend MoreFor those who want to buy in a gay village or gayborhood, it often does. That’s because these neighborhoods are often gentrified or historic. The Castro district in San Francisco, for example, is home to some amazing properties that have been maintained over the years, thus pushing the price up. New York, especially Manhattan and other neighborhoods where LGBTQ people often live, is also highly expensive. It’s more than housing costs, too—the price of living in these cities is also much higher.

While this isn’t true for every gay village or neighborhood, it is the case for many of them. These homes are generally more expensive due to their condition. Those that are considered historic houses may be even more expensive.

 

States with Lower Costs of Living Are Often Not as Welcoming

It’s easy to say that you’ll simply move to a state with a lower cost of living, but it’s not always that simple. Many of those states that do have lower costs of living are also the ones where LGBTQ people do not have as many protections.

Most of Arkansas, for example, has a cost of living that is between 15 and 20 percent lower than the national average. But it’s also a state that does not have hate crime laws or protections in place for LGBTQ individuals and families. The one area that is very welcoming, Eureka Springs, is also more costly.

Still, you can often find places even in the most conservative of states where you’ll be welcome, just like there are places in states with high costs of living that are more budget-friendly. Simply find a good gay or lesbian real estate agent to help you find the perfect home.