Category Archives: Housing Markets

U Street, a Home to the LGBTQ Community in DC

Situated in the Northwestern part of Washington, D.C. is an area known as the U Street Corridor. It’s sometimes referred to as Cardozo or as the Cardozo/Shaw district, too. This area is a residential and commercial neighborhood that is made up of nine blocks of U Street, starting at NW 9th and ending at NW 18th street. It’s bordered on the north by Florida Avenue NW and by S Street NW on the south. The area has gone through a number of major changes over the years, but today it’s considered an ethnically diverse neighborhood that’s home to a thriving LGBTQ community.

U Street’s Beginning

U Street, a Home to the LGBTQ Community in DCThe neighborhood was originally developed in the 1860s. Many of the homes were done in the Victorian style, and most are not considered historic. These row houses were built quickly to house a growing population after the U.S. Civil War. During that time, the government was growing fairly quickly, and many more people were needed in the D.C. area than ever before.

During the 1900s, the area became the center of Washington’s African American community. In fact, until Harlem overtook it in the 1920s, U Street was the largest such community in the country. Many businesses, theaters, churches, gyms, and other organizations thrived in the neighborhood. Up until the 1960s, U Street had the nickname of Black Broadway thanks to the large number of performances held here. Some of the most famous performers include Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, and Louis Armstrong.

The Decline and Restoration of the Neighborhood

Following Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s, assassination in 1968, the area began to decline. Riots broke out at U Street and 14th Street. The violence resulted in many businesses and residents moving out of the neighborhood, and by the mid-70s, drugs were a major issue on U Street.

When the Reeves Center was built in 1986, it began a domino effect that started revitalizing the district. New bus and metro stops were added, a number of grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development came through, and other new construction brought people back to U Street. Redevelopment continued into the 2000s and early 2010s, gentrifying much of U Street.

Today, the diverse area is home to many LGBTQ individuals and families. Many businesses have returned, and the arts community is once against thriving here. For those who are looking for a home that welcomes everyone, U Street is a great opportunity. Housing costs have gone up due to the gentrification of the neighborhood, but a good gay or lesbian agent will help you find a home you love that’s within your budget.

The Gay Neighborhoods of New Orleans

Are you considering a move to New Orleans? This unique city offers a melting pot of various cultures, creating a place like no other. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to raise a family or a great place to party and meet people, New Orleans has it. But does it have a gay neighborhood? It doesn’t just have one; it has three! If you’re looking for a gay community in New Orleans, here are three neighborhoods you may want to live in.

Faubourg Marigny

The Gay Neighborhoods of New OrleansIt might have a weird name, but the neighborhood of Faubourg Marigny is full of beautiful architecture. Founded in 1805, it’s one of the older parts of the city, and much of it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It declined during the 1950s, but after Hurricane Betsy, the Faubourg Marigny began growing as a number of displaced Filipino Americans moved into the dilapidated area. By the mid-1980s, it was home to many music venues and arts festivals. This drew a number of LGBTQ individuals to Faubourg Marigny, turning it into a gayborhood.

The French Quarter

One of the most famous neighborhoods of New Orleans, the French Quarter is the city’s version of San Francisco’s Castro District. Unfortunately, also like the Castro, the cost of living in the French Quarter is significantly higher than in many other parts of New Orleans. However, the many historical sites and unique styles of the French Quarter are worth it, though you do have to accept the fact that many tourists visit the district year-round. This is one of the most diverse parts of New Orleans, and you’ll find that basically everyone who lives here has embraced that diversity.

Pigeon Town

Finally, there’s Pigeon Town. This neighborhood is much quieter than the French Quarter, but it’s no less historic. It’s also quite diverse, and many artists and musicians have made it their home. It’s not unheard of for people to gather in the street to party just because they want to, especially since the roads aren’t congested. Many people prefer to bike or use public transportation instead of driving. There are a number of public art projects that anyone can contribute to as well. Overall, it’s a great place for a family.

No matter where you’re looking to live in New Orleans, a gay or lesbian real estate agent can help you find the perfect home.

The Downsides of Gentrification on the Gay Neighborhood

When people think of gentrification, they often think of older, rundown neighborhoods being reinvigorated and restored. Gentrification can do a lot of good to a neighborhood. It brings new life back into sections of a city that once flourished but then were typically hit by hard times. These areas often become home to a large amount of crime while in disrepair, so gentrification helps eliminate this.

Run down neighborhoods also tend to become home to those that the more affluent residents find “undesirable.” For quite some time, this included the LGBTQ community. That’s why many gay ghettos started out as poor, deteriorating neighborhoods in need of some repairs. Today, partly in thanks to the LGBTQ residents of these areas, many gay neighborhoods have gone through gentrification and are now more affluent areas with low crime and gorgeous, restored homes. But there are some downsides to gentrification, unfortunately. You may want to learn about these downsides before working with a gay or lesbian real estate agent to move into a gayborhood.

Low-Income Residents Are Forced Out

The Downsides of Gentrification on the Gay NeighborhoodAs gentrification takes hold, housing prices typically rise. In many cases, this makes it all but impossible for low-income residents of the gayborhood to remain there. If they rent, the rent goes up. If they own, their property taxes increase as the neighborhood becomes more valuable. They may also find that the cost of basic necessities such as groceries increase as higher-end stores move into the area.

Racial Tensions Can Increase

Another side effect of gentrification is that it can lead to increasing racial tensions. This is generally from the people who move into the neighborhood rather than those who have been a part of it for years. These new residents are looking at the gayborhood as an affluent, upper-class area. As such, they may also come in with preconceived racial notions that lead to conflict with their neighbors.

Certain Professions or Identities Are Pushed Out

Because these gentrified areas were once run down, they became home to a number of people who simply didn’t feel welcome elsewhere. In the LGBTQ community, this may include those are part of a subgroup such as leather daddies or those who enjoy BDSM. As the neighborhood becomes a desirable place to live, clubs and other businesses that cater to these subcultures may become targeted by those who look down on these groups. People may feel as if their neighborhood is no longer their home because they’re being pushed out for having particular interests or for identifying one way or another.

Many people may find it odd that an LGBTQ neighborhood, even after being gentrified, would turn against others due to their race or their interests. However, it does happen. It may not occur in every gay village, fortunately, but gentrification does transform the neighborhood in a number of ways, not all of them positive.

The LGBTQ Neighborhoods of Atlanta

Are you thinking about moving to Atlanta or making a move from one part of the city to another? Georgia can be a great state to live in, and its capital is an amazing city. It actually has four recognized LGBTQ areas, too, so there’s a gay village for everyone! If you’re talking with a gay or lesbian real estate agent about finding a new home in Atlanta, here are the neighborhoods you might want to check out.

Ansley Park

The LGBTQ Neighborhoods of AtlantaAnsley Park is located east of the Midtown area. It was one of the first suburb areas designed for people who owned cars, so the roads here are actually more winding than the older parts of Atlanta, which are laid out on a grid system for streetcars. Many of the homes here were built in the 1930s and are listed as historic properties. This area is one of the more affluent parts of Atlanta, so home prices do tend to be higher.

East Atlanta Village

The East Atlanta Village gayborhood is known for its street art. You’ll find many artists and artistic people living here, and there are a number of popular festivals and other events held in the neighborhood. It’s a more laid-back LGBTQ district that is perfect for those who want a little peace and quiet.

Grant Park

Grant park is for those who love nature and the outdoors. This area has a huge number of recreational spaces, parks, and other undeveloped areas. The neighborhood, like Ansley Park, is made up of mostly historic homes, and they do tend to be a little more expensive than some newer builds.

Kirkwood

Kirkwood is also an historic neighborhood. It’s located on the east side of the city and is a streetcar suburb, so unlike Ansley Park, its streets are laid out in a grid pattern. The business part of Kirkwood has recently gone through a period of gentrification, catching it up to the more residential part of the neighborhood. Kirkwood is something of a small town in and of itself, and it has its own police and fire stations, library, and post office. You can do everything you need to do in the neighborhood without going into any other part of Atlanta, so it’s perfect for LGBTQ individuals or couples who want that small-town feel, but also want to have everything a large metro area has to offer right at their fingertips.

Ybor City – Tampa’s Gay Ghetto

Tampa, Florida, may not be home to Disney World, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the state’s busiest tourist areas. The Tampa Bay Area is home to over 4 million people, while the city proper has a population of over 400,000. With such a large city, it’s no surprise that it has a gayborhood. While Tampa is certainly very LGBTQ-friendly, the neighborhood of Ybor City tends to be the most welcoming and diverse.

The History of Ybor City

Ybor City – Tampa’s Gay GhettoYbor City is named after its founder, Vicente Martinez-Ybor. Originally, the area was home to dozens of cigar factories and populated mostly by immigrants from Cuba, Italy, and Spain. It was actually fairly unique because of this—few other cities in the South were home to an all-immigrant population. This had an impact on the food, the style of homes, and much more, creating a very unique neighborhood.

As Ybor City grew over the years, its population changed. During the Great Depression, cigars were a luxury few people could afford, leading to many factories closing. The neighborhood continued to decline during World War II, and by the 1970s, much of it was abandoned. Finally, in the 1980s, a number of artists took advantage of the low housing costs of the area, and gentrification began. By the 2000s, Ybor City had become known for its nightlife, and many of the old cigar factories had been renovated and transformed into bars, offices, and even apartment complexes.

The Gayborhood

A number of the artists who worked to renovate the area were part of the LGBTQ community. Their influence led to a number of different gay bars, restaurants, boutiques, shops, and other organizations opening up in Ybor City, many of which were situated between 8th Avenue and 15th Street. Today, this area is home to the GaYBOR Coalition, a nonprofit group made up of various LGBTQ-owned businesses in Ybor City. The group hosts the annual GaYBOR Days event around the Fourth of July and helps promote the LGBTQ community through Tampa and the entire state. The GaYBOR coalition is noted for including a number of businesses owned by straight allies.

Moving to Ybor City

Thinking about moving to the Ybor City neighborhood? Homes here can range from around $150,000 to $300,000 or more. It all depends on the size and the exact location in the neighborhood. A gay or lesbian real estate expert can help you find the home that’s perfect for your needs.

Should I Retire to an LGBTQ Neighborhood?

If you’re getting close to retirement age, you’ve probably already started thinking about where you want to spend your golden years. While some people plan on staying right where they are, others want to embark on a new adventure now that they’re retired and free to do what they please with their lives. Determining where you want to live is a key component to your retirement plans. If you’re a part of the LGBTQ community, you may be thinking about retiring to a gay neighborhood. Should you?

Look at Your Finances

Should I Retire to a LGBTQ NeighborhoodThe first thing to do is to take a good, hard look at your finances. Many traditional gay neighborhoods are also quite expensive. Boystown, the Castro District, and most of the neighborhoods in New York City are very costly, and you may simply not be able to afford to live there. Some up-and-coming communities that are filled with LGBTQ residents may be more affordable, but they often don’t have the character that some of the older neighborhoods have. Some are also new construction in downtown areas, which can be costly as well.

Are You Active in the LGBTQ Community?

If you’re an active part of your LGBTQ community, moving into a gay neighborhood or even a retirement complex aimed at LGBTQ seniors can be a great way of continuing to play an active part in your new home. As you age, you may have to face the fact that your driving capabilities are no longer what they once were. By settling yourself in an LGBTQ community now, you can be sure you’re within walking distance of the local community center and other locations. Being able to walk to many locations can also help you maintain your health and watch your budget.

Are You Concerned About Hate Crimes?

Some seniors are worried that they will be unable to defend themselves should they be attacked or the victim of any sort of hate crime. Living in an LGBTQ neighborhood can help protect against this since you know your neighbors either identify as LGBTQ or are very supportive—otherwise, they likely wouldn’t live in the area. If you are concerned about safety, you’ll find that some gay neighborhoods are also gated communities, especially the newer areas conceived as housing developments. These locations can bolster your sense of security and may come with other amenities such as included yard maintenance.

No matter where you want to retire to, you may want to see if there’s a gay neighborhood in that area. Even if you aren’t looking to live specifically in a gay district, it can be a good place to start your house search.

San Francisco’s SoMa Neighborhood

Looking for a great place to live in San Francisco that is welcoming, but also more affordable than the Castro District? One area to consider is South of Market, better known as SoMa. The SoMa neighborhood is actually pretty large, so there are a good number of homes here. In fact, SoMa is so big it’s actually been divided further into smaller neighborhoods, including Rincon Hill, Yerba Buena, South Beach, South Park, and the Financial District South area.

Where Is SoMa?

San Franciscos SoMa NeighborhoodSoMa is, as the name suggested, located south of Market Street. San Francisco Bay sits to the northeast of the area, while the south is boarded by Division Street and US Route 101. The boundaries of SoMa aren’t exactly set, which does make it somewhat unclear where one neighborhood begins and another ends. Specifically, SoMa, the Mission District, and Mission Bay tend to overlap in areas. While the boundaries have changed, it doesn’t really matter too much if you live in one of the areas where it’s unclear what neighborhood you’re in.

The LGBTQ Community in SoMa

One of the most unique sub-neighborhoods in SoMa is the LGBTQ and Leather Cultural District. It’s fairly new—the area was officially created in 2018. It’s situated between Howard St, US 101, 7th Street, and I-80. The district was formed as a way of maintaining and sharing the history of the leather subculture that had been active in SoMa for almost 50 years. The area includes The Stud, the oldest gay bar in San Francisco.

Activities and Events

You don’t have to be a part of the leather subculture in order to enjoy everything SoMa has to offer, of course. There are many different arts and cultural events held in the area, plus many museums to visit. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is located in SoMa, as are the Old Mint, the Yerba Buena Gardens, the SOMArts cultural facility, and more.

SoMa is home to the Folsom Street Fair, a leather subculture fair held during Leather Pride Week. There are also a number of Filipino cultural events held throughout the year thanks to the large Filipino community that lives in the area.

Want to learn more about housing options in SoMa? Ask a local gay or lesbian real estate agent to show you properties in the area.

Hell’s Kitchen – Don’t Let this LGBTQ Neighborhood’s Name Fool You

Hell’s Kitchen is one of the more notorious-sounding neighborhoods in New York. Just based off the name, it certainly doesn’t sound like a place you’d want to move. While it’s true that the area did once have a poor reputation, in recent years it has undergone gentrification. While it was originally the home of many poor immigrants, today Hell’s Kitchen is populated by many actors and young professionals. It’s also one of New York’s primary LGBTQ communities.

How Hell’s Kitchen Got Its Name

Hell’s Kitchen Don’t Let this LGBTQ Neighborhood’s Name Fool YouThe neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen is more officially known as Clinton, but few people call it that. It occupies the area between 34th and 59th and from Eighth Avenue to around 43rd Street. No one is actually certain how the neighborhood got its unique nickname. There are a few different stories. One claims that Davy Crockett coined the term while making horrible comments about the Irish immigrants in the area. Another says Hell’s Kitchen was originally used to describe a building on 54th Street but later expanded to the entire district.

Greenwich Village and the Gay Exodus

Greenwich Village was one of the first gay villages in New York City, but because of gentrification and other changes in the neighborhood, the cost of living has increased over the years. In the early 1990s, the neighborhood saw something of an exodus due to the expensive housing prices and other costs. Many gay and lesbian residents moved to nearby Chelsea. However, it didn’t take long for housing prices in this area to also skyrocket.

The gentrification in Chelsea led to a number of people moving to Hell’s Kitchen. The neighborhood is now considered by some to be the new gay center of Manhattan. However, while it’s still more affordable than Greenwich Village and Chelsea, it’s true that costs are increasing in Hell’s Kitchen.

Points of Interest

One of the central locations in the Hell’s Kitchen LGBTQ community is the Metropolitan Community Church of New York. This church is primarily focused on serving the LGBTQ community, though it does have members of all orientations and gender identities. The church was founded in Los Angeles, but it has moved several times until it found its current location in 1994.

The Actor’s Studio, an organization for actors, directors, and writers, is located in Hell’s Kitchen. A number of well-known actors have studied here under the direction of Lee Strasberg. The studio draws a number of aspiring actors to Hell’s Kitchen, many of whom live in the Manhattan Plaza.

The USS Intrepid is docked on the Hudson River Pier 86 on 46th Street. The aircraft carrier serves as the main part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which also includes a Lockheed A-12 plane, a submarine, and the Space Shuttle Enterprise.

Interested in moving to Hell’s Kitchen? The many restaurants, studios, and other locations make it a great place for aspiring actors, directors, and writers. A gay or lesbian real estate agent can help you find the perfect place in this unique LGBTQ neighborhood.

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.

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.