How to Choose an LGBTQ-Friendly Community You’ll Love When Considering a Relocation

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[1]. 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.

At GayRealEstate.com, matching clients across the country with LGBTQ-friendly realtors who know their communities well and provide only the highest-quality professional representation for all buying and selling needs is our passion and our promise. We can’t wait to help you find the agent who will help you to find the home of your dreams in a community you’ll love. Contact us soon to let us know how we can help you too – we would be honored to have the opportunity to do so! Online or toll free 1-888-420-MOVE (6683).

[1] https://www.hrc.org/resources/best-places-to-work-2019

Move Myself or Hire a Mover?

When it comes to the question of hiring movers or doing it yourself, the answer is largely dependent on time, money, muscle and distance. Clearly, moving across town isn’t the same as moving across the country. A long distance move will require extensive forethought and planning. Likewise, a move within Los Angeles, Chicago or New York City could quickly devolve into a nightmare if you try to do it yourself—crowded streets and cramped staircases make for a lot of beat-up knees and potentially broken backs.

Which do you have more to spend – time or money?

Unless you are moving out of an eight bedroom Tudor, a handful of friends, a lot of boxes, tape and hard work is all that is required to move anyone out. If you are taking this approach, presumably you are renting a truck. You should consult with your rental truck service about the capacity and limitations of different truck sizes. Many well established rental truck companies have online tools that will calculate truck size based on the dimensions of your home—square footage or how many beds and baths.

You should budget for fuel. This is especially true if you are making a long distance move, as gas is expensive. Organizations like the American Automotive Association (AAA) have helpful online fuel-cost calculators that you can program with different distances.

Once you have drawn up a do-it-yourself moving budget that includes rental cost, gas and other miscellaneous fees that you may incur (friends need to eat – and drink), you should call the top 3 moving companies on Yelp.com for a quote. If money is the determining factor, then inquiring will give you your answer.

Money isn’t an issue – my time is more important

Your best bet to guarantee the best experience with a moving company is to hire an outfit with high customer reviews. And take the time to get copies of the movers insurance and guarantees, etc. This is important in big cities where there are major moving days like October 1st, movers have been known to overbook and back out at the last minute!

A good moving company will move with the speed and agility of a small army. If you can get a decent quote – or you are so lucky as to find a moving company that is cheaper than the cost associated with a DYI move – jump on it! Moving can be extremely stressful, and a moving company is a great way to get your things organized and out in a timely fashion.

It should be noted that movers often work for tips as well as a salary. You should calculate a fairly sizable tip, 15-20%, on top of your moving quote.

Deciding whether to hire a moving company or do it yourself is determined by your individual needs. If time is a total issue – say you are a starting a new job in a new city -you don’t want to overburden yourself. At the same time, money and necessity may dictate that you do it yourself.

If you’re moving with pets request a free copy of our eBook “Moving with Pets – Easing the Transition” with a request to manager@gayrealestate.com.

Professional Real Estate Agents at www.GayRealEstate.com in the city you are moving to or from are always a great source for mover referrals ~ they and their clients deal with movers on a weekly basis, don’t be afraid to ask your agent for a referral to a mover, home inspector, mortgage professional and the like.

Gay Real Estate and the State of LGBT Relocation

The good news was that on July 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court overturned a section of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) that refused to recognize the marital status of same-sex couples. The bad news is that even though the federal government now recognizes the marital status of same sex couples, there are still 37 states that do not recognize marriage equality.

State of LGBT RelocationAs heartening as the revocation of DOMA first seemed the let-down according to gay real estate is that the Supreme Court left it up to the individual states to decide whether or not a gay marriage would be recognized with the definition of the state usurping the definition of the federal ruling.

Also disappointing is the fact that the status of a marriage is defined by location and not the place of celebration. This is important because this means that if a gay couple is married in New York, where their union is legally recognized and they move to somewhere like Alabama, where it is not, then they lose their legal married status and all the benefits and constitutional rights that go with that.

The main impact that this has on legally married couples relocation is that it puts a lot of pressure on the couple to put the matter of where they live before the progress of their careers or a real desire to live in a certain climate or environment.

Heterosexual couples do not have to live like this ~ Politics and the search to be treated equally do not determine the planning of life goals. They do not have to choose to live in the areas that comprise that thirty percent of the state governments in the United States that legally recognize them as couples.  Opposite sex couples can live wherever they like in the country without fear of financial penalties or a lack of recognition of their most important relationship.

Obviously the stress of deciding between having constitutional rights and no career path in a state that recognizes gay marriage or having a good job and no rights can cause a lot of stress in any relationship.  Those in gay marriages may find themselves making tough choices such as having to lose constitutional rights because they want to live near an ailing relative who lives in a state that does not recognize gay marriage. Another tough choice might have to do with needing to relocate to a state where there is no tax on gifts to a spouse if a spouse happens to be ailing.

DOMA has also affected those who have married in other countries, such as Canada, and then returned to the United States to make a home for them.  Sadly many couples have ended up separated from each other because the marriage was not recognized and the spouse was not able to obtain a Green Card. For couples this has happened to in the past it might be a lot easier to get their spouse into the country now provided that they choose to live in a state that recognizes the marriage.

The fact that status and rights depends so much on geography is an anomaly that has created a great deal of confusion and even led to situations where married same-sex couples living in a state without marriage equality can be treated as single. This is expensive emotionally as it takes away from the integrity of the relationship and many LGBT citizens end up suffering financially for many reasons. That is why consulting with a gay realtor and also a tax expert that is familiar with tax law and the DOMA repeal is a good idea before you relocate anywhere in the U.S.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of GayRealEstate.com. Free Instant Access to the Nation’s Top Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast. FREE Buyers Representation ~ Free Relocation Kit to any City, USA ~ Free Sellers Market Analysis for home sellers.

Gay Realtor Tips to Relieve the Tension of Relocation

If you thought that selling a home would take time, think again. These days in many markets, you can sell your home at blazing speeds, which is a clear indication that there has been an increase in the mobility that goes hand in hand with the country’s economic restoration.

For many of us that have been stuck in our homes for the past half dozen years, this is great news.

Gay Realtor Tips to Relieve the Tension of RelocationThere comes a time in our lives that we need to pick ourselves up and move ahead. You’re going to start a new beginning, which is why you need to get started on the right track e.g. finding a great neighborhood, within your new city, that fits perfectly with your current economic condition.

To be able to make the next move without undue stress, you need to adhere to the following principles.

Acknowledge the Reality of Today’s Market

Realize that you live in a world that has amazing cities, with amazing opportunities. In some cities the number of homes that are available is outnumbered by the number of potential buyers, offering a great opportunity to home buyers, and in other cities you’d better be prepared to make aggressive, over-full-price offers to secure your home.

So what do you need to do? A few simple rules apply here;

  1. A Sell first then buy the new home.
  2. Visit the city you are considering, and meet with a gay realtor to discuss opportunities.
  3. Don’t rush if you don’t have to, but move forward with a well designed plan.
  4. Packing is everything! Do it well, or have it done for you.

Don’t over extend yourself financially, which causes an enormous amount of unnecessary stress. If money is not a concern, there are still lenders that will extend a short term bridge loan for those trying to purchase a new house prior to selling the current one you own.

Finding the Right Real Estate Agent

Nothing is more important than to work with someone you trust, someone that understands your unique needs and requirements, and someone that stands in full support of the LGBT community.

Services like those offered by GayRealEstate.com, GayRealEstateAgents.com and LesbianRealEstate.com help take the guesswork out of choosing a real estate professional. Additionally, you can request a Free Relocation Kit for any city you’re considering a move to.

Is My New Home Worth It?

Living life to the fullest is about taking some risks. Well, this is the same thing with your home investment. How you have prepared is what makes the big difference between success and failure. A good tip would be to at least put at least 20% down on your new home purchase, to save MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium) which can be hundreds of extra dollars per month.

Before you decide to move into a new neighborhood, ensure you have closely accessed the area and familiarize yourself with what goes on in the region.

When you’ve made the decision to move, pick movers carefully ~ how are they rated at Yelp.com? Try to find out their interstate rates of shipping. When moving despite how much you have paid for the service, delays in pickup and delivery are likely to occur so exercise patience, and know that things are unfolding exactly as they should.

You can try and avoid crunch times by moving on times where you would get a more attentive crews, and better rates. Such seasons are between the months of October – March. If you have expensive items to move, getting third party moving insurance is a great idea.

Relocating ~ How Do I Find Temporary Housing?

Relocating your family doesn’t have to be filled with stress, confusion, and desperation as you frantically search for a temporary roof over your head.  Often, a closing date will contradict a desired move date or an unexpected turn of events will cause you to rush a closing, wrecking havoc on your moving timeline.

Temporary housing is the next logical step as a stepping-stone to your new home.  Finding help is free and is a convenient way to get a professional on your side to find an apartment, weekly, or monthly rental that suits the lifestyle you desire.

Apartment Temporary Housing

If you are a single person, or a small family that doesn’t mind putting major items in temporary storage, you may consider an apartment as your temporary residence.  Your apartment will come complete with all household necessities: bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and possibly even your own personal garage.  It’s common for an apartment to be available in multi-floor varieties, so you’ll have a choice of a single floor unit or penthouse suite.

Similar to helping with home purchases, our real estate agents can assist you with apartment temporary housing.  By far the most useful tool we’ll bring to the table are intricate searching tools that help us sort out undesirable units immediately.

Residential Month-to-Month Temporary Housing

We keep a close watch on properties that are available to lease month to month, as this poses a substantial benefit to both an investor without a tenant and a buyer in desperate need of a home.  Month-to-month rentals are a great way to avoid sacrificing the luxuries that a private residence offers your family.  You’ll enjoy a better sense of security, private parking, and your own yard to lounge away the afternoons.

Our real estate agents can also assist with finding a weekly or monthly residential rental.  We’ll manage the communication between you and the landlord, act as your representative during all negotiations, and guide you in carefully constructing a lease agreement that you won’t regret later.

What’s Next?

Once you’ve completed your temporary stay, our real estate agents can assist with discovering your next home.  The process is very similar to finding your previous temporary home.  We’ve found that being focused and proactive in this volatile real estate market essentially guarantees that you’ll find a place to live in that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

If you’re in the market for a new home and are considering temporary living, contact a GayRealEstate.com agent today to get started.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of www.GayRealEstate.com ~ Free Instant Access to Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast, offering Free Buyers Assistance.