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 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, and 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 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 agent today to get started.

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