Where Are Young LGBTQ People Moving to?

Posted on April 18, 2018 in Buying a Home

If you’re a young individual who has just graduated college or is simply looking for a change, you might be wondering where the most popular places are for Millennials who identify as LGBTQ. If you asked any gay or lesbian real estate agent, you might be surprised to learn that some unlikely cities are actually pretty popular with the younger crowd. Here are a few of the places where LGBTQ Millennials are headed.

Seattle

Seattle has been one of the more popular places for young professionals in the last decade, including those who are part of the LGBTQ community. Amazon, Starbucks, and Microsoft are all headquartered here, and all offer young people good paying jobs. The overall unemployment rate in Seattle is fairly low thanks to these large businesses. The average home price is, unfortunately, around $450,000. If you plan on being a homebuyer, Seattle might not be the best place to start, though the metro area did pass a $15 minimum wage bill.

Salt Lake City

The capital city of Utah might seem like an odd place for LGBTQ people since it’s the home of the Church of Latter Day Saints. The church has been decidedly unfriendly towards the LGBTQ community, but Salt Lake City is surprisingly welcoming. In 2012, the city was named the Gayest City in the USA by the Advocate and has landed in the top ten most other years. Unemployment here is consistently low. Home prices are also fairly reasonable.

San Francisco

San Francisco, widely considered the gay capital of the U.S., is just as popular with young LGBTQ people as it is with the older generations. While those who move here to find work with startups and other tech companies, there is the issue of housing costs. The average cost of buying a home is $850,000, and homebuyers put more than half of their monthly income towards their mortgages. Don’t let that deter you, though. If you love the Bay Area, there are some more affordable areas, plus you can look in the suburbs as well. The DART system can get you around the city from virtually anywhere.

Houston

Finally, there’s Houston, Texas. The city made headlines in 2010 when Annise Parker, an out lesbian, was elected its mayor. While she left office in 2016, the city is still very LGBTQ-friendly. Young professionals will also find that they can afford more in Houston than they can in San Francisco or Seattle. Home prices tend to be around $300,000.

Where Should LGBTQ Seniors Retire to in 2018?

Posted on April 5, 2018 in Buying a Home

If you’ve reached retirement age, you’ve probably been dreaming about how you’ll spend your days. But have you thought about where you’ll spend them? While some people do retire and stay where they’ve been living, others decide to sell their home and move elsewhere. This is especially true if you live in a colder area and have started to feel aches and pains when the temperature drops. If you’re looking to uproot and move somewhere else to spend your golden years, here are a few of the best places for LGBTQ seniors to retire to in 2018.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale is often at the top of these lists. The gorgeous weather in this area (and all of Florida, really) makes it the perfect place for those who are tired of living in the cold. Wilton Manors, which is basically a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, is a huge LGBTQ community that offers many great things for retirees to do. With LGBTQ beaches, huge golf courses, and many parts, Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area is perfect for those who want to spend their days doing nothing.

Portland, Oregon

On the other hand, maybe the heat, humidity, and sunshine just aren’t for you. In that case, head to the opposite side of the country and move to Portland! This city offers a good sized LGBTQ population, affordable housing, and a great public transit network that can take you just about anywhere you need to go. Portland is a very progressive city and is focused on providing services to seniors. While the city is in the northern part of the U.S., it actually doesn’t have much extreme weather.

Columbus, Ohio

If neither coast is to your liking, how about Columbus? Ohio is a diverse state that’s centrally located, making it easier to see family who live on opposite sides of the country. Over 4.5 percent of the population identifies as LGBTQ, so you’ll find many other like-minded seniors to make friends with. There are also some nice perks to living in Ohio. For example, seniors who want to learn more can audit courses at Ohio colleges for free. Columbus is also home to a huge pride festival that’s over 35 years old.

These are just three great cities in the U.S. for you to consider if you’re retiring this year. They’re by far not the only LGBTQ-friendly retirement locations, though, so take your time and consult with your gay or lesbian real estate expert before making your move.

The Best LGBTQ Cities in South Dakota

Posted on March 31, 2018 in Buying a Home

South Dakota isn’t really known for being an exciting place to live. It doesn’t have a major city such as Chicago, New York City, or Dallas. But just because it doesn’t have a giant metro area doesn’t mean it’s not a great place to call home. South Dakota features some amazing natural sights, quiet towns, and much more. Even better, South Dakota is surprisingly open to those in the LGBTQ community. You won’t find yourself feeling like an outcast here. If you’re making the move to South Dakota but aren’t sure where you want to live, here are some of the most welcoming cities in the state.

Rapid City

You may want to begin your search for a new home in Rapid City. It’s surrounded by the gorgeous Black Hills and is quite close to Custer State Park, the Badlands, and Mount Rushmore. This means Rapid City does see a good amount of tourists every year. The city has its own pride festival that brings in over a thousand people each year. There are a number of gay and lesbian real estate agents on hand in Rapid City to help you find an amazing home. The prices are definitely right—you’ll be amazed at the size of the home you can for a very reasonable price.

Brookings

Brookings, the fourth largest city in the state, often tops the list of “safest places to live in South Dakota.” Crime here is very low, making it the ideal place to raise a family. With only around 22,000 people living here, Brookings does have a small town feel to it in places. Still, it’s large enough to offer a number of restaurants and a shopping mall. The population is a bit smaller in the summer when the students from South Dakota State University aren’t in class.

Marty

Marty is usually considered South Dakota’s most liberal city. It is very small, though—the city has fewer than 500 residents. That might be too small for some, especially since these smaller towns don’t have a lot of amenities. If you’re looking for a place to settle down where you’ll know all of your neighbors (and pretty much everyone else in town), then Marty might be right for you.

There are a number of other great places to live in South Dakota. Sioux Falls, Vermillion, and Pierre are all great options. If you want a quiet place to settle down and raise a family, South Dakota is a great option.

Finding a Home in North Dakota

Posted on March 20, 2018 in Buying a Home

Have you considered moving to North Dakota? While it’s true this state has one of the lowest LGBTQ populations in the country, that doesn’t mean you won’t be welcomed here. In fact, some of these cities are quite diverse. You may even be surprised to find that some of the places with the most LGBTQ households are actually the smaller towns in North Dakota. Many even have their own gay or lesbian real estate professionals to help you find homes!

Speaking of, the housing market in North Dakota may seem incredible to those moving from larger cities or from either coast. It’s very reasonable, with even the larger homes going for a fraction of what they would cost in New York, LA, or any other major metro area. With that said, here are some of the places you might consider for your home in North Dakota.

Valley City

The population of Valley City is only a little over 3,000 so you might be surprised to find that it has one of the highest number of LGBTQ households in the state. This little town might not have its own pride festival or even much of a gay bar, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a welcoming community. Valley City is the perfect little town if you want peace and quiet. You’ll know your neighbors (and basically everyone) by name here, and they’ll all be there for you if you need help with anything.

Fargo

On the other hand, if you want a larger city, there’s Fargo. It’s North Dakota’s most populous city, but it only has about 120,000 residents. That’s small compared to some other major metro areas. The city is one of the main parts of the Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN metro area. It’s also growing pretty quickly and has been listed as one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Part of the reason why Fargo is more diverse than other cities is that it’s home to North Dakota State University.

Devil’s Lake

There are many jokes you could make about gays and Devil’s Lake. Maybe that’s why this city is home to a number of gay and lesbian families. With about 7,000 people, Devil’s Lake is a nice mid-sized city. The city was founded in 1882 and has grown fairly nicely. In addition to its population growing, the city is also known for its rainfall. In the 1990s, there was so much rain here that the lake quadrupled in size and damaged more than 400 houses! Fortunately, that hasn’t happened since.

These are just a few interesting places to live in North Dakota. Do any of them sound perfect for you?

Are There Great LGBTQ Friendly Cities in Mississippi?

Posted on March 5, 2018 in Buying a Home

As one of the southern states, Mississippi does sometimes seem like it’s very anti-LGBTQ. But while certain areas or people may occasionally make the news, you do have to remember that they don’t represent everyone in Mississippi. In fact, there are some great places to live here that are very welcoming and diverse. If you need to move to this state for work or for any other reason, here are some cities to investigate. You might even find a gay or lesbian real estate agent to help you out.

Jackson

It shouldn’t be any surprise that Jackson is a diverse city. It’s the state capital and also the largest city in Mississippi. There are a dozen universities and colleges here, which means many young people live in Jackson for at least nine months out of the year. These campuses feature LGBTQ organizations that are involved in making the schools, the city, and the state more aware of LGBTQ issues and discrimination. Their work led to a city resolution protecting the rights of those in Jackson.

Greenville

Greenville has also passed a resolution protecting the LGBTQ community. This resolution protects LGBTQ families who are raising children. Mississippi has a large number of LGBTQ couples who adopt children, but they are missing many of the legal protections required. These city resolutions provide those protections. If you’ve adopted children, this may be incredibly important for your family.

Waveland

Waveland is another welcoming city in Mississippi that features a number of protections. The mayor of the city championed an anti-discrimination ordinance and made certain that everyone knows that LGBTQ individuals and families are welcome here. The HRC has named Waveland as a state hospitality city. Waveland isn’t a huge city—in fact, there are only about 6,500 people who live here. It sits near the Gulf of Mexico, so it’s an amazing place to live.

Magnolia

Magnolia is another very small city with less than 2,500 people. It’s an amazing little town that welcomes everyone, no matter of their orientation. Magnolia has embraced diversity in a number of different ways, and it’s even leading the charge to transform the state.

Oxford

Oxford is home to the University of Mississippi, which means that many young college students live here. The Ole Miss Gay-Straight Student Alliance promotes equality and awareness in the city, working with the Oxford City Council to pass legislation and various resolutions.

Ready to move to Mississippi? These are a few great cities you can move to.

Yes, There Are Welcoming Cities in Alabama for LGBTQ Individuals

Posted on February 26, 2018 in Buying a Home

Considering a move to Alabama? If you identify as LGBTQ, this might be one of the last places you want to move. You’ve heard horror stories of discrimination and hatred, but fortunately, not all of the state is like that. There are progressive, welcoming cities in Alabama, and you’ll find a number of gay and lesbian real estate professionals on hand to help you find a great home. Here are some of these cities.

Montgomery

The capital of the state happens to be one of the most progressive not just in Alabama but in the south. Part of this is because it’s something of a college town, although it’s larger than most. Alabama State University, Faulkner University, Auburn University at Montgomery, and Troy University are all located here. The city has recently renovated and revitalized the downtown area, bringing in new condos and other housing options. The New Beginnings Community Church is noted as being very open to diversity and welcomes LGBTQ members.

Mountain Brook

Just the name Mountain Brook sounds peaceful, beautiful and amazing. This small city is known for its New England-style homes and affordable townhouses. The city has a great view of its surroundings since it’s built on a hill. Mountain Brook is also known for being the site of Alabama’s first Whole Foods grocery store, so you know you can get great food at a good price.

Tuscaloosa

Despite its odd name, Tuscaloosa is a progressive college town. Home to the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, there’s plenty of room here for everyone. If you don’t want to live near the rowdier university, there are plenty of suburban neighborhoods that are nice and quiet. However, the university is known for its LGBTQ support and is home to the Alliance for LGBTQ Equality.

Mobile

Mobile is another very progressive city. Those who are spiritual can join the congregation of Cornerstone MCC, an LGBTQ-friendly church. The University of Southern Alabama is located here, and the campus has its own Gay-Lesbian Bisexual Alliance. In 2013, Mobile was ranked first in the state for being LGBTQ-friendly by the HRC.

Birmingham

Finally, there’s Birmingham. It’s the largest city in the state and is full of people from all walks of life. The city hosts a large Pride festival every year in addition to events such as a gay and lesbian film festival. There are a good number of LGBTQ-owned businesses in Birmingham, too.

Are You Ready to Buy a House Together?

Posted on February 19, 2018 in Buying a Home

Before same-sex marriage was legal, home buying for the LGBTQ community was something of an uncertainty. Should you both apply for the loan and out yourself to your real estate agent, lender, and everyone else involved? Would you experience some type of discrimination, even if it was done unconsciously? In some cases, the person with the better credit or more stable financial situation would apply for the loan on their own. This came with its own set of issues, of course.

Today, same-sex married couples are much more likely to apply jointly, and many work with an out and proud gay or lesbian real estate agent. But before you even reach that point, you have to ask yourself: are you ready to purchase a house together?

You’re Cementing the Relationship

Ten years ago, when an LGBTQ couple split, it was mostly up to the two people involved on how to divide things. In many ways, it was easier than it is today since with same-sex marriage came same-sex divorce. Owning a home adds more paperwork and decisions if you later divorce. Buying a home together is another layer of commitment. It’s great if you’re definitely at that point in your relationship. However, if you’re having doubts about your marriage or relationship, consider if it’s the right move.

Have You Discussed Finances?

Again, if you’re married, you may have already talked about money. If you haven’t and are looking at buying a house together, sit down and go over finances. Does one of you tend to spend more frivolously than the other? Do you have investments? How will you both contribute financially? Will you have a joint account or maintain separate bank accounts? All of this is important to talk out before you buy. If you’re both on the same page, you’re ready to financially commit to owning property.

Are You Compatible?

Have you spent some time staying with each other? If you’ve never stayed over before, you probably aren’t ready to live together! Consider spending a few weekends together before you even think about moving in together. You might discover that your potential live-in partner has a number of habits that drive you crave and vice versa. You need to know what you’re getting into before you discover something that’s a deal breaker. Make sure you’re both truly committed and compatible.

If you are and you’re ready to take that step, it’s time to find a real estate expert and begin the house hunt!

The Top LGBT Cities in the U.S. in 2017

Posted on May 8, 2017 in Buying a Home

Every year, the Advocate compiles a list of what they call “America’s Queerest Cities.” They consider cities that have more than 250,000 residents and rank them according to a number of different criteria. What makes this list so unique is that, unlike scores given out by groups like the HRC, the Advocate uses a list of criteria that’s both serious and fun. For example, a city can gain points by having lesbian bars, trans pride events, and LGBT centers, but they can also improve their rankings by having a gay rugby team, having a theater that showed the movie Moonlight, or being a stop on the Pwr Bttm tour. After adding up the points, there are the cities Advocate has found rank at the top.

Jersey City, New Jersey

The Top LGBT Cities in the U.S. in 2017It might come as a shock that Jersey City stole the number one spot on the list from cities such as San Francisco and New York, but it did. The second-largest city in New Jersey is located across the Hudson River from NYC, but it’s much more affordable. The HRC gave Jersey City a perfect 100 on its municipal equality index this year, plus there are many gay events, businesses, and activities in the city. It even hosts its own pride parade instead of piggybacking off of the New York City one.

Orlando, Florida

Securing second place on the list is Orlando. The city has been in the LGBT news a lot in the past year following the tragic shooting at the Pulse nightclub. The shooting has shown that Orlando’s LGBT community is incredibly strong and came together for support following the event. Many performers live in Orlando and work at Disney and Universal.

St. Petersburg, Florida

Is Orlando too big for you? St. Petersburg may be more your speed, then. It sits on the west coast of Florida and is one of the highest rated LGBT cities in the state. You’ll find many different restaurants, clubs, and other businesses owned by LGBT people here, plus a great number of events and activities. St. Petersburg was also ranked very high on the HRC’s index, especially in the area of municipal protections for its LGBT citizens.

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo rounds out the top four. While it may be the complete opposite of Orlando and St. Petersburg when it comes to the weather, this colder city scored a 95 on the HRC index. You’ll find a lot of LGBT activities here, including literary events, community activities, and more.

The Best Cities in Delaware for LGBT People

Posted on May 3, 2017 in Buying a Home

Considering a move up north? If so, Delaware might be on your list of potential new homes. This small state is actually home to a good number of LGBT people. When Gallup did a poll in 2012, it revealed that 3.4% of the state’s population identified as a member of the LGBT community. The number of LGBT households increased 41% between 2000 and 2010, showing that Delaware has become quite popular. Any gay or lesbian real estate agent in the area can tell you that since same-sex marriage was legalized in 2013, it’s become even more popular. If you’re considering a move to Delaware, here are some of the cities to consider.

Wilmington

The Best Cities in Delaware for LGBT PeopleThe largest city in the state, Wilmington is also one of the most LGBT-friendly. It features many great historic homes and businesses, giving it a very charming atmosphere. It’s also home to Wilmington University, the Delaware College of Art and Design, Goldey-Beacom College, and the Widener University Law School. The younger generations who move to Wilmington to continue their education help make the city so open and welcoming. Many of these educational institutions also offer various programs and events related to the LGBT community, too.

New Castle

New Castle is also considered a college town. The community here is very arts-oriented, so it’s great for those who are looking for a place full of creativity. New Castle hosts a gay pride event every year and is home to Delaware Pride, the largest LGBT rights center in the state. They organize a number of events throughout the year and campaign for equal rights across the state. New Castle is also ranked as one of Delaware’s safest states.

Newark

Newark is a major cultural area for the state, and its gay community reflects that. The vibrant artists and performers who live here have turned Newark into a great place to live. It’s also quite safe and very quiet, making it ideal for those raising a family. The ACLU has an office in the city that focuses specifically on LGBT rights and has worked for years to support the community.

Rehoboth Beach

Finally, Rehoboth Beach is a great home if you’re looking for a tourist town. Most of the year, the town is home to around 1,500 people. During the summer, though, the population jumps to around 50,000 people! There are many different LGBT owned businesses in Rehoboth Beach, too.

These four cities are just a few of the best places to live in Delaware.

Has Nashville Overtaken San Francisco as the Gay Mecca?

Posted on April 17, 2017 in Buying a Home

Have you always admired the open, carefree life members of the LGBT community seem to live in San Francisco? If you live in the south, it may seem like an amazing gay Mecca. However, according to the U.S. News & World Report, you may not need to move quite that far to find your own little slice of gay heaven. That’s because the publication has named Nashville, Tennessee, the 13th best place to live in the U.S. That might not seem like a shining recommendation—the city didn’t even break into the top ten—but there’s more to the story than that.

Nashville and the LGBT Community

Has Nashville Overtaken San Francisco as the Gay MeccaMany people see Tennessee as a very conservative state. In fact, a number of laws have been passed or introduced that would have greatly hurt the LGBT community. With that in mind, many gays and lesbians may think twice before wanting to move to the state. When it comes to Nashville, though, the city is a small hub of welcoming progressives. Many LGBT individuals and families actually move to Nashville every year because of the various job opportunities and the city’s increasing reputation as an open, welcoming place to live.

The Culture

What some people are surprised about is the amount of culture in Nashville. The city is known as the capital of the country music world, but there’s so much more than the Grand Ole Opry. The city includes a growing art scene. It’s been described as a melting pot of art, music, and night life. Nashville has much more than most people think, and even those who have visited the city may be surprised at what they discover weeks and months after living there.

The Activities

Many lifelong residents still aren’t bored of Nashville. The city has a number of different festivals, celebrations, and other events that take place annually. There’s always something to do in Nashville. There are even a number of Pride events and other LGBT-related activities.

The People

Many of Nashville’s LGBT residents have also pointed out how friendly and welcoming the people are. Some believe this has to do with the number of musical celebrities who call Nashville home or their second home. Much like Hollywood, these celebrities are often very comfortable with their LGBT fans, and some even identify as LGBT themselves. Others find that Nashville’s diverse culture brings with it a welcoming atmosphere that has a place for everyone.