Monthly Archives: April 2015

4 Reasons Why Moving To the Bible Belt Isn’t A Bad Idea

Posted on April 22, 2015 in Buying a Home

The Southeastern U.S. is commonly referred to as the Bible Belt. This is because of its high Christian-Protestant population. Because of this, the states in the area are quite behind when it comes to progressive LGBT legislation.

In spite of this, there are actually quite a few reasons to live in these cities if you’re LGBT.

The Cost Of Living Is Lower Than the North

The Bible Belt is Becoming a Great LGBT Community Itself, Bringing Many Benefits to Those Who Choose to Make That Area HomeLiving costs decrease drastically the closer you get to the southern border. In fact, Oklahoma City has a thrifty $98 per square foot property value. The entire state of South Carolina has a price per square foot value of $102.

Keep in mind that earnings in the southern United States are in line with the cost of living, so you’ll earn less money when you move there. However, if you’re moving to a southern city from up north, your money will go much further.

If you’re moving from up north, it’s best to save money first, and then move south after you have a good amount of savings stored away.

The LGBT Community is more Clustered and Tightly Knit

It comes as no surprise that the Bible Belt isn’t exactly the most tolerant of members of the LGBT community. However, there is one advantage to this. Members of the LGBT community tend to cluster together in the more accepting and metropolitan areas of these cities. Texas is especially noteworthy due to the gay friendly atmosphere in San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, and Austin.

You’ll Be on the Forefront of American LGBT Politics

The Bible Belt is the last bastion of homophobia fueled intolerance in North America. If you’re interested in making a real-lasting change in North American LGBT politics, then the south is where you need to be. It’s much more difficult to make a difference in southern politics when you’re located somewhere like San Francisco where the gay community is accepted wholeheartedly.

The LGBT community needs an increased presence in the south, and you can help make that happen.

The Situation is Changing

In January of 2015, the hard work of members of the LGBT community and their allies caused Florida to legalize gay marriage. Several opinion polls on gay marriage taken in Florida indicate that public opinion on gay marriage ranges from 47-52% against.

While gay marriage is illegal in the Bible Belt, remember gay marriage was completely illegal everywhere a few short years ago. Trends dictate that gay marriage could be legal in every state as early as 2016. The situation is changing for the better, but we’ll only reach full acceptance if we make our voices heard.

Cities Below $100 Per Square Foot: Pittsburgh Vs Cincinnati

Posted on April 15, 2015 in Buying a Home

Living in a big city offers a great deal of benefits: they have better employment opportunities than smaller towns, better public transportation systems, more variety in people, and are much more exciting all around! But big cities have one major downside – they’re usually very expensive.

There Are Quite a Few Cities Growing In Popularity Due to Their Low Cost of Living and Expanding LGBT CommunitiesThe expense of big cities gives one of two options: live in the city and pay mortgage prices for a small apartment, or live in the suburbs around the city and commute multiple hours each day. However, there are a few cities that offer big city opportunities with small town prices.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cincinnati, Ohio offer extremely cheap home prices with fantastic job opportunities. If you’re thinking about moving to a big city, both are great, but there are some differences that are worth looking into.

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania boasts a population size of around 300,000 people. It has a spectacular skyline and some great LGBT culture and nightlife. But the best thing about Pittsburgh is that its average price per square foot is $97 – that’s less than half of the square foot price of cities like Boston.

Another great perk that Pittsburgh has going for it is its powerful employment market. It’s been cited dozens of times as one of the “easiest places to find a job”. These claims aren’t unfounded as its employment rate of 5.7% is lower than the national average, and far lower than many other metropolitan areas.

The local legislation is also on our side. Same sex marriage and adoption are both legal in Pennsylvania. Transgender individuals can change their gender on all of their legal documents as they please. There is also no steadfast law against sexual discrimination, but state employees are protected.

Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati is similar to Pittsburgh in many ways; their populations differ by only a few thousand, their price per square foot is exactly the same, and they both have great LGBT party scenes.

Cincinnati beats out Pittsburgh in one big way – its unemployment rate is 4.4%, which is one of the lowest in the country. There are so many employment opportunities in Cincinnati that you’ll never be unemployed for long.

The State of Ohio isn’t as progressive as Pennsylvania when it comes to LGBT rights though. Same-sex marriage is not recognized in Ohio, and transgender individuals cannot have their birth certificates or licenses altered even after their transition.

Overall, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are both great cities. The choice between better gay rights (Pittsburgh) or better employment (Cincinnati) is up to you. But you can’t truly go wrong with either!

3 Gay Friendly States That Rival New York And California

Posted on April 8, 2015 in Buying a Home

Moving to another state is a very difficult process even if you aren’t a member of the LGBT community. You have to find a new job, a new school for your children, and make sure that you have some emergency contacts that you can rely on. However, for members of the LGBT community, there’s another factor at play here – the social climate. Moving to a state that has poor gay legislation or has a small LGBT community can be scary. Luckily, states like Oregon, Wisconsin, and Washington have large LGBT populations and liberal laws, as well as moderately priced houses!

The Number of Gay Friendly States is Growing Every Single YearSame-sex activity has been legal in Oregon since 1972, and marriage was legalized in May of 2014. The social climate actively welcomes members of the LGBT community, and our legislative protections support it. Gay adoption, transsexuality, and free gender expression are all protected under the law. The growth of LGBT households increased 31% from 2000 to 2010, meaning that LGBT families are moving here in droves.

The housing market in Oregon is pretty flexible. There are a great deal of good-looking homes on the market between $150,000 and $200,000, but the median value is around $240,000. Something else that makes living in Oregon attractive is that Portland has the second highest percent of LGBT residents of any metro area in the country. It only loses out to San Francisco, which speaks volumes.

Wisconsin legalized gay marriage in June of 2014. However, “domestic partnerships” have been legal since 2008. Gay adoption is legal, and transsexuals can alter their gender, but only after a sexual reassignment surgery. The growth rate of LGBT households is almost 25%!

Wisconsin’s average square foot price is parked at around $105, and the median price of all houses is around $150,000. The housing market in Wisconsin is also very stable, so you can take your time without worrying about home prices spiking or falling through the floor.

Washington is well-known for its very liberal views concerning LGBT people. Domestic partnerships have been legal since 2007, and same-sex marriage has been legal since 2012. Laws prohibit discrimination based on sexuality in all forms, and has even criminalized conversion therapy! The growth rate of LGBT homes is almost 20% and continues to climb higher.

Washington is a bit more expensive than the other states mentioned above, but it’s still manageable. The average home price is about $268,000, and its realty experts project that it will rise about 5.4% within the next year. If you’re considering moving here, act quickly!

Why You Should Move to New Orleans!

Posted on April 2, 2015 in Buying a Home

The entire south is a hotbed of LGBT activity, and New Orleans is no exception. The entire city is covered in music clubs, jazz bars, Creole restaurants, and more. Everything is supposed to be bigger in the south and in this case, it’s definitely true, at least for the entertainment.

New Orleands is An Ideal Location for Anyone Looking to Relocate to a Very Friendly LGBT Community with Inexpensive Home PricesThere are dozens of areas in New Orleans that cater to LGBT interests specifically, but the French Quarter is the most notable. A cursory glance at a map of the French Quarter will reveal over a dozen different gay bars and other venues just waiting to be explored.

The real-estate situation in New Orleans is very positive. The country is just recovering from an economic decline, so there are plenty of houses on the market at cut-rate prices that haven’t been claimed. If you’re moving from the North to the South, then the net worth of Southern homes is even cheaper than they appear due to the fluctuation in living costs. Be aware that once the country fully recovers, all of the gorgeous homes that are on sale will be snapped up by hungry investors!

As for where to live in New Orleans, the possibilities are endless. For renters, the French Quarter is always great. A spacious one bedroom, one bathroom apartment rental can run about $2,000. Remember that the French Quarter is its own cultural hub, which means that you might not even need a car!

New Orleans is also home to some great schools, so starting a family there is a good idea. Schools like the Audubon Charter School and Lusher Charter School offer several world languages, a challenging curriculum, and look great on transcripts. Another great thing about New Orleans is the eclectic mix of people. Children will surely benefit from the variety of influences and the complex local flavor.

New Orleans does have a weak point however; gay rights legislation is a little behind, but it’s still making progress. There are no laws specifically against gay sexuality or adoption. There are also a few laws in place for the protection of LGBT citizens. Employers, financiers, and educators are not allowed to discriminate based on sexuality by law, which affords a great deal of protection for LGBT teens and young adults. New Orleans is also one of the few southern states to have a hate crime law. This means that anyone convicted of a hate crime motivated by the victim’s sexuality suffers harsher penalties than other cases.

New Orleans has a variety of cultures, a great housing market, and a thriving gay nightlife. The gay scene in New Orleans is particularly accepting of African American members of the LGBT community. The legislation may not be up to speed with places like New York, but it’s slowly but surely getting there.