Monthly Archives: December 2016

Questions LGBT Couples Should Ask Before Moving

Posted on December 9, 2016 in Buying a Home

If you’re in a same-sex relationship and are considering moving somewhere new, there are a few different questions you need to ask yourself. While your gay or lesbian real estate agent will be able to provide you with a good amount of information about your new location, they may not be able to answer everything. Of course, you have to know the right questions to ask in the first place. Some of these questions you’d think to ask, but some you might not.

What protections does your new city and state offer?

questions-lgbt-couples-should-ask-before-movingAre there protections offered for the LGBT community in the state, county, or city offered? Often, even the state doesn’t have hate crime laws or anti-discrimination laws, the city or country will. Make certain you know what protections you and your family will have. It can make all the difference and may be an indication of how you’ll be treated if people learn you’re a part of the LGBT community. Of course, that’s not always true, so don’t assume that no hate crime laws means that people will not accept you.

Do local businesses offer LGBT protections and benefits?

Do local businesses, especially those you’re considering working for, offer same-sex partner benefits and support LGBT rights in general? If you’re moving for work, you probably already know how your company is, but if you’re not certain about your employment after you move, you may want to do a little research into local job opportunities.

Is the city highly ranked by the Human Rights Committee?

The HRC ranks more than 500 cities every year on their list of how welcoming and supportive they are. While not every city is on the list, all of the state capitals and many of the larger cities are. You can get a good idea of how welcoming a city is by looking at their HRC scorecard.

Does it have a gay neighborhood?

While not a deal breaker, a city that has a gay neighborhood or gay ghetto is usually more welcoming and accepting than cities that don’t have one of these districts. Of course, so cities are so welcoming that there’s no real need for a gay neighborhood. LGBT individuals and same-sex couples live throughout the city in all neighborhoods. You don’t have to move into this area, but there are often welcoming LGBT businesses and schools in these neighborhoods, so they’re worth checking out.

The Most Affordable Places to Live in California

Posted on December 1, 2016 in Buying a Home

Many members of the LGBT community who live in conservative states see California as a land full of liberty. They want to move to the state so they can be free to be themselves. Moving to San Francisco or Los Angeles may be the dream, but that dream is often shattered once they see how much it costs to live in either of these cities. Even renting a small apartment can cost three or four times what it does in another state. Fortunately, there are many parts of California that are much more reasonably priced. If you’re considering moving to the state, but can’t afford some of the more expensive areas, you might look at these cities.

San Buenaventura

the-most-affordable-places-to-live-in-californiaSan Buenaventura, generally referred to as Ventura, is located between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. It’s considered a part of the LA Metro Area, but it’s much more affordable than many other parts of the metro. The average household income here is only a little over $65,000. While that may seem high, that’s often the combined income of two people. You have access to everything in LA and in Santa Barbara, plus Ventura itself has a good amount to offer.

Oxnard

Oxnard is north of Los Angeles and, like Ventura, offers affordable living. You can actually find beachfront property here for a reasonable price, especially if you have a great real estate agent. Mandalay Beach is located in Oxnard and is just as lovely as any beach in the LA area, plus you can attend the California Strawberry Festival every year, pick up local wine from the wineries, and play golf on the city’s highly regarded course.

Camarillo

Camarillo is also located in Ventura County, so it’s not that far from the LA area, either. It’s home to its own airport, naval air station, and branch of California State University. While Camarillo is a little more expensive than Ventura and Oxnard, it’s still very affordable when compared to LA proper or many parts of San Francisco.

Vacaville

If you want to live near San Francisco, Vacaville is a good option. It’s about an hour from SF proper, but homes are much more affordable. Many of the people here work on nearby farms or ranches, and the city itself has a nice, small-town feel to it even though it’s home to about 100,000 people.

These are just four great affordable places in California for those on a budget.