Monthly Archives: February 2019

Ogunquit, Maine’s LGBTQ Summer Resort

Posted on February 15, 2019 in Buying a Home

Few people think about going to the far Northeast for a summer getaway, but that’s exactly why many people visit Ogunquit, Maine. That weird name is from the Abenaki language, the indigenous people of the area, and translates to “beautiful place by the sea.” That certainly describes this small little town. It has a permanent population of less than 1,000 during the off season, but that number jumps during the summer.

History of Ogunquit

Ogunquit, Maine’s LGBTQ Summer ResortThe area was settled by the Abenaki tribe of native Americans. In 1641, a number of European settlers arrived in the area and set up a village. Later, a sawmill and shipyard were built near the Ogunquit River. By the late 1890s, many artists had moved into the area, and it wasn’t unusual to see both fishermen at work while artists painted them. During this time, the area became a popular summer vacation destination, and it wasn’t long before the number of hotels outnumbered the fishing boats.

In 1980, Ogunquit officially separated from the city of Wells to become its own town. By this point, the town was a full-on tourist destination and was attracting people from as far away as Australia. People even started to come for other reasons than the beach. Horror fans who read Stephen King’s The Stand began visiting Ogunquit to see the places he mentioned in the book.

The LGBTQ Community

Around the mid-80s and 90s, the LGBTQ community became quite prominent in Ogunquit. There had always been a number of LGBTQ artists in the area, but during this time, the town become a major tourist destination. Many LGBTQ-owned restaurants, hotels, bars, and other businesses opened in Ogunquit, mostly in the old village area. The town’s tourism industry became even more prosperous, leading Ogunquit to being named America’s Best Coastal Small Town in USA Today’s 2016 Reader’s Choice issue.

The town has also started undergoing gentrification. Older parts of Ogunquit have been restored, and housing costs have increased because of this. The cost of living is significantly higher in some areas, especially housing, although the cost of other things, including groceries, healthcare, and even utilities, are around average for the country and below average for Maine.

If you’re able to handle these costs, though, Ogunquit is a great place to live. During the off season, it’s a very quiet town. However, it’s close enough to the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford metro area that it’s not too far away from the amenities of a large city. You’ll find a number of gay and lesbian real estate agents who can help you find the perfect home in this little village.

How Have LGBTQ Buyers Affected the Real Estate Market

Posted on February 1, 2019 in Buying a Home

Acceptance of LGBTQ individuals and families has increased in recent years, and while there are still certainly hate crimes and discrimination, the community is overall in a better place than it has ever been in the U.S. This acceptance has led to a great impact in a number of industries. For example, in the years since same-sex marriage was legalized, industries related to weddings have seen an increase in profits thanks to more LGBTQ partners marrying. This has also resulted in changes to the real estate industry.

A New Focus on Family

While marriage isn’t a requirement to have children, for many, it is the basis of a family. Being married also makes certain processes, including adoption, much easier. According to a survey conducted by Community Marketing & Insights, many LGBTQ couples do see marriage as the ultimate relationship goal, especially for those who want to have children.

What does this have to do with real estate? With more and more couples marrying and having children, more LGBTQ families will take school zones into consideration when deciding where to live. The survey showed that more couples with children, especially same-sex female couples, were gravitating towards the suburbs and cities. They want to make certain their children have the best education possible and make that a priority when choosing where to live.

Moving Up

With this focus on family comes the need for a larger residence. While LGBTQ couples did purchase homes prior to the same-sex marriage ruling in 2015, more and more couples have sought to become homeowners since then. Part of the reason didn’t purchase homes before was due to the fear of discrimination. They didn’t want to apply jointly for a mortgage because they weren’t certain if they would be discriminated against by the lender, but individually, neither made enough money to qualify for the mortgage.

Today, this is no longer the case. It’s become quite normal for same-sex couples to apply jointly, and it has become very clear that discrimination in housing is not acceptable. This means more homes are being sold to same-sex couples who are considering starting a family. Their needs have changed. Traditional gay neighborhoods are starting to disappear as these families seek out specific school districts or no longer prioritize living in specific parts of the city.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a home, you want to make certain you have the right experts on your side. Working with a gay or lesbian real estate professional can provide you with a wealth of benefits.