Some LGBT people are out and proud, and they don’t care who knows. These people will announce their sexuality to their realtor, loan officer, and anyone else who asks. However, some LGBT people aren’t as out or as vocal about it. They may seek a gay or lesbian realtor because they know coming out to them won’t be a problem. There’s no chance they will be discriminated against because of their orientation. But what about coming out to the person processing your mortgage, or to the agent at the title company, or the inspector? Do you have to completely out yourself to buy a house, even if it makes you uncomfortable doing so?
Are you Buying as a Couple?
If you’re married, it goes without saying that you will have to state this fact on the mortgage paperwork, and you’ll most likely want both of your names on the property deed. The good news here is that gay and lesbian realtors will be able to point you to lenders who are known for being LGBT friendly. They also work with title companies that don’t discriminate. You don’t have to fear coming out.
If you’re not married, though, you will be seen by the lender as two individuals purchasing real estate together. From the viewpoint of the company and its paperwork, it doesn’t matter what kind of relationship the two of you have. Your finances will be evaluated the same way if you’re two same-sex individuals, two opposite-sex individuals, family, in business together, etc. However, the person processing the loan may not be as objective. If they don’t ask about your relationship, you’re not obligated to disclose it. You will need to disclose any other joint loans, property, bank accounts, etc. that the two of you have.
If you’re buying a property as an individual, your orientation shouldn’t matter at all. This is especially true if you don’t currently have a partner. You shouldn’t be asked, and if you are, you do not have to answer. Of course, if you feel comfortable discussing it with your realtor, you can ask about any gay neighborhoods in the area, how LGBT employees are protected (if at all), and what LGBT-owned businesses are in the area.
The Bottom Line
When it comes down to it, you only have to disclose your orientation if you’re married. Otherwise, it should have no impact on if you are financially secure enough to purchase a home.