Several decades ago, when LGBTQ individuals and families were looking for a house to purchase, they almost always started their search in the local gay neighborhood or gay district. These areas were seen as a haven, a place where they could rest easy knowing that their neighbors weren’t going to engage in hate crimes against them. Today, things are a little different. While there are certainly still those who attack others for being a part of the LGBTQ community, acceptance is much more widespread.
The Millennial Homebuyer Doesn’t Feel Locked into a Gay District
Today’s young homebuyers have, as a whole, put off buying property immediately after college or until they have established their career. These millennials have more debt than any generation before them, owing thousands of dollars in student loans and facing an economy that hasn’t seen wages increase with the cost of living. Jobs are much more competitive, and many have decided to rent longer or even live with their parents until they can confidently buy.
But as many entered their late 20s and early 30s, they did start buying. However, those who identify as LGBTQ weren’t always quick to call up a gay or lesbian real estate agent and ask to see homes in the gayborhood. There are several reasons why this is the case.
Prices in many gay districts, especially well-known neighborhoods such as Boystown in Chicago or the Castro in San Francisco, have increased to the point that new buyers simply can’t afford them. In fact, some homeowners in these areas were pushed out during the gentrification of the neighborhood. Many of these are historic homes, which only adds to their value. Buying in many gay neighborhoods is now only for those who have very good salaries or have inherited money.
Location, Location, Location
Today’s LGBTQ homebuyers have different priorities than those who primarily bought in the gay district. Now they’re looking for specific school zones, short commutes, and the ability to walk to places. The location of their new home dictates a lot, and often LGBTQ neighborhoods are simply too far away from where they want to be.
Acceptance Has Risen
Many young LGBTQ homebuyers feel very accepted, especially in more liberal parts of the country. They don’t have to worry about hiding who they are or about buying in a specific neighborhood. They consider the entire city when looking for a home, and while some do still buy in a predominantly LGBTQ area, they no longer feel as if they must.