Are you thinking about looking for houses? If you’re ready to buy a home, especially if it’s your first home, the process may appear a little daunting. Fortunately, there are a few different things you can do as an LGBTQ couple to make the process easier.
Decide on How You’ll Apply for a Mortgage
Thanks to the supreme court, same-sex marriage is now legal across the country. If you’re married, it’s natural that you will apply jointly. If you’re not, though, you need to decide if one of you will apply as an individual or if you’ll apply jointly. There are some pros and cons to both. In most cases, it depends on your credit.
If one of you has excellent credit and few debts while the other has a lower credit score and more debt, it may make sense for the person with the better credit to apply as an individual. It is even possible for a married person to apply for a mortgage without their spouse. You’ll want to look at both incomes, credit history, debts, and other factors to determine how you want to apply.
Do You want to Work with a Gay or Lesbian Real Estate Expert?
You may feel more comfortable working with an LGBTQ real estate agent, especially if you’re planning on moving into a gay neighborhood. Even if your agent doesn’t identify as a member of the community, you want to make certain that they treat you fairly. While housing discrimination may not be common, it does occur. Your agent should treat you no differently than any other client, and if you suspect they are, you can file a complaint with their agency.
Whether or not you decide to work with an LGBTQ agent, you do need to find someone you’re comfortable with. You should be able to share with them all of your housing needs and wants. You don’t necessarily have to come out to them, though. Chances are, they will recognize that the two of you are a couple pretty quickly, even if you say nothing.
Finally, if you’re thinking about buying a home, you should go ahead and get pre-approved for a loan. After you’ve looked at your individual credit histories, sit down with a lender and talk about your options. They can run the numbers and let you know how large of a mortgage you’ll be able to get. With that information, you can then become seriously looking at homes.