2.8 min read
Home buying can be one of the most rewarding yet stressful processes as we go through life for LGBTQ+ buyers. Members of the LBGTQ+ community have faced many challenges; unfortunately, buying a home is another hardship. According to Zillow.com, homebuyers who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community can expect to pay $127,000 more on a home than other cis heterosexual people. It is due to their desire to live in cities and communities with laws to protect them from discrimination.
Difficulty Finding a Safe Place
Finding a safe place for yourself and your loved ones is vital when looking for a new home. Surveying the neighborhood, talking to other residents, and looking for the iconic rainbow pride flags outside of homes or businesses are good ways to find an LGBTQ+-friendly community. Other flags, such as the trans pride flag or bisexual flag, can also be good indicators of whether the community is welcoming to members of the LGBTQ+. According to Quicken Loans, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has a rating system for cities and the strength of the protection they provide. Check out your city's score here!
So you've secured your down payment, found an area in your city that you like, and are ready to buy! Unfortunately, studies have shown that members of the LGBTQ+ community are likely to face yet another obstacle — a potential denial of your mortgage request. Sacrifices are often made to get into the home buyers' market. Whether you are giving up square footage, accepting a home in worse condition, or even unable to live in a safe neighborhood. As stated by Zillow.com, two-thirds of LGBTQ+ buyers make this decision when purchasing a home. Compared to heterosexual people, 55% don't have to make these decisions.
Rent Deposits Withheld
So maybe buying a home isn't the right move? Sadly, even as tenants, members of the LGBTQ+ community have been subjected to rent spikes, withheld deposits, and even higher application fees. And this gap only widens across racial lines.
A Push For Equality
Purchasing a home can be fun and rewarding if you arm yourself with the knowledge to protect yourself.
The Fair Housing Act, enacted in February when President Biden signed an executive order, now includes prohibiting housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Therefore, when making this significant financial decision, it is essential to know your rights.
According to Experian, you should file a complaint if you have experienced housing discrimination. That is with HUD's (Department of Housing and Urban Development) Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. Finding the right realtor will also help with any housing issues. In addition, the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals has many resources to help you with your house hunting. They also have honorary partners who may help with any mortgage issues.