Homeownership continues to be the dream of many Americans, including the great folks in the LGBTQ+ community. It is the chance to have a place to call your own where you can work, live, and play while doing the things you enjoy in the privacy of your own four walls. Unfortunately, buying a home is not always easy as discrimination still exists in the housing market for many underrepresented groups. Aside from this, personal safety and a sense of security require finding an LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhood to call home.
However, while it may sometimes be more of a challenge, it is far from impossible. Whether you want to live in the city or the country, we have some great tips for finding the ideal area and the perfect house to suit your needs so you can live in the harmony that you deserve.
1. Go to LGBTQ+ Friendly Areas
If you want to take the guesswork out of finding a home, a good place to start may be the towns and cities throughout the country that are already known to be more LGBTQ+ friendly. For instance, Nashville is a great place to settle down as it is a city that consistently scores high on the municipal equality index. Nashville also hosts cool local celebrations, including the Nashville Pride events, which are always incredible.
Nashville is just the tip of the iceberg as far as friendly cities, especially as our nation becomes more diverse and tolerant. Salt Lake City is another great location that has one of the highest LGBTQ+ populations in all of the country. Of course, San Francisco is a very inclusive city that often hosts fun events, including its own famous Pride Festival.
Basically, if you want to go directly to a neighborhood that is warm and welcoming, then search online for the friendliest places in your state, and you will get some great ideas from which to start.
2. Look for The Signs of An LGBTQ+ Friendly Neighborhood
Even if the neighborhood of your choice is not on an internet list, there are still several signs that you can watch out for in a town that does have your interests in mind. For instance, look for establishments that feature the rainbow-colored Pride flag in the window or other friendly wording that shows that it is an inclusive, LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhood.
You can also research towns that feature an official gay village where there is a strong and vibrant inclusive community where you can shop, party, and enjoy life without worry. There are many of these gay villages around the country, including in Miami, Florida, and Columbus, Ohio.
One of the most famous examples of a gay neighborhood is the Gayborhood in Philadelphia, which is located between 11th and Broad streets and Pine and Chestnut streets and is famous for its dining and shopping districts. It’s a great place to consider if you’re interested in Pennsylvania.
3. Ask People You Know
While you can find some great information online, there is nothing quite as promising as asking people you know. Talk to your LGBTQ+ friends who live in another state and ask them how they like where they live and if they feel happy and included in their community’s everyday lives. If you have an online network that you confide in, you might also try asking on that forum to see if you get any promising answers about LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhoods you might not have considered.
4. Know What You Want in A Home
Once you find a neighborhood that excites you, it is time to look at suitable homes in that area. Before you do, it is important to know what you really want, so create a list of essential items that you want in your dream home. That could include a large kitchen, a pool, a two-car garage, or anything in between.
If you have a job where you work from home or you’re starting a new work from home job, you’ll want to look specifically for properties that have an extra room that you can personalize as an office. This room should have plenty of windows to provide natural light for your work, and it should be separated from the rest of the house so you can get the quiet you need to focus on your job.
It is also a great idea to look at current mortgage rates to ensure that you can afford your dream house. If prices are a bit high, consider another LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhood within your state.
5. Get It Inspected
Once you find a house in an LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhood that checks all of the boxes, it is important to have it inspected before you decide to buy. Not just any old house will do. Ask around the community to find a trustworthy inspector with good reviews and make sure to be there during the inspection so you can understand any concerns that might come up.
There are several factors that you will want to pay special attention to, such as the condition of the heating and air conditioning systems, the integrity of the roof, and any recent repairs that the seller has made. If it is an older home, have a professional come in to test for asbestos, which is a chemical built into many older construction materials. The tiny asbestos fibers are easily inhaled and could lead to serious illnesses, including cancer.
While there is still plenty of room for improvement, our country has seen more inclusion than in the past, even in the housing market. Consider what you want in a house, do your research and you will find the home of your dreams.