Why use a gay REALTOR?

There are many great reasons to use a gay-friendly realtor/gay real estate agent: knowledge of the gay community and gay friendly neighborhoods, understanding of the special hurdles that can face gay and lesbian couples when buying/selling a home.

Working with a qualified gay realtor or gay real estate agent can be very helpful when searching for your next home, investment property, or second home.

On a personal level, a gay or lesbian agent will often be more comfortable with gay real estate clients, and feeling at ease with the professional who’s helping you with one of the largest purchases of your life is very important. 

For gay and lesbian buyers, especially couples, there are other considerations, including the social environment of their new neighborhood. A gay realtor or gay friendly real estate agent should know which neighborhoods have higher concentrations of gay/lesbian residents, as well as the social tone of each area – whether some areas tend to be more liberal or conservative, for instance. 

Finally, it’s important to support the community. My husband and I believe strongly in using our dollars to support gay- and lesbian-owned and friendly businesses. Wouldn’t you rather your money went to someone who believes in the same basic rights for the gay/lesbian community that you do?

If you’re here, it’s a good bet that you’re thinking about engaging a gay REALTOR. If you’re considering bying or selling anywhere in the Phoneix area Valley of the Sun, call me at 480.270.9130 or email me at Randy@ListWithRandy.com

Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: What it Means for Real Estate

Married same-sex couples in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are now eligible for more than 1,100 federal benefits and protections denied under the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act. A key provision of the federal law, which withheld benefits from gay couples who had been lawfully married in those states that permit it, was struck down last week by the Supreme Court. And though property rights are set at the state level, the ruling has bearing on a number of real estate–related matters that involve federal law.

The ruling may influence how couples decide to hold title on a property. It will affect the calculation of estate taxes owed when a spouse dies and how much capital gain is exempt from taxes in the sale of a home that is owned in the name of only one member of the couple. Read More >

How is buying a home different for Gay and Lesbian Couples?

As a real estate professional and member of the gay community, I am often asked, “Why do you focus on the gay community?” I am a real estate agent; I help people buy and sell houses. Sexual orientation does not change that fact. But it occurs to me that the majority of Realtors do not understand the gay community or their wants and needs. Read More >>

How Unmarried Couples Can Co-Own or Take Title to a Home

When you buy a house with your partner, you must decide how you will own the property, or “take title.” Since in this context “title” is a synonym for “ownership,” your decision has huge and lasting consequences, particularly on estate planning issues. Assuming you are buying the house for personal and not business use, you have three basic choices.  Read More >>

Housing & Mortgages for Gay & Lesbian Couples

This guide will help to explain the different approaches that same-sex couples can take to getting a mortgage, establishing ownership of a home, and creating legal documents that anticipate any legal or property-ownership issues that might occur if the couple breaks up or one partner dies.  
Read More

Gay Home-Buying Tips

This guide will help to explain the different approaches that same-sex couples can take to getting a mortgage, establishing ownership of a home, and creating legal documents that anticipate any legal or property-ownership issues that might occur if the couple breaks up or one partner dies.

Gay Couples Need Caution in Joint Home Purchase

Buying a home as a gay couple can be a really rewarding experience and a savvy investment strategy. But those buying through a same-sex partnership should be aware of the unique legal implications of that kind of transaction.  Read More >>

Why You Need a Buyer’s Agent

Having professional representation is critical for buyers, who are making what is probably the biggest purchase they will ever undertake. It doesn’t “cost extra” and buyers will know that the person showing them properties has their best interests in mind.  Read More >>

Gay Housing Discrimination

Did you know the Federal Fair Housing Act does not protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination in the sale, rental or financing of homes? As a result, many finance companies, leasing agents or insurance companies may treat same-sex couples differently than other prospective homebuyers or lessees.

Unmarried Partners and Real Estate Ownership

Like a marriage, every domestic partnership or other non-marital relationship ends with either separation or death. If it ends with separation, the former partners may not remain friendly. If it ends with death, the surviving partner may not be friendly with the deceased partner’s heirs. Either way, there may be a property dispute. Non-marital relationships are unlike marriages in that there is no well-developed body of law to govern property rights following separation or death. Resolving property disputes based on non-marital relationships can be expensive, time-consuming and personally destructive. In addition, both the beginning and the end of an unmarried couple’s relationship can have income and property tax consequences which can be minimized or even eliminated with planning. Read More >> 

Property Division in Non-Marital Relationships

Courts have yet to uniformly address the dissolution rights of unmarried same-sex, cohabitating couples. At present, a well-marked schism exists between the legal rights of married and unmarried cohabitants. Unmarried same-sex couples are generally not entitled to an equitable distribution of property rights under state divorce statutes. Nonetheless, courts are struggling with ways to divide the couple’s property to effectuate the parties’ original intent or to protect the parties’ equitable interests. Read More >>

How Do I Ensure my Partner Inherits our Home?

Cohabitation of unmarried gay couples have yet to be recognized by America’s court system. As this is so, guidelines for the dissolution of property between same sex couples is critical, and must be determined before the sickness or death of either person.  There are a few options to ensure your partner is allowed to inherit the home you have shared.  Read More >>

Innovative Mortgage Management Ideas for LGBT Homeowners

Here are two creative ideas that may help LGBT homeowners control or reduce their mortgage expenses and debts. Read More >>

Tips for LGBT Sellers: How to help attract a qualified buyer

Everyone is well aware that for the past couple of years the real estate market has been rather lopsided in favor of buyers and quite challenging for sellers and their real estate agents. That situation is based on lots of economic factors but it all boils down to the fact that there is an excessive inventory of homes on the market, so buyers have plenty to choose from when they go shopping. More houses for sale means greater competition for a finite number of qualified buyers, so LGBT homeowners who are able to more effectively market their homes will have a distinct advantage. Read more >>

Condos Versus Houses: Critical Legal Insight for Every LGBT Condo Buyer

Many LGBT buyers mistakenly and understandably assume that the purchase of a condo is no different from buying a typical single family home. But the fact is that condominium ownership has its own exclusive set of rules that are quite different from those that apply to traditional houses.  Read More >>

LGBT Rights Calculator Tells You Where You’ll Feel at Home

CNN Digital has created an LGBT rights calculator that will tell you which of the 50 states (plus Washington, DC) you’d feel most at home in. Users respond to 10 questions on a variety of subjects and indicate how important the issue is on a slider that goes from “not important” all the way up to “very important.” (Of course, haters can also find which regions have the most repressive laws.) Read more >>

Housing & Mortgages for Gay & Lesbian Couples

This guide will help to explain the different approaches that same-sex couples can take to getting a mortgage, establishing ownership of a home, and creating legal documents that anticipate any legal or property-ownership issues that might occur if the couple breaks up or one partner dies. After evaluating this document, readers will have a better understanding of:

  • Joint tenancy with right of survivorship
  • Tenants in common
  • Mortgages and joint ownership
  • Establishing property rights for a same-sex legal relationship
  • Tactics for finding a good real estate attorney
  • Rights of same-sex couples

Read more  >>  

Fewer Gays and Lesbians Own Homes, But Why? Video

Gays and lesbians own homes at a lower rate than straight people, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to buy. Read more >>  

Tax Issues for Same-Sex Couples

If you are part of a same-sex couple, April 15th can be a daunting date. Tax matters that are simple for heterosexual couples can be quite complicated for gay and lesbian couples — from filling out a federal tax return to determining whether a spouse’s health insurance benefits are exempt from taxation. To make matters more difficult, some states recognize same-sex marriages or treat domestic partnerships as marriage-like for tax purposes. Others don’t.

Here are the basics of how various states and the federal government treat gay and lesbian couples for tax purposes. But remember, since so many variables can affect your tax liability — what state you live in, how much money each spouse earns, how big your estate is likely to be upon death, to name just a few — it’s often wise to consult with a tax professional who is well-versed in tax considerations for same-sex couples in your particular state. Read More >>

Estate Planning for Gay Couples

Most people, gay or not, should consider making an estate plan. However, same-sex couples have more to gain from making an estate plan than do straight couples, because in many states, they cannot marry, making them ineligible for the benefits of laws designed to protect married people and their assets. An estate plan can also help clarify the nature their relationship for those family members or professionals who may not understand it or approve of it.   State and federal laws affect how couples own property together, who gets which assets when one member of a couple dies, how taxes are calculated and paid, and who has the right to make health care decisions if one member of the couple becomes incapacitated. Generally, laws protect spouses in all these situations. For examples, spouses have a right to visit each other in the hospital, and to inherit from one another. They get tax breaks as well. But because same-sex couples cannot marry in most states, they are denied these benefits. They need to create estate planning documents that spell out their wishes and, as far as possible, make them legally binding.   To learn which specific estate planning tools same-sex couples should consider, read 6 Key Estate Planning Issues for Gay Couples.  

What Are the Drawbacks to Purchasing a Vacation ome with My Same-Sex Partner?

Purchasing a vacation home can be exciting when you consider that you will have a place to go anytime that you choose to do so, but along with the advantages, there can be disadvantages. Following are some drawbacks to purchasing a vacation home with your same sex partner. Read more >>