You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
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The Gay Real Estate Effect
Even if you haven’t heard of the “gay real estate effect,” you may have noticed it in your own neighborhood. After a 2001 survey showed that cities with high numbers of gay residents tend to have higher levels of technological advancements and innovation, further studies added more interesting information: neighborhoods with lots of LGBT homeowners appreciate in value at a much higher rate than those without.
So is this “gay real estate effect” real, or is it just that gay couples tend to buy houses in neighborhoods on the verge of increasing in value? It’s also worth asking how the legalization of gay marriage will impact neighborhoods outside of urban areas.
Neighborhoods with lots of #LGBT homeowners appreciate in value at a much higher rate. Click To Tweet
Gay Real Estate and the “Gayborhood”
At this point, the connection between the LGBT community and neighborhood improvement is almost a stereotype: a common argument is that gay residents tend to revitalize decaying urban neighborhoods, beginning the process that brings in more businesses and buyers, eventually increasing home values. Additionally, some studies have found that neighborhoods with higher than average numbers of gay residents are more diverse, with a wider representation of races and ethnicities.
In cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and Seattle, areas unofficially designated as “gayborhoods” tend to be thriving, vibrant areas. A recent study conducted using census data revealed several interesting features of these neighborhoods tied closely to gay real estate, including:
- Concentration – Gay men and lesbians tend to cluster in different neighborhoods, and lesbians tend to have less separation from the rest of the population.
- Location – Gay men are more likely to live in neighborhoods with historic housing stock, but neither lesbians or gay men tend to live closer to downtown areas.
- Income – Neighborhoods with large concentrations of gay men saw greater income growth, as well as greater population growth.
Areas with high concentrations of gay men tend to see income and population growth. #GayRealEstate Click To Tweet
Many of this study’s findings seem to suggest that the “gay real estate effect” is a very real phenomenon, although it also appears that gay real estate buyers are moving away from “gayborhoods” as the country becomes more tolerant and accepting.
Gay Real Estate in Liberal vs. Conservative Neighborhoods
The gay real estate effect cuts both ways: while more socially liberal neighborhoods tend to see an increase in home values when more gay and lesbian families move in, the most conservative neighborhoods tend to see a reduction in home values, most likely as a result of the area’s prejudice against gay real estate buyers. We all knew that bigotry was a harmful policy, but it’s interesting to see the numbers bear it out: prejudice hurts neighborhoods. Not many studies have been conducted on whether there’s a tipping point, a moment where the presence of LGBT families transforms the character of a neighborhood to make it more accepting and open.
In more liberal neighborhoods, economists have presented several theories on why home values rise as more gay residents move in:
- Demand – As the LGBT community moves into a neighborhood, demand for food options and cultural opportunities increase, making these neighborhoods more desirable and more expensive.
- Appreciation – Gay residents tend to have a higher appreciation of aesthetics and authenticity, which may tie to the concentration of gay men in neighborhoods with historic housing stock. Neighborhoods with high concentrations of gays and lesbians create a “premium” when it comes to housing prices.
- Tolerance – A third theory is closely tied to the fact that socially liberal neighborhoods tend to have high concentrations of gays and lesbians: residents want a more tolerant and open culture, which creates a higher demand for homes in gay neighborhoods even outside the LGBT community.
While these economic arguments are still being studied and debated, they may go a long way toward explaining how the “gay real estate effect” works on a practical level.
Residents want tolerance and openness, making gay neighborhoods desirable. Click To Tweet
Gay Real Estate and Gay Marriage
It’s pretty indisputable that married people tend to buy more property, and many real estate professionals and economists are waiting to see the impact that full legalization of gay marriage will have on home prices and real estate sales. Gay marriage has not been widely legal for long enough to see a visible impact, but several factors indicate that we may see a gay real estate boom before long.
One of the biggest impacts of the gay marriage ruling on gay real estate buyers is the new legal protections extended to married gay and lesbian couples. While it was always possible for an unmarried couple to buy a house together, having a legally protected marriage can make a huge difference when it comes to inheritance issues. Now, gay and lesbian couples can buy houses without worrying that the death of one member of the couple could put the other’s housing situation in legal jeopardy.LGBT couples can buy a home knowing inheritance is protected in case of tragedy. #LGBTrights Click To Tweet
The Continuing Impact of the “Gay Real Estate Effect”
Since much of the data in studies of gay real estate comes from earlier in the 2000s, it will be interesting to see if these findings stay relevant as the housing market recovers and more gay real estate buyers jump into the housing market. It’s probably safe to say that as more gay and lesbian residents move into neighborhoods, those who are more accepting and open will see their homes gain value, while prejudiced neighborhoods will keep becoming less desirable.
Have you noticed the “gay real estate effect” in your city or town? We’d love to hear about your experiences, both in “gayborhoods” and in more unexpected areas!