Gay Realty Network

Real Estate News With a Gay Slant

Today’s Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: John A. Lauro, Cleveland, Ohio

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Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals.

Gay Friendly Cleveland Realtors and Real Estate Professionals

John Lauro, Gay Cleveland RealtorJohn has been a Cleveland area real estate agent for over fifteen years, and has been the top agent for Realty One’s Shaker Heights office for the past five. He works with sellers in every price range.

John is an ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) and an SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist). If you’re looking to buy a Cleveland home, he can help empower you, giving you the knowledge you need to find the best house in a neighborhood that suits your lifestyle.

John is also a Senior Specialist, and knows the special needs and challenges that senior citizens face when looking for a new home. He knows the Cleveland real estate market inside and out, and has lived here all his life.

If you’re looking for a Realtor to help you buy or sell a Cleveland area home, give John a call.

See John’s Expanded Listing on Gay Realty Network Here

Gay Realty Watch: Vancouver, BC

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Vancouver, BCWe continue our look into local real estate markets with large gay and lesbian communities. Today, Vancouver, BC, in our friendly neighbor to the north – Robson Street Shopping, Davie Street’s Gay District, and yes, Bubble Tea. Here’s a sampling of what’s going on in the Vancouver real estate market at the moment:

Canadian home prices post modest gain - Canadian existing home prices made their smallest gain in 16 months during August, according to the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index. In a report released Oct. 27, Teranet-National Bank found that prices rose just 0.2 per cent in August from July. The index measures the prices of homes that have sold at least two times to track real estate activity in six major metropolitan areas, but provides no actual prices. The index also found that for the second straight month prices did not rise in all six markets. The Calgary index fell 0.5 per cent during August, while Vancouver slipped for a second straight month, down 0.4 per cent.

Only one quarter of B.C. boomers own their home mortgage-free - Boomers in British Columbia are the least likely in the country to own a home and be mortgage-free. Though nearly three-quarters of Canadians say it is important that they pay off their mortgage fully in time for retirement, the TD Canada Trust Boomer Buyers Report found that only 24% of B.C. boomers own their home mortgage-free. Nearly one third of B.C.’s boomer homeowners have more than 60% of their mortgage left to pay off.

Proposed Burrard Street real-estate project may include art gallery - A proposed $500-million real-estate development near the north end of the Burrard Bridge could provide the city with a new art gallery. Jon Stovell, president of Reliance Properties Ltd., told the Straight by phone that in return for obtaining higher density on the site, his company and Jim Pattison Developments Ltd. will have to provide amenities to the city.

Triple-tower project proposed for Vancouver - Downtown Vancouver’s skyline could be in for more change if rezoning is granted to a new development that would feature three new towers. The 774,000-square-foot development across 23 lots would see two residential towers of 36 and 48 storeys and one 13-storey office building constructed. Tagged Burrard Gateway, the Reliance-Pattison initiative would take at least four-and-a-half years to build, at a cost of about $500 million, its proponents say.

Canada’s real estate overvalued, survey says‎ – Canadian house prices are overvalued, but not as much as those in Australia, Hong Kong or France, according to a new worldwide survey. The data published in The Economist magazine’s annual survey shows Canadian homes cost on average 23.9 per cent more than they are worth. That’s somewhere around the middle of the pack. The scale ranged from Australia at the high end, where homes are 63.2 per cent overvalued, to Japan at the low end, where houses are 34.6 per cent undervalued.

To Find a Gay Friendly British Columbia Real Estate Agent, Click Here

Foreclosure Scandal Affects Gay Real Estate Buyers/Sellers

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A new drama in the foreclosure markets has shocked the real estate industry, is another sensational scandal for the mortgage sector, and is being carefully scrutinized by many consumer watchdog groups.

The gist of the fresh turmoil is simple. The fundamental legality of the foreclosure process followed by major mortgage lenders is being questioned. There is a strong possibility that tens of thousands or even millions of foreclosures that were transacted within the last 2-3 years have no sound legal basis and are, in fact, fraudulent.

The enormity of it all started to come to light last month when major lenders — including J.P. Morgan Bank, Bank of America, and GMAC’s mortgage division — issued a moratorium on foreclosures to give them time to reexamine their paperwork and procedures. Fannie Mae stopped doing business with a law firm that had been handling massive numbers of their foreclosures because they question the legality of its methods, and offices of Attorneys General in all 50 states began investigating foreclosure practices.

Full Story from Bay Windows

Click here for gay realtors.

Today’s Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Greg Burton, St. Petersburg, Florida

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Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals.

Gay Friendly Tampa Baye Area Realtors and Real Estate Professionals

Greg Burton, realtor - St. Petersburg, FloridaGreg emphasizes excellent service to all of his real estate clients. If you’re looking to buy a first or second home in the Tampa Bay area, give Greg a call.

Neighborhoods we sell include:

-Crescent Heights
-Crescent Lake
-Euclid/St Paul
-Greater Woodlawn
-Historic Kenwood
-Historic Old Northeast
-Historic Uptown
-Bahama Shores
-Broadwater
-Jungle
-Pinellas Point
-Pink Streets
-Snell Isle
-Tropical Shores

St. Petersburg is fast becoming a very gay friendly city, drawing gay and lesbian couples from around the country to settle down in the Tampa Bay area. The city has a number of diverse neighborhoods, many with strong voluntary associations that have helped to create a sense of community.

See Greg’s Expanded Listing on Gay Realty Network Here

Gay Realty Watch: Miami

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Gay Miami Beach Real EstateWe continue our look into local real estate markets with large gay and lesbian communities. Today, Miami, Florida: Hot and sultry, with a killer tan. Here’s a sampling of what’s going on in the Miami real estate market at the moment:

Miami luxury stays afloat‎ - There are many ways to take the pulse of the Miami market, many methods of observing and appreciating and worrying about its real estate. But as developer Gil Dezer says, “You haven’t really seen Miami until you’ve seen it by boat.” So, late on a recent Saturday afternoon, obligations are ignored, schedules re-jiggered, and a sunset cruise on Miami jewelry mogul Bobby Yampolsky’s 72-foot boat commences. The small group of VIP guests includes Dezer and Francois-Henry Bennahmias, president and CEO of Audemars Piguet North America.

South Florida foreclosure rate among nation’s highest - In the months before robo-signing scandals threw much of the foreclosure system into distress, lenders had hit stride in South Florida’s civil courts, reclaiming homes at an increasingly fast pace, a report released Thursday by real estate research firm RealtyTrac shows. In the third quarter of 2010, South Florida led the nation with the highest number of foreclosure filings among large metropolitan areas, with more than 59,064 homes in distress. That’s a 24 percent increase from the previous quarter, and a 9 percent jump from the same period in 2009.

MIAMI Association of REALTORS Announces International Delegates - The MIAMI Association of REALTORS will host foreign delegates from Brazil, France, Peru, Russia, Spain and other markets at its 17th Annual Miami International Real Estate Congress at the Miami Beach Resort on November 1 and 2.

South Beach New Condo Sales Stymied As Developers Unwilling To Lower Price - Nearly 18 years worth of new condo inventory was sitting on the active sale market in South Beach, Fla., on Sept. 30, as sales in the third quarter were virtually nonexistent. According to third-quarter data released by real estate consultant CondoVultures, only 19 new condo units were purchased and 1,300 were left unsold in the 24-block tip of Miami Beach known as South Beach. More than 23% of the 5,600 condos created since 2003 remain unsold, CondoVultures said.

Miami Existing Condominium Sales Continue to Rise - In the Miami Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), there was a 36 percent increase in condominium sales in September compared to the same month in 2009 and a 136 percent increase compared to two years ago, when sales were already rising, according to the MIAMI Association of REALTORS and the Southeast Florida Multiple Listing Service (SEFMLS). This was the highest increase in condominium sales of any major metropolitan area in Florida.

To Find a Gay Friendly Miami Real Estate Agent, Click Here

Today’s Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Debbie Golden, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals.

Gay Albuquerque Realtors and Real Estate Professionals

Debbie Golden, Gay Friendly Albuquerque RealtorDebbie’s been an Albuquerque area real estate agent since 1980, selling single family homes, vacant land, and investment properties. She’s been a multi-million dollar sales producer for a long time, and can provide many references to buyers or sellers.

Debbie has been awarded the Los Mujeres Award from the Albuquerque Metro Board of Realtors. She is a member of national gay & lesbian referral networks that can help connect you with gay & lesbian Realtors all over the USA.

Debbie enjoys helping clients relocate to the Albuquerque area, and can show them the town she fell in love with when she originally moved here in 1973.

Debbie can help make the real estate process stress-free, enlightening and successful, and will give you top-notch service.

Give Debbie a call if you’re looking to buy or sell Albuquerque real estate – when you work with Debbie, you’re right where you belong.

See Debbie’s Expanded Listing on Gay Realty Network Here

Shacking Up … Buying a House Together in Texas? Some Things You Should Know

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Periodically, we run guest columns from our member realtors on their areas, and issues that affect gay and lesbian buyers.  Here’s a great new column from Julie Nelson about buying real estate as a gay or lesbian couple.  (click here to see Gay Realty Network’s Austin, Texas real estate page):

Gay Austin Real Estate

Gay or straight, doesn’t matter.  Two “non-married” persons purchasing a property together in Texas need to know a few things about owning that love shack (or investment shack).  Primarily, co-ownership does not necessarily convey the same rights as with a married couple.  Many of these rights should be specifically created at the time of purchase of the home or shortly thereafter with appropriate legal documents such as a will.

This article is not intended to scare but it is scary how many non-married couples own property together without the appropriate legal documents in place to protect themselves in the case of death, disability or separation.  Lovely topic, we know.

Did you know that if you own property with your friend, steady, lover, partner, college roommate, whatever non-married person you like and he or she dies without the appropriate and challenge-proof legal documents in place, that you now, more or less, own half of that property with their heirs?  Oh joy.  You may love the family to pieces but do you want to be in a business relationship with them?

What are your intentions if one person wants out?  One person needs to move out of state for a new job?  You break up?  Or there is a death or disability.  In the case of partners, is it the intention for the surviving person to keep the house, take over the full responsibility of the loan or does the deceased’s heirs now own half the house?

You could end up putting yourself in a position where you may have to refinance to buy out the other person’s family at today’s market value and mortgage conditions or be forced to sell the home if you do not qualify for the new loan?

If you assume ownership of the property upon the death of the other co-owner, you may potentially have to address probate, inheritance challenges, inheritance taxes or risk the mortgage being called due.  We recommend legal counsel at the time of purchase or shortly thereafter to help you avoid these possibilities.

So a little advice when purchasing property:

* Talk.  Talk about wills and estates and what-ifs.  Call it a pre-nup if you wish, but have an understanding and, best, an actual agreement in writing.

* Ask your agent to put you both on the contract even if just one of you is on the note. It will help get the ball rolling in the right direction.  Some lenders will allow this, some will not.  Consult with your lender and Realtor to assess your best approach.

* Ask your lender and title company about Joint Tenancy With Rights of Survivorship (JTWROS). Many lenders will not permit them, especially if just one of the partners is on the Note.   Sometimes you’ll have a choice, sometimes not but you should ask.

* On tax benefits and who takes what, part or whole, talk to a good CPA for guidance.

We recommend working with Realtors, lenders, attorneys, tax advisors and title companies who are well-versed on working with non-traditional couples, non-married persons as this information is commonplace for them.  A professional who is not may not understand these nuances and may waive them off as not important.

Let’s take care of ourselves and our relationships.  Legally sound home ownership is sound business.

Julie Nelson, Austin Lesbian RealtorThe Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty in Austin, TX sponsors an annual legal seminar on this topic.  The 10th annual seminar was June 17, 2010.  We have brought this seminar to community groups around Austin including corporate GLBT employee groups at Dell, IBM and Motorola.

Julie Nelson is a top Realtor in Austin and runs The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty.  Half of our clients are GLBT and we have an urban focus.  Julie is a leader with the Keller Williams national KW Rainbow Network, a KW faculty member, and a Certified EcoBroker.  Find more about The Nelson Project and search for Austin homes at www.TheNelsonProject.com or check our blog at www.TNPblog.com.  If you like this blog, you may want to visit our totally useful Austin neighborhood portal at www.AustinNeighborhoodProject.com.  And to prepare for your next Austin visit, you may want to check out www.tacomap.info (tacos first, real estate second).

Disclaimer:  As licensed Realtors, we cannot give legal advice.  We encourage you to discuss the details of your situation with appropriately licensed attorneys, financial and tax advisors

Gay Friendly Agent of the Day: Janice Cohen, Albany Realtor

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Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals.

Gay Friendly Capital Region Realtors and Real Estate Professionals

Gay Friendly Albany Realtor - Janice CohenJanice chose real estate as her second career a few years back, and once she became involved in the Albany real estate market, she was hooked. She really enjoys being a full time Realtor, and she will give her clients her time, her boundless energy, and her real estate skills.

Janice has been a homeowner in the Riviera Estates in Latham for close to twenty years, and has two beautiful children who have attended the North Colonie School District. She loves the Capital District and the neighboring communities – it’s a terrific place to live, for raising a family, or for retiurement. She knows the area inside and out, and would love to help you find your dream home.

If you’re planning to buy or sell a home in the Albany real estate market, you need to be confident in your real estate agent, and Janice promises to give you the best real estate service. When you understand the real estate process, you can make better decisions, and Janice will keep you up-to-date on the latest trends in the Albany real estate market.

Janice knows the Albany area inside and out, and can help you find the neighborhood most suited to your lifestyle. She will work with you from the signing of the contract through the close of escrow, and even beyond that if needed.

See Janice’s Expanded Listing on Gay Realty Network Here

Gay Realty Watch: “Entourage” House for Sale in Los Angeles

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Entourage House for SaleGay Realty Watch is the new project of Gay Realty Network, one of the oldest directories of gay and gay friendly real estate agents on the web.  We focus on real estate news for gay friendly markets around the world.  Today’s focus is Los Angeles – with a year-full of sunshine, a thriving LGBT community, and lots of guys and girls in skimpy swim suits.  Enjoy!

If you ever pictured yourself partying with Vincent Chase and the Entourage gang, you can make your fantasies come to life. Well, if you had $5.7 million to spare, and I suppose cardboard cutouts of the characters. But you CAN buy the house that the boys lived in during the seventh season, as it’s now listed on the Los Angeles real estate market. Time to party like a movie star!

Ah, the place where Johnny Drama made many omelets. The two islands kind of throw me for a loop, but I do like the pendant lighting and the hidden refrigerator/freezer.

The living room where the boys would simultaneously make out with their flavors of the week night. I love the airiness, thanks to the open floor plan and 20-foot-high ceilings. I can just feel that warm California air sift through from the French doors in the neighboring room.

Full Story from The Stir

Click here for gay Los Angeles realtors.

Gay Realty Watch: $5 Million Plus Home Sales Up in Los Angeles

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Gay Los Angeles Real EstateGay Realty Watch is the new project of Gay Realty Network, one of the oldest directories of gay and gay friendly real estate agents on the web.  We focus on real estate news for gay friendly markets around the world.  Today’s focus is Los Angeles – with a year-full of sunshine, a thriving LGBT community, and lots of guys and girls in skimpy swim suits.  Enjoy!

The recession is great news for house buyers looking to drop $5 million on a pad in Los Angeles. Across the city’s wealthy suburbs, from Tony Hancock Park to coastal Malibu, sales in the $5 million-plus range are up 15% year-over-year, according to Joyce Flaherty, a broker at real estate firm Coldwell Banker.

“A $10 million house in the bubble days is now a $5 million house,” she explains. “Prices were outrageously inflated, and now they’re plummeting. After unsuccessfully shopping their property for years, sellers have been forced to get realistic.” Overall, southern California home prices have declined 43% since the 2007 peak, according to DataQuick, a San Diego real estate research firm.

Some of the markdowns are impressive. A $30 million Bel Air property was marked down to $21.9 million before eventually closing escrow at $19.5 million in January. Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey managed to unload his $29 million estate for $21.5 million in June. The William Randolph Hearst estate, a 50,000-square-foot mansion sitting on 3.7 flat acres above the Beverly Hills Hotel, is back on the market for $95 million. Three years ago, the compound was listed at $165 million.

Full Story from Reuters

Click here for gay Los Angeles realtors.