Gay Realty Network

Real Estate News With a Gay Slant

Which City is Better for Gay Men – San Francisco or New York?

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New YorkWhich rival city is really better for gay men? San Francisco or New York?
This is an age-old question that we’ve laid out the answer for below. Both cities are fabulous meccas of glitter and rainbows, but it ultimately comes down which aspects of a city carry the most weight for you. Find out which city would be best based on which category is most near and dear.

Nightlife: New York

San FranciscoWhile San Francisco may be able to brag about its diverse LGBT scene, it’s scene is less raucous and dominated by small, intimate bars. If you’re looking for a party, New York it is! With a slew of fabulous clubs like G Lounge and Atlas Social Club, plus endless events, it’s the undisputed gay party capital of the world.

So who comes out on top? With 6 of the two categories (and 2 ties), New York reigns supreme as the most fabulous city for gay men! So break out those dancing shoes and go party!

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

See the Full Story at Queerty

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Where Are Americans Moving?

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Why Have Interest Rates Dropped?

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The headlines agree mortgage interest rates have dropped substantially below initial projections. Many who are considering purchasing a home, or moving up to their dream home, might think that they should wait to buy, because rates may continue to fall.

A recent article on the Economists’ Outlook blog by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) provides insight into one major factor in the decline in interest rates, the crude oil price.

“As of January 5, 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the price of regular gasoline was $2.20/gallon, the lowest since gas prices peaked to about $ 4/gallon in May 2011.”

You may have noticed that filling your gas tank has become substantially less expensive in recent months. A welcome change from the close to $5 a gallon that many Americans were paying this time last year. The average US household is projected to save around $550 in 2015.

So what does that have to do with Interest Rates?

NAR explains the correlation like this:

“Lower oil prices mean lower inflation rate, which pushes down mortgage rates.”

Based on Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey as of January 22, 2015, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.63% and the 15-year fixed rate averaged 2.93%.

“The decline in oil prices is generally positive to households by way of the gas savings and lower mortgage payments. That savings will boost consumer spending in other areas. But there may be some layoffs in oil-producing states.”

How long will rates stay low?

No one really knows how long oil prices will continue to support low mortgage rates. In a New York Times article, the author points to the fact that “adding hundreds of billions of dollars to consumer spending” could start to have a “counter effect” on rates as the economy continues to strengthen.

“If firms start hiring again, and wages increase — that’s when the level of all interest rates in the U.S. would increase.” 

Don’t wait too long

The low interest rates we are currently experiencing are not going to stay around forever. The current projections from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, NAR and the Mortgage Bankers Association all agree that interest rates will increase to between 4.3-5.4% by the end of 2015.


NAR reports: “At the median home price of $205,300, a 0.75 percentage point drop in mortgage rates will yield savings of about $1,000 annually.”

If you are in a position to buy a home make sure that you meet with a local real estate professional with their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the market. Don’t let a delay in purchasing impact your family’s financial future.

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“Looking” Treats All of San Francisco as a Gayborhood

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LookingThis week’s red carpet premier for the second season of “Looking” used the kind of backdrop that might have seemed fitting for a show about gay men digging through lust, love and angst in San Francisco. The stars stood underneath the Castro Theatre’s neon sign with a drag queen on the sidewalk nearby and several gay dance clubs across the street.

But on the show, the Castro doesn’t see as much screentime as you might expect for a district considered San Francisco’s “gayborhood” for a half-century. (You can see the proof in this nifty map that Curbed SF compiled.) Instead, characters jump from SoMa restaurants to Mission clubs to Oakland basement apartments to raves in Muir Woods in scenes filmed on site instead of on a soundstage.

“That’s the truth of any big city like San Francisco. In New York, not all the gays live in Chelsea,” said lead actor Jonathan Groff, who is gay and said his favorite San Francisco bar was Zeitgeist in the Mission District, not the Castro.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Cory Weinberg – See the Full Story at

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3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

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If you are thinking about purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home.

There are three questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of the space

What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:

  • Home values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 23.5% by 2019.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 15.1% by 2019.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of RealtorsFannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months.

Bottom Line

Only you and your family can know for certain the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

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San Francisco Now an Enclave for the Wealthy?

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8 Octavia

San Franciscans, already lamenting the high cost of living, are finding that rents have jumped from sky high to outrageous. Betty Granoff, who works with people moving to the Bay Area as president of San Francisco-based Relocation Breakthroughs, provided some insight into how the rental housing market compares to other boom times.

“I’ve been doing this since 1996 and this is the craziest I’ve seen things,” Granoff said. “Even with the first dot-com boom in the late 1990s, demand was just as high but rents weren’t.”

Earlier this week, Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) noted that the Bay Area saw the biggest rent hikes in 2014 and sees this year being just as bad. Zillow’s website Friday made it clear that anyone opting to buy rather than rent in Hayes Valley’s zip code would have to pony up more than $900,000 and often well over $1 million.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Mark Calbey – See the Full Story at Biz Journals

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Gay Man, Lesbian Appointed to Housing Agencies

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Gay Long Beach Real EstateA gay man has been appointed to lead the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

LGBT Weekly reports:

Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed openly gay civil rights attorney Kevin Kish to lead the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, filling a vacancy atop an agency under scrutiny for its own employment record, the Sacramento Bee. An adjunct law professor at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and director of Bet Tzedek Legal Services’ employment law project, Kish would assume leadership of an agency beset by allegations of inappropriate hiring and promotion practices. The Senate would need to confirm Kish’s appointment to the post, which carries an annual salary of $150,198.

In other news, a lesbian has been selected to lead the DC Department of Housing and Community Development.

Washington DC's Real Estate Market Has Something for Buyers and SelelrsThe Washington Blade reports:

D.C. Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser announced on Saturday that she will nominate Polly Donaldson, an out lesbian and recognized expert in affordable housing and homeless-related programs, as director of the city’s Department of Housing and Community Development. The cabinet-level appointment requires confirmation by the City Council, an action that virtually all political observers believe the Council will take shortly after it begins its 2015 session.

That’s two big steps forward on opposite ends of the country.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By – See the Full Story at

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10 Easy Tips to Get Your House Ready to Sell

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exterior-window-washing-2Most people know the basics about getting their home ready to sell: remove any clutter and excess furniture, fix what’s broken and set your rooms to look like a model home would. But buyers have more and more inventory to choose from in this market and the details matter. Here are 10 enhanced Staging Tips

1. Wash your windows

Have your windows professionally washed. Clean windows will let in more light and make your rooms sparkle. Certainly, buyers will definitely notice if your windows are dirty.

 2. Take care of the details

Small details can make your home look dumpy without you even realizing it. Freshen up rooms with new switch plates and outlet covers if yours are grubby from fingerprints or yellowed from aging. Polish handles and hardware and use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove minor spots and scuffs on walls.
3. Focus on curb appeal
Freshen up your landscaping, add bark to flower beds, trim bushes and trees. Invest in a new doormat and take the time to scrub down your front door since it’s probably covered with dust, dirt, and oils. Better yet, repaint it and add some new house numbers and a new porch light.4. Don’t forget your side yard

Turn that dead space into a selling point by creating a potting station or kitchen garden, or even set up breakfast nook with a café table and chairs.5. Stage every room

Empty rooms show poorly. “Stage” a spare bedroom with an air mattress and bed frame. Create a living room arrangement by throwing matching slipcovers over clashing chairs and sofas.6. Paint inside and out, brighten up the trim and doors

Walls aren’t the only things that need a fresh coat of paint. Dingy door and window frames will drag down the prettiest of rooms. Repainting wood-toned trim white will also make your space brighter.7. Employ scents

Employ soothing, spa-like scents like vanilla and lavender in bathrooms and bedrooms.8. Make your space look bigger

Lay down a striped rug to make your floor seem more expansive. Use a clear shower curtain to open up a small bathroom.

9. Organize your closets

Make your storage look custom with do-it-yourself shelves, hangers, and bins. Organize clothes by type and color for added impact. Remove the clutter.10. Tidy up the garage

Install overhead or wall shelves to store bikes and sporting equipment. Create a workshop area in one corner — show buyers it’s more than just a place to park cars.

2014 Is Over, Sell the House?

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At the end of the year in Orange County, hundreds of homeowners have a tough decision to make. The ‘listing for sale agreement’ on their house is about to expire and they now must decide to either take their house off the market (OTM), For Sale by Owner (FSBO) or list it again with the same agent or a different agent. Let’s assume you or someone you know is in this situation and take a closer look at each possibility:

Taking Your Home off the Market

In all probability, after putting your house on the market and seeing it not sell, you’re going to be upset. You may be thinking that no one in the marketplace thought the house was worthy of the sales price. Because you are upset, you may start to rationalize that selling wasn’t that important after all and say,

“Well, we didn’t really want to sell the house anyway. This idea of making a move right now probably doesn’t make sense.”

Instead of discounting your original goals, consider the reasons you decided to sell in the first place. Ask your family this simple question:

“What made us originally put our home up for sale?”

If that reason made sense a few months ago when you originally listed the house, chances are it still makes sense now. Don’t give up on what your family hoped to accomplish or on goals your family hoped to attain. Just because the house didn’t sell during the last listing contract doesn’t mean the house will never sell or that it shouldn’t be sold.

Re-Listing with your Existing Agent

For whatever reason, your house did not sell. Perhaps you now realize how difficult selling a house is or that the listing price was too high, or perhaps you’re now acknowledging that you didn’t exactly listen to your agent’s advice. If that is the case, you may want to give your existing agent a second chance. That’s a perfectly okay thing to do. However, if your agent didn’t perform to the standard they promised when they listed your home you may want to either FSBO or try a different agent.

List with a New Agent

After failing to sell your home, you may no longer trust your agent or what they say. However, don’t paint all real estate professionals with that same brush. Have you ever gotten a bad haircut before? Of course! Did you stop getting your hair cut or did you simply change hair stylists? There is good and bad in every profession—good and bad hair stylists, agents, teachers, lawyers, doctors, police officers, etc. And just because there are good and bad in every line of work doesn’t mean you don’t call on others for the products and services you need. You still get your hair cut, see a doctor, talk to a lawyer, send your kids to school, etc. You initially believed that using an agent made sense. It probably still does. Check references and choose wisely.

For Sale by Owner

You may now believe that listing your house with an agent is useless because your original agent didn’t accomplish the goal of selling the house. Trying to sell on your own this time may be alluring. You may think you will be in control and save on the commission. But, is that true? Will you be able to effectively negotiate each of the elements that make up a real estate transaction? Some professionals are indeed capable. Are you willing to put in the time to put together and execute a comprehensive marketing plan with professional photography, videography, aerial photography, websites, internet marketing, etc.? Overall, do people who sell their homes themselves ‘net’ more money? If you are thinking about FSBOing, here are 4 things to consider:

1. There Are a Lot of Many People to Negotiate With
Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to FSBO.

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer who wants substantial repairs or a huge credit for repairs found in their home inspection
  • The buyer who wants a price reduction if there is a question of value after the appraisal
  • Your lender(s) in the case of a short sale

2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 92% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 28% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an extensive internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Be sure you have one, too.

3. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. The average printed file in the real estate transaction is 2 inches tall. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 9% over the last 20+ years.

4. Statistically, You Net More Money when Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. However, sellers should realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the same commission. Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $184,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $230,000.   This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $46,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

New San Diego Affordable Senior Housing Project Will Be LGBT Affirming

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San Diego nonprofit Community HousingWorks (CHW), presents its Arizona Street Development to the San Diego Planning Commission Thursday, Dec. 18. The proposed development features a 76-home senior apartment building on the northwest corner of Texas Street and Howard Avenue and a 118-home multifamily building on the northeast corner. The proposal has already generated significant support from North Park residents and the official North Park Planning Committee voted overwhelmingly to support approval of the development.

CHW is partnering with the San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center) in order to design the senior apartments as an affirming and supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender seniors that includes universal design features to allow seniors to stay in their homes as they age.

While the senior apartments will be open to all who meet the age and income requirements, the LGBT-affirming complex is specifically meant to address a 2011 community needs assessment led by The Center that found LGBT-seniors highest concerns included fears of increasing social isolation, lack of access to culturally competent health and social services, financial concerns, and lack of access to safe, affordable, and affirming housing options.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

See the Full Story at LGBT Weekly

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in San Diego.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at