Gay Realty Network

Real Estate News With a Gay Slant

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

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

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

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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If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

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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NorthParkCHW

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 info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Featured Lesbian Real Estate Agent: CJ Brasiel, San Jose, California

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CJ Brasiel, Lesbian San Jose Real Estate AgentPeriodically 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.

Choose a real estate partner with a different view. Silicon Valley’s the hub of technology and diversity in Northern California. Lifestyle, acceptance, culture is valued and all are welcome!

See CJ’s Expanded Listing on Gay Realty Network Here

Gay Friendly Realtors and Real Estate Professionals in the SF Bay Area

Featured Gay Real Estate Agent: Brodie Stephens, Folsom, California

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Folsom, CA: Brodie Stephens, Gay Sacramento Real Estate AgentPeriodically 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.

Brodie Stephens is a gay real estate agent in Folsom, California, who works with all kinds of real estate clients.

See Brodie’s Expanded Listing on Gay Realty Network Here

Gay Friendly Realtors and Real Estate Professionals in the Sacramento Area

San Diego Gayborhood Bar Expanding

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Urban Mo's - San DiegoHillcrest’s most iconic gay restaurant and bar – Urban MO’s Bar & Grill – is now undergoing significant expansions this month to debut for the 2014-15 winter season. The outdoor patio has been demolished in preparation for an extensive expansion and renovation. The property will remain open for business during the expansions, which started this week.

The expansion is scheduled for completion no later than Dec. 26, with all restaurant, bar and patio amenities accessible to guests including an expanded non-smoking outdoor patio area, an expanded outdoor smoking section, private dining cabanas, additional restrooms and other public areas.

The expansion will also include a second-story addition that will house the company’s corporate offices. Additionally two paid parking lots have been secured through a separate neighboring company to help with the loss of four parking spaces in the expansion footprint.

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 SDGLN

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 info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Harvey Milk’s American Diner Closes in the San Diego Gayborhood

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Harvey Milk’s American DinerToday the official closure of Harvey Milk’s American Diner was announced. The online announcement, by owner Frank Lechner, stated that the diner was officially closed for good and that all the employees had been paid. LGBT Weekly reached out to Lechner for comment but he was unavailable at press time.

LGBT Weekly did speak with employees who indicated they had been paid but were asked to sign a document releasing Harvey Milk’s American Diner from any legal action. One source indicated that each person was offered two days “bonus” pay if they signed the legal document which also indicated that the employee was paid in full.

Sources indicate that some employees refused to sign because they had begun action with the San Diego Labor Board. According to the Labor Board Web site, Harvey Milk’s may be liable for one day’s pay to each employee for each day beyond 72 hours after closure that the employee did not receive their wages. That means the diner owed many employees 16 days additional pay not the two days of bonus pay offered.

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 info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Is it Time for a San Francisco Real Estate Correction?

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San FranciscoSan Francisco is arguably one of the hottest real estate markets in the nation. Fueled by the technology economy, it has a limited supply of homes for sale, which has resulted in fierce competition and sky-high home prices. Rents also have grown in tandem.

“Have things cooled down a little bit? Yes. However, the properties that are still priced right and properly prepared, it’s a 10-to-12 day market,” said Jeff Salgado, a partner with McGuire Real Estate.

San Francisco home prices were up just more than 10 percent in July, according to the latest S&P/Case Shiller home price indices. It was the only one of the top 20 U.S. markets, however, to see a monthly price decline, down 0.4 percent from June on a seasonally adjusted basis. “It’s their comeuppance,” declared Nobel laureate Robert Shiller, co-author of the indices on CNBC recently. “They were the most bubbly city. It’s time for a correction.”

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 Diana Olick – See the Full Story at CNBC

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

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com