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Real Estate News With a Gay Slant

More Tiny Houses for DC?

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Washington DC Real EstateThe popular tiny-house movement may get a big boost in the District this fall when significantly looser restrictions regarding “accessory dwelling units” — the technical name for the trendy residences — go into effect.

Under provisions in the city’s new zoning code, from Sept. 6, homeowners will have an easier time getting the necessary approval to build and rent out tiny houses. Given the lack of affordable housing in the District, advocates say they think they’ll see a dramatic increase in the number of rentable tiny homes, micro-homes or two-story carriage houses popping up alongside gardens, tree houses and swing sets behind homes all over the city.

Previously, owners seeking to rent out the units were required to argue their cases before the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) to receive an exception. Under the new rule, the structures will be permitted in some neighborhoods as a matter of right: Once homeowners acquire building permits from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), they will be free to build and then rent out the units.

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 Shilpi Malinowski
See the Full Story at The Washington Post

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Why Washington DC is the Best City for Gays

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Victory_Fund_National_Champagne_Brunch_and_Stonewall_Kickball_and_Wilson_Phillips_and_Dupont_Circle_split_insert_c_Washington_Blade_by_Michael_Key

New York? Yawn. San Francisco? It’s been overrun by tech junkies. Chicago? Might as well be Shreveport.

The jury is officially in, via my Facebook page, and Washington, D.C., has been declared the best city to be gay. But what makes our nation’s capital the ideal urban fruitopia for the LGBT community? Succinctly, today’s Washington is the perfect coming together of vibrant neighborhoods, good restaurants, nightlife, events and cute guys.

Gay sports leagues, happy hours, a growing theater scene — all of this gives D.C. a certain gay camaraderie that other cities seem to lack. Plus, this city makes brunching an Olympic sport. Here are nine reasons of why you shouldn’t waste your time with any other city.

#9 There Are More of Us Here. There’s no denying that. Even though we aren’t a state, yet, D.C. has the largest percentage of gays and lesbians in the United States. Bringing up the rear, so to speak, North Dakota.

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 Brock Thompson
See the Full Story at The Washington Blade

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D.C. an Unaffordable Place to Rent

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Washington DC Real EstateIt is always surprising to me how much space a renter gets for $2,000 or less a month. For many parts of Northwest D.C., $2,000 a month rents a junior one bedroom. For most places in the country, this rent is considered delusional whereas it has become a norm in the District.

The D.C. housing market is one of the strongest and most expensive in the United States. With steadily rising prices and a constant demand for housing, the market for owning a house is consistently a great investment. However, the ability to own carries a high barrier for entry for some potential buyers (more on that below). Moreover, the market for renting is a complicated story. Housing inventory has always been a problem within the District with a limited supply and restrictions on the size of buildings that can be developed. As more people move to the District with hopes of renting an apartment, rents are expected to rise.

A recent study conducted by RealtyTrac analyzed the rental affordability in most major urban markets. Affordability was defined not only by the price of average rent, but also by the proportion of living wages necessary to afford rent. The findings put Washington, D.C. as the second least affordable market in the United States (behind only Honolulu, Hawaii). The study predicts that renting in the D.C. area requires nearly 60 percent of average wages, which is much higher than the national average of 37 percent. Moreover, rents are rising at an average over 3.7 percent whereas wages increase only around 2.5 percent per year.

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 Tim Savoy
See the Full Story at The Washington Blade

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in Washington DC

Flipping in DC

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Washington DC Real EstateOn Dec. 31, 2014, a colleague purchased a fully redeveloped home in Brookland. The property, a stunning, newly renovated single-family home on Newton Street, N.E., was staged and showed beautifully. After several months on the market and under contract for improvements from a home inspection, my colleague and his husband closed on the property for nearly $800,000. When they arrived to their walkthrough, the buyers found that the aesthetically pleasing light hardwood floor had been severely worn after all the staging material was removed.

In addition, the material used in producing the cabinets was easily damaged, and the house had frozen pipes just days after move-in. In short, the aesthetic charm had reduced the quality of the finishes; moreover, the lack of quality in the renovation had already become apparent. Flipping property, often times a misnomer also used to describe illegal practices in building a real estate bubble, is often the term used for housing redevelopment.

In D.C., neighborhoods such as Petworth, Columbia Heights and Shaw have seen large-scale development over the past decade. These residential projects, often associated with a particular town home or multi-unit redevelopment, rely on a developer who purchases the distressed property at low cost, renovates, and finally sells it for a significant markup. This type of purchase is popular among buyers who are looking for a move-in ready home with historic charm. However, as with the case of my colleague, what should buyers (as well as flipping sellers) be on the lookout for with these types of renovations?

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 Tim Savoy – See the Full Story at The Washington Blade

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in Washington, DC.

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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Out Traveler’s Top 10 US Gayborhoods #9: Dupont Circle

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Logan Circle, Washington DC – Apple Maps

We’re counting down the top ten US Gayborhoods, according to Out Traveler. The tenth place finisher is in Philadelphia:

9. Dupont Circle (Washington, D.C.), with 4.62 percent of the vote Washington has been declared the gayest city in the country by everyone and their gay brother. Its center of LGBT life has a bit of reputation-building before it can compete with the big boys in New York and San Francisco, though.

Congrats, DC!

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 Out Traveler

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in Washington, DC.

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

Why is DC So Expensive? Hint: It’s Congress

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Logan Circle, Washington DC – Apple MapsA September housing report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is making the rounds this week after The Washington Post published its findings on the Monday holiday. The Post gave it a 100-proof headline: “It’s more expensive to live in D.C. than New York, study says.”

According to “Housing: Before, During, and After the Great Recession,” Washington, D.C., is the most expensive place to live in the country. These findings aren’t new (and they certainly aren’t news to anyone living in the District), but this graphic appears to explain how the nation’s capital costs so much for its residents.

Yet tabulating mean housing costs doesn’t totally capture the true value of a place. I don’t mean value in some squishy sense of the word, as in that it’s worth it to love the place you call home. No, the price of housing alone simply doesn’t translate into affordability, in part because household incomes tend to be higher in those places where housing costs more. That’s why the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development created the Location Affordability Index, which finds that, when you factor in transportation costs, annual vehicle miles traveled, and so on, the cities of San Francisco, New York, and D.C. start to look a lot more affordable–for high-income earners, anyway.

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 Kriston Capps – See the Full Story at City Lab

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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

Image via Apple Maps

Lowdown on the DC Real Estate Market

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Washington DC Real EstateAs in all forecasts, we can only rely on what we see to be a general trend. The Washington metro area real estate market in 2014 has slowed in comparison to 2013 with less activity. A trend that was thought to be related to the long, cold winter can now be seen to be caused by a number of other factors.

Those factors include changes in the types of jobs and incomes in the metro area, particularly the reduction in federal jobs. Although the area saw an increase of jobs of 28,000 from June, 2013 to June, 2014, they were not high-wage jobs. That significantly reduces the pool of buyers who can afford to buy a home.

The government shutdown was seen as a wake up call for much of the federal labor force who are being cautious in their moving decisions. Buyers today do not have the benefit of the first-time homebuyers tax credit. There are also fewer affordable homes. Lending requirements are more stringent and salaries are not keeping up with housing prices.

According to the Real Estate Business Intelligence Service (RBI), buyer activity was down from last year in every month. However, the median sales price has remain pretty stable. Inventory continues to grow, although according to RBI, overall inventory remains low, just 43.2 percent of its peak level.

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 Sue Goodhart – See the Full Story at The Washington Blade

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in Washington, DC.

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

Washington DC’s Evolving Gayborhoods

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Washington DC HomesWhat is happening to the ‘gayborhood?’ Discussions of the evolving nature of the gay “community” and fast disassembling “gayborhood” clusters here and in cities across the country are as commonplace as yet another report detailing how expensive D.C. has somewhat suddenly become. An announcement this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics identifying Washington as the most expensive metropolitan area in the nation for housing and shelter related costs surprised few. It was not the first such analysis regarding what it now takes to survive financially in the nation’s capital – and firsthand knowledge is proof enough for most.

In less than a decade, D.C. has transformed from a largely dysfunctional flat-broke city of declining numbers to a mostly booming modern metropolis with an exploding population and overflowing government coffers. Without waxing nostalgic for the charms of a formerly edgier – and more affordable – place, it’s enough to say that things are now very different.

Simply stated, the District is increasingly a domain of well-educated, well-compensated and career-focused professionals of a median age that keeps dropping. Whatever pitiful prospects politicians possess to affect this new reality in meaningful measure, or respond to clamoring to mitigate the negative effects for less fortunate citizenry, they are powerless to do much. There is scant chance of changing the current trajectory.

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 Lee – See the Full Story at The Washington Blade

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in Washington, DC.

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

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Denny Horner, Washington DC

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Denny Horner, Washington, DC, gay realtorPeriodically 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.

Denny is a residential real estate agent in the metro DC area, specializing in row homes and detatched homes. Metro DC offers great diversity and house options!

See Denny’s Expanded Listing on Gay Realty Network Here

Gay Friendly Realtors and Real Estate Professionals in Washington DC