A Gay Couple’s Guide to Owning a House

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Gay marriage is becoming legal in many places in the world. And all those spots that legalize gay marriage, usually experience an increase in interest and demand for real estate from LGBTQ couples looking to settle down for good. The new laws allow safety in case you choose to pool your assets and purchase a house, so many gay couples are doing just that. However, purchasing a home is a huge step that can be very complicated if you don’t have any previous experience. Here are a few things all gay couples need to know before owning a house:

Know your rights

First and foremost, it’s important to know that countries like the US and Australia have human rights and federal laws that prohibit housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex as well as sexuality. It’s important to know that, for instance in the States, it is prohibited to discriminate against gay people under the Fair Housing Act.

Know how to recognize discrimination

The law and authorities are working hard to enforce all acts and anti-discrimination laws, but it’s up to us (buyers, renters, lenders and real estate agents) to recognize discrimination and call it out. When buying a house as a gay couple, keep in mind these red flags:

  • A mortgage lender is not willing to disclose everything concerning mortgage rates
  • A real estate agent is not willing to represent you
  • A seller not willing to show you the property or lies about it not being on the market
  • Having to work extra hard to get financing when compared to heterosexual couples
  • Being turned down for purchasing even with good credit, good offering price and plenty of vacancies

Check your credit score

Before you start looking for a house, it’s important to check your credit scores because all lenders use this data to determine how safe it is to land you money. If you have a good credit score, you’re more likely to repay your loan and do so in time and in full. A high credit score is a sign of low risk to lenders, so you can expect lower interest rates. A credit score between 700 and 749 is considered stable and good, and everything above that will get you the best possible rates to purchase and design an authentic home.

Consider renovations

Homeownership involves more than purchasing a house and moving things inside. People who own property must invest in inspections as well as regular renovations and property updates. According to research conducted in Australia, your average home renovation can cost anywhere between $5000 and $30,000. So when owning a home with your partner, make sure to have savings ready for decoration, but also external renovation like new façade or new roof. Luckily, there are affordable roofing supplies in Sydney with teams of great experts behind it who focus on customer satisfaction. With the right experts to handle your renovation, you’ll get your money’s worth for every job. Still, it’s important to keep in mind this additional expense when purchasing property.

Find a good lawyer

In order to buy a house, you will need a lawyer, preferably an experienced real estate lawyer who specializes in LGBTQ+ issues. This type of law is specific and it’s worth your money and time to find someone with plenty of knowledge and experience in the department. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. However, it’s not necessarily a must to choose a real estate agent who caters only to gay and lesbian clients. It might make it more comfortable for you to get an agent who is LGBTQ or a strong ally, but it’s not necessary. What you should be looking for is an agent with a good understanding of your needs and budget.

Buying a house is one of the biggest expenses you will ever make, so make sure you take all the right steps to avoid discrimination and receive the right treatment as a buyer. The process can be stressful, but if you consider all the steps above, think will work out in your favor for sure.

 

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