Why Own a Home?
Owning a home is not for everyone, nor is everyone prepared for home ownership. For those considering the adventure of home buying, the challenges may seem daunting, but the benefits are clear.
Home ownership provides a path to predicable housing payments, the benefits of home equity, tax advantages, a place in the community, and the freedom to personalize your property, have privacy, and own pets— making it a true home.
The Benefits of Home Ownership
LGBTQ+ couples who invest in home ownership experience the same benefits of homeowners everywhere.
- Predictable Housing Costs. Acquiring a fixed rate mortgage over a 15-to-30-year period bestows an important benefit. Stability. Rental costs can rise quickly and may not be “locked in.” The cost of rent is not only increasing, but it has also been cited as one of the drivers of inflation. Owning a home is a shield against the rising cost of living space.
- Low Mortgage Rates. Life is even better when that predictable cost is a lower one. For years now, 30-year mortgages have been in the low single digits, even under 3%. In 1984, the interest rate on mortgages was as high as 13.9%! Even as interest rates begin to rise with inflation, buying now is a great deal.
- Save on Taxes. Being a homeowner means deducting the interest on your loan, which is especially useful at the start, when the majority of your payment may be to interest.
- Building Equity. Home ownership is an investment in an asset that increases in value over time. Yes, there was a housing bubble in 2008 that led to massive losses and a stock market fall, but that was the exception that proves the rule. Historically, the upside-down market from 2008 to 2012 was an anomaly, much like the stock market crash in the 1920s.
- Creating a Favorable Credit History. As you make your monthly loan payments, you’re building a reliable reputation for using credit wisely. This will be helpful when you engage in other large purchases, like buying a car or future home remodeling.
Pride of Ownership, Privacy, Personalization. No one feels at home as much as when they own their own home. It’s yours. Neighbors may be nearby, but they aren’t on the other side of the wall. Your home can be the center of get togethers with family and friends. You can personalize it with the colors, flooring, wall coverings, and furniture of your choice.
The Challenges of Home Ownership for LGBTQ+ Couples
Every couple faces their own unique challenges when buying a home. For LGBTQ+ homebuyers, there are a few additional hurdles.
- Saving Money. Building a down payment, putting aside money for future repairs, and even affording a monthly mortgage can be a special challenge for the LGBTQ+ community because of pay gaps, discrimination, and lack of access to federal marriage benefits (before 2015).
- Housing Discrimination. Until President Biden’s executive order directing HUD to enforce the fair housing act in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, housing discrimination against LGBTQ+ couples was a low-risk activity, and these protections could be reversed by a future administration.
- Finding the Right Location. LGBTQ+ couples are often living and working in places distant from the neighborhoods they grew up in; looking for LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhoods, and trying to find affordable housing they can call home. All this makes finding the right place a special challenge.
The special challenges faced by LGBTQ+ couples are best handled by real estate professionals experienced in this growing market.
That’s what the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance is all about. The Alliance’s website connects you with housing and real estate professionals, nationwide, from Real Estate Agents and Lenders to HUD Consultants and Tax Advisors.
First Time Homebuyer Guide
At the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, we’ve prepared a 40+ page guide, the “First-Time Homebuyer Guide.”
Our guide walks you through the steps, covering every aspect of the home buying process, addressing issues that are unique to our community. We hope you’ll choose to work with one of our members to buy your new home.
The First Time Homebuyer Guide includes a range of information, all the way from the research phase and finding a loan to the “Impact of Home Ownership on Your Long-Term Financial Security.”
From offer to closing, you’ll appreciate the resources we’ve compiled in our First-Time Homebuyer Guide.
Find the Help You Need
The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, a 501(c)6 organization, was launched in June 2020 by leading members of the real estate industry. The mission of the Alliance is to Advocate, Elevate, and Celebrate. The Alliance advocates for fair housing for all and promotes LGBTQ+ homeownership.