June is LGBTQ+ Pride and National Homeownership Month
In June, we celebrate both Home Ownership Month and Pride Month. Today more than ever, the convergence of these two celebrations holds special meaning, as the benefits of home ownership are becoming more and more accessible to the LGBTQ+ Community.
Times do change. Home ownership as we know it today has not always been common. Before the 1800s, building your own dwelling was the work of the average homesteader or frontiersman. Most people lived in small one or two room homes during colonial times. There was no electricity or running water. A housewife in 17th century America might pour sand over a bare floor and swirl the grains with a broom to make a stylish home accent.
The rise of reliable banking and finance after the Civil War changed all that. Where before only wealthy landowners might have a house professionally built, the option to own property and a home began opening up for the less privileged. But even into the 1940s, less than half of all Americans owned their own homes.
Soon, home ownership became a powerful way to build and pass on generational wealth, but the whole system was not without grave inequalities and opportunities for discrimination. Almost 160 years after the National Banking Acts of 1863 and 1864, which paved the way for home ownership as we know it today, the LGBTQ+ community has finally won legalized marriage equality and is being protected under the Fair Housing Act as interpreted by the Biden Administration.
While still fragile and at risk of being challenged in a country of polarized political divides, there is still much to celebrate.
Today, Pride Month can include an awareness that attitudes are shifting and that, in real estate, the proportion of buyers and sellers identifying as LGBTQ is continuing to increase.
Why Home Ownership is Important
As a general rule, owning a home helps to build wealth, because homes tend to rise in value, even ahead of inflation. Yes, there are housing bubbles and down markets, but most, if not all, homeowners tend to see their property values increase substantially over the long term.
Control is another great benefit of home ownership. It’s hard to get kicked out of your own home. A rental lease might not be renewed. Your rental property might be sold. Your landlord could be a jerk who doesn’t take care of the property and is unresponsive to problems. When you own your own home, you are in control, even if that comes with its own expenses and challenges.
Stability. Fixed-rate mortgages, as the name sounds, are not going to change. You’ll make the same predictable payment each month for up to 30 years. As anyone who has faced a steep rent increase knows, that in itself can bring peace-of-mind over the years.
Independence. Do you want to own pets? Build a gazebo in the back yard? Turn one room into an indoor planetarium? The sky is the limit. It’s your home. The flexibility to customize your living space to meet your needs and lifestyle can never be under estimated.
Pride is About Community
Pride is about our recognition of basic human rights for LGBTQ+ people everywhere. It’s about self-affirmation, dignity, and equality.
Pride Month commemorates the June 1969 Stonewall Riots, when the LGBTQ+ customers of New York City’s Stonewall Inn resisted police raids on their bar. There are few more powerful symbols for overcoming a history of attempts to shame and marginalize than to participate in the core American value of home ownership, and by so doing to become a visible part of the nation’s communities and to engage in creating a diverse and welcoming culture for all.
If this is your first home buying experience, you’ll find solid information in our “First Time Homebuyer Guide.” This 40+ page guide delivers a range of critical information from Understanding the Mortgage Process and Types of Loans to Avoiding Discrimination and which states have no LGBTDQ+ Housing Protections.
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.