Monthly Archives: March 2014

New Castro sidewalks….curse or blessing?

The Castro is now undergoing the process of widening the sidewalks of a 2-block stretch from Market Street to 19th Street. Some say it will cause traffic congestion. Others say it is badly needed to allow more pedestrians to move more freely about. Another aspect is the take on the business owners, some of whom… Read more »

Easy Curb Appeal Upgrades You Can Do On a Weekend

Sometimes the idea of getting your home ready to sell can seem daunting, and you might be tempted to sell it “as is” instead. Adding a little curb appeal, however, will help your home sell faster and for more money. There are many improvements that add that visible first impression value without taking weeks of… Read more »

Buy Now Not Later

Money Magazine: Buy Now not Later We have often suggested that potential home buyers consider rising interest rates when thinking about the true cost of a home. Remember, cost is not determined by price alone but by price and mortgage rate. The longer a buyer waits, the higher the mortgage payment will be if rates… Read more »

Harlem’s Gentrification Caused by “White Homos”

In the past five years, Harlem’s empty lots and burned-out buildings have sprung up luxury condos, upscale restaurants, boutique shops, hotels, B&Bs, and unimaginable improved services in an area the city had long forgotten. And the resentment of this shift has targeted both Harlem’s recent and life-long LGBTQ communities. “Obama has released the homo demons… Read more »

Houston Wants to Bring More Residents Downtown

For Krishnan Iyer, moving downtown meant a lot of things: Not having to use his car in auto-dependent Houston, being able to walk to work, to restaurants, to the movies. The 34-year-old consultant left The Woodlands two years ago for a one-bedroom apartment in the Post Rice Lofts at Main and Texas and hasn’t looked… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Connie Jensen, Bend, Oregon

Periodically 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. Connie is discrete, professional, and savvy with over 20 years experience. Bend is friendly, outdoor oriented playground open to everyone. See Connie’s Expanded Listing on Gay Realty Network Here… Read more »

Talk at March 28th’x TEDx Conference to Focus on Philadelphia’s Gayborhood

TEDx Philadelphia is one of the hottest tickets in town for city enthusiasts eager for fresh and creative ideas about how to return our urban home to its past glories. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading,” and it started as a four-day conference in California nearly 30 years ago. TEDx is… Read more »

Tax Tips for Freelance Workers

Tax Tips for Freelance Workers Are you getting paid as an independent contractor? If so, it’s likely that taxes are not being taken of your pay. Depending on how much you make you could be hit with a painful tax bill during tax season. Therefore, it is vital that you plan ahead. First, take all… Read more »

Is Gentrification Progress, or Destruction?

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: I’m Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. If I say I want to talk about gentrification, what comes to mind? Do you think new businesses and services revitalizing tired rundown neighborhoods or do you think higher taxes and snobby people with too much money and too few… Read more »

Where is Atlanta’s Gayborhood?

The city’s original gayborhood, Midtown in Atlanta is still the core of LGBT life in the area. The intersection of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue is considered the crossroad of gay Atlanta. Formerly home to Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, this Midtown locale is a starting point for many LGBT visitors to the city. Nearby Piedmont… Read more »

New York vs. San Francisco

It’s no secret that New York is having a bit of an identity crisis these days. Wall Street lost its swagger during the crash and hasn’t gotten it back despite the market’s broader recovery. Big banks are adding employees in Bangalore and Salt Lake City while cutting them in Manhattan. New York City’s budget wonks… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Mortgage Professional: JR Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Periodically 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. JR Boston has over 25 years mortgage industry experience. He’s in the business to help others reach their mortgage goals. Fort Lauderdale is right next to the second largest… Read more »

SOMA, San Francisco’s Other Gayborhood

Encompassing a vast, architecturally and demographically diverse tract of central San Francisco that extends from the Mission District to the bay, SoMa — defined as the area south of Market Street — is an urban swath containing everything from shiny new loft condos to vintage refurbished warehouses, you’ll find a vibrant stretch of waterfront on… Read more »

Fixed Rate Mortgages

Fixed Rate Mortgages Today there are many houses that you can buy. As such, there also several options on how to actually buy that house. Specifically, today we will discuss fixed rate mortgages, the pros and cons of 30 and 15-year fixed rate mortgages and the differences in interest paid over the life of the… Read more »

New Rainbow Crosswalk Design Chosen for Castro Gayborhood

There will be plenty of rainbows at the intersection of 18th and Castro streets in the heart of San Francisco’s gay neighborhood. On Thursday, March 13, District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener announced the winning design and location for rainbow crosswalks that will be paid for by the Castro Upper Market Community Benefit District. The crosswalks… Read more »

Prevent Basement Floods

Prevent Basement Floods Making your basement into a comfortable living area can significantly raise the value of your home but it is extremely important for you to take the necessary action before you start your remodel. The basement could turn into a massive loss if not protected. The largest concern a basement has is its… Read more »

Where Are Seattle’s Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods?

You’re not too late to take advantage of several up-and-coming neighborhoods. By buying now, you can be part of the renaissance of those neighborhoods in the coming years. Seattle offers a number of investment opportunities in locations that have been overlooked. Even in the perennially popular neighborhoods like Queen Anne and Capitol Hill, you can… Read more »

New Study Finds Widespread Real Estate Discrimination Against Gays

At today’s (Tue/11) Board of Supervisors meeting, Sup. David Campos is introducing legislation to encourage large-scale developers to protect the housing rights of the LGBT community. Same-sex couples nationwide are more likely to experience discrimination in their search for senior housing, a study by the Washington, D.C. based Equal Rights Center found. To investigate, testers… Read more »

Home Inspection Can Make or Break a Deal

Don’t ignore those cracks in the walls or that hint of separation between the windows and the house. Structural engineer Dave Vannier says those are the clues that the building is in need of an inspection. Whether selling or buying, an inspection is the one thing that can make or break a deal. Vannier offers… Read more »

Foreclosure Timeline

Foreclosure Timeline We know it is never in the minds of the borrower that they may foreclose at some point but it does happen.  A life changing financial event suddenly occurs such as medical bills, eroding property, divorce, etc., which significantly changes the nature of the borrower’s ability to pay his/her mortgage payments. Borrowers become… Read more »

Where is Mexico City’s Gayborhood?

Home to an astounding population of nearly 20 million people in its greater metropolitan area, Mexico City is something to see. The capital city has a notably large LGBT community, hosts the country’s biggest Pride parade every June, and lately has seen a substantial civic investment in beautifying and activating the city’s public spaces. Elected… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Tony Navarra, SeaTac, Washington

Periodically 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. Tony is a fun, easy-going professional real estate broker who loves helping you make the deal happen. SeaTac is halfway in-between Seattle and Tacoma. See Tony’s Expanded Listing on… Read more »

In the Gayborhood: Castro Sidewalk Project to Shut Down Parking for Three Months

Ground will officially break next week on the long awaited Castro Street sidewalk widening project in the heart of San Francisco’s gay business district. In order to lessen the amount of disruption in the area, city planners and the project contractor are planning an intense three months of work simultaneously on both the 400 and… Read more »

Modern Living: The Hamster Wheel Apartment

A lot of people associate it with 2001: A Space Odyssey. Others think of a hamster wheel,” artist Ward Shelley tells ANIMAL, standing 25 feet above ground, perched on top of a large wooden wheel where he has been living for four days. Inside the wheel is partner artist Alex Schweder. For six days, the… Read more »

Worthless Home Improvement

Worthless Home Improvement Homeowners partake in certain “renovations” that they think will drastically improve the value of their house. When in reality, it probably wasn’t the best investment. Here I will discuss a couple things homeowners do but don’t actually help the value of the home. There are more than you think. 1. Beautiful Landscape:… Read more »

Who Belongs in Downtown?

Many American cities now enjoy an amazing reversal of fortune. Once hollowed-out shells mainly for those too poor to move — or those so rich they didn’t have to deal with the poor — cities are again filling up with educated and aspiring young people. They are flooding into Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and other… Read more »

Waiting to Buy?

Waiting to Buy a House? Do you know someone on the fence, waiting to buy?   Are interest rates are going up? The experts agree that it’s not a matter of “if” interest rates will go up, but rather “when”. They have been held at artificially low levels thanks to the Federal Reserve pouring money… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Todd Black, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Periodically 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. Todd offers Toronto a wueer eye for a great buy – specializing in downtown lofts and condos. See Todd’s Expanded Listing on Gay Realty Network Here Gay Friendly Realtors… Read more »

Seattle Waterfront Gondola Proposed

The family that owns the Great Wheel Ferris wheel on the Seattle waterfront is proposing a downtown gondola line that would carry tourists and commuters on elevated cable cars. The proposed gondola would travel above Union Street between the waterfront and the state Convention Center with a stop at the Pike Place Market. The goal… Read more »

What’s a Private Placement Listing?

Lately, some brokerage firms in Washington have been boasting to sellers about how they are holding “private exclusive” and “private placement” listings. These are listings where the seller signs an agreement and elects not to go into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for exposure to the broader market. Sometimes, these agreements actually give the broker… Read more »

Mortgage Loan Denial

Mortgage Loan Denial First time homebuyers face many scares and experience many difficulties throughout the home buying process. One of these complications lies with getting accepted for the mortgage loan. Not only is it a vital part of the home buying process but also raises the question, what do I do now? Thankfully, due to… Read more »

Where is Long Beach’s Gayborhood?

Long Beach, California is basically one big gayborhood, but are there some neighborhoods that are a little gayer than others? For women, Trulia pinpoints a few places: Long Beach also hosts the six neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of female couples in the LA area. The top three are Belmont Heights (90814, $278), Plaza /… Read more »

The Japanese are Homewreckers (Literally)

It turns out that half of all homes in Japan are demolished within 38 years — compared to 100 years in the U.S. There is virtually no market for pre-owned homes in Japan, and 60 percent of all homes were built after 1980. In [professor Jiro] Yoshida’s estimation, while land continues to hold value, physical… Read more »

Northwest Portland – Quaintness vs. Change

There’s a big change underway in a Northwest Portland neighborhood, making some resident fear the area known for quaint restaurants and unique shops could lose its character. On Tuesday, the landmark eatery Wildwood closed its doors after a two decade run. Wildwood and the owner of the property couldn’t reach a lease deal. “It was… Read more »

Does Size Matter?

As a follow-up to last issue’s article Big or Little I thought I’d talk about size and ask whether our homes need to reduce a bit. First, the facts. In 1950, the average home was about 983 square feet, growing to 1,400 square feet in 1970, and then zooming up to 2,700 square feet in… Read more »