Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Best Overlooked Cities for Gay Twentysomethings

“Best cities lists” for those who identify as LGBT are often pretty predictable: New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, Berlin, Provincetown, you know the drill. Lists that continue to look only to these obvious strongholds miss out on a growing number of other equally exciting and progressive locations around the world that are ideal for… Read more »

Real Estate: We are NOT the Only Ones Saying You Should Buy

  Real Estate: We are NOT the Only Ones Saying You Should Buy We have never hid our belief in homeownership. That does not mean we think EVERYONE should run out and buy a house. However, if a person or family is ready, willing and able to purchase a home, we believe that owning is much better than renting. And… Read more »

Seattle’s Condo Comeback

After a drought of new condo construction that spanned four years between 2009 and 2013, condos are making a comeback…and just in time, too. The massive Insignia Condo project on the edge of Belltown was the first out of the gate. Covering an entire city block, Insignia is on target to be the largest condominium… Read more »

A Call From The Anonymous Buyer

I had a call last weekend from someone that wanted to see two condos in a certain building and found me online. I was driving at the time and let her know I’d give her a call back in a couple hours. I could tell then that she wasn’t happy I couldn’t setup a time… Read more »

Terry’s Blog: Tips That Make A Difference In What You Pay: Real Estate Buying Decisions

Tips That Make A Difference In What You Pay: Real Estate Buying Decisions The market is currently flooded with properties, whether we’re talking about homes, land, condos or anything in between. This is why it’s so difficult to find the right type of real estate when you’re ready to buy. Give this article a thorough… Read more »

Home Sweet Homo – A Puzzle with a Few Missing Pieces

The last year has brought about a sea change of civil rights for the LGBT community. But it’s a patchwork of rights nationwide, and as we know – somewhat of a mess.  As of this writing, same sex couples cannot get married in Oregon. But effective January 1st, 2014, “all state agencies must recognize the… Read more »

Vacation Home Property Sales Surges

  The American desire to own a second home as a vacation home is alive and well! The National Association of Realtors analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows there are approximately 8 million vacation homes in the U.S. Their 2014 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey shows vacation home sales improved substantially in 2013. NAR Chief… Read more »

Boston-Area Home Sales Picking Up Steam

As the spring market kicks in, homes and condos across Greater Boston are selling faster than last year, new stats show. The time on market for homes and condos in the Boston area stood at just under two months, or 55 days, reports. That’s 8 percent faster than last year, when it was up… Read more »

New Castro-Area Condo Building Likely to Be Approved

A formerly controversial housing project in San Francisco’s gay Castro district is expected to sail to passage next week when it comes up for a vote at the city’s planning commission. As the Bay Area Reporter noted in a March 2013 article, Castro neighborhood groups initially expressed a number of objections with developer Greystar’s plans… Read more »

Four New Residential Towers Planned in Seattle’s South Lake Union Neighborhood

As we previously posted in November, Onni Group out of Vancouver BC is planning to construct 4 new towers in South Lake Union. They have released some new information on what will be built on the site, which is between Boren Ave N and Fairview Ave N and from Denny Way to Thomas Street. According… Read more »

Texas Gay Realtor Calls Out Realtor Association for Backing Anti-Gay Candidates

The Texas Association of Realtors and its funding arm, the Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee, have long endorsed and funded anti-LGBT candidates. But one Realtor is hoping to change that in the coming years, if not sooner. Bob McCranie, owner of Plano-based Texas Pride Realty, has grown tired of the Texas organizations endorsing and… Read more »

Homeownership’s Impact on net Worth

Over the last six years, homeownership has lost some of its allure as a financial investment. As homeowners suffered through the housing bust, more and more began to question whether owning a home was truly a good way to build wealth. A study by the Federal Reserve formally answered this question. Some of the findings revealed in… Read more »

Bay Area Home Prices Reach 2007 Levels

The median price paid for a Bay Area home or condo shot up to $570,000 in March — 7.2 percent higher than in February and 23.2 percent more than in March of last year, according to DataQuick. That was the highest median since $587,500 in December 2007, but still below the all-time high of $665,000… Read more »

A Home’s Cost vs Price Explained

  We have often talked about the difference between COSTand PRICE. As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As either a first time or repeat buyer, you must not be concerned about price but instead about the ‘long term… Read more »

Scarcity Pushing Up San Francisco Condo Prices

The handful of developers currently selling condo units in San Francisco might seem like the luckiest guys in the city. Units are moving fast with projects selling out within months, and pricing has hit pre-recession levels at more than $1,000 per square foot. At Vida, a 114-unit project at 2558 Mission St., a pre-sales event… Read more »

Keeping it Local: Haven Gastropub

Keeping it Local: Haven Gastropub In this week’s series of Keeping It Local, we feature the Haven Gastropub. This is a great place to enjoy high quality, freshly prepared food at reasonable prices, maintaining purveyors of local or organic produce, sustainable seafood, and humanely raised meat and poultry as often as possible. About Haven Gastropub Haven… Read more »

Tips for Cleaning Your Home

Tips for Cleaning Your Home Stains and odors Once you find a stain blot it up immediately while putting a plastic liner or garbage baf between the cushion and the fabric so the contaminant does not spread to the cushion. The rinse with cold water as best you can, the cold water doesn’t set stains… Read more »

Majority of Homes in Seven Major Metros Now Unaffordable for Locals

More than half the homes currently on the market in seven major American metros are currently unaffordable for local residents, according to a Zillow(R) analysis of Q4 2013 income, mortgage and home value data. Additionally, homebuyers looking for affordable properties may increasingly be forced to search on the perimeter of the country’s largest metro markets,… Read more »

Enough With the Rainbows Already

Castro Street in San Francisco is getting a $8.3 million dollar makeover in the hopes of making the neighborhood more inviting and more pedestrian friendly. And more gay. But is that really necessary? The Castro is already about the gayest place on earth. It’s really, really gay. For example, within three square blocks you have… Read more »

Avoiding an Audit

Avoiding an Audit Ellen Stark, with Money Magazine, posted some insightful wisdom regarding audits. Here, she briefly explains the importance of your risk of getting audited. We have included the article and a small comment. “The clock is ticking toward the tax filing deadline on April 15th.  We’ve got tax tips for you.  Today, how… Read more »

Working with Lenders

Working with Lenders Referrals Referral from friends and family can offer extensive knowledge about a specific lender. Loan processes can change from lender to lender, therefore, understanding the processes of your lender beforehand is extremely beneficial. Research your lender From above, it should be noted that having the necessary information before you meet with a… Read more »

DC’s Housing Trends

Spring is finally here but the biggest buzz isn’t about what’s outside but what’s going on inside. Real estate in the District is changing in a major way from size and design to renovations. Here’s a roundup of some of the latest trends a savvy buyer should know about when hunting for a new home… Read more »

Five Things to Know Before Moving to Italy

We often hear that Italians are passionate and that they speak loud. Who hasn’t heard about The Godfather or Mario Bros? But do they really represent the country? It’s true that they are crazy about fashion. In Italy, wearing white socks is practically punishable by law! It’s also true that they eat pasta (probably every… Read more »

Castro to Get New Bar and Arcade

A new bar featuring classic arcade games is headed to San Francisco’s gay Castro district. The owner of upper Market Street bar Blackbird, Shawn Vergara, and Tiffny Vergara Chung, who is the business manager at Blackbird, are behind the new establishment. Dubbed “Project 22 for now, due to its location in the new mixed-used development… Read more »

Emerging Home Trends

  Emerging Home Trends Cabinets Kitchen cabinets are shifting to warmer gray tones from oranges and browns for a more authentic look. Cleaner designs are becoming more popular and thus hardware is becoming less visible, more modern, big drawers are favored because of the easier access. Bathrooms Bathrooms are continuing to look more luxurious. TVs… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Shea Steel, Portland, 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. The real estate business is my passion! Impeccable customer service and satisfaction are my #1 priorities. Portland is a wonderfully cultural and diverse city! See Shea’s Expanded Listing on… Read more »

Illinois Real Estate Firm Creates LGBT Division

Until now, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) couples in Illinois — (as in most U.S. States) — faced a number of historically significant challenges and hurdles, especially when it came to the sale or purchase of a home. Generally, members of the LGBT community had to rely upon a number of complicated legal instruments… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Julie Nelson, Austin, Texas

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. Julie is a Top 5% performer in the largest office in the country, faculty, trainer, smart, techy, trustworthy, efficient, involved, nice. Austin, Texas has an open, integrated and inclusive… Read more »

Portland’s North Pearl Gearing Up

The northern part of the popular, gay friendly Pearl District is starting to be built out – but it’s almost all apartments. Portland Monthly reports: Even if all eight residential buildings planned for the area known as the North Pearl are built, longtime neighborhood advocate Patricia Gardner thinks the neighborhood still won’t add enough units…. Read more »

Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Tax Breaks for Homeowners Homeowners can acquire several tax breaks but most are clueless about such benefits. Two important tax breaks ‘homeowners can use are on mortgage interest and selling your home. Claiming Mortgage Interest Claiming mortgage interest is one of the most common deductions among taxpayers and has been evolving for the last 10… Read more »

USA, Louisiana: Lawmakers Kill LGBT Housing Protections Bill

Louisiana lawmakers have rejected a bill that would have prohibited housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The House Commerce Committee voted 13-5 Monday against the measure, which was the first in a package of gay rights bills proposed for consideration this session. The bill would have added sexual orientation, gender identity, gender… Read more »