LGBTQ Realtor Offers Advice to First-Time Queer Home Buyers
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For many LGBTQ first-time homebuyers, homeownership can come with additional barriers.
Taina Carrero, an LGBTQ real estate agent who works for Coldwell Banker Realty and services New York City, Westchester and Connecticut, advises LGBTQ first-time homebuyers to be very careful about finding potential locations where they hope to purchase a home. house, find a gay-friendly real estate agent, and talk to locals in the new town.
“When I was looking to buy, I needed an agent who would hear me out, who would understand my needs and concerns, and I know there are a lot of people today who still have [those issues]”Carrero said.” Even in New York where everything is quite open and diverse, there are still pockets of neighborhoods where it is not very welcoming.
Last year, a report by the Williams Institute of UCLA, a California public policy think tank, found that 49.8% of LGBTQ people own a home compared to 70 percent of their heterosexual counterparts. These disparities are widening among transgender adults, who have a 25% chance of homeownership compared to 58% of cisgender people. In the report, experts pointed out that discriminatory housing and loan policies were one of the main drivers of this problem.
Living in an LGBTQ neighborhood is a priority for many queer customers of Carrero. Earlier this year, Carrero said she was worried about a couple seeking to relocate from New York to Newburgh, New York, citing policy in the area. However, Carrero’s take on the neighborhood changed once the couple spoke to locals.
“We started to find out that there were a lot of small pockets of LGBT families, and you wouldn’t guess because this was ‘Trump’s country’,” she said. “We found that the areas were so much more diverse than we would have thought or imagined. “
For people struggling to find an LGBTQ real estate agent, Carrero recommends using the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP), an LGBTQ housing advocacy group and database for thousands of people. gay and allied real estate agents. Carrero advises first-time homebuyers to interview at least three real estate agents before starting a home search.
Carrero said anti-LGBTQ discrimination is a barrier for many queer people entering the field.
“I’ve been in this business for 10 years and there are very few LGBTQ real estate agents,” Carrero explained. “Being LGBTQ adds a little extra stress to an already stressful business.”
Carrero said she has encountered many of these challenges firsthand due to her gender expression.
“I see it for myself when I go to present anything, even if I have just entered a house. If it’s a house from someone who isn’t comfortable, I feel it immediately, ”Carrero said. “It’s something I’ve always lived with, so it doesn’t get in the way of what I have to do for my clients.
Carrero added that spending more than a year researching is essential for LGBTQ clients trying to find a safe place for their families. Carrero said his knowledge of local schools and teachers helped a parent of an LGBTQ teenager avoid a school district where several LGBTQ teenagers have died by suicide.
“I talk to him every week because he’s so concerned about where to go,” she said. “It might sound a little drastic, but if their concern is safety and finding the right neighborhood, the time spent on the search is well worth it. “
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