Real Estate News

Survey: Same-sex home buyers fear discrimination

A “for sale” sign is displayed outside a home in Miami in 2009.
A “for sale” sign is displayed outside a home in Miami in 2009. Getty Images

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people who want to buy or rent a home fear discrimination because of their sexual orientation, according to the results of a national survey released Wednesday.

About 73 percent of respondents to the LGBT Home Buyer and Seller Survey said they were concerned about discrimination from real estate agents, mortgage lenders, landlords, neighbors and others involved in the homebuying process.

The poll was conducted by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals. More than 1,700 people nationwide answered the survey.

Fear of discrimination in the real estate market also exists in South Florida, said Summer Greene, a local real-estate broker who along with her partner was one of the plaintiffs in the court case that earned same-sex couples the right to marry in Florida.

“You would think that it would not be a concern in South Florida where there are very gay friendly pockets like Wilton Manors,” Greene said. “But then you have condominiums and co-ops that have much tighter controls. We’ve had instances where same-sex couples have been turned down by the associations or by the co-ops because they were same-sex.”

“It’s less prevalent locally than it used to be, but it’s still a concern,” Greene added.

But Greene said that marriage equality in Florida is making it easier for same-sex couple to buy homes, providing an economic boost to the region. Complicated tasks like applying for a mortgage or a homestead exemption are easier as a married couple than as individuals, she said.

“These are the nuances and benefits that people overlooked when we were talking about marriage equality,” Greene said.

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