Real Estate Evolution - Equality for Same-Sex Couples

Share Article recently reviewed a HUD closing statement: the sellers, a male/female couple identified on closing documents as “husband and wife” and the buyers, a same-sex couple, identified as “a married couple”; this is new...a clear indicator that the quest for equality marches on.

the quest for equality marches on

The concept of marriage equality on a federal level has been etched in my memory by a HUD settlement statement that crossed my desk on April 2, 2016. The sellers a heterosexual couple are identified as “Husband and Wife” and the buyers a same-sex couple are identified as “A Married Couple”. This is an unmistakable marker in the evolution of equal rights.

Real estate brokerage provides a barometer of local economies, social and legal growth, as well as reflecting the state of society at-large. Local economies, consumer confidence and job statistics are reflected in real estate prices and sales activity before almost any other indicator.

HUD is a federal agency and these applications reflect the upward trajectory toward equality for all couples who share lives and combine their assets. Real estate for me — a professional with over 25 years in the business, and an activist for equal rights — will now be marked “before” I saw this landmark HUD application and “after.”

Less than 25 years ago when Colorado grappled with the turmoil of Amendment 2 — a controversial anti-gay measure approved by voters, but challenged in the state Supreme Court and overturned — the City Council in Denver, CO, was tasked with defining properties zoned “R0” (R-zero) — a designation limiting occupancy of residential properties to married, blood relations or legal adoptees. At the time, only a few dozen residences in one upscale neighborhood bore such zoning designation. Although no reports can be located on the outcome, the ramifications for same-sex couples unable to marry were dire: a mortgage lender could refuse financing based on a couple being disqualified from legally occupying a home.

With federal recognition of equal marriage, this is no longer an issue. Same-sex couples are entitled to a piece of the same pie without restriction.

Real estate may be the largest investment most people make in their lives. For gays and lesbians, finding a real estate professional understanding of their situation and committed to vigorous representation is no longer a guessing game.

Realtors do much more than showing houses and executing contracts; they evaluate client needs, negotiate price, offer guidance in matters of inspection and financing, and make recommendations based on character and amenities of neighborhoods.

While recommendations from family and friends are often valuable, what if such resources aren’t available? What if a recommended agent isn’t a great fit? The website to the rescue. It’s always free with no obligations, and offers a list of agents who identify as gay, lesbian and gay-friendly. offers the nation’s largest and longest-established resource for finding real estate professionals who identify as gay, lesbian and gay-friendly. And it’s always free.

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Jeffery Hammerberg

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