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OWN IT!

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     We Gay Guys are under-served, un-informed and un-prepared for our financial futures. Who’s advising the gay boys in financial matters? Who? Our dads, brothers and uncles have men like Robert Kyosaki, Dave Ramsey and Ken McElroy to advise and mentor them. Suzie Orman seems to have all females straight and gay  on her client list – but where are the gay boys? Who’s advising them? Who’s mentoring them?
     Do they know that real estate investing and home ownership, are as much a part of their American dream as it is their straight brothers, who marry their high school sweethearts and settle down to raise a family?  Even with increased acceptance, it may take years for some of us to knock that chip of discrimination off our shoulders. We didn’t need to wait for acceptance before we staked our claim and put down roots, but many of us have. That’s why I wrote the book, Homownership. I don’t see nearly enough gay buyers in the real estate market. I see a lot of gay agents, and that’s great, but where are the gay buyers?
     Where are the younger gay guys who want to move forward, but aren’t sure which direction to go – the middle aged gay men who have job tenure, experience and money to invest – the senior gay gents who have attained some financial success and are looking for a safe, tangible, secure asset to protect their money and supplement their retirement income? It’s time to consider real estate, “Homownership.”
     We have so much going for us. We have equal protection under the law. We have marriage equality. We raise children. We run companies. We are professional athletes. We are elected officials. We openly serve in the armed forces. So what’s next? How do we turn our increased acceptance, our increased presence into financial prominence? By owning real estate! Not rent – not lease – not timeshare – own! By owning real estate, by controlling it and profiting from it, we are securing our existence, our influence, and our futures, then we truly become stakeholders in our communities, not merely place markers that reserve the seat of a city’s gay neighborhood.
     Home prices have soared in recent years. In many neighborhoods that were once known as “gay ghettos”, the price per square foot increased to unaffordable levels. Where the gays go, so go the higher rents – so go the higher prices – so goes the equity appreciation – so goes the profit, but as it stands now, it’s not going to us. We’re not making it, because we’re not buying it. We’re just renting it. We’re renting, repairing, renovating, restoring, reviving and then retreating from the incoming buyers who have the means to purchase these gentrified, renaissanced properties, only to raise the rents or sell to someone else for a substantial profit. We need to be more than just transitory tenants, who move from one adopted gay community to another, whose rents support, and whose efforts perform these feats of urban renewal. The problem is, as these communities rise in esteem, our rents rise as well, to the point where our skyrocketed rents price us out of these neighborhoods.
     Gays and lesbians who were once pushed out of their neighborhoods because of their sexuality, are now being pushed out because of their affordability. We are forced out – and the property is sold at expensive prices, making exorbitant profit for the owner. We need to make that real estate profit come our way – and for that to happen, we need to involve ourselves more.  We need to invest in ourselves more. Timely, intelligent real estate investing is a workable way of attaining self reliance, self sufficiency, security, independence and success. Making money and attaining financial security through real estate is a major theme of my book, Homownership.
     Writers say, “You write about what you know.” well I’ve done that. I know real estate investing. Read, learn and enjoy the book, Homownership, and make real estate investing something you know too.