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LGBT homebuyers fear discrimination

Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community say they fear discrimination when buying a home, according to recent research from Freddie Mac.

Survey respondents who identified as LGBT were largely positive on homeownership, with three-quarters saying they believe home ownership is a good investment. In fact, 72 percent said they want to own a home in the future.

But 46 percent said they fear discrimination in the process. When buying a home, they ranked living in an LGBT-friendly neighborhood as a high priority, just after home price and safety.

LGBT homebuyers may face various forms of discrimination when trying to buy a home. They may encounter a real estate agent who refuses to work with them or they may be told a house is unexpectedly off the market.

The Freddie Mac study found that 49 percent of LGBT households are likely to own a home, lower than the national rate of 64 percent.

Not all jurisdictions offer legal protections for LGBT homebuyers. Housing laws only protect certain classes, varying at the state and local level.

To help LGBT buyers, Trulia launched a tool that helps people identify which protections are available in their state. To see the legal protections available, visit Trulia.com, click on an individual home listing, and scroll down. The “Local Legal Protections” information appears after “Affordability” and before “Price Trends.”

However, this tool may not reflect local protections. Consult an attorney if you have concerns or suspect you’ve experienced discrimination.

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