GAYBORHOODS: Litmus test for the next great urban renewal investment?

So, am I the only one who has noticed that "Gayborhoods" those areas which see urban renewal by LGBT families (that's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender for the uninformed) are often precursors to major upswings in local redevelopment and price increases?

In Charlotte it was Dilworth, then it was Plaza-Midwood, then Chantilly and Elizabeth, now it's Uptown/Downtown and NoDa. Are there investors out there that follow the Pink Money Trail to find out where to invest next? Do they follow the [=] bumper stickers home to see what neighborhoods are the hot new ticket?

Has this trend occurred in your hometown? Just a topic that's not related to the interest rates I thought you might want to comment on.
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March 02 2009 - Charlotte
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Okay, so Pasadenan, please reconsider my original post. I was not saying that LGBT single handedly cause the total revitalization. I was asking if their  movement / pattern of purchasing could be a "litmus test" for the next great investment area / neighborhood. Obviously this does not apply to Pasadena CA since that area has already seen a nearly complete revitalization. And using Census data is a "looking back" tracking of progress, not a "what's happening now" view of the trend I was referencing.


By the time a census would track the demographics of a neighborhood, it could potentially be too late. You'd almost have to track who bought first, what their orientation was at the time of purchase, and proceed from there. And i'm sure there's no serious study on this topic. I was seeking more annecdotal evidence in other states. If there is no data or annecdotal evidence in your area, it does not mean it is not still accurate in other areas.

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March 04 2009
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Nathan, if you are going to use those kind of "statistics" as an investment methodogy, you need more than just ancidotal evidence; you need samples of where such things were good indicators, and where they were poor indicators, or worse, where property values actually dropped.

The biggest problem is trying to actually get significant data on who is buying in an area at any given time, and what affiliations they have.

Who knows, maybe it is being a member of the "rotory club" that is the best indicator of an area that will rise quickly in value?

As for "demographics"; the best we have is the U.S. Census; not only does it cover ethnic groups, family size, languages, countries of origin, and income range, it also covers household types.  It also breaks out the owners from the renters.  But as you say, it takes 10 years to get a new "snapshot".

Still, if any method of looking at demographics works, the time to analyse the data for investment opportunity is right after the census data is published; thus 2011 offers some opportunities for those that have studied demographic indicators.

And of couse the Census data also gives the approximate range of values of the properties at the time, so one can see if an area is potentially undervalued compared to others.

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March 04 2009
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Now, on the question of "saving neighborhoods"; what has most made a difference is developers threatening to tear-down rental properties substantually raising the prices and forcing people out of the city.  Using the historic preservation laws, those that advocate for renters and maintaining affordablity of existing housing stock have many times successfully created "land mark districts", thus causing the developers to seek some other location for their tear down projects.
The "bungalow courts" were some of the properties at highest risk as they were often zoned 32 units per acre or higher, and with state mandated density bonuses, those could easily go to 40 or 48 units per acre.  But every time a bungalow court dissappeared, there were fewer units in that price range, and the prices in the tear-down area went up; and these historic structures and communities were replaced with high-density problems.

It was looking like we might even lose all examples of the Bungalow courts, so it was helpful that the preservationists stepped in to help stop the destruction.

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March 04 2009
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Now, as for actual intentional "gentrification" as opposed to natural gradual shifts of demographics; the most blattent case is a Realtor that used underhanded code complaints for rental properties to try to force the owners to sell out.  And once the realtor purchased or sold to friends, they would remodel and flip the property at substantually higher prices.  And it was used as a form of "ethnic clensing".  Most people that have any knowlege of the methods used are still upset.

As for the code violations?  In most cases they were not; they were just harrasment.  Complaints about a little paint flaking.  Complaints about stairs that had been there for 25 years not being the right pitch.  Complaints about trash cans visible from the street.  Complaints about people's cars being parked legally on their driveway slab in the back.  Complaints about some laundry hanging on the clothes line.  Complaints about the lawn not being mowed.  Complaints about the grass being a little brown.  Complaints that a fence may not meet present code even though obviously built way before a code change and thus grandfathered in.  And on and on.  And the inspectors wouldn't stop.  After corrections were made, the realtor and friends would just file more complaints, and the inspector would be back.  And the fines were excessive, not to mention totally inappropriate as there was no code violation.
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March 04 2009
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Maybe I'm missing a valid issue, but I feel like there's something creepy about this whole topic.  The implication is that LGBT people are more savvy, or more industrious, or what? A stereotype is a stereotype, even if it's read as a positive.

Substitute "white" or "protestant" into the original premise and see how it sounds. 

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March 04 2009
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Difference is its not against the law to discriminate against lgbt people in most states and the federal government still supports that discrimination. So like it or not, it is acceptable for any real estate agent in a state where there's no inclusive fair housing law to single out and discuss lgbt people. And they can say any constructive, obnoxious or offensive thing they want to. It's not legal for an agent in NJ, CT, Mass, etc to comment though.

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March 05 2009
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It's tracking these "self-ghettos" for investment purposes that I find creepy. 

The reason why they exist is another topic.


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March 05 2009
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I can't even imagine how those realtors that are promoting that as an "investment stratagy" plan to collect the data, even if it was meaningful (which it is not).

It is like stating values will go up if members of the "Assembly of God" Church move in, but will go down if members of the "Four Square Church" move in.  First, nothing but distorted thinking.  Second, are you really planning on following all the people that move in to every neighborhood to see what their affiliations are?  It is rediculous.  People have no reason to give you any information about their preferences nor their affiliations; and paying for a telephone survey would be a waste of time and money, and would have a high error margin because there is no reason to give that information.

So, you really think you know by clothes, or hair style, or jewelry, or voice tone, or voice inflection, or body manerisms?  You are crazy!  That just makes you a predjudice biggot that jumps to conclussions and tries to pigeon-hole people.  Besides, if that is your "investment strategy", how much money has it made you?

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March 05 2009
I don't know about the rest of ya'll but many of the neighborhoods where I sell, I know the neighbors, and while it's only an observation, not a statistical analysis, sort of like -Oh, that looks like a nice house
single couples without kids who have some disposable income, some
interest in restoration have often been gay!  Or, if you wanna be a bit
more correct gay and lesbian.  I don't feel like we are ghettoising ourselves for taking some credit for being a general group who has
taken on neighborhoods that otherwise would not be looked at.  I think
one reason is our bars used to be hidden in these neighborhoods.
My clients will even ask, where are the gays going?  So it's not
an unknown or unobsered phenom. like any "trends"  your guess is
as good as mine, but historically speaking often the "gays" have been
the forerunners in bringing back old neighborhoods!  So-what can I say
yea!
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March 06 2009
Who knew I would offend so many straight people by asking this question. Personally, I see the trend in lots of bigger cities. And maybe it's just way off base, but it was just a question.


If you're offended by the premise, move on.
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March 06 2009
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