Marriage Equality & Real Estate

The Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015 opened homeownership options to the LGBT community that were previously available only to married heterosexual couples. Prior to the court’s decision, gay and lesbian couples in states that didn’t recognize marriage equality could own a home only through a “joint rights of tenancy” or “tenancy in common” agreement, which gives each individual a separate 50 percent stake in the property. Such an agreement makes it difficult for one partner to inherit the other’s share of the home in the case of death. Since the ruling, married LGBT couples can get a loan as one household, making it easier to qualify for a mortgage and enjoy the full benefits of homeownership. Marriage equality stands to boost the homeownership rate among LGBT Americans.

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