Neighborhood Guide: Virginia Village

The Virginia Village neighborhood, located just southeast of Denver, is known for being quiet, affordable, and having very limited retail. With the recent housing boom, this is all slowly changing. Ranked #24 on 5280’s Best Neighborhoods, this quaint neighborhood is starting to make a name for itself. 

 

Great Location

Located just southeast of downtown, and very close to Cherry Creek, this quiet neighborhood has easy access to all the amenities you need. You’ll have quick access to the Cherry Creek trail, and the Joseph E. Cook Park that boasts a recreation center and soccer fields.  

 

You’ll also be in the ideal school location – the highly sought after Cherry Creek School District, but without the price tag of living in Cherry Creek. The average commute from this neighborhood is 30 minutes or less making it easy to get either downtown or to DTC for work. You’re also just a short drive to the foothills making it easy for a weekend getaway to the mountains. 

 

Slowly Growing

Although this neighborhood is usually known for being quaint and quiet, the city has big plans to expand this neighborhood and build more businesses, retail shops and restaurants for residents. The city approved the massive project in December of 2018 to develop more walkable blocks, 150 new homes, work offices, restaurants, retail and more – according to 5280 Magazine. 

 

This cute neighborhood features many mid-century modern homes filled with residents that have occupied them for decades. It features businesses that have been around for decades too. Although shopping options are limited, residents are still just a short drive away from major malls, outlets, and shopping centers. With plans to expand as well, residents won’t have to wait long to have walkable places to empty their wallets. 

 

Our Favorite Local Businesses in the Area 

  • Coffee: Unravel Coffee is a sustainable local coffee shop who’s cups and decor can please any Instagram influencer. They also feature various toasts, smoothies, and sandwiches for breakfast or lunch. 
  • Brunch/Lunch: Ester’s has a huge variety of food that can satisfy any craving. They are best known for their homemade pizza that comes with many unique and flavorful toppings. Also check them out for brunch for killer cocktails and food. 
  • Dinner: Chakas Mexican Restaurant is a neighborhood favorite for Mexican fare. They claim to have the best green chile in Denver and have a large selection of food and beverages for the whole family. 

 

How to Find a Home in Virginia Village

Does Virginia Village sound like the neighborhood for you? Check out the current home listings in Virginia Village. You can also speak with a local Homie agent to learn more about the area. Some questions to ask your local agent are:

 

  • What is the average size of a home in Virginia Village?
  • What is the average home price in Virginia Village?
  • What is the walkability of Virginia Village?
  • How accessible is Virginia Village?
  • How often do homes sell in Virginia Village?
  • How quickly do homes sell in Virginia Village?

 

Let a Homie Agent Help You Move Into Virginia Village

Contact us today to speak with an experienced local agent who can help you find and secure the perfect Sloan Lake home. 

 

Homie works with buyers and sellers to simplify the real estate process and save them thousands. Finally, the way real estate should be. Learn more about buying in Colorado. 

 

Interested in learning about other Denver neighborhoods? Check out all our guides here. 

The post Neighborhood Guide: Virginia Village appeared first on Homie Blog.

Source: homie.com

17 Tips for Getting a Job Out of College

As if adulting wasn’t enough, juggling final exams, project deadlines, and a social life, along with worrying about getting a job out of college, can make the last few months of your senior year feel overwhelming. The good news is you’re not alone.

Many graduates feel like they can’t find a job after college. In fact, 66 percent of them are not very optimistic that they’ll get a job that will fit their career goals. Although searching for jobs after graduation can be stressful, learning how you can prepare for the job market can lift some weight off your shoulders.

If you want to learn how to navigate the job search and dodge common mistakes recent grads make, this guide will help you better prepare for the future. You can also check out the Game of Life After College in our infographic below.

The Current Landscape for Getting a Job After College

Is it hard to get a job after college? There’s not a concrete answer to this, since each person has their own set of skills and experience. However, here are some stats to keep in mind and other pressing questions answered, including what percentage of college students get a job after they graduate and what is the average time to get a job after graduation.

  • In 2020, the percentage of employed college graduates went down from 76% to 67%.
  • In August 2021, employment rose by 235,000 in one month.
  • The unemployment rate went from 14.7% in April 2020 to 5.2 percent in August 2021.
  • In October 2020, 67.3% of college graduates were employed after they graduated.
  • It takes an average of three to six months for college graduates to find a job after college.
  • In March 2021, the unemployment rate for bachelor’s degree holders was 3.7% compared to 6.7% for those only holding a high school diploma.

Reasons People Struggle With Getting a Job Out of College

Finding a job after college can be challenging, especially when learning how to adapt to life after graduating. If you are in the position where you can’t find a job after college, the following reasons might help explain:

Not Being Prepared

Some college graduates will only start preparing for their career after graduation. Although preparation involves some effort, such as taking online courses, finding an internship, or networking, being prepared for the job market is crucial to getting a job after college.

Not Being Proactive

Not being proactive by following up with potential employers and reaching out to your network is also a common reason college graduates might take longer to land a job. Only applying on job boards is a common mistake job seekers make, as they tend to get lost in the pool of applicants.

Not Enough Experience

Having a degree in hand doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a job right after graduation. Most employers consider having internship and work experience one of the top factors for considering a candidate.

Not Making It About the Employer

Another common mistake recent graduates make is focusing on what they want out of a job and not the employer’s needs. Employers want to know what you can provide them with and how your skills align with the position.

Not Doing Enough Research

If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you likely won’t be able to find it. Not doing enough research is another struggle graduates face when starting the job search. Researching what’s suitable for you and what career paths to take can help you achieve your career goals faster.

 

how to stay motivated in the job search

How To Get a Job Right Out of College

Now, with all these stressors against you, you might be wondering, “How do I get a job just out of college?” Even if this won’t be your first job ever, making the most of your college experience and job search process can put you at ease.

1. Get Experience During College

While in college, you’ll have many opportunities to join clubs and organizations, attend events and seminars, and learn new skills. Each of these can help you learn more about yourself and enhance what you have to offer — plus, it looks great on your resume.

Pro tip: If you didn’t have a job during college, use your participation in a club or organization as your job experience.

2. Start Networking

When you’re ready to start your career, you’ll likely hear that networking is very important, and that’s because at least 70 percent of open positions are not advertised. Meeting people within your major and professional organizations can be a great way to start building connections. But don’t limit yourself — even friends, family, and coworkers can be part of your network.

Pro tip: If you haven’t heard back from a job you applied for, ask for help from your network or college alumni who work for that company.

3. Research the Job Market

Just like a research project for a class in college, exploring different job fields can help you narrow down your job search. Learning about what kinds of jobs are in that field, what a typical day looks like, how the job market is, and what requirements are needed can help you understand exactly what to look for and increase your chances of getting hired.

Pro tip: When doing your research, take note of common skills and experience required in the job descriptions, and personalize your resume accordingly.

4. Be Proactive

If you want to find a job right after you graduate, being proactive is the key. Don’t just wait around — apply to different jobs, reach out to people in your network and on LinkedIn, and follow up on any jobs you haven’t heard back from. By showing interest and being proactive, you’ll let hiring managers know that you’re ready to put your skills and experience to work.

Pro tip: After applying for a job, send the hiring manager a personal email letting them know you applied and why you believe you’re a good fit for the job.

5. Become a Volunteer

Seeking volunteer opportunities can be a great way to give back to the community while also building your skills and connections. Finding a volunteering activity that you enjoy can also help boost your communication and interpersonal skills, and could potentially lead you to find your future employer.

Pro tip: Join a volunteering club or organization on campus to help the local community.

6. Attend Career Fairs

Career fairs might sound intimidating, but there’s a good chance your future employer is there. Recruiters at career fairs are ready to meet people and want to learn more about you and your experience. This is a great way to develop your interviewing skills as well as learn more about different companies and job opportunities.

Pro tip: Research companies on the career fair list ahead of time, so you can come prepared with specific questions to ask the recruiters.

7. Create a Portfolio Website

Take an extra step and create a personal website to showcase your skills and experience. Even if it’s just a simple website, this is a great opportunity to share your writing, photography, or art, or just to tell your story.

Pro tip: Add your website to your resume and job applications as well as your LinkedIn profile to make you stand out to employers.

8. Land an Internship

Finding an internship can be a great way to test the waters and see what a potential job in that field might look like. As a matter of fact, 55 percent of employers believe having internship experience is one of the top factors for considering candidates. Getting an internship can also help you build connections and could even lead to a full-time position.

Pro tip: Taking an internship position after graduating college can help you sharpen your skills if you didn’t get enough experience during school.

9. Consider a Part-Time Job

Even if it’s not in your field, pursuing a part-time job can also help you build connections and skills. Getting a part-time job on campus can not only allow you to earn some extra bucks to pay your tuition, but it can also help you understand your work style and what kinds of tasks you enjoy doing. Finding a part-time position in your field can also get you a foot in the door, and potentially lead to a full-time position.

Pro tip: Working part-time after college can help you build your work ethic and bring in extra money while applying for full-time positions.

10. Keep Your LinkedIn Updated

A lot of recruiters will take a look at your LinkedIn profile during the hiring process — in fact, 72 percent of them use it for recruiting. Keeping your LinkedIn profile updated with your most recent resume and experience can help show recruiters that you’re open to work.

Pro tip: You can also add an #OpenToWork frame to your profile picture on LinkedIn to let recruiters know you are actively looking.

11. Leverage Career Services

On-campus career centers are one of the best sources for new job opportunities, especially locally. Many employers will leave their information with university career centers, which means they’re open to hiring graduates from there. On top of giving you career guidance, career centers may also offer resume and networking workshops, mentoring programs, and mock interviews.

Pro tip: You can still visit your campus career center after graduating to get tips and strategies on how you can improve your resume and interview skills.

12. Take Online Courses

If you want to level up your skills aside from what you learn in class, taking online courses can help you get hands-on experience in the field. It can also guide you to figure out if it’s the right career path for you.

Pro tip: There are a variety of open online courses you can take for free on websites such as Coursera, Udemy, and edX.

13. Find a Mentor

There are many benefits of having a mentor, like providing career guidance and constructive criticism. A mentor is someone you trust and look up to, and can be a supervisor, coworker, teacher, or even a friend. Building a relationship with your mentor can also help you strengthen your communication skills and avoid common pitfalls.

Pro tip: If you don’t have someone close to you to become your mentor, many college career centers have mentorship programs that link you to alumni.

14. Create a Routine

The job hunt can seem endless at times, but building a routine can help you keep track of your goals. Schedule times on your calendar for each task, such as searching for jobs, updating your resume and profile, following up with recruiters, taking online courses, and networking. But don’t forget about your health! Schedule mental health breaks, such as working out, taking a walk, watching a movie, or reaching out to a loved one.

Pro tip: Try using time management techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique and time blocking to help you stay on track.

15. Join Professional Development Groups

Job board websites can feel overwhelming when there are so many job postings. Narrow down your search by finding groups for a specific field or location. These groups can also be a great place to connect with other job seekers who can share career insights.

Pro tip: Facebook and LinkedIn are great places to find groups, such as remote job seekers and city-specific jobs.

16. Level Up Your Resume

Since some job postings tend to get hundreds of applicants, many job seekers are finding ways to stand out from the crowd. One way to do this is by spicing up your resume and making it creative. You can do that by trying different resume layouts, colors, and even adding a fun facts section. Although some would go as far as sending a donut box resume, be mindful of the company you are applying for.

Pro tip: You can create your resume using a template from websites such as Canva. Make sure it’s saved as a PDF so resume-scanning softwares can still read it.

17. Apply on Company Websites

Another way to stand out from the crowd and not get lost in the sea of job applicants is to apply directly on the company’s website instead of only big job boards. Some companies will keep their websites updated with current job openings and actively check for candidates. Applying through their website can make it more personal and show that you’re especially interested in working for them.

Pro tip: If you find a place where you genuinely want to work, it may be worth emailing them even if they don’t have current openings to show you are interested.

Why Your First Job Out of College Matters

Your first job out of college might not be a perfect fit, but it’s still one of the most important. If you happen to be in a position where you realize the job is not what you expected, use it as a learning opportunity.

This is your chance to develop your skills and learn from your mistakes. So dive into your first job like a pro and learn negotiation skills, tackle your time management abilities, connect with others in the industry, and discover your preferred work style. Taking advantage of a not-so-great first job can set you up for career success down the road.

 

If getting a job out of college is one of your main goals, preparing ahead of time can not only help you stay motivated while job searching, but can also help you land a job faster. By learning what common mistakes you’re struggling with and following the tips in this guide, you can get one step closer to achieving career success. Monster | Psychology Today

The post 17 Tips for Getting a Job Out of College appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com

What’s the Difference Between a Co-op and a Condo?

It’s easy to get confused about the difference between co-ops and condos. If you pulled up pictures of each during a home search, they might seem exactly the same.

But if you’re in the market for a home — especially in a large city where both housing types are popular — you’ll learn quickly that the terms are not interchangeable.

You might have wondered if you’d prefer a house or a condo. But if you’re moving in the direction of co-op vs. condo, it’s important to understand their many distinct features.

Both give a resident the right to use certain common areas, such as pools, gyms, meeting rooms, and courtyards. But there are big differences when it comes to what you actually own when you purchase a condo or co-op.

You’ve done the work of budgeting for a home. Now you need to get a handle on the difference between a condo and a co-op.

What Is a Condo?

With a condominium, you own your home, but you don’t solely own anything outside your unit — not even the exterior walls. Common areas of the complex are owned and shared by all the condo owners collectively.

Buying a condo is not all that different from securing any other type of real estate.

Typically, the complex will be managed by a homeowners association that is responsible for maintaining the property and enforcing any covenants, conditions, and restrictions that govern property usage. The HOA sets the regular fees needed to pay for repairs, landscaping, other services, and insurance for the shared parts of the property. Special assessments also might be levied to pay for unexpected repairs and needed improvements that aren’t in the normal operating budget.

What Is a Co-op?

In the co-op vs. condo debate, it’s key to know that with a housing cooperative, residents don’t own their units. Instead, they hold shares in a nonprofit corporation that has the title to the property and grants proprietary leases to residents. The lease grants you the right to live in your specific unit and use the common elements of the co-op according to its bylaws and regulations.

A co-op manager usually collects monthly maintenance fees; enforces covenants, conditions and restrictions; and makes sure the property is well kept.

As a shareholder, you become a voting manager of the building, and as such have a say in how the co-op is run and maintained. Residents generally vote on any decision that affects the building.

With a co-op, should you want to sell your shares, members of the board of directors will have to approve your new buyer. They will be much more involved than would be the case with a condo. That can make it a lengthy process.

Co-ops and condos are both common-interest communities, but their governing documents have different legal mechanisms that determine how they operate and can affect residents’ costs, control over their units, and even the feeling of community.

Some Pros & Cons of Co-Ops vs Condos

Financing

It’s important to drill down on the details of buying an apartment. Because you aren’t actually buying any real estate with a co-op, the price per square foot is usually lower than it would be for a condo. Eligibility for financing may depend on credit score, down payment, project analysis, minimum square footage of a unit, and more.

However, it might be somewhat harder to get a mortgage for a co-op than a condo, even if the bottom-line price is less. It might not have all that much to do with you. Some lenders are reluctant to underwrite a mortgage for a property on which they can’t foreclose.

Most condo associations don’t restrict lending or financing in the building. If you can get a mortgage, the condo association will usually let you buy a place.

Fees

Because a co-op’s monthly fee can include payments for the building’s underlying mortgage and property taxes as well as amenities, maintenance, security, and utilities, it’s usually higher than the monthly fee for a condo. Either way, though, generally the more perks that come with your unit, the more there is to maintain and in turn, the more you’re likely to pay.

If you’re concerned about an increase in fees, you might want to ask the association or board about any improvements that may lead to an increase in the future — and what the rules are for those who do not pay their assessed dues.

All of these factors are important to weigh when you’re making a home-buying checklist, which includes figuring out how much money you’ll need and the best financing strategy.

Taxes

If you itemize on your income tax return, you may be able to deduct the portion of a co-op’s monthly fee that goes to property taxes and mortgage interest. However, none of a condo’s monthly maintenance fee is tax deductible.

You might want to consult a tax professional about these nuances before moving forward with a co-op or condo purchase.

Privacy vs Community

If you’ve ever lived in one of those neighborhoods where the only time you saw your fellow residents was just before they pulled their cars into their garages, it could take you a while to adjust to cooperative or association living. Because you share ownership with your neighbors, you may be more likely to see them at meetings and other events. And you can trust that they’ll know who you are.

Co-op boards often require prospective buyers — who are potential shareholders — to provide substantial personal information before a purchase is approved, including personal tax returns, personal and business references, and in-person interviews.

You may find that you like the sense of community and that everyone knows and looks out for each other. Or you may not. Again, you might want to ask some questions about socialization and privacy while checking out a particular co-op or an active condo community.

Restrictions

In a co-op, you might run into more rules regarding how you can renovate or even decorate your unit. And don’t forget: You’ll also have to deal with that rigorous application approval process if you ever decide to sell.

Both condos and co-ops frequently have restrictions on renting your unit, how many people can stay overnight or park in the parking lot, the type of pets you can have and their size, and more. Before you look at a unit, you may want to ask your agent about covenants, conditions, and restrictions that could be difficult to handle.

The Takeaway

Whether you end up saying home sweet co-op or condo, ownership offers many benefits you won’t find in a rental. When you’re ready to start a serious search, take the time to look for a lender that will work with you on whatever type of loan you might require. In the co-op vs. condo terrain, there are specialists for both sides.

SoFi offers competitive options for home loans and refinancing, working with you to find the right fit for your financial needs. You can get prequalified online in just minutes, and you may be able to put as little as 5% down.

Check your rate on a SoFi mortgage today.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

SoFi Home Loans
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. SoFi Home Loans are not available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.
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Source: sofi.com

The Fair Housing Act: Anti-Discrimination Laws for Renters and Buyers

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In June 2020, Florida homeowners Abena and Alex Horton decided to take advantage of low interest rates due to the pandemic and refinance their mortgage. So their lender sent a professional appraiser to their home in a predominantly white area of Jacksonville.

Homes in the Hortons’ well-to-do neighborhood typically sell for $350,000 to $550,000. They expected theirs to appraise for about $450,000, a comfortable midpoint. But that’s not what happened. And it all came down to race.

Why We Need Fair Housing Laws 

In the Hortons’ case, the appraiser pegged the value at just $330,000, well under the going market price for comparable homes nearby.

To its credit, the lender agreed the appraisal was too low and ordered another. It came in at $465,000, in line with the homeowners’ expectations.

The Hortons didn’t undertake any last-minute home improvement projects or even take steps to improve the home’s curb appeal in the interim. They made only one change: removing any evidence that a Black person lived in the house. 

Before the appraiser arrived, Abena Horton, who’s Black, took her son shopping. She replaced mantel photos of herself and her son with images of Alex Horton, who’s white, and his white family members. She removed holiday cards from Black families. She even took books by prominent Black authors like Toni Morrison off the shelves.

The ordeal was humiliating but not surprising.

“I [knew] what the issue was,” Abena Horton told The New York Times. “And I knew what we needed to do to fix it, because in the Black community, it’s just common knowledge that you take your pictures down when you’re selling the house. But I didn’t think I had to worry about that with an appraisal.”

The Hortons’ low appraisal was neither a fluke nor the work of a rogue, racist appraiser. The family’s experience plays out in countless households of color across America more than a half-century after the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act. 

That law’s goal was to protect minority homeowners from discrimination. It was a vital component of a larger package of legislation — the Civil Rights Act of 1968 — meant to build upon the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

The Fair Housing Act explicitly prohibits certain types of discrimination in the sale and rental of housing and mortgage lending against members of certain protected classes.

Subsequent legislation and court decisions have strengthened and expanded the act in meaningful ways.

Unfortunately, the Hortons’ experience shows that the Fair Housing Act did not usher in a world free from housing discrimination. 

Indeed, the National Fair Housing Alliance’s 2019 Fair Housing Trends Report recorded more than 31,000 housing discrimination complaints in 2018, an 8% increase from 2017 and the highest figure since the National Fair Housing Alliance began tracking housing complaints in 1995.

About three-quarters of these complaints were filed with nonprofit housing organizations compared with just under 6% filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Many involve more egregious infractions than the Hortons’ lowball appraisal.

Some would-be homeowners or tenants dealt with outright denial of rental housing. Others experienced discriminatory mortgage lending practices that increased foreclosure risk and cost affected borrowers tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of a loan.

It’s true that not all Americans experience housing discrimination. But all Americans participate in the country’s housing market, even the housing-insecure. And any unequal treatment distorts that market, no matter how localized. That makes discrimination a collective problem, even when it doesn’t directly affect us as individuals.


Key Fair Housing Act Protections for Renters & Buyers

The Fair Housing Act protects most homebuyers, mortgage applicants, and renters from discrimination based membership in a protected class, including race and sex. The act prevents property owners, sellers, selling agents, and housing lenders from taking specific actions defined as discriminatory against members of its protected classes.

Certain identities not explicitly mentioned in the act, notably gender identity and sexual orientation, can be covered by explicit protections of the act, such as sex and disability status (which covers chronic health conditions like AIDS and the virus that causes it). Coverage for these identities is subject to judicial interpretation per the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County.

Likewise, many states have enacted laws that expand and complement provisions of the federal law. However, the Fair Housing Act does have important exemptions that limit its applicability in certain situations, such as owner-occupied or unmarketed small-scale rental housing.


Protected Classes Defined by the Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act’s protections extend to members of the protected classes or identities outlined in the law. These protections cover both explicit and indirect or implicit discrimination.

Race or Color

This protection applies to official Census-recognized racial categories: 

  • White American
  • Asian American
  • Black or African American
  • Native American and Alaska Native
  • Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race
  • People of two or more races 

It also applies to informal racial or ethnic categories and perceived categories, such as assumptions based on a person’s dialect or accent. An offender need not definitively know the race of a buyer or renter to discriminate against them based on it.

Religion

The Fair Housing Act requires equal treatment of members of all religious groups, including nonbelievers. For example, in most cases, an apartment community or municipality can’t advertise itself using religious labels like “Christian” or “Jewish.”

National Origin

The Fair Housing Act prohibits activities that favor or disfavor buyers, renters, or borrowers based on national origin. For example, while it’s not illegal under federal law for property owners and other housing providers to ask applicants for proof of United States citizenship or legal residency, it is unlawful to do so only for certain applicants.

Familial Status

This protection prohibits discrimination based on family organization, marital status, and age in most cases. For example, a property owner who prefers not to rent to college students can’t simply deny housing to all applicants under age 23. 

Though the Fair Housing Act does not explicitly protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination, the familial status class does include same-sex couples.

Sex

Any unequal treatment based on sex is prohibited under the Fair Housing Act. That includes restrictive policies enacted in the name of safety, such as refusing to rent first-floor walkout apartments to single women. It also covers any form of sexual harassment or coercion during the rental or sale process.

Disability

This protection covers individuals with significant documented disabilities, whether physical or cognitive. That includes those with chronic addiction disorders, such as alcoholism or substance abuse disorder, provided they’re engaged in treatment or recovery programs. 

Those engaged in the sale or rental of housing can’t ask about perceived disabilities or deny housing to those with disabilities. That’s true even when the offender’s intentions are pure, such as preemptively asking a person in a wheelchair if they require a first-floor apartment. 

Also, in rental housing, disabled tenants must be permitted to make reasonable improvements at their expense, and public areas and entryways must be accessible.


Explicit Prohibitions of the Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act explicitly prohibits dozens of specific actions taken against members of any protected class by property owners, sellers, real estate agents and brokers, mortgage lenders, leasing agents, public officials, civil service, and insurance professionals. 

Some of these prohibitions pertain specifically to the sale or rental of housing, while others apply in the narrower mortgage lending context.

Actions Prohibited in the Sale or Rental of Housing

These actions include egregious violations, such as posting a sign restricting applications to a particular race, gender, or sexual orientation. But they also include more subtle offenses, such as steering nonwhite buyers away from predominantly white neighborhoods.

Some actions, such as eviction, may be legal when the intent or result is not discriminatory. For example, if local regulations allow, a property owner is within their rights to evict a tenant who’s seriously behind on rent as long as they treat all such tenants equally regardless of protected status.

Prohibited actions are:

  • Outright refusal to rent or sell housing
  • Refusing to negotiate the sale or rental of housing
  • Refusing to confirm housing is available for sale or rent
  • Discouraging the sale or rental of housing
  • Segregating housing (for example, grouping tenants of the same ethnic or racial group on a specific floor or building or in a specific neighborhood)
  • Extending favorable terms or unique incentives (for instance, charging opposite-sex couples lower rent than same-sex couples)
  • Making mention of any prohibited preference (for example, “families preferred”) in housing advertisements
  • Using different applications, screening or qualification criteria, or qualification processes (such as running credit checks for nonwhite applicants only)
  • Harassing applicants, tenants, or occupants or conditioning approval of a housing application on the applicant’s response to harassment
  • Evicting tenants or guests
  • Delaying or declining to make necessary repairs or maintenance
  • Offering property insurance on unequal terms (for example, asking higher premiums from members of certain protected classes, though underwriters may use indirect methods like credit scoring to account for higher perceived risk from certain occupants)
  • Profiting or attempting to profit by persuading homeowners to sell because members of a particular protected class are moving nearby
  • Denying real estate agents or brokers access to local agent organizations or multiple listing services

Actions Prohibited in Mortgage Lending

These actions also include a mix of egregious and subtle violations. However, all involve lenders’ or loan servicing companies’ refusal to treat mortgage applicants or borrowers equally based on their identities.

  • Refusing to provide information about loan opportunities
  • Refusing to originate mortgage loans to otherwise qualified applicants
  • Refusing to provide other financial assistance to otherwise qualified applicants
  • Offering unequal terms or conditions — such as higher rates, fees, or points — on mortgage loans
  • Discriminating during the appraisal process
  • A secondary lender or loan servicing company refusing to purchase a home loan
  • Conditioning issuance of a loan on the applicant’s response to harassment or coercion

HUD’s fair lending guide details mortgage applicants’ fair housing rights and mortgage lenders’ obligations under the law.

These actions are prohibited in all housing-related contexts:

  • Threatening, intimidating, or otherwise interfering with anyone attempting to exercise their rights under the Fair Housing Act or assist others in doing so
  • Retaliating against anyone who has filed a fair housing complaint or assisted with a fair housing investigation

State & Federal Housing Protections for LGBTQ Individuals

The Fair Housing Act does not explicitly forbid housing discrimination based on sexual orientation, sexuality, or gender identity. However, HUD requires lenders insured by the Federal Housing Administration (a HUD agency) to observe its Equal Access Rule. That rule prohibits certain acts of lending discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Additionally, the Fair Housing Act effectively forbids discrimination against LGBTQ individuals or families in circumstances covered by other class protections. And many state laws explicitly prohibit housing discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community.

Common Examples of Anti-LQBTQ Housing Discrimination Covered by the Fair Housing Act

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation-funded TexasLawHelp.org highlights common examples of circumstances in which explicit Fair Housing Act protections extend to LGBTQ individuals:

  • Sex Discrimination. A rental housing operator asks a transgender woman not to dress in women’s clothing in her building’s common areas; a property manager refuses to rent to a gender-nonconforming applicant.
  • Disability Discrimination. A property owner evicts a gay man whose HIV or AIDS status qualifies as a disability under the Fair Housing Act.
  • Equal Access Rule. A mortgage lender denies a loan to two same-gender co-applicants presumed to be a couple.

State Laws Protecting LGBTQ Individuals From Housing Discrimination

HUD maintains a list of states with laws prohibiting housing discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or both. Jurisdictions that forbid housing discrimination on both grounds include:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Washington state

New Hampshire and Wisconsin prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation but not gender identity or expression.


Noteworthy Fair Housing Act Exemptions

The Fair Housing Act covers most housing types and the vast majority of housing units available for sale or rent in the U.S. However, it does have important exemptions and carve-outs for certain housing types:

  • Small-Scale Rental Housing. Owner-occupied rental properties with four or fewer units (such as duplexes and quadplexes) and single-family rental housing that is not marketed or rented with help from a real estate broker. In the latter case, the exemption does not apply when the property’s owner owns more than three qualifying properties.
  • Housing Operated by Exempt Organizations. This category includes housing operated by legally recognized religious organizations or private clubs that limit eligibility to their own members.
  • Senior Housing. Multifamily communities that meet one of two criteria may legally deny housing to younger applicants: a) every resident is 62 or older or b) at least 80% of occupied units have at least one resident age 55 or older.

Why the Fair Housing Act Matters Today

It’s clear from the massive (and growing) volume of fair housing complaints tabulated by the National Fair Housing Alliance that the Fair Housing Act remains necessary and relevant to modern renters and homebuyers. And many acts of housing discrimination go unreported.

Though egregious examples of overt housing discrimination still occur, modern examples tend to be subtle, even covert. Modern housing discrimination often occurs without victims’ knowledge and sometimes without agency or intent on the perpetrator’s part. 

The Hortons’ first appraiser might not have acted on conscious animosity toward people of color or an explicit directive from their employer. They might well have acted on unconscious bias — an internalized, unquestioned notion that Black-owned homes are less desirable than white-owned homes.

Even if you believe you’ve never experienced housing discrimination and aren’t at risk from it in the future, you need to understand what housing discrimination looks like in practice. You also need to know how to recognize the financial, economic, and social consequences it can wreak. 

These consequences can and do affect all Americans’ personal finances and overall well-being. The effects can be direct financial issues for victims of discrimination or indirect harm to local economies and a fraying social fabric. 

For example, the subprime mortgage crisis of the late 2000s was fueled partly by discriminatory lending practices that resulted in higher default rates by borrowers of color. It resulted in millions of job losses, including those of many Americans who didn’t apply for a mortgage before or during the crisis.


Real-World Examples of Housing Discrimination

Theoretical examples from HUD and nonprofit fair housing organizations like the National Fair Housing Alliance provide a basis for public understanding of the various forms of housing discrimination.

Sadly, these theoretical examples have far too many real-world analogs. Many happened (or continued) during the 2010s. Another was a widespread historic ill that profoundly influenced America’s urban geography.

Disability-Based Discrimination in Dozens of Multifamily Housing Communities

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a civil settlement with multistate apartment community operator Miller-Valentine Operations Inc. and Affiliates. According to the DOJ, the company stood accused of violating disability protections enshrined in the Fair Housing Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

Under the terms of the settlement, the DOJ required the operator to “take extensive corrective actions” to improve accessibility at more than 80 properties in more than a dozen states and establish a $400,000 fund to compensate disabled individuals affected by its violations.

Illegal Lending in Sacramento & Philadelphia

Banking giant Wells Fargo has been accused of discriminatory lending practices by federal, state, and local authorities since at least the 2000s. 

The bank agreed to pay more than $230 million in 2012 to settle a DOJ civil action alleging a “pattern and practice” of lending discrimination against Black and Latino borrowers from 2004 to 2009. 

In 2017, the city of Philadelphia sued Wells Fargo over similar claims. The bank settled for $10 million in 2019, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. A similar lawsuit filed by the city of Sacramento, California, in 2018 (per CNN) remains pending.

Racially Discriminatory Housing Ordinance & Enforcement

In 2019, the DOJ sued the city of Hesperia, California, and the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department alleging that a city ordinance and its enforcement constituted discrimination against Black and Latino renters, according to U.S. News. 

A HUD investigation found that enforcement of the ordinance resulted in more than 140 evictions over alleged criminal conduct in 2016. In some cases, entire families were evicted over allegations leveled at a single tenant or guest. 

Enforcement disproportionately targeted minority neighborhoods, with Black tenants four times more likely to face eviction than white tenants.

Refusal to Rent to a Same-Sex Couple

In 2017, a federal court ruled that the denial of rental housing to a same-sex Boulder, Colorado, couple constituted prohibited discrimination under the Fair Housing Act and applicable state law. According to Lambda Legal, the property owner refused to rent to the couple over concerns that doing so would harm her standing in the community.

Racially Restrictive Covenants

Restrictive covenants are clauses in housing deeds that restrict future homeowners’ activities and are not in and of themselves illegal. 

However, one particular type of restrictive covenant has long been rendered unenforceable by state and federal law: racially restrictive covenants that forbade homeowners from selling to buyers of certain races or nationalities — often simply anyone who was not white. 

Racially restrictive covenants were common in the first half of the 20th century in cities like Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle, and the Kansas City metropolitan area. Where widespread, they contributed to profound housing segregation. They were often used in conjunction with redlining, a common lending practice that diverted nonwhite borrowers into specific neighborhoods. 

These practices helped create majority-minority neighborhoods that subsequently experienced ills including disinvestment, neglect, and civil unrest.


Potential Consequences of Housing Discrimination

Real-world housing discrimination has real-world consequences for homeowners, renters, and their communities. 

Some are direct, such as harmful effects on victims’ long-term wealth-building capacity. Others, while indirect, can be more devastating at scale. Generations on, many cities continue to grapple with the far-reaching consequences of early- to mid-20th century redlining and restrictive covenants.

But all are incredibly harmful, both to the individuals who experience them and others. 

Greater Exposure to Environmental Health Risks

High-profile calamities like the lead drinking-water crises in Flint, Michigan, and Newark, New Jersey, underscore the disproportionate environmental health risks low-income communities face. These risks are particularly prevalent in low-income communities of color, like Flint and Newark. 

That isn’t merely a media narrative. A 2018 Environmental Protection Agency study found that people of color are more likely to live near sources of air pollution and breathe polluted air, often due to historical settlement patterns influenced by redlining and restrictive covenants. 

And a 2016 study published in the journal Environment International found that long-term exposure to particulate matter correlates directly with housing segregation. That is, residents of highly segregated areas inhale more particulate matter than those in less segregated areas.

Lead Exposure in Older Housing Stock

Affordable housing tends to be older. Subsidized housing available through programs like the Section 8 voucher scheme does as well. 

Unfortunately, many older homes still contain lead paint or water service lines. Lead exposure can cause a host of serious health and developmental problems in both children and adults. (Lead water service lines are typically benign but can cause problems when drinking water is not properly treated, as occurred in Flint). 

Inadequate Nutrition

The market opportunity is greater in moderate- to high-income areas. As such, full-service grocery stores with well-stocked produce sections tend to favor these places over low-income neighborhoods. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food access atlas shows regions that qualify as “food deserts” with limited nutritional resources. These places often occur in low-income urban neighborhoods and small rural towns served primarily by corner stores and dollar stores with little if any fresh produce.

Higher Incidences of Gun Violence & Other Serious Crime

According to a 2019 study published in PLOS Medicine, gun violence incidence closely correlates with higher rates of poverty and income inequality, low rates of social mobility, and low levels of trust in public institutions.

The legacy of residential segregation exacerbates these ills. For example, a 2018 mapping project by The Trace found that two low-income neighborhoods in highly segregated Cincinnati accounted for a disproportionate share of that city’s shootings.

Unequal Access to Quality Schools

NPR reports that a 2016 study by EdBuild found a $23 billion funding gap between predominantly white and predominantly nonwhite school districts. The gap is caused in part by two government-imposed phenomena. 

Districts rely heavily on local taxes, which generate more revenue in wealthier, predominantly white districts. Then there’s the principle of “local control,” which limits the equitable distribution of state education funds to poorer districts. 

This gap contributes to unequal educational outcomes, reinforcing the very racial wealth disparities responsible for it.

Impact of Discriminatory Lending on the Broader Economy

A 2010 study published in the American Sociological Review cited a “highly racialized process” of “differentially market[ing] risky subprime loans” to borrowers of color as a cause of the late-2000s subprime mortgage crisis that precipitated the Great Recession. 

It’s a stark example of the potential for discriminatory lending to impact the broader economy negatively. 

On a more granular level, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council data cited by the Center for American Progress found that home prices in predominantly Black neighborhoods decreased by 6% between 2006 and 2017. During the same period, home prices in majority-white neighborhoods increased by 3%. 

This divergence disadvantages all homeowners in affected neighborhoods, not just members of the area’s ethnic or racial minority.

Increasing Racial & Cultural Tension

In a 2019 Pew study conducted before widespread protests over police violence in 2020, 58% of all Americans and 71% of Black Americans said race relations were bad in the U.S. 

Meanwhile, 65% of all Americans said it had “become more common for people to express racist or racially insensitive views” since Donald Trump was elected president. And 45% said it had “become more acceptable” to do so. 

While it might give comfort to characterize this as an aberration attributable solely to a particular political leader or party, that’s not the entire story. These alarming figures spotlight a fraying of the American social fabric caused in part by decades of residential segregation.

Despite incremental integration since 2000, a Washington Post visualization shows that most Americans continue to live in “majority” neighborhoods where one racial or ethnic group predominates. For example, a 2017 Harvard University study found that roughly 69% of the U.S. population lived in majority-white neighborhoods between 2011 and 2015.

Political Polarization & Increased Mistrust of Institutions

Residential segregation also exacerbates political polarization and public mistrust of institutions. 

Writing for Bloomberg CityLab shortly before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, urban studies professor Richard Florida noted that geography was increasingly predictive of political affiliation. 

Democratic voters cluster in cities and inner suburbs, while Republican voters favor lower-density geographies. This self-sorting creates bubbles of relative ideological homogeneity. That often manifests in antagonistic relations between local and state leaders, which came to a head during the COVID-19 pandemic in states including Texas and Wisconsin. 

It also leads to dysfunction in state and federal governments and coarsening public discourse. A 2016 study by researchers at the University of Mississippi and Stony Brook University, SUNY, found that the percentage of positive political ads declined from 90% during the 1960 U.S. presidential campaign to less than 15% during the 2012 presidential campaign.


Final Word

Selecting the “best” neighborhood is a fundamental part of finding new housing. Every prospective renter or homebuyer gives some thought to the characteristics of the communities they consider moving to and ranks them based on priorities like access to quality schools, open space, or urban amenities.

Few prospective renters and homebuyers think much about why certain communities have characteristics that make them desirable. They also never wonder why those same communities are often less accessible to those the Fair Housing Act exists to protect, from persons with disabilities to historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups. 

That’s understandable. The exercise is a discomfiting one, but it’s also necessary. 

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Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he’s not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Source: moneycrashers.com

How to Get a Raise: 5 Smart Steps to Boosting Your Salary

Along with your last performance review, compile your accomplishments in a document that your boss can review.
It’s also a good idea to base the amount on your achievements. You can do that by assigning a monetary value to each of the accomplishments you listed in the previous step — from the extra hours you put in on the weekends to the times you helped on projects that fell outside your assigned duties.
Then, consider your options. Is this a fair offer? Is this a deal-breaker? Reflect on how this decision will affect your work life going forward.
In salary negotiations for a new job? It’s not exactly the same as asking for a raise, though the two share a lot of similarities.
National averages are a place to start, and you can look up salary information on websites like Dice, Glassdoor, Robert Half and Payscale. But talking directly with your peers in similar positions and looking at actual job postings that mention wages might be even more accurate.

How to Get a Raise: A 5-Step Guide

The better prepared you are for the conversation, the more likely you are to hear a positive answer. You need to know how much you can reasonably ask for, and how to ask for it.

1. Research and Prepare

Don’t let nerves keep you from asking for the money you deserve. Boost your confidence by preparing yourself with our guide to how to get a raise.

Related Posts
First, hear out your employer — and prepare yourself for more than a simple yes or no.

Pro Tip
You present your argument, provide the data to back it up and ask for a raise you consider to be reasonable and fair.

But when is the best time to ask for a raise? When you look most valuable, ideally.
If your boss makes a counter offer, be polite and ask for time to consider it — especially if your initial instinct is to be insulted by the offer.
If so, have you asked for a raise? 

2. Calculate How Much to Ask For

Setting yourself up for a successful discussion starts with making sure your accomplishments are front of mind for your manager — such as after you complete a major project or discover a way to save your company a lot of money.
Salary negotiations show that you’re confident in your skills, you’ve done your homework and that you’re not going to dart off to another better-paying position as soon as it’s available.
Some companies have rigid policies about pay ranges for a particular position or level. As frustrating as that may be, consider this an opportunity to talk to your manager about what you can do to reach that next level that triggers a pay bump.
Review your work to make sure you’ve been doing a good job. If you’ve been consistently getting great feedback and hitting your targets, you’re on the right track.

Pro Tip
In terms of negotiation, your argument will be much stronger when it’s based on research and numbers rather than emotion. If you really need an extra ,000 for child care costs or a surprise medical bill, that’s OK to mention. Just don’t let that be your whole argument.

If your employer says that there are criteria you need to meet to earn the raise, ask for the goals in writing and set a follow-up appointment to hold your boss accountable. Then make it your priority to meet these goals, documenting your achievements along the way.
It’s best if you can directly link your work to an increase in sales or profits, but at least offer evidence that the company is doing better because of your efforts, and be specific with numbers and dates.

3. Time Your Request Right

If your employer’s response is that they like you but they can’t afford pay raises, that’s not necessarily a no. It could just be a “not now.”
One of the best ways to calm yourself and approach a salary negotiation with a level head is to do your homework about the company and your role. Don’t stress over manipulation tactics.
And remember that cash isn’t everything; benefits are also part of your compensation package. If you’re willing to give up extra money for more vacation time, education reimbursement or flexible work arrangements, you have more room for negotiation.
Source: thepennyhoarder.com
And if you do get the amount you ask for — congrats! Be sure to ask for the new salary in writing (email is fine) — after all, you don’t want all the hard work of negotiating to go to waste.

4. Negotiate Smartly 

Steve Gilman is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder. Former staff writer Adam Hardy and writer/editor Tiffany Wendeln Connors also contributed to this report.
If you’ve been working in your current position for at least a year and haven’t seen an increase in your paycheck, it may be a good time to ask for a raise.
Are you worth more than you’re paid?
For example, the “mathematician” data shows an annual average salary of 2,530, but when you click through you’ll see that federal government mathematicians average 5,830 per year, while mathematicians working at colleges and universities make ,440.
Although a raise may be highest on your list, it may not always be an option.
Check your employee handbook for the policy on pay raises — and don’t be afraid to reach out to your HR department to ask about flexibility on the policy. It never hurts to ask.

Pro Tip
The “Great Resignation” of 2021 — when an estimated 1 in 4 Americans quit a job — could work to your favor. Companies are being forced to offer higher wages and better benefits to attract and retain employees, according to  an employer survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.

You’ve done your research and preparation, created a fact-based argument for higher pay and planned your pitch to your manager.
Regardless of the outcome, remaining calm and professional throughout the negotiation and after is essential for maintaining a long-term work relationship with your employer.
If your company is doing relatively well and you’re consistently a high achiever — and have concrete evidence to prove your worth — it might be time to talk to your manager about a raise.

5. If All Else Fails …

Even though you do all this, you may not get the raise. Or at least, not the raise you wanted.
Remember: Even though this raise might be important to you, your boss is human, too. Consider their perspective and mindset before you launch into your demands.

Pro Tip
Get the Penny Hoarder Daily

Before you even consider negotiating, investigate whether your current employer is in a position to offer you anything. If your company has recently taken a financial hit or is facing a big lawsuit, this might not be the best time to ask for additional money.
If there’s a looming deadline for a major project, for instance, wait until after everyone is under a little less stress. Schedule the appointment with your employer at a time that you know they can focus on the topic

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January 3, 2022

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