The legalization of same-sex unions around the globe has empowered many LGBTQ couples to get married and open the next chapter in their lives. Even if they haven’t decided on traditional marriage, a number of couples are also choosing to take their relationship to the next level by purchasing a home to share with each other. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s crucial to remember that you will likely face some unique questions when purchasing a property as an LGBTQ couple. With that in mind, here are some of the most important tips you should consider when looking for and buying your dream home:

Focus on your finances

When purchasing a property, a good amount of savings will be needed for a downpayment and overall healthy finances for a suitable mortgage. Unfortunately, the LGBTQ community tends to be less financially secure than other demographics, making the home buying process that much more challenging. To improve your finances before deciding on a purchase, attempt to improve your credit score, minimize your debt with debt consolidation or the “snowball” method, look for additional income streams, open a savings account solely for the downpayment, and look for fixed-rate mortgages with lower interest rates and longer loan terms.

Prioritize neighborhoods

Dream properties are different for everyone, but what the entire LGBTQ community likely has in common is the need for peace, quiet, and comfort in their own home. However, not all neighborhoods are created equal. It’s important to make the right choice in order to ensure you are entering an open and safe space. For that reason, it might be wise to prioritize neighborhoods, attempting to find the most liberal areas first, and then move on to selecting the best properties within those spaces. Neighborhoods can easily be researched online, using popular real estate websites and community social media groups.

Work with a professional

Whether you are having trouble finding a property that works for you or you simply need some additional help throughout the home buying process, working with an experienced buyers agent is always a good idea. They can provide guidance in terms of location, source the right property types, hold site viewings, perform property inspections, negotiate prices, and close contracts. Working with the right professional can save you some valuable time, money, and stress when buying a home, which may be especially important for LGBTQ couples.

Know your legal rights

As you enter the process of purchasing a property, it’s vital to know that your rights are protected. In many places around the world, particularly first-world countries, discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality, religion, and other aspects is prohibited by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as local laws and regulations. This includes housing discrimination, meaning that your application cannot be rejected just because you are an LGBTQ couple. If you live in countries where same-sex marriage is legalized, look into specific legal classifications that protect you from creditors and enable spousal succession rights.

Seek additional help

In case you end up facing discrimination in the home buying process or you require some assistance navigating through it, remember that there are a number of resources dedicated to helping LGBTQ couples purchase properties. For instance, you could contact human rights organizations, the housing and urban development sector of your government, national LGBTQ+ associations, LGBTQ+ real estate and legal professionals, or any other organization in your local area that can help you learn more about your rights and provide assistance when buying a home.

Homeownership is an important chapter in anyone’s life, but also a difficult and complex process. Use the tips above to streamline your property purchase and protect your rights as an LGBTQ couple.