May 1, 2007

I Could Not, I Would Not Break the Law!

This fair housing thing keeps coming up in my life and I am just dazed and amazed.  I recently sold a house and now many of my old neighbors are angry with me because of who the house sold to.   I am upset and frustrated and  I am very sure this is not a good time to be posting on my blog but if I don’t do something to vent, I am going to explode, (or break out in tears).  I just got off the phone with an old neighbor of almost 14 years.  I thought we were good friends.  My husband shoveled her walks every snow storm, every winter and edged her lawn every week, every summer.  We had many nice long talks standing out on the street, my kids chased down her runaway dog more times than I can count,  and I even visited her home on several occasions.  I am disappointed that 14 years of good memories can be erased so quickly because I did not break the law.    I am starting to feel that the neighborhood concensus is that I hand-picked the new owner for no other reason than to exact some kind of revenge, for what I do not know.  All the friendships, lasting relationships we had there mean nothing now by this one act.  The service I rendered for and in behalf of the neighborhood, the relationships I forged, the effect I thought I had, all have become meaningless or forgotten.   It really hurts to know that a person is not judged by the fruits of their labors but instead by whom they sell their home to.

Filed under: Community,Fair Housing,Personal,Real Estate,Renting,Selling — Susan @ 4:53 pm




April 2, 2007

More on Fair Housing

It is important to understand the Fair Housing Act.   
Courts have determined that you can violate the law even if you did not intend to discriminate.  As long as there is evidence that your actions had a discriminatory effect, you can be found in violation.    
You may never even know that your fair housing practices are being tested; testers from government or private groups can pose as home seekers.   The evidence they may find against you is admissable in court. 

If you are planning to sell your home or if you own homes that you rent, it would be wise to evalutate your policies and practices to insure that you can prove that you treat everyone the same.  Having a professional real estate agent or property manager on your side is one way to protect yourself against an unexpected lawsuit for discrimination. 

Filed under: Buying,Fair Housing,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 8:05 am




March 26, 2007

EQUAL HOUSING

I have had several people confront me about the buyer of a listing I recently sold. I thought it would be a good idea to explain a few things that apparently are not common knowledge.
This country has Equal Housing Laws. There are protected classes of people. and it is unlawful to discriminate against these classifications when selling a home.
When a seller puts his/herhome on the market, he/she cannot decide who can or cannot buy that home based on any other criteria than price, and terms of the deal.
In most cases, the seller as well as his/her agent do not even know the buyer. Most buyers have their own agent, who submits an offer to the seller’s agent. All negotiations are made through the agents who are each protecting their own client’s interests and privacy. Sellers and buyers rarely ever meet throughout the entire process.
By thinking that a seller or his/her agent should be picky about who they sell their house to is saying that you think they should risk ending up in jail.  I am sure that no one would really expect that.   I do not believe there are too many people out there that would knowingly expect his neighbor to break the law and discriminate against anyone or any class.   Equal Housing laws were instituted for a reason.  They really do protect us all.

Fair Housing Act
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents of legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), and handicap (disability).

Filed under: Buying,Fair Housing,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 4:26 pm