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“Same-Sex Homebuyers 101” forum set for Saturday at The Center in Hillcrest

Home ownership, the American dream, is now available for married gay and lesbian couples.

Although gay couples have always been able to own property, it is not until recently, with the overturning of Section 3 of DOMA and the Supreme Court ruling against California’s Proposition 8, that have we fully been able to embrace the same benefits as opposite-sex couples that help to make homeownership more of a dream.

You can learn more about these issues in “Same-Sex Homebuyers 101,” a free forum from 10 am to noon Saturday, Sept. 7 at The Center, 3909 Center St. in Hillcrest. Refreshments will be served.

By being legally recognized as a married couple, same-gender families now have equal access to many peripheral layers of the American dream of home ownership that were not possible before.

Some benefits are as instantaneous as being able to have the word "married" included on the title to our homes, and the automatic level of respect that goes along with that designation. But many new advantages are far-reaching, little-known, and beneficial in the long run.

For instance, on capital gains taxes, exemptions can be up to $500, 000, instead of the $250,000 for single, non-married owners. These couples will be exempt from a capital gains tax as well an inheritance tax — which are often levied as part of property transfers — as with a traditional marriage.

Now, in California and other states that have legalized same-gender marriage, a person can leave an entire estate to his or her spouse without taxes being owed on it. The living spouse can hold onto it without having to dispose of assets, thanks to the DOMA ruling.

The benefits are far-reaching, as they have been crafted by those who feel that a married couple should have some advantages, as they start to build a life and a family together.

This Saturday, a panel of experts will be holding an informative discussion on what these changes mean to the LGBT community. Please RSVP to join us at The Center, 3909 Centre St. in Hillcrest, as we discuss the new choices available. Send an email to SDLGBTrealestate@gmail.comto reserve a seat or to ask any questions.

The event will be brought to you by the San Diego LGBT real estate team of Danny Ingersoll and Michael Jonas. Industry experts from Union Bank will discuss how this changes the options available when you get financing, and people from title and escrow teams will shed light on more options for taking title to the property, and the differences that can affect dispensation of property, should you lose a spouse.