Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fair housing laws

Theresa Boardman from the St. Paul Real Estate Blog wrote a great piece for Inman.com recently, about how confusing fair housing laws can be.

I support fair housing and I understand it and I understand why we have the laws. It is the language and the rules for following fair housing laws that I struggle with.

That language can be confusing. I cannot advertise a home as a family home or as a great place to raise a family, but on our multiple listing service homes are put in categories. They are labeled as single-family homes or multiple-family homes, condos or townhouses.

Some of my listings have two living rooms -- in the historic homes we can call them parlors. The second living room is always called a "family room." I don't understand why the term family room is not a violation of fair housing language.

We also use the term "master bedroom." I don't even know where to start with that term. Are the other bedrooms for servants? Usually a master bedroom is the largest bedroom in the house. It doesn't need to be called the master bedroom. It could be called the owner's bedroom, or simply the biggest bedroom.

She’s got a couple of great points! And as usual, it’s written in a very readable, engaging style. Love that Theresa.

As a professional Singleton, I’ve never thought about it… but now that I do, the term “family room” is a little odd.  It’s a little exclusionary, isn’t it?

I don’t have a family. Should I not sit in my family room? Should I call it a sitting room? What if I lie down on the couch while I’m in it? Then is it a Lying Room? Or is it a Laying Room? Are Laying Rooms for taking naps or laying eggs?

This reminds me of comic Stephen Wright, the other funny language guy.

 

And now I’m reminded of the original funny language guy, Gallagher.

 

Getting back to Fair Housing laws…for a real explanation click on this fair housing post. For online crime stats, demographics and walkability scores, click our “ThePhoenixAgents” Moving page.