Street signs are not a protected class. Yet.
One of the most common criteria I get from families looking for homes in the Charlottesville area is – We want to live in a neighborhood that has a lot of kids.
1- Are there kids in this neighborhood?
Look for balls, bikes and playground sets. Despite the fact that most families with kids want to live in neighborhoods with other kids, this is (per my training) deemed to be a Fair Housing Law violation.
So a broker who says something like, “There are tons of little kids in this building neighborhood” it’s really “family friendly” could be accused of specifically steering families to the building and driving people without children away from it.
* Editor’s note: I inserted “neighborhood”
Some may argue that my approach is extreme, but:
1) I’d rather just treat everyone the same
2) I’d rather not be sued and lose my ability to practice what I love.
3) Fair is an arbitrary term, in my opinion – my fair is likely different than a teenage girl’s fair is different than a 72 year old retiree’s fair. I like “same”. Merriam Webster doesn’t define “fair” as the real estate world interprets it until 6a:
1 : pleasing to the eye or mind especially because of fresh, charming, or flawless quality
2 : superficially pleasing : specious
3 a : clean, pure b : clear, legible
4 : not stormy or foul : fine
5 : ample
6 a : marked by impartiality and honesty : free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism b (1) : conforming with the established rules : allowed (2) : consonant with merit or importance : due c : open to legitimate pursuit, attack, or ridicule
“Walkable neighborhood” apparently might be construed by some as discriminatory.
* Title shamelessly inspired by Toyota’s Swagger Wagon.
I remember when I first asked you this same question and you gave me a very similar, diplomatic answer. Can we please put consistency down as a great quality in your broker/realtor?
Consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but it’s invaluable this part of the real estate world. 🙂 Misunderstandings can lead to very bad things.
“Let’s keep a look-out for swing sets, is that important to you?”
“Oh, so not little kids but teenage kids?”
I feel questions like this are impossible for real estate agents to answer. Even if there is a perfect child next door for their child to play with, who can guess if their parents are about to move too? It isn’t being evasive on an agent’s part but it is just too vague a question.
🙂 It’s another reason that I encourage my buyer clients to visit neighborhoods on their own multiple times so as to determine for themselves the makeup of the neighborhood.
They’re buying the house for every day, not just the thirty minutes or hour that we might be there …
Pingback: Could an Algorithm (help) Choose your Next Home? | RealCentralVA.com