Life's not fair. But real estate is. Mostly.

We all know that life is not fair. But real estate is. Well, I think it should be. And I'm not the only one.

Here's the deal: as a Realtor, I see my job as helping buyers buy the house they want at a fair price. And helping sellers get the max price the market will support for the size, location and condition of their home. Overall, big picture, it's pretty fair.

And when it comes to fair-housing laws, you can pretty much rest assured that discrimination doesn't serve as an obstacle to your housing choices. (Well, unless you're LGTB. More on that another time though.) Specifically, fair housing laws prohibit someone - even me - from discriminating against you in the sale, rental or financing of housing based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap or familiar status.  

Familial status? What? 

Consider it a fancy way to say "having kids" or "being older".  Of course, being older has some advantages too: if you want to live in a development that qualifies specifically as a community of seniors, you don't have to put up with the "youngsters". (I know; your hot cabana boy at the retirement community day dream is dying inside of you right now.)

To be clear: you don't have to be flat out denied housing to be the subject of discrimination.  Case in point: if your landlord makes all the families with toddlers live on a certain floor or charges extra for children, that could qualify as a violation of fair housing laws.  

Sound familiar? Boo! Check out the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for more answers to your questions about fair housing. Like how to report what's unfair.