Friday, May 24, 2013

Immigration Reform: A Boost for Housing?

Recent data shows that the housing market continues to improve here in Minnesota and in many markets throughout the country.  The recovery may get an additional boost if the forecasts of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) hold true.  

On May 20th, NAHREP released a report that projects over $500 Billion dollars in spending related to real estate and homeownership spending if Washington passes comprehensive immigration reform for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the US.  

They forecast that up to 3 million of these immigrants could become homebuyers over the next several years with an average home price of about $173,000. 

Their reasoning is simple: the options for accessing mortgage loans and lending products for undocumented immigrants are extremely limited.   Any legalization of their immigration status would immediately allow these potential buyers to obtain a Social Security number, a requirement for most lending products.  

NAHREP’s projections maybe overstated (it’s impossible to gauge the future intentions of those who are currently out of status in the US) and immigration reform is far from a done-deal in Washington, but the Minnesota Homeownership Center understands the potential boost for housing that legalization would bring.   A recent report from the University of Southern California found that over one third of the increased demand for homes in this decade has been generated by immigrant buyers. 

The Minnesota Homeownership Center is prepared for a possible influx of new first-time homebuyers:

  • Our website contains important information for potential homebuyers and easily allows users to switch quickly between Spanish and English;
  • We continue to provide support for Home Stretch workshops (and supplemental materials) in Spanish throughout the State;
  • Our online homebuyer education tool, Framework, will be available in Spanish in the coming months;
  • We continue to support and administer the Emerging Markets Homeownership Initiative that brings together industry professionals and non-profit organizations working to improve homeownership rates in communities of color.

First-time buyers, citizens and immigrants alike, are reminded that before you start the process of making what may be the LARGEST PURCHASE IN YOUR LIFE, we highly recommend that you participate in a Home Stretch workshop or take the online homebuyer course, Framework. These classes are recognized nationally as a proven tool for preparing Minnesotans to be successful homeowners.  These workshops help you to understand, start to finish, the process of becoming a successful homeowner and cover important topics like:

  • real estate and mortgage loan terminology, 
  • how to shop for a home and a loan that are right for YOU, 
  • how your credit affects your loan payments, 
  • how to avoid being taken advantage of during the homebuying process, 
  • and much, much more. 

For more information about upcoming Home Stretch workshops, click here.  To take Framework online, click here.

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