NAHREP is squarely focused on bridging the wealth gap, and we know homeownership is one of the most critical strategies for building generational wealth. According to the State of Hispanic Wealth Report, Latino homeowners have 28 times the wealth as Latino renters, with Latino homeowners having a median household wealth of over $170,000 versus over $6,000 for Latino renters. However, we also want to make sure that Latinos are reaping the same rewards from homeownership as other groups on our road toward wealth creation. This is why the issue of appraisal bias is so important. How much a home is appraised for determines how much equity an individual can derive from owning a home.
NAHREP is the largest Latino business organization in the country, with a network of over 40,000 real estate professionals and 100 local chapters, made up of people who come together to grow professionally. What makes NAHREP so special, however, is that we are a mission-driven organization. The passion for advancing sustainable Hispanic homeownership that reverberates throughout our membership gives a special meaning and purpose to our work. Selling homes to Latino families isn’t just about making money, it’s about changing lives and closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap. These stories and data are at the core of our mission. And that is our State of Hispanic Homeownership Report.
Latinos are twice as likely to purchase a home using Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans compared to non-Hispanic White households. However, Latino households using FHA loans faced the steepest hurdles in getting their offers accepted last year. If you read the 2021 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report, you know that Latinos were 81 percent more likely to get denied for conventional home purchase loans than non-Latinos, so for many first-time homebuyers, FHA loans were the only option.
As we all get ready for the 2022 National Convention and Housing Policy Summit in Washington D.C. next week, I thought I would interview one of our National Board of Directors and advisor to the National Advocacy Committee, Neily Soto, to talk about her journey in becoming active in the policy discussions of her local community in Massachusetts. Neily is a successful businesswoman who understands the power of getting involved and speaking up, particularly around housing inventory.
American prosperity has always been built upon the backs of immigrant labor. People can feel different ways about this subject, but no matter which way you put it, immigrants have been critical to filling labor gaps for as long as we can trace the history of this country. Today, there is no denying that we are facing major labor shortages and it is impacting ALL of us. It is increasing the prices for goods and services, and it is impacting our bread and butter: new home construction.
It’s official, the U.S. Census Bureau’s homeownership data is out for 2021. Before we go any further, the Latino homeownership rate as of 2021 is 48.4%. In case you missed it, here is the press release we sent out last week with our response to the new numbers. So, let’s break it down. I know you might be asking, is this a good thing or a bad thing? The not so simple answer is, it’s both. Here is what you need to know about the new homeownership numbers.
Before immigrating to the U.S., my dad was a teacher in Mexico. For the first few years he was here, he was working in the fields of Central California picking celery, hustling every day. He would do any random job he could get his hands on, from washing dishes and waiting tables to washing cars, until one day someone asked him if he knew how to cut trees. Of course, he said he was an expert and had been cutting trees all his life (he had never cut a tree in his life). He borrowed a truck from my uncle, rented equipment, and was at the lady’s house the next day ready to work and “figure it out”.
I’ve always loved learning about history, and I still do. It’s identifying those key moments, events, and people who created a bend in the timeline of history, altered daily life, impacted a course of events, or changed our values. As a kid, I always wondered if the people who were witnessing these historic moments in real-time even knew they were what I like to call “life-bending” moments.
The NAHREP Policy Department is currently working long hours to make sure the State of Hispanic Homeownership Report is ready by March 2022. A critical component of the report is the annual list of policy priorities that serves as the basis for our advocacy work for the rest of the year. While these priorities focus on national advocacy, a critical component of our policy priorities is actually local.
We haven’t done any wonky terms of the week in a while. So, in light of it still being January, the month of the year when we are still gung-ho about self-improvement, I thought we would focus on our financial health and the power of stock market investments. NAHREP 10 Principle #5: INVEST AT LEAST 20% OF YOUR INCOME IN REAL ESTATE AND STOCKS because they are the best and safest ways to build wealth (investing in other businesses does not count). If you read the State of Hispanic Wealth Report, you’ll see that Latinos are driving homeownership growth and are increasingly becoming real estate investors. However, Latinos are less diversified in their assets today than they were prior to the housing crash!