Last year, Carolina Falcon purchased a newly renovated two-bedroom home with original hardwood floors in Oak Cliff, the Dallas area where she grew up, with her husband. She fills a fake fireplace with candles and disco balls, and her husband’s houseplants are poured around every corner.
The couple is about to celebrate the one-year anniversary of homeownership, the most everyday way of building intergenerational wealth and a major asset among Latinos. Not only was it a milestone for her financial future, but it was also a new mark for her family.
She is the first of her immediate family and immediate family in North Texas to own a home.
“It’s like a dream,” said Falcon, 26, from his backyard. “He almost cried when he bought his first house because it was too scary to think about buying a house at his age.”
She didn’t know how much to save, what the process was like, or how to overwhelm investors with an all-cash offer.
Over the next 20 years, Latinos are projected to account for 70% of the growth in homeownership nationally, with younger buyers fueling the growth. The Urban Institute, a nonprofit research group, predicts: The number of Hispanic homeowners will increase by 4.8 million across the United States from 2020 to 2040.
According to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals annual report, in 2000, 4.2 million homes nationwide were owned by Latinos. More than 20 years later, 8.8 million homes are now owned by Latinos. Nearly one-third of homeowners in Dallas County are Hispanic, according to the latest American Community Survey by the US Census Bureau.
Falcon’s cousin Sarah Thwaites is a real estate agent and director of the NAHREP chapter in Dallas. Thwaites was able to help Falcon jump into the market after Thanksgiving last year.
When they started looking for a home, Falcon and her husband saw a house they liked, but lost it to an investor who paid $50,000 more than the listing price. Thwaites stepped in when the deal for another house they toured didn’t go through. Before the turn of the year, the couple closed his $300,000 home of about 1,200 square feet.
“Now all the other cousins are stepping up,” said Thwaites, the oldest cousin in the family. Talking to me about buying a home and setting your financial future.”
Thwaites himself has been under contract to buy a home three times so far, most recently postponed due to concerns about taking care of his family. Now she is closely monitoring her interest rates to determine her right time to buy.
Despite an expected increase in home ownership among Latinos, data show a continuing rate gap between races and ethnicities.
Nearly three-quarters of white households owned a home in 2020, according to a 2022 National Association of Realtors report, compared to 62% of Asian households, 51% of Hispanic households and 42% of black households. was compared with
Some companies are working to make home ownership more accessible to the black and Latino communities, the groups with the lowest ownership rates. Bank of America chose Dallas As one of five cities piloting a new national program aimed at helping first-time homebuyers. Community Affordable Loan Solution provides mortgages with no down payment or closing costs.
Thwaites said the top three hurdles he sees when buying first-time Latinos in the Dallas area are down payments, lack of available housing, and rising interest rates.
She regularly hears from families who were taken advantage of because of the language barrier. For example, she is a scam program that charges Spanish speakers for free resources, etc. One of her roles at NAHREP is to distribute home buying resources for free to the Latinx community.
“We stand in front of as many people in our community as possible and make sure we are educating all these people about real estate so that Hispanics can enrich themselves for generations to come. You will be able to become one,” Thwaites said.
According to the 2019 Federal Reserve, median wealth for white families is the highest at $188,200. consumer finance surveyStudies show that black and Hispanic families have significantly less assets than white families.
The median wealth of black families is $24,100 and the median wealth of Hispanic families is $36,100. Families identified as Asian, Native American, and all respondents who reported multiple races had less wealth than white families and more wealth than black and Hispanic families .
Jun Zhu, Fellow of the Urban Institute’s Center for Housing Finance Policy, said down payment assistance and increased financial literacy could boost growth among Hispanic homeowners.
“Financial education is important because there is significant misinformation,” said Zhu.
Efforts should be made to review how borrowers qualify for mortgages and to accept various tax documents to increase opportunities for Latinx residents to buy homes, Zhu said. said.
Victor Toledo’s real estate firm, Greenleaf Ventures, builds affordable homes for local families, especially low- to middle-income families, primarily in West Dallas. In his one of the company’s latest projects in Trinity West, estimates for the 115 homes were around $324,000 at initial closing. Each home is projected to add about $34,000 in value over two years, based on the assumption that home prices in the area will increase by 3.5% annually.
“It’s a life-changing deal for them,” Toledo said on a tour of the development.
Toledo sees a home not only as a way to build wealth, but also as a stepping stone for families to purchase homes in the future.
“We need to keep producing more housing stock because we desperately need it,” Toledo said.
One study found that one-third of Latinos’ existing wealth belongs to home equity, the largest share of any asset category in the group. 2022 State of Hispanic Wealth ReportIn 2021, more than 735,000 home purchase loans will be directed to Latinos, up 13% from the previous year.
Latinos are the youngest of any racial or ethnic demographic, with a median age of 30, so this group is considered to be in the prime of home buying. The median age of a first-time homebuyer will be 33 in 2021.
In the 10 most populous Latinx markets, housing shortages worsened significantly from 2012 to 2019, says the real estate report. Construction shortages increased most sharply in Texas and Florida, two states home to more than a quarter of her Latino population nationwide.
NAHREP reports that more than 17,000 Latinos immigrated to Texas last year alone. Research shows that in Texas, McAllen, El Paso, and Brownsville offer the greatest opportunities for increasing numbers of Latinx homeowners.
From the side deck, Falcon plans the renovation project she’s about to undertake. She may extend her driveway into the yard and build a two-car garage and Grandma’s apartment right by the towering pecan trees.
Since she bought it, Falcon’s Oak Cliff home has hosted just about every family gathering – Labor Day in the backyard, early Halloween parties. The Falcon will conclude with a homemade pecan pie.