Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More Hispanics Buying Homes

Sioux Falls' Hispanic community is flexing its financial muscle in the real estate market. Breaking down language barriers is opening up more housing opportunities for immigrant families.

Sioux Falls real estate agent Freddie Contreras has seen the number of his Hispanic clients grow from zero to forty percent in the past year.

"That process is growing, I'm marketing more to them," Contreras said.

It helps that Contreras, of Mexican descent, speaks the language. He often has to translate the housing paperwork line-by-line for his Hispanic customers looking to buy a home. To Contreras, trust is just as important as what's in the fine print.

"You do build a good relationship with them, almost as a family they're, a second family for yourself, because there is a huge trust factor that you're not saying something that's not on the documents," Contreras said.

Many immigrants are often reluctant to buy a home on credit. They come from a culture where paying cash up front is the only way to do business.

"So for them to translate that now over here to ok, maybe I should owe something so that they will let me borrow something is difficult for them sometimes to comprehend," Contreras said.

As real estate companies and banks offer more bilingual support, Hispanic families are responding by purchasing both start-up and move-up homes; proving that pride in ownership crosses all cultural and language barriers.

This September, Contreras took part in a home buying seminar for Hispanic immigrants sponsored by the Sioux Falls Spanish Speaking Community Association. Four families who attended the seminar are in the process of closing on homes.

Perry Groten
© 2009 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.

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