American Dreams, Realized:
"The Teoses and many other immigrants see their homes as the physical manifestation of the hope that they carried with them upon arrival in the United States. Home equity accounts for two-thirds of the average net worth of Hispanic households, studies show. According to 2000 Cenus data, 41.2 percent of Latin American immigrants own homes and other real estate, up from 38 percent in 1997.The theme seems to be people taking advantage of opportunities. My impression is that homeowning is also furthered because families, relatives, and friends share houses, thus combining incomes and because immigrants can get good deals on home repairs (they know someone who does the work and can and will do a job on the side cheaply).
In the Washington area, Latin immigrants have become active real estate investors with rental properties and well-thought-out strategies, said Jose Luis Semidey, president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals in Northern Virginia and of the Vienna real estate firm ERA Semidey & Associates. Last year, Semidey's company sold 900 homes; 90 percent of his clients were Latino.
'Our community has been changing, but people have not been realizing that. We are very entrepreneurial, with a lot of expendable income,' Semidey said. 'We are here. We are here to stay. We want to progress and to be successful.'"