Will the Anti-Illegal Immigration Law affect the Real Estate Market?

Real Estate Agent with EXIT Heritage Realty

Because of the on-going debate in Washington DC about 'Illegal Immigration', what happens to these qualified home buyers and home owners with only ITIN (Individual Tax ID Number) and have no legal residency? 

On July 11, 2007, Prince William County Board of Supervisors have passed an ordinance "to deny public services to illegal immigrants and orders local police to check residency status of anyone caught breaking the law".  The ordinance passed by majority of votes was introduced by John T. Stirrup Jr, one of the PW Coutny Board of Supervisors and was reported in Washington Post.

As I understand from the mortgage business perpective, there are still plenty lending institutions out there with ITIN mortgage programs for qualified homebuyers with ITIN only. And these qualified homebuyers with ITIN are still applying for this kind of mortgage to purchase a home.  As a Realtor®, I think this is very good for the real estate market because it gives these people with ITIN the opportunity to invest and own a home and it's provides business opportunities to Realtors® and Mortgage Brokers.  I also think it benefits the local, state and federal government because of the potential property tax revenue it generates ones they owned a home.  Overall I think it's a great benefit in general, but it leaves me wondering, how will the anit-Illegal immigration law affect the future of real estate?

My two cents on this matter:

Anti-Illegal Immigration Law will definitely affect the future of Real Estate.  Think about this for a minute.  If the anti-illegal immigration law is passed by US government without provisions to protect the law abiding immigrants that pay their taxes, that respect and believe in the law and the Constitution, and that have invested in owning their dream homes, I think will have grave economic impact to the Real Estate Market.  These people will either start selling their property and flood the market increasing the inventory or worst case scenario leave the country and stop paying their mortgage and property tax, which then could lead to more foreclosure. Thus, it may effect the current prices of homes in the future far more worst than are currently seeing now.  I hate to be the pessimist but when reality bites, it may hurt.

What do you think?

Comments (23)

Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland


"Allienate" is a subjective term.  We are a country of laws, not of feelings.  People with ITIN who speed have to face the same music as you or I would if pulled over.  If they turn out to be here illegally, they were caught because they were speeding.  Before this law, the speeder could ALSO have been an illegal and law enforcement wouldn't even be able to ask their residency status. 

The officer who pulls them over is pulling them over for speeding, not because they have a home.  In fact, is it possible for illegal aliens to buy a home, even with ITIN????

I see absolutly NO connection between the new law in PW County and the fact that folks with ITIN can buy a home. 

I'm not anti-immigration.  My company has a focus on helping the immigrant community purchase homes.  What I'm reading in your post is that illegals who break other laws should not face the possibility of being identified as illegal just because they also violated driving laws. 

Law enforcement, with probable cause, has used the incidence of traffic violations to identify drug traffickers and other illegal activity for anything that is in the system when they do a computer check following a traffic stop. 

If entering the US illegally is a violation of the law, then violators of any law should face the risk of being identified if they are caught speeding.





Jul 30, 2007 06:24 AM
John MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes

I think the issue will remain at the forefront of neighborhoods across the country. The law in Va. should surprise no one. Those that live in the area are well aware of the politics on that side of the river. You seem to think there is some correlation between the real estate market and the influx of foreign born residents that may be challenged for violating a law. As it now stands on the books in Federal Laws, the act of establishing a residence without proper visa is a violation of the law. Speeding or jaywalking will be the least of their worries.

The national dialogue will have to eventually reach a point of reason. It is not practical to have all of the illegals pack and go back. It is not practical to just wave a magic wand and say you are now all citizens. Someplace in the middle, maybe a guest worker program or something like that, will have to be passed. I realize those that immigrated the "proper" way will feel short changed, but in the long run the country will be stronger and better suited to face our other problems if we are united.


Jul 30, 2007 11:02 AM
Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton
Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC - Hilton Head Island, SC
As with any law enacted, it will take time to get it working correctly (if it ever does.)  I share some of your concens but hopefully, the good will outweigh the bad.
Jul 30, 2007 01:40 PM
. .
no thanks - Harlem, MT
JC, I think there will be a negative ripple effect on the housing market by tightening illegal immigration laws. Real estate ivestments in the U.S. offer Mexicans a profit margin and tax benefits that are unheard of in Mexico. I believe that it is a win-win situation for all, since buying and selling homes in the U.S. contributes to our economy and employment rates, while accumulating wealth for the buyer/seller as well. Statistics continue to show that the growing Latino population (which includes illegal aliens) is pumping billions of dollars into our economy. I say, "Don't bite the hand that feeds us."
Jul 30, 2007 03:09 PM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes
Had not thought about this until you wrote about it. Something to think about.
Jul 30, 2007 04:34 PM

My parents came here in the 80's as Illegal Aliens.  They worked hard, saved for 15% down payment,

got a co-signer and bought a home 7 years after getting to this country.  More than 90% of my family

are homeowners and contribute to the economy of this great nation.  My only wish is that countries is 

Latin America gave people the tools/hope so they wouldn't come here in leave their families behind

in pursuit of a better life. 


The law is not going to affect housing since the housing slowdown will have an immediate impact on

the illegal workers spread across the U.S.  

Jul 30, 2007 06:35 PM
Mary Ann Ead

So, ITIN...the requirement to pay taxes...is just that. It provides revenue. If we think beyond illegal immigration to the right to buy property in our country, Is it not true that people from anywhere in the world can buy property here? Do they need to be legal residents? We can buy property in Mexico if it is more than 50 miles from the ocean. And even then there are ways around it. Our citizenship is not renounced. 

We are all part of the world community. It would be nice if someday everyone accepted that it is one planet. 

Jul 31, 2007 02:37 AM
Mary Ann Ead
South East Arizona Real Estate - Douglas, AZ
Oops, I didn't log in before writing that comment. Here I am logged in. :)
Jul 31, 2007 02:41 AM
Excuse me - ILLEGAL immigrants by definition are NOT law-abiding.  Legal immigrants are.
Jul 31, 2007 04:54 AM
Christopher Onwuasoanya
Atlantic Waste & Power System - Sparta, NJ

I am not surprised at some the comments that i read on this forum.

How should the native Americans feel about every one who is not a native American. I am sure we asked the permission of the different chiefs before we took possession of the lands that we currently occupy. There are no statistic that show that illegals are less law abiding than other population groups. When the Irish, Italians and in the 80' and 90's the Russians were the immigrants why did we not have such a clamor to have them sent back or thrown in jail. The faced discrimination in one way or the other but not to the extent of modifying local laws to exclude them from society.

We should be very careful when we have these knee jerk reactions to problems that don't exist. The fact remains that these laws are aimed at the Hispanic segment of the population.

Jul 31, 2007 06:25 AM
JC Manlapaz
EXIT Heritage Realty - Gainesville, VA

Thank you all for your comments. One thing I want to clarify is that people with ITIN or uses ITIN and owns properties in the US or wants to purchase properties in the US are not illegal immigrants nor they are criminal by default.  As far as I know if the ITIN users have the means to be here in the US legally and they have the means to purchase a property then I'm okay with it.  The intention of the blof is merely to survey other Realtor's opinion and if this is a valid concern to everyone. However, I want to apologize if I have made the wrong assumptions and for not being clear.

Jul 31, 2007 07:10 AM
Mary Ann Ead
South East Arizona Real Estate - Douglas, AZ

Thanks JC ,

I did need some clarification to understand tax number vs residency.


I guess I can see now that you are concerned with what will happen when illegal folks will need to leave their homes. .... not pleasant. It would certainly economically effect a large portion of our nation. 


Mary Ann 


Jul 31, 2007 11:05 AM
Bob Marsh

Don't know the answer to this one.

It kind of reminds me of Aesop's fable, I think it was called Peter and the Wolf.

Jul 31, 2007 11:06 AM
What part of "illegal" seems to be in question here? With the sub prime bail outs going on and another lender (ABC Conduit) closing their doors this morning, why does this even seem to be an issue? If someone is in the country illegally, why is someone helping them buy a house...just to make a commission. Guess who gets to pay for all these foreclosures...the young people forgot the S & L problems back in the later 80's....
Jul 31, 2007 11:19 AM
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent

Great post. There was some great input already.

Jul 31, 2007 03:32 PM
Patrick Harfst
Realty Executives - Phoenix AZ - Gilbert, AZ

Three Words. Build The Fence.

Why is it that the internationalists want to make the US into a huge soup kitchen for the rest of the world? The problem is much worse than the "cure". To observe that since a "perfect" solution does not exist, we therefore must keep the staus quo is crazy! Build The Fence, and then we can continue the conversation.

Jul 31, 2007 05:19 PM
Eliud Gautier
Acre Mortgage & Financial, LLC - Deptford, NJ
Branch Manager

The fence is already up - it is up between the urban and suburban, the haves and have-nots, the whites and the blacks - the Hispanics and everybody else.

Simply building another fence will not solve this complex problem of legislative neglect by our US Senators, US Representatives and all pass Republican and Democrat Presidents.

And these legislative officials have used their ineptness to create a fair and just laws to govern our immigration process to get votes. Their political rhetoric has nothing to do with immigration. But it has a lot to do with getting the vote out.

How many of you in this forum have worked on election day, either as a driver, board/poll worker, committee person, election committees, etc? If any of you would have been a part of this process you would know that the "political machines" most important job is not to get the candidates message out to the public but to get the VOTE OUT at any cost. And the importance of the message is measured not by the facts and figures but by the strength to get the vote out. Even if it divides a neighborhood, community, township, county, state or country.

Before any of you make another comment about illegal or legal immigration - volunteer this November 6th for whatever party you want. And get to know the insiders. And what you will hear is that they will only promote an issue only if it gets the vote out.

So all these pro-immigration marches and anti-immigration rallies had nothing to do with Hispanics, Mexican or 911 - but it has a lot to do with GETTING THE VOTERS ENERGIZE FOR NOVEMBER.

Now let me be specific - the good folks that attended the rallies, wrote their legislatures and called the White House - I believe you are well intended - but the leaders of these rallies, letter writing campaigns and radio shows - all want to energize the voters in their specific districts at any cost.

Get involve and see for yourself. I did it for almost 20 years - initially as a Democrat (be default) then as a Republican (intentionally).

Oct 10, 2007 09:55 AM


     I just want to say that above the human law there is the God Law. It takes just to be humans. I would like to see what you think if it were your kids leaving on the other side of the fence. Nobody has the  right to separate families, and I am not talking about criminals, that is another issue, I ma talking abot hard working people just wanting to give a beeter life to their families ad who are contribuiting to the society and paying taxes...Why does not immigration or the goverment ask these immigrants to stop paying their tax? You who take the time and the energy to go against the immigrants, God help you are never in any of the situations these people go through in their countries.

The house market affected? No question or discussion about it.

Oct 15, 2007 01:07 PM
Robert McArtor
RE/MAX Components - Fallston Maryland - Bel Air, MD
Top Listing Agent for Baltimore and Harford County
"law abiding illegal immigrants". - Isn't that an oxymoron?
Oct 15, 2007 02:40 PM
MN Realtor
This will definitely impact the economy!  Illegal immigrants have purchased homes in the US.  They now feel a huge threat with deportation.  They stop making house payments for two reasons: 1) their home has declined in value 2) they might get deported, so why "waste" the money they would be using for their house payment?
Oct 23, 2007 09:36 AM