Buy a House, Get a Visa – All Immigrants Welcomed to America – But Bring Cash, Please!

Charles Schumer, United States Senator from Ne...

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Senator Charles Schumer, (D., N.Y.) and Mike Lee, (R., Utah) have introduced a bill that would allow foreigners, immigrants, to get a U.S. Visa if they purchased a home for $500,000 or more  – CASH.  That $500,000 investment could be split between a primary residence and investment property. Here’s story about the Buy a House, Get a Visa bill as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

To fuel this demand, the proposed measure would offer visas to any foreigner making a cash investment of at least $500,000 on residential real-estate—a single-family house, condo or townhouse. Applicants can spend the entire amount on one house or spend as little as $250,000 on a residence and invest the rest in other residential real estate, which can be rented out.

Perhaps this effort will counteract FHA’s decision to lower the mortgage amount they will finance for Jumbo purchases.

Bruce Krasting has been talking about this proposal for some time.  I’m not sure how well this will go over with the Occupy Wall Street crowd given it’s not an everyday occurance that people walk in with $500,000 cash to buy a home.  I think that would qualify as rich for most people especially given the majority of the transactions today are done FHA with 3.5% down.  According to the just released existing home sales data from the National Association of Realtors, the median home price in America is $165,400.  Since the majority of transactions today are FHA and only require 3.5% down payments, most people are still buying houses with less than $8,000 invested.  (Remember, most of these folks have the seller pay their closing costs).  So to come to America and plant $500,000 cash in to a home is a big deal.

Let’s see where this plays out.  I wonder if they have any plans to provide incentives for cash rich Americans to buy homes for $500,000 or more with cash.

For the record, lest this piece be misconstrued, I am all for legal immigration and if this proposal helps bring even smarter, wealthier, more entrepreneurial and enterprising people to America, I say let’s have the debate and see what we can do.  Given the size of the Federal, State, and Local government programs, we are going to need more of these folks to fund the various programs.

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