Bay Area immigrant tech workers are pulling out of buying real estate over Trump visa concerns
Some Bay Are immigrant tech workers are pulling out buying local real estate over concerns that President Trump’s H1-B visa plan could force them to return to their home countries, local real estate agents report.
Business Insider cites real estate agent Tin Gullicksen, who said he recently had an Indian couple pull of an imminent sale because they weren’t sure they’d be able to come back from India under the Trump administration’s evolving immigration policy.
“We were just about to submit an offer that was due … today, actually,” Gullicksen told the site. “A couple of days ago, they said, ‘We loved that house but we’re really nervous about spending that much money and maybe not staying here.”‘
The nerves surrounding Trump’s plans for holders of H1-B visas have continued as a series of court cases wend their way through the legal system in an attempt to clarify who will and who will not have freedom of movement in and out of the U.S. H1-B visa holders are also concerned about what would happen to their real estate investments here if they are expelled from the country.
“[It] appears Trump will go after the H-1B visa directly in an attempt to open up more jobs for American workers, according to a leaked draft of a new executive order,” Business Insider reports. “In the hypothetical situation that immigrant worker gets their H-1B visa revoked shortly after buying a house, they would have to pay between 6% and 7% of the home value in closing costs and transfer tax, a one-time fee imposed on the owner when a property changes hands.”
Nina Hatvany, a luxury realtor with Pacific Union International, told Business Insiders that many of her clients are international and often have questions about whether the Bay Area is a good investment.
“I often have a conversation. ‘Is this a good place to put my money?’ Absent earthquakes, it is, ” Hatvany said. “[The San Francisco Bay Area] has certainly shown tremendous appreciation, and it’s a wonderful place to live. If people start to worry about whether they’re going to be able to get into the country when they come home from vacation, that could change.”