NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nancy Geier achieved the dream of home ownership much sooner than she ever expected.
Her family moved to Middle Tennessee from Mexico when she was four-years-old and her father got a job working in Tennessee in the construction industry.
“He actually started building houses here in Middle Tennessee,” said Geier.
Geier joins the growing list of first-time Middle Tennessee home buyers who are Hispanic.
The surge is so great, that the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals opened a chapter in Nashville this week.
Since 2000, the Hispanic population of Nashville has grown by more than 176 percent. That number is expected to be even larger when census data is collected later this year.
The American Immigration Council reports that the purchasing power of Hispanics in Tennessee has reached $7.1 billion, which is an increase of 1,696 percent since 1990.
News 2 asked Miguel Vega, the director of government affairs for Nashville Now, and vice president of diversity and multi-cultural lending for First Community Mortgage, where the population boom is coming from.
“What we are seeing is that the southern values of family, food and faith, really are in line with the Hispanic culture. You have a lot of migration, not coming from Latin America anymore, they are coming from Texas, they are coming from Chicago from Los Angeles,” said Vega.
Geier told News 2 she is one of five children and grew up in a small home in Middle Tennessee.
“It’s nice to have a place that they can all come and we can eat dinner together. It’s really nice,” said Geier.
She said it feels good to be able to invite her entire family over during the holidays to a home much larger than what they grew up in.