Foreign homebuyers to receive visa?

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Aside from record low home prices and a weak U.S. dollar, foreigners have yet another incentive to buy a home in the U.S. I’m Kristin Arnold with your Personal Finance Minute.

Some of the worst-faring housing markets in the U.S. are attractive to foreign buyers, including parts of Florida, California and Arizona; and as one way to unload the glut of housing inventory languishing on the market, two senators want to introduce a bill today that gives foreigners who buy a home in the U.S. a residence visa.

Foreigners would have to invest at least $500,000 in residential real estate (buyers can invest in more than one home as long as one is for $250,000 and the total is at least $500,000) and supporters of the proposal say it will help compensate for the lack of U.S. buyers.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that international homebuyers accounted for $82 billion in home sales in the year ending in March. Half that amount includes recent immigrants and those who have held a residence visa for more than six months.

What do you think about the proposed bill? To tell us, just visit the mortgage blog at I’m Kristin Arnold.