The Woodlands is increasingly becoming the hub for Mexican nationals looking to relocate their families and businesses. On Wednesday, that trend hit a new peak with the opening of a new Chamber of Commerce.
A bilingual luncheon in The Woodlands served as a sign of the times. The newest chapter of the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce now will serve the entire Gulf Coast and businessmen like Ruben Trevino.
"The Woodlands is a very nice place to grow a family. It's very safe. You know safety is very important for us right now," Trevino said.
Trevino relocated his marketing company to The Woodlands two and a half years ago. He bought a home there as well and his kids attend public schools.
It's a growing trend in The Woodlands that has Mexican nationals contributing to the local real estate market and tax base.
"In just the new home construction, of the 1,200 homes that were constructed last year here in The Woodlands, Texas, approximately 30 percent of those homes went to Mexican nationals and these are homes on average of $400,000 and up," said Roland Ramirez with Lucia's Oaks Custom Homes.
Following that migration, the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce Gulf Coast Chapter now is housed in a Woodlands highrise far north of Houston. It's focused on growing business opportunities between the two borders, and part of its board are immigration attorneys who are also seeing an uptick in high-level permanent resident card applications marketed to investors.
"It's been a really interesting phenomenon with many Mexican businesses wanting to relocate to this region -- Houston, The Woodlands," said Ronda Butler Harkey, an immigration attorney with Orgain Bell and Tucker.
With the convenience of shopping also a major factor, Trevino will now operate two offices -- his original in Mexico and his new one in The Woodlands.
"My family lives here and I commute. I go once a month, five days," Trevino said.
Financing in the housing market is very attractive. Trevino says a good rate in Mexico is 12 to 15 percent mortgage rate for 20 years.