How immigrant detentions are impacting Tennessee's real estate market

(FOX 17 News)

It seems to be happening so far away -- immigrants being detained after crossing the U.S. Mexico border.

But FOX 17 News has learned what’s happening in Texas is affecting how much you’ll pay for your new Middle Tennessee dream home.

“You see a lot more guys who are hesitant to show up if they aren’t legal,” Tanner Rollins, general contractor for Domestic Builders said.

Rollins says the cost for him to build new homes is going up by the day, all because there is a lot of work but only a small number of people who can do it.

“Because you see a shortage in workers, the guys are sort of taking advantage of the system. It’s simple economics. The more workers there are, the prices tend to go down. When guys know they’re the only ones to do it and legal to do it, they have the freedom to bump their prices a bit,” Rollins said.

Some of them doubling and tripling their costs. The contractor picks up the tab, but guess who pays them back? The homeowner when they get a higher price tag. It’s not just the cost of labor going up but the cost for steel. That’s due to the new tariff imposed by President Donald Trump.

“We’re having materials going up. The labor is going up and then you have all of these people who will pay top dollar to steal your help. Somebody says they’ll pay a lot more and they’ll put my job behind,” said Mark Musgrove, general contractor for Musgrove Construction.

Meaning you may have to wait an extra 2-4 months for your home to be built. During that time, the costs still adding up. It used to take Musgrove two days to put on a new roof. It now takes up to six weeks.

“This isn’t some tactic because we can’t meet our budget. We’re not trying to build a train through here with billions of dollars. We’re just trying to pay these people a fair wage. It’s not here anymore. It’s whatever they can get and if you can’t pay it somebody else will,” said John Pegram, sales and marketing representative for Remax Elite.

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