A couple from California said the value of their home increased by 50 percent after their white friend pretended to be the owner during a house inspection.
Tenisha Tate and Paul Austin said they bought their Marin City home in 2016 and spent around $400,000 for major renovations.
But despite all their work, including new flooring, a fireplace, new appliances, and adding an entire floor, they believe that they were given a lower valuation due to their race.
“I read the appraisal. I looked at the number – I was like, ‘This is unbelievable,’” Tenisha expressed, according to ABC7.
They say that the appraiser, an older white woman, used coded phrases like ‘Marin City is a distinct area’ when giving an estimation of the house.
The property was then valued at $989,000 or about only $100,000 more than what they spent for it.
But after they asked their white friend to pretend as Tenisha, the value of the property jumped to an astonishing amount.
“We had a conversation with one of our white friends, and she said, ‘No problem. I’ll be Tenisha. I’ll bring over some pictures of my family.’
“She made our home look like it belonged to her.”
After the second inspection, the value of the property increased by around 50 percent.
A new appraisal report showed that the house is worth $1,482,000 – and that’s almost $500,000 more than the first ($989,000).
“There are implications to our ability to create generational wealth or passing things on if our houses appraise for 50 percent less than its value,” Tenisha said. They believe race played a role in the huge difference.
Donnell Williams, the president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, said: “Half of all blacks born between 1956 and 1965 were homeowners by the age of 50, but blacks born from 1966 to 1976 have a homeownership rate of just 40 percent.
“If trends continue, black millennials may not even reach a homeownership rate of 40 percent by the time they turn 50.”
Jessica Lautz of the National Association of Realtors also said: “We know discrimination is in nearly every aspect of that home buying process. We need to be addressing it as an industry.”
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