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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: Black homeowners face discrimination in appraisals


Abena and Alex Horton did their research. They thought their home, in a predominantly white neighborhood in Jacksonville, Fla., would appraise for around $450,000 as they started the process to refinance with low rates during the coronavirus crisis. The appraiser assigned a value of $330,000 — and Abena, who is Black, suspected discrimination, reports the New York Times. For the second appraisal, Abena took down family photos; hung up oil paintings of her husband and his grandparents, who are white; took books by Black authors off the bookshelves; and the day of the appraisal, Abena and the couple’s 6-year-old son went on a shopping trip, leaving Alex to greet the appraiser. The appraiser gave a value of $465,000, a more than 40% increase from the first appraisal. How could this happen? “We still see Black people as risky,” said Andre Perry, author of “Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities.”

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