- Black families received low marks in their home in Seattle, Washington.
- They asked a white neighbor to present it to an appraiser and “whitewashed” their home, reported King 5.
- The second valuation submitted by a white woman was $259,000 higher than the original valuation.
A black family in Seattle, Washington saw a significantly higher valuation for their home after they “whitewashed” the property and asked their white neighbors to show it to them. Local media outlet King 5 reported.
Homeowner Joe Clark said in an interview with King 5, “It’s part of the systemic racism we have here in America, but something needs to be done about it. It’s stealing wealth.
The Clark family said they bought their home in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood four years ago for just under $1 million. They have since told King 5 that they have renovated by updating the kitchen and bathrooms and adding bathrooms.
According to King 5, the family asked for an appraisal of their home as they considered financing options for their renovation, but were shocked to find the home’s value had dropped significantly to $670,000. .
“The appraised value was very low and this was really unexpected,” said the homeowner. I said, ‘That was really low’. “Oh, because it was $800,000 to $900,000?”
According to King 5, Clark said he was so shocked by the low valuation that he decided to conduct an experiment to help families get a “fair market value” for their homes. rice field. he told King5.
“The purpose was to see if there was anyone in the house who wasn’t of color…that would change the amount of money he got for the evaluation and see if there was any kind of prejudice there.” It was,” Eull said to the local news outlet.
Clark also told King 5 that he began “whitewashing” his home by removing African art and family photos.
The second appraisal was $259,000 higher than the original appraisal. According to King 5, the house was valued at $929,000.
“We’ve been talking for three weeks and nothing has changed in the house,” Clark said, according to King 5.
“We were really happy to be back, and good for Joe, but angry that they had to go through it to appreciate the rest of the neighborhood,” Eull said, according to local media. said Mr. Exit.
The initial appraisal took less than 30 minutes, Clark said, and the appraiser didn’t ask him questions about the house or neighborhood or consider remodeling, King 5 reports.
A second appraisal, led by his white neighbor, took an hour longer and took into account the value of the locally sold home, King 5 reported.
Urban sociologist and racist Junior Howell told King 5:
The New York Times reported In August, a black couple in Baltimore, Maryland, claimed their home was undervalued by an appraisal firm because of their race.
Nathan Connolly and his wife, Shani Mott, had a house valued at $472,000 by an appraisal firm, The Times reported. spent. The couple also noted that home prices in Baltimore have skyrocketed over the past five years, according to The Times.
Connolly, who was conducting a similar experiment with the Clark family, asked a white colleague to represent him. The Times reported that a second appraiser valued the home at his $750,000.
Recent study A study by the Brookings Institution found that biased valuations devalue homes in neighborhoods that are predominantly populated by people of color. We found that homes in Black, Latino, or Hispanic neighborhoods were much more likely to be undervalued than homes in white neighborhoods.
The Brookings Institution estimates that the appraisal gap is about $48,000 per home, and in black-majority neighborhoods, it’s a cumulative $156 billion.