Loveland, OH

A black family's home appraisal increased by $92,000 after they removed all traces of their race

Maya Devi

Erica Parker found it hard to explain to her six-year-old daughter that, sometimes, people are treated differently for being black or brown-skinned. She had tried to take down their family photos from their lovely house in Loveland, Ohio, discretely, but her daughter caught her in the act and questioned her.

“Sometimes, because of the color of our skin, we get treated differently,” Erica explained. Luckily, her daughter grasped the idea quickly and left her alone. But Erica couldn’t hold back tears as she took down her daughter’s drawings of the brown family with their ‘green’ dog.

Erica and her husband, Aaron Parker, strongly suspected they were victims of ‘appraisal discrimination’ when their house was given a price way lower than its worth. Appraisal discrimination is when a home is valued less in the market because it belonged to owners from a particular race.

At first, the couple could sell their house quickly, even before they listed the house for $525,000. They were offered $500,000, and the couple were thrilled. However, the appraisal valued their home at $42,500 lower than the agreed amount.

Amy Goodman, Parker’s realtor, was surprised to see a huge difference. “I've seen appraisals miss by $5,000 or $10,000 – kind of common. But almost $50,000 is just, just crazy. Never would have anticipated that."

They asked the appraiser and buyers to check the report for errors, and they replied they stood by their analysis. This appraisal had come when the Parkers’ hadn’t taken down their daughter’s drawings of black superheroes and other creations. It was clear that the house belonged to a black family with African heritage.

After much pondering, they decided to take down all family photos, drawings, and other signs of their African ancestry. Instead, they borrowed and hung photos and other things hanging in their white neighbor’s house.

In the next appraisal, the house was valued $92,000 higher than the offer they received first. And the couple was overjoyed.

"An appraisal of $100,000 difference, that impacts not only our pocketbooks but our children's future pocketbooks. And that — that's concerning," Aaron said, talking about the issue.

Appraisal discrimination is a real issue that has been reported widely throughout the country. As colored families aren’t aware of it much yet, they’re often unprepared and sell their houses at lower costs.

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I have done my graduation in history and politics. I write unique and interesting articles focused on our day to day life.


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