Bay Area Black, Latina couple lowballed $250K in home appraisal


“We shouldn’t have to scrub Blackness from our homes to get a fair shake in society.” The couple who both work in real estate say the home was valued at $900,000, but just months earlier in April the home appraised for $1,154,000 in an appraisal also ordered by the lender: a quarter-million-dollar difference.

Video Transcript

TENISHA AUSTIN: We want to thank Julian Glover for amplifying our voices and for making it– for giving us the platform to make sure that people understand that these are not one off situations, that people of color are having these experiences.

The story of Paul and Tenisha Austin has gone viral shared all across the world. And now we are hearing of more cases of housing discrimination here in the Bay Area.

The Marin City couple put $400,000 into renovating their home and were stunned when the house barely gained any value during the appraisal process. When they had a white friend pose as the homeowner, that changed by half a million dollars. ABC7’s race and culture reporter, Julian Glover, first shared the Austin story of housing discrimination two weeks ago.

And tonight, Julian joins us live. And Julian, you’ve heard from families all across the country with similar stories. And you’re sharing an Oakland family’s story and how others can fight back.

JULIAN GLOVER: Hi, good evening. Yes, Dan and Ama. I’ve truly heard from families all across the country. So many of them here in the Bay Area with similar tales of housing discrimination like the Curtis family. They reached out to me after they were low balled in an appraisal by more than $250,000. They knew something was wrong because both the husband and the wife work in real estate.

RONALD CURTIS: My parents told us that they saw one of your stories on the news about the Marin couple.

JULIAN GLOVER: Ronald and Dominique Curtis reached out to me after seeing my now viral story on the Austin family in Marin City being lowballed half a million dollars in what they believe is a racially biased appraisal. The Curtis family, Ronald, Black, Dominique, Puerto Rican, feel they got the same treatment.

RONALD CURTIS: We were in the process of doing the refy, the appraiser came out, and we were shocked when we saw the value of our home was $254,000 less than the appraisal we got, what was it?

DOMINIQUE CURTIS: Five months earlier.

RONALD CURTIS: Five months earlier?

JULIAN GLOVER: The family’s lender, Rocket Mortgage, ordered the appraisal through an independent appraisal management company in December 2020. The home was valued at $900,000. But just months earlier in April, the home appraised for $1,154,000 a quarter million dollar difference. Meanwhile, housing prices went up and interest rates fell.

You all were uniquely positioned to be able to do your own investigation, pull your own counts to realize this ain’t right. Because you all are both in the business.

RONALD CURTIS: I’ve been a realtor for over 10 years. And currently I’m a licensed real estate broker. And my…

Read More:Bay Area Black, Latina couple lowballed $250K in home appraisal

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