How Appraisal Discrimination Devalues Homes Owned by People of Color

In 2001, Steve Johnson bought his home in North Center, Chicago, for $320,000. Over 13 years, Johnson and his wife invested over $100,000 in upgrades, including an ensuite primary bedroom, wood floors, custom kitchen cabinetry, black granite countertops and high-end kitchen appliances. 

“Our (house) was a gem on a block of gems,” he says.  

In 2014, when the couple decided to sell their house, comparable homes in the area were selling for approximately a million dollars. Johnson, a mixed-race corporate communications executive and his wife, who is Latina, were present when the home was appraised. They were shocked when the report valued their home in the $640,000 to $650,000 range. 

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