The 20/20 Valuations appraiser who lowballed the black professors Nathan Connolly & Shani Mott’s home by nearly 300K detailed in a New York Times article is a thief. It is an underhanded way to steal wealth in a near antiseptic and subliminal manner.
This appraiser is much worse than the common thief
The New York Times reported the following from the article “Home Appraised With a Black Owner: $472,000. With a White Owner: $750,000.”
Last summer, Nathan Connolly and his wife, Shani Mott, welcomed an appraiser into their house in Baltimore, hoping to take advantage of historically low-interest rates and refinance their mortgage. They believed that their house — improved with a new $5,000 tankless water heater and $35,000 in other renovations — was worth much more than the $450,000 that they paid for it in 2017.
Home prices have been on the rise nationwide since the pandemic; in Baltimore, they have gone up 42 percent in the past five years, according to Zillow.com. But 20/20 Valuations, a Maryland appraisal company, put the home’s value at $472,000, and in turn, loanDepot, a mortgage lender, denied the couple a refinance loan. Dr. Connolly said he knew why: He, his wife, and three children, aged 15, 12 and 9, are Black. A professor of history at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Connolly is an expert on redlining and the legacy of white supremacy in American cities, and much of his research focuses on the role of race in the housing market.
Months after that first appraisal, the couple applied for another refinance loan, removed family photos and had a white male colleague — another Johns Hopkins professor — stand in for them. The second appraiser valued the house at $750,000.
This theft is familiar to people of color (POC) and women. They are charged more for cars and pay more for loans, among many other indignities rarely acknowledged and reported. Systemic racism looks like this right now.
The magnitude of this theft against the professors’ home is illustrative. Those who refuse to accept that systemic racism and other isms are why many groups in this country suffer the indignities of stagnant progress are willfully ignorant. They are a problem that we must mitigate by removing them as they perpetuate a system that harms most in this country.
Until the country atones for its history of systemic racism, the angst within the country will remain. It is metastasized cancer awaiting chemotherapy.