Interest charge

Blame the appraiser who underestimated the black professor’s house by 300,000 theft.

The New York Times reported the following from the article “House appraised with a black owner: $472,000. With a white owner: $750,000. »

Last summer, Nathan Connolly and his wife, Shani Mott, hosted an appraiser at their Baltimore home, hoping to take advantage of historically low interest rates and refinance their mortgage. They believed their home — upgraded with a new $5,000 tankless water heater and $35,000 in other renovations — was worth far more than the $450,000 they paid in 2017.

Home prices have risen across the country since the pandemic; in Baltimore, they’re up 42% over the past five years, according to But 20/20 Valuations, a Maryland appraisal company, estimated the home’s value at $472,000 and, in turn, loanDepot, a mortgage lender, denied the couple a refinance loan. Dr Connolly said he knows why: he, his wife and their three children, ages 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 assessment, the couple applied for another refinance loan, deleted family photos and asked a white colleague – another Johns Hopkins professor – to replace them. The second appraiser appraised the house at $750,000.

This flight is familiar to people of color (POC) and women. They are charged more for cars and paying more for loans, among many other indignities that are rarely recognized and reported. Systemic racism looks like this right now.

The scale of this theft from the teachers’ homes is illustrative. Those who refuse to accept that systemic racism and other isms are the reason many groups in this country suffer the indignities of stagnant progress are willfully ignorant. This is a problem that we must alleviate by removing them, because they perpetuate a system that harms the country the most.