News 20 February 2021
Author: Bizu Yaregal

Black Couple’s Home Valued By £345k More After Their White Friend Pretended She Owned It

20 February 2021

A black couple in America have said that their Californian home was undervalued by hundreds of thousands due to their race.

Paul Austin and wife Tenisha Tate gave their home a $400,000 (£287,000) renovation after purchasing it in 2016. This included purchasing extra space as well as additional flooring and applications.

The pair were then surprised when their home was valued at $989,000 (£710,000) – which was just $72,000 (£100,00) more than they paid for the house in the first place.

Upon the initial evaluation, Tenisha said: “I read the appraisal, I looked at the number I was like, This is unbelievable’.”

After suspecting that their home had been undervalued to them being black, the pair decided to test this theory, calling out another estate agent and enlisting one of their white friends to pose as the owner of their house.

Paul told ABC7: “We had a conversation with one of our white friends, and she said ‘No problem. I’ll be Tenisha. I’ll bring over some pictures of my family.’

“She made our home look like it belonged to her.”

This time around, the house was valued at a staggering $1,482,000 (£1.05million), somewhat proving the couple’s fear that they had been discriminated against due to the colour of their skin.

Jessica Lautz, VP of The National Association of Realtors’ vice president of demographics and behavioural Insights, acknowledged the discrimination that takes place in the home buying industry and said “We need to be addressing it as an industry.”

Watch Paul and Tenisha’s interview with ABC7 below.