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Chicago Sun-Times

BLACK HOMEOWNER, 2 APPRAISALS, $62,000 DIFFERERENCE.

Christina Jordan was in the process of purchasing a new condo in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood when the coronavirus pandemic upended daily life, making her question if it was the right time to move.

Jordan, 37, dropped her plans but decided to refinance her Oakland condo, which is west of Oakwood Beach, after hearing it was a good time to get a lower interest rate. The process required a home appraisal, but she was surprised when it valued her home at $278,000 — $1,000 less than she paid for her three-bedroom condo six years earlier.

After posting on social media about her experience, she started to hear from Black colleagues and friends — some working in high-level positions — who faced similar obstacles in getting their home valued correctly.

“That there are multiple people who have been going through the same experience and started coming out of the woodwork based on the posting was really jarring and frustrating,” Jordan said.

Jordan decided to get a second appraisal; this time, she didn’t disclose her race on forms. It was $62,000 higher than the first. …

The first appraisal compared her condo to other homes that didn’t have similar upgrades, Jordan said. The report also stated she didn’t have an oven, though it was visible in photos included in the report. In fact, her kitchen was custom designed by De Giulio Kitchen and the stove and oven cost about $8,000, she said. In late summer, another unit in her building that didn’t have finishes like her condo sold for $330,000, according to a Redfin listing.

The report also listed her property at 1,577 square feet, a detail Jordan disputes. The second appraisal, which valued her home at $340,000 — $62,000 more than the first appraisal — reported her square footage as 1,709. She was able to cut her interest rate and reduce the years tied to the loan.

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