A Black couple’s hoping their recent settlement of a lawsuit becomes a game changer in real estate — one that forces appraisers to quit lowballing home values for Black and brown homeowners.
Paul Austin and Tenisha Tate-Austin made headlines a few years ago when an appraisal firm valued their Northern California at $995K. Feeling like that number was too low, they asked a white friend to pretend they lived in the house … and suddenly, the appraisal came in at $1.48 million.
That $500k difference prompted the Austins to sue the appraisal firm for discrimination.
The couple joined us Friday on “TMZ Live” to discuss their settlement in the case, for an undisclosed amount, and said their goal was always to folks accountable for what they saw as clear racial bias.
Paul and Tenisha pointed out POCs have been cheated out of real estate wealth for generations … largely due to systemic racism — be it conscious or unconscious — despite the fair housing law being passed in the 60s.
Going forward, they hope to be a cautionary tale for home appraisers — letting the industry know there could be consequences for perpetuating these historical biases.
As for current and future homeowners … the Austins dropped some wisdom they can, and should, remember should they find themselves in the same sitch.