This report is part of “Turning Point,” a groundbreaking series by ABC News examining the racial reckoning sweeping the United States and exploring whether it can lead to lasting reconciliation.
Abena Horton and her husband, Alex Horton, recently did what many homeowners do every day: They requested an appraisal to refinance their Jacksonville, Florida, home.
On the day of the appointment, Abena Horton was there to greet the appraiser who would go over their family’s four-bedroom, four-bathroom ranch style home.
But when the Hortons got the appraisal back, they thought the price was shockingly low.
“It clicked in my mind almost immediately that I understand what the issue was here,” Abena Horton said.
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Abena Horton, an attorney, is Black. Her husband,
Trevor McIntosh, 35, and Brennan Johnson, 31, secured a mortgage for their Wheat Ridge, Colo., home through Better.com in 2018. “We’re both millennials and we need to immediately go online for anything,” said Mr. Johnson, a data analyst. “It seemed more modern and progressive, especially with the tech behind it.”
Previously, the couple had negative home buying experiences. One homeowner, they said, outright refused to sell to them. A loan officer also dropped a bunch of surprise fees just before closing. The couple wasn’t sure whether prejudice — unconscious or otherwise — was to blame, but they couldn’t rule it out. “Trevor and I have experienced discrimination in a variety of forms in the past, and it becomes ingrained in your psyche when interacting with any institution,” said Mr. Johnson. “So starting with digital, it seemed like fewer obstacles, at least the ones we were afraid of, like human bias.”