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Home ownership today seems unreachable, especially in the black community

The Memphis Realtist Chapter of National Association of Real Estate Brokers held a meeting about the state of housing in Black America.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Buying a house in today’s financial climate is tough and it can be even more of a challenge if you are an African-American. 

The Memphis Realtist Chapter of National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) held a meeting about the state of housing in Black America Thursday morning at the Crescent Club in Memphis on Poplar Avenue.

Future Home Buyer Erica Ford has had no luck since she and her realtor have been on the hunt.

“Even with approval, I have offered like $20-30,000 more than the list price,” Ford said.

She has not won any of the five offers that she has made.

“My realtor is checking the comps in the areas, and each time, we’ve lost to either to a cash offer or an investor,” Ford explained.

She started her journey a year ago when she moved back to Memphis. After connecting with her realtor and getting approved, she found out that it was only the beginning of a tedious process.

“It’s either the house looks nice on the pictures, but then when you get there, it looks like the renovations are halfway done, and it’s just kind of patched over,” Ford said. “Honestly, a lot of the houses are overpriced.”

In addition to low inventory, Ford said the issue is that a lot of the houses she has seen are just not worth the listing price, a problem that NAREB President, of Memphis Realtist Chapter, Wonda McGowen, has seen happen with her clients.

RELATED: Memphis area homeowner associations fight back against outside investors buying up family homes

“We as African-Americans create wealth by owning a home and having that equity. That equity can be used to send your kids to college, it can be used to start a business,” McGowen said.

She added that those who are a part of the homeowner’s associations are tightening up on how many renters can live in their neighborhoods.

“So meeting with homeowners associations to come up with stricter bylaws are to take and add an addendum to those bylaws that limit the corporate people purchasing the homes,” McGowen said. “And then making those rental properties, and that will make a difference.”

McGowen said if you are in the process of looking for a home, the last thing you want to do is give up. She said remain patient, keep looking, make sure you understand your credit.

The organization is designed to discuss issues facing future African-American home buyers and equip others with the knowledge and tools to fight for equity and democracy within the housing market.

RELATED: Home sellers, Shelby County assessor united to slow down outside investors buying and renting local homes

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