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Homebuying During a Pandemic

June 12th 2020,

I decided to go see a house, nervous, excited. Who had seen it, had they cleaned it? Would they even allow me inside? I contacted my realtor, she made the appointment. I’m waiting.

June 14th, 2020,

Today is the day. I’m waiting for my realtor, my friend to call and cancel. Someone already got it. It’s happened before and I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s 4 pm, I’m here, we walk inside. This is it, this is my home. We walk downstairs, the basement is full and finished. There is a great room, a utility room. A laundry room and a second full, beautifully crafted bathroom.

Back upstairs, there are three beautiful decent sized bedrooms, a beautiful bathroom and a wonderfully remodeled kitchen and living room. The floor plan is open, the whole house is open. The entire home is newly remodeled by a wonderful program called ECHO. Eastern Connecticut Housing Opportunities.

Housing Opportunities, right on time. As a single woman, a black woman, I was terrified pre-pandemic of buying a home. Would I be treated fairly? Would my mortgage rates be inflated because of the color of my skin? Well, this is different. Since we are in Covid times, nobody can see me. They have no idea what I look like. They don’t know if my skin is milk chocolate, dark chocolate or if I’m white.

I wonder if they can tell by my pattern of speech. Does my voice give me away? Do I “Speak white?” So many things run through my head. Now I have to give them my information. I have been turned down from renting on multiple occasions, as soon as they opened the door. Nobody had ever been bold enough to ask me on the phone what my ethnicity was. Were they searching through my documentation to find a good reason to turn me away?

July 28th, 2020

Closing Day:

This time, I wasn’t turned away. Nobody asked me strange questions, nobody asked me if I was sure I could afford it. I was prepared for this, I was tired of nobody wanting to rent to me because they assumed I couldn’t afford their overpriced rents. Now, I am the proud owner of my own home in the city I love. New London, Connecticut. My daughters and I deserved our own home. We no longer answer to anyone, this land is our land. Now, we all have a room with a view!

Submitted by Nicole Thomas on Oct 19, 2020

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