May 28, 2018

“If it’s difficult, I’ll do it immediately.  If it’s impossible, it’ll take a little longer.”

Carl Carbin’s motto as he began his real estate career is timeless. Billie Holiday had a similar concept in one of her songs!  It was the early 1960s and times were different, to say the least.  Long before the required classes REALTORS® are accustomed to nowadays, there was a book titled Questions and Answers on Real Estate.

“There weren’t classes to prepare you,” explained Carbin. “Doing your own reading and going to Sunday real estate discussions were the way to go.  You gathered at someone’s house, talked about real estate, and that was your exam preparation.”

Word of mouth was the best and often the only marketing.  When it came to mortgage, it was usually safe to assume approval.  “If your credit was a little suspect, you wrote a letter explaining why,” Carbin said.

Times were simple and different, indeed.  Unfortunately, behind that pleasant connotation is another aspect.  Segregation in public places was not abolished until 1964. Segregation in housing was another story.

Real estate agents of color were prohibited from soliciting certain areas of town. Carbin explained, “Areas north of 23rd street were out of our reach.  We couldn’t sell or buy there.”  The Creston Hills neighborhood was a prime example of a segregated area.

Designated housing additions were built, including Wildwood, Carberdale, Garden Oaks and Days Garden. “There was only one housing addition built by a person of color for homeowners of color, “ Carbin said.

-To be continued-

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