Reminiscing With Carl Carbin

May 14, 2018

The Fair Housing Act had not been passed yet when Carl Carbin began his real estate career.  With almost 60 years of real estate experience, the owner of Carbin Realty has plenty of fascinating history to share. To start with, he was not always a REALTOR®. For the first 18 years of his career, he was a REALTIST©.  Carbin explained, “Real estate agents of color were not allowed to be members of NAR.”

The history of discrimination has often been mentioned by NAR in its commemoration of the Fair Housing Act.  NAR once opposed it; and local associations were at one time allowed to exclude members based on race or sex.  REALTISTS© belonged to The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), an organization founded in 1947 as an equal opportunity and civil rights advocacy organization for African American real estate professionals, consumers, and communities in America. Carbin was president of the Oklahoma City chapter in the 1960s.

Carbin’s curiosity regarding his childhood home unexpectedly led him to the life-long career.  In the early 1920s, Carl Carbin’s parents made a home out of a 2-story house on a farm in Sulphur Springs, Texas.  One day while the elder Carbin was running errands in the neighboring town, a storm developed and lightning struck the house. “The whole house was burned to the ground. My mom was only able to save her sewing machine and a few drinking glasses.”  The couple, then with a child and another on the way, was determined to build another house.  Building a house cost $700; and mortgage was two payments of $39 a year.

When Carbin’s father passed away, his mother was left to raise six kids.  The house, the land and the lifestock were foreclosed. “Everything on the property was taken except for a cow named Jean, the milk source for the kids,” Carbin added.  The family lived with the late Carbin’s mother until eventually moving to Muskogee as sharecroppers.  At 18, Carbin enlisted in the Army and served in Missouri until he was discharged in 1954.  Sergeant Carbin then moved to Oklahoma City.

Searching court records to learn more about why his family lost the home, he became interested in real estate.  After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Central State University, he pursued a real estate license. “ACA Realty was where I got my start – All Customers Appreciated Realty,” Carbin said.

Three years later, he decided to become a broker.  “After I took the exam, I took my wife and children on a road trip to the World Fair in Long Island,” he recalled. “When we returned I found out I had passed the exam and was now a broker!”

-To Be Continued-

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