Investing in People

Most mortgages last 30 years. The legacy a house builds can last generations.

Habitat Catawba Valley homeowner Lula Moore described the power of paying it forward as she paid her final mortgage installment:

“It’s been a long journey to finally making the last payment on our home, but it has been SOOOOO rewarding.

At the age of 31, being a single mom, having terrible credit, and back living with my own mom – I thought owning my own home was not in the cards for me.

God was the dealer of this card game, though, and He had a better hand for me to play than I could ever imagine. He placed Habitat in my path, and I finally had a vision of what homeownership could be IF I wanted it.

The journey required work. I had an amazing support system with family, friends, and co-workers who all helped me and my daughter Kolbi build our home. I went by every day after we broke ground. I took pictures while I cleaned the site to prepare for the day we would “raise the walls,” and I could truly begin to help work on OUR home.

Now Kolbi is grown with a great fiancé, Matt, and they have given us The Best Gift ever…our 16-month-old granddaughter Nolah. Never give up! It will be hard. But now we have something we own and can pass down when or if that time comes. WE Did It! Final payment made!”

– Lula Moore, Habitat Catawba Homeowner
20 years ago, Lula came to Habitat intending to buy a house. By the time she made her final mortgage payment this spring, Lula has built a legacy. It is a milestone that has been 2 decades in the making for this hardworking mom. But for parents like her, all the sacrifice, saving, and sweat equity have been an investment in her family’s dreams for generations to come.

It’s a long road from the first nail to the last mortgage payment, but no matter what direction a family’s path takes, Habitat is there every step of the way. That’s because we know that homeownership can transform lives. It creates a long-lasting and life-changing impact on families and communities, providing a source of wealth and asset-building, influencing health and educational outcomes, and contributing to positive community development. It can also be a safeguard for families and communities facing economic uncertainty.

This past year has challenged families and communities the world over. With one-third of all US adults already ill-equipped to cushion a financial emergency, as little as $400 in savings meant the difference between sinking or swimming for many of our neighbors.

And yet, even despite decreased employment and lost wages due to the pandemic, Habitat Catawba homeowners like Lula still managed to INCREASE their on-time monthly mortgage payments since this time last year.
This is a testament to their determination. It’s also a testament to Habitat’s model. In addition to paying a zero profit mortgage and performing sweat equity, all Habitat partner families attend a Homebuyer education course that teaches financial management practices to help them prepare for the unexpected. That way, if a storm does come, families already have rainy day savings to keep them afloat. Habitat’s model builds more than just houses – it builds resiliency.

Right now, Habitat Catawba Valley is building foundations – literally and figuratively – in our new Cottages At Ridgeview neighborhood. Will you join us, so parents like Lula can afford to build homes – and legacies – for generations to come?