Be a Homeowner. Build with Habitat.
Becoming a homeowner is a dream shared by people everywhere! It is the opportunity to turn rent payments into home equity. It is a chance to have a home where the paint is fresh, the plumbing works, and there is enough room for everyone. It is an opportunity that Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley wants to put within your reach.
Habitat builds simple, decent, and energy-efficient 2, 3,and 4-bedroom houses that are sold to partner families at no profit, through an affordable loan. House payments vary by house size (determined by family size), length of mortgage, and family income. The monthly payment will not exceed 30% of the family’s monthly gross income and currently averages $450 per month. Mortgage payments are recycled back into our building program to build more houses.
Take a Step Toward Homeownership
- Part 1: Attend an Applicant Information Meeting (AIM)
- Part 2: Submit your application to the Habitat Homeownership Program
- Part 3: Home visit
- Part 4: Committee decision
- Part 5: Board of Directors’ approval
- Step 1: Partnership Agreement
- Step 2: Sweat equity
- Step 3: Down payment
- Step 4: Homeowner-in-progress classes
- Step 5: Budgeting
- Step 6: Construction on others’ homes first then YOUR home
- Step 7: Loan application
- Step 8: Dedication of home
- Step 9: Closing
How does Habitat work?
Habitat for Humanity (HFH) renovates and builds houses in partnership with qualifying families, using donated material and volunteer labor to keep costs low. HFH then sells the houses for no profit.
Who qualifies for a Habitat house?
Habitat has three criteria that applicant families must meet to be considered for selection as a Habitat homebuyer: (1) ability to re-pay a mortgage loan, (2) genuine need for adequate housing and (3) willingness to partner in the building and caring for the home. Applicants must have sufficient income and reasonably good credit to qualify for a mortgage loan. Applicants who meet these criteria are then considered by a Homeowner Selection Committee, without discrimination of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or age.
How much does a Habitat house cost?
The average appraised value of a HFH house is approximately $115,000. Mortgage payments ultimately determine the home’s affordability for a family, and are generally set at 24% of the home buyer’s monthly gross income. Mortgage payments include principal and escrow (taxes and insurance). On average, house payments are $450/month, but will not exceed 30% of the family’s monthly gross income. A down payment of $500 is required.
If I qualify, how long does the process take?
The average time for a family to move into their home once accepted is 18 months, depending upon the time of year, building schedule and the family’s level of participation.
How much choice will I have about my house?
There will be choices you will make. You may choose to live in the area where Habitat is building or wait until Habitat builds somewhere else. You are allowed to decline 2 times before being disqualified the third time. Choices about the number of bedrooms Habitat will build for a family are made by the Homeowner Resource Committee based on the household size and make up. You will usually have choices of color for siding or counter tops, cabinets or flooring, but at times our resources don’t allow for such choices.
What will my house be like?
Habitat provides simple decent houses that usually require little exterior maintenance. It is likely to have wood laminate and vinyl flooring. Your house will include a new washer and dryer, as well as dishwasher, range, refrigerator, and lawnmower. There may be times when these items are not available. New houses do not include a garage or carport.
What is my responsibility?
Selected families must be good partners in our housing ministry. They must meet requirements and deadlines as they move through the process, cooperating with others and keeping communication open along the way. After moving in, families are expected to make monthly mortgage payments to their lender on time and keep the house and yard well-maintained. Homeowners are totally responsible for their property and monthly utility bills.
Can I sell and/or make necessary repairs to my house?
If a homeowner needs to sell their house, Habitat for Humanity may have the first option to buy it at a fair market price. Once a home is purchased, it’s like buying a car; you may still owe the bank money, but the maintenance and care are your responsibility. Houses require maintenance and repair that make saving at least $150/month for those expenses important for successful homeownership.
Will there be publicity?
Habitat raises much of its funds through publicity throughout the community. Thus, homeowners will occasionally be asked to participate in events that will help publicize the work of Habitat. Such events might include fundraisers, newspaper or TV coverage, and photographs. This is necessary to maintain community involvement, but every effort is made to make the experience comfortable for the family. Each home is publicly dedicated with a ceremony and the family is presented a Bible and a hammer.
Does Habitat stay involved with the homeowners once they’ve moved in?
If the homeowners are paying their mortgage on time and keeping their house in good repair, Habitat is only as involved as the homeowner wants us to be.
What if a homeowner can’t pay their mortgage?
Habitat will work with the homeowner to come up with a different repayment plan. Every effort is made to keep the homeowner in their home; however, in the rare instance when a homeowner is unable or unwilling to cooperate, Habitat must foreclose.
Where does Habitat get the money to build houses?
Habitat relies on donations and grant monies from individuals, churches, businesses, and other organizations. Additional revenue comes from sales through the Habitat ReStore and from the mortgage payments made by homeowners.
Homeownership Program Requirements
There are only three requirements you must meet to be potentially eligible for our programs:
1. The need for a decent, affordable home, including but not limited to:
- Substandard housing
- Living in temporary housing
- Unsafe conditions in home or in area
- Currently paying an unaffordable amount for housing
2. Ability to pay:
- Be a legal resident of Catawba County OR be employed in Catawba County for the 12 months just prior to acceptance
- Stable income within the income limits based on household size
- Reasonable credit history and debt load
3. The willingness to partner with Habitat
- Complete a set number of sweat equity hours
- Pay the down payment prior to closing (monthly installment payments are acceptable)
- Attend homebuyer education courses
- Submit a monthly budget
- Help with construction on your and others’ Habitat homes
- Attend meetings
- Meet deadlines
- Notify Habitat of any changes to the information you have given
Take Your First Step Toward Homeownership
Plan to attend the next Applicant Information Meeting (AIM). Call (828) 328-4663 ext. 310 for information on the next scheduled meeting date.