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 $500 per month. Mortgage payments are recycled back into our building program to build more houses.
Who qualifies for a Habitat house?
To qualify for a Habitat house, individuals must meet 3 criteria:
1) Individuals must demonstrate the need for a Habitat home. Indications of need include: living in substandard housing, household overcrowding, current housing or neighborhood is unsafe, unable to afford a simple, decent home.
2) Individuals must be able to repay a mortgage loan. Income, credit, and debt load are all considered during review of an application. Habitat considers these factors differently than a traditional bank, so if you are unsure if you qualify, please apply.
3) Individuals must be willing to partner with Habitat in its mission. This partnership includes individuals completing sweat equity hours, attending classes, and submitting regular paperwork as required.
What are sweat equity hours?
Sweat equity is the additional value of a home created as a direct result of hard work by the owner. Habitat for Humanity uses the term sweat equity to describe the amount of time a home buyer spends investing in their home, the home of another home buyer, or working to further Habitat’s mission in the community. It is not a form of payment, but an opportunity to work alongside volunteers who give their time to bring to life a family’s dream of owning a home.
Sweat equity can take many forms for partner households working with Habitat. It can mean construction work on their home or on the home for another household, cleaning up the build site, working in the Habitat ReStore, attending homeowner classes, assisting in administrative duties, or countless other ways of helping out.
How much does a Habitat house cost?
The average appraised value of a Habitat house is approximately $140,000.
If I qualify, how long does the process take?
The average time for a household to move into their home once accepted is 18-24 months, depending upon the time of year, building schedule and the household’s level of participation.
How much choice will I have about my house?
Homebuyers may choose to live in the area where Habitat is building or wait until Habitat builds somewhere else. The number of bedrooms in a Habitat house is determined by the needs of the household. Homebuyers are sometimes able to choose construction details of the house such as flooring, cabinets, countertops, and outside paint color.
What will my house be like?
Habitat builds simple, decent, and energy-efficient homes with built-in deferred maintenance, intended to keep the costs of homeownership low. Habitat houses are likely to have wood laminate and vinyl flooring. Houses include a new washer and dryer, as well as dishwasher, range, refrigerator, and lawnmower.
What is my responsibility?
After moving in, homeowners are expected to make monthly mortgage payments to their lender on time, to keep their house and yard well-maintained, and to be good neighbors. Mortgage payments include principal and escrow for taxes and insurance.
Why does Habitat need to publicize the homeownership process?
Habitat raises much of its funds via publicity throughout the community. Thus, homeowners will occasionally be asked, but will not be required, to participate in events that will help publicize the work of Habitat. Such events might include fundraisers, newspaper or TV coverage, and photographs, all of which are necessary to maintain support for our mission. Every effort is made to be respectful and to protect our homebuyers and their households from unwanted exposure.
Does Habitat stay involved with the homeowners once they have moved in?
Habitat stays in partnership with homeowners after closing and places a priority on working together towards successful homeownership.
What if a homeowner can’t pay their mortgage?
In the rare instance when a homeowner is unable to pay their mortgage or unwilling to cooperate with Habitat’s efforts to develop a mortgage repayment arrangement, Habitat must foreclose on the mortgage loan.
Where does Habitat get the money to build houses?
Habitat relies on homeowner mortgage payments, donations, and grant monies from individuals, churches, businesses, government agencies, and other organizations. Additional revenue comes from sales at the Habitat ReStore and from the sale of market-rate homes.
Take Your First Step Toward Homeownership
To begin the application process for the homeownership program, call (828) 328-4663 x312 and ask to be notified of the next open application period. Applications are only available during these open application periods which occur in the first quarter of each year and additional times as needed. Once applications are received, they are reviewed by the Homeowner Selection Committee for acceptance into the homeownership program.
Applicants are considered by a Homeowner Selection Committee, without discrimination of race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, handicap, familial status, national origin, or age; because all or part of income is derived from any public assistance program, or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.