How our Homeownership Program works and what to expect before applying.
How are families selected?
Families must meet three basic criteria to qualify for a Habitat home. They must:
- Demonstrate need by living in substandard or overcrowded living conditions, by paying more than 30% of their income on housing, or by living in subsidized housing.
- Have the ability to pay. Applicants must have proof of steady, reliable income, a credit score of 620 or above, and a debt-to-income ratio below 40%
- Cooperate with the committees on all paperwork, home visits, and sweat equity, including completion of a budgeting class.
What are the houses like?
Our homes have three, four, or five bedrooms (depending on family size) and two full bathrooms. All homes have central heat and air conditioning; a refrigerator and range in the kitchen; carpeting and linoleum flooring; and a concrete, covered front porch.
Our homes are Energy Star® certified. Our goal is to build our homes in the most efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible method possible.
How much are the mortgage payments?
Monthly mortgage payments depend on the applicant’s affordability and the size/location of the home. Mortgage terms are typically a traditional 30 years, but they can vary. Property taxes and homeowners’ insurance payments are escrowed and added to monthly note payments.
What are sweat equity hours?
A partner family must earn sweat equity hours by attending mandatory homeowner education classes, including an 8-week budget coaching class as well as classes on credit, legal aspects of homeownership, and home maintenance.
In addition, partner families earn hours by working on their own homes and on the homes of other families in the program. Some hours can be earned by friends and family members. A single applicant must earn 200 hours and an applicant with a co-applicant must earn 280 hours together.
Do Habitat families actually own their homes?
Yes. Habitat For Humanity is a homeownership program, not a rental program. HFHWM is the general contractor and the mortgage lender. Homeowners sign a 30-year promissory note (subject to change based on varying factors); a deed of trust; and a warranty deed. As long as the payments are made on time and the homeowner pays the debt for the house, it will belong to the homeowner. HFHWM has the first right of refusal to repurchase the home. A Habitat home cannot be rented.
Where are Habitat homes being built?
Habitat For Humanity Williamson-Maury has built more than 290 homes in different neighborhoods throughout Williamson County and Maury County, including Franklin, Spring Hill, Columbia, and Fairview. We are always looking for large tracts of land to build new neighborhoods or single lots in established neighborhoods.
How does Habitat prepare individuals to become homeowners?
HFHWM provides financial management classes, home maintenance classes, and budget coaching to help families learn how to be successful homeowners.