Frequently Asked Questions
Where does Habitat for Humanity of Williamson and Maury Counties (HFHWM) get the money to build its homes?
We work with volunteers and financial sponsors to build affordable homes for individuals and families in need. Other sources of funding include profits generated by our ReStore retail operation and grants for affordable housing such as the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati’s Affordable Housing Program and the Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s Housing Trust Fund.
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.
Is there a down payment for a HFHWM Habitat home?
There is no monetary payment, but there is a one-time payment for escrow costs at the time of closing on the mortgage. The escrow costs include homeowners’ insurance premiums, property taxes, and attorney and recording fees. This cost is included in the $2,500 required for closing costs.
How do homeowners complete their 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 homeowners 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 there Habitat homes in Williamson and Maury Counties?
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.
What are some of the requirements?
Potential homeowners must:
- Live and work in Williamson, Maury, Hickman, Decatur, or Lawrence Counties for at least 12 months prior to applying
- Demonstrate a commitment to a drug and violence-free environment
- Have a minimum annual household income of $35,000
- Have a credit score of 550 or above
- Have a debt-to-income ratio that does not exceed 40%
- Have a steady, reliable income in the United States for at least 2 years to pay the mortgage and maintain the home
- Demonstrate a willingness to complete the mandatory sweat equity hours
Is there a support network for partner families?
Yes! HFHWM provides financial management classes, home maintenance classes, and other educational classes to help families learn how to be successful homeowners. The staff, sponsor volunteers, and budget coaches will guide each family through the process.