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?
Homeowners make monthly mortgage payments of approximately $550 to $650. Habitat does not charge interest for the mortgage loans. Terms can be 20, 25, or 30 years. Property taxes and homeowners’ insurance payments are escrowed and added to monthly mortgage note payments. Mortgage payments are used to help build more Habitat homes.
Is there a down payment for a HFHWM Habitat home?
There is no monetary down payment, but there is a one-time payment of approximately $2,000 required 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.
How do homeowners complete their sweat equity hours?
A partner family must earn 280 hours of “sweat equity” by attending mandatory homebuyer 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 sweat equity hours by working on the homes of other families in the program or on their own home. Some hours can be earned by friends and family members.
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 20, 25, or 30 year promissory note; 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 200 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 or Maury County
- Demonstrate a commitment to a drug and violence free environment
- Have a credit score of 500 or above
- Have a total debt-to-income ratio that does not exceed 40%
- Have a steady, reliable income to pay the mortgage and maintain the home
- Successfully complete the mandatory homebuyer education classes
Is there a support network for partner families?
Yes! Habitat For Humanity of Williamson County 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.