Benefits of Buying Things Second Hand

More and more people are turning towards thrift stores and second hand shops when looking to buy something they need. This is great news, but regardless of whether you’ve been a regular enthusiast when it comes to preloved items or still have to discover the charms of buying second hand, you might not be aware of all the amazing benefits that thrifting entails.

You Get to Save Money

Well, this one is rather obvious, isn’t it? Items sold at second hand stores are usually more affordable, which automatically means that you get to save money when you buy second hand. However, did you know that you also get more for your money? And we’re not just talking about quantity here. For instance, it’s not uncommon for items sold at second hand stores to be made of top-quality materials or feature manufacturing methods that haven’t been used for years due to the need to provide fast service to customers nowadays. That said, you may as well find a solid wood bed frame or coffee table for less money when shopping second hand than what you’d pay for a cheaply made and possibly rather flimsy piece.

Buying Second Hand Helps the Environment

You might not even consider what difference you can actually make in terms of our environment when looking into second hand items for sale. Essentially, making a piece of furniture or anything else that you might need requires resources on several different levels. It’s not just about the materials used in the production, but there’s also the matter of transport and packaging. With new items manufactured every day, our landfills are continuously growing, thus negatively affecting the environment. By simply purchasing your items at second hand stores, you get to reduce all that waste that damages our planet.   

Experience the Excitement of Treasure Hunting

While you may prefer to visit second hand stores only when you specifically need something, that’s not to say you won’t find an amazing deal you haven’t hoped for. In that sense, shopping second hand provides a great level of excitement similar to that of a true treasure hunt. While this is not a place where you may find the latest trends, it’s definitely a hot-spot for rare and unique pieces that can speak to you on a more personal level.

Vintage Second Hand Hat and Clothes Rail Showing Colourful Vintage Clothes on Coat Hangers.

Do Your Part to Support Local Businesses

It’s always amazing to help the local business in your community thrive and grow. After all, when you invest in products/services from a local business, you are literally investing in the betterment of your own lifestyle within that community. What’s more, one of the many great things about smaller local businesses and second hand stores is the fact that they often carry more unique items, perfect for adding more personality. When you decide to buy things second hand, not only do you get to save your own money, but you also support your local community by helping local businesses and possibly even local charities.

Make a Difference in the World

If you prefer mass-produced products, that is perfectly fine. If you, however, choose to shop at second hand stores, you can find highly personal and one-of-a-kind pieces. But buying second hand doesn’t only mean you’ll get to show off your frugal nature and unique taste; it’s also a great opportunity to make a difference in the world, refusing to conform to the standards of the modern consumerist market. Even though you may not feel like you’re making that big of a difference as an individual who buys preloved items, you most certainly are!

To further support your community, keep showing your appreciation for preloved items, and don’t hesitate to go a step further if possible. By contacting us at Habitat for Humanity of Broward ReStore, you can donate items you don’t use anymore. We also provide plenty of volunteer options that you can check out on our website if you’re interested in helping your community even more.

Which Are the Main Eligibility Criteria for Homeownership?

There’s no feeling quite like being a homeowner. Not only is there certain security but we also get to exercise our creativity when it comes to organizing and decorating this home however we like. Such freedom is truly amazing. Still, becoming a homeowner is far from simple, especially when finances are concerned. This is precisely why Habitat for Humanity of Broward offers a Homeownership Opportunity Program which can help the families and individuals finally settle at their own place at incredibly affordable prices. Interested in this deal? Then let’s discuss the eligibility criteria in more detail.

The Simple Overview of Eligible Homebuyers

We at Habitat for Humanity of Broward hold great pride in the work we do. Since 1976, we have gone far and above in order to make sure that 35 million+ families and individuals alike gain comfort, stability, and security with a place to call their own. What’s more, we work together with our volunteers to build top-notch homes and make communities a better place. This is precisely why we deem the personal investment into our project highly valuable.

Among other things, our eligibility criteria for the Homeownership Opportunity Program includes the following:

There’s an Obvious Need for Better Housing

People who would want to become a part of our Homeownership Opportunity Program generally have to deal with inadequate housing at the moment, be it in terms of poor built, low health and comfort, and/or potential damages. Furthermore, the current living situation that doesn’t support a proper lifestyle of people with disabilities or mortgage/rent that’s simply out of people’s budget also makes families/individuals welcome to apply.

Frustrated Girl Calling Insurance About Water Leaks Sitting On a Couch in the Living Room at Home

Join Strengths with Habitat for Humanity of Broward

It’s very important for us that our potential homebuyers become involved in what we do and stand for. This includes volunteer work when it comes to building their own homes as well as homes for other people in a similar situation. It’s not uncommon for our homebuyers to attend classes that educate them more on various topics about being a homeowner, such as home maintenance, financing, etc.as a part of our sweat equity.

The Ability to Pay an Affordable Mortgage

Keep in mind that we’re not giving out homes for free. In that respect, a crucial factor in eligibility criteria for owning one of our homes means being able to pay an affordable mortgage. And when we say affordable, we truly mean it. This money is used to further help other people within the community.

Habitat for Humanity Income Guidelines

We are very technical about our application selection criteria. It doesn’t matter whether our potential homebuyers have families and children or live alone. One doesn’t have to be a US citizen, but they are required to possess legal residency status when applying for our Homeownership Program. The most important thing, however, is to meet Habitat for Humanity income guidelines.

  • When it comes to applicant selection criteria, we first have to look at a potential homebuyer’s annual gross income. We have our own guidelines that can be viewed on our website. Keep in mind that this particular income guideline depends on the number of family members. In that respect, an individual looking for cheap housing within our program should maintain a minimal annual gross income of $36,949 and $54,950 max. On the other hand, if we’re talking about a family of 4 people, the annual gross income should fall between $36,949 and $78,500.
  • In the case of the credit score, we generally prefer it to be 620 or higher. However, no one should let this discourage them as we also offer some options for potential homebuyers with no/invisible credit.
  • Further on the Habitat for Humanity income guidelines is the requirement to possess at least $6,300 in the savings account.
  • If the potential homebuyer has to pay a certain amount of money for their debt every month, it’s essential that this amount is no more than 13% of their monthly gross income. In the case of student loans, they count as 0.5% a month, e.g. total student loan of, let’s say $30,000 would make for $150 of monthly debt.
  • It’s very important that there are no outstanding judgements or liens.
  • Length of employment also matters; namely, one has to be at the current job for at least one whole consecutive year or two years if they’re self-employed.
  • When bankruptcy is concerned, potential homebuyers can only apply for the Homeownership Program in case it’s been two years since the bankruptcy occurred and have a re-established 24-month credit.
  • It’s required for at least three years to have passed since the last foreclosure or short sale.
  • Finally, outstanding collections have to be lower than $1,000. In the case of medical collections, the amount should be lower than $3,000.  

How to Apply for the Homeownership Program?

Mortgage Loan Agreement Application With House Shaped Keyring

If it’s absolutely certain that potential homebuyers meet the applicant selection criteria for Habitat for Humanity of Broward’s Homeownership Opportunity Program, all that’s left is to apply. In general, the entire process is rather simple. However, it’s crucial that all the necessary documentation is readily available for submission.

The first thing to do is to fill out the 3-page form. This form can be found on the Habitat for Humanity of Broward Homeownership Program web page. After completing and submitting the form, potential homebuyers should wait for a short while, just until they get an email notification that truly confirms their eligibility. If all proceeds smoothly, they’ll be referred to Homeownership Portal where they can create their own account.

It’s here where the majority of application process work will have to be done as potential homebuyers will have to submit the required documentation.

  • ID with a picture of every household member over 18 in color.
  • Tax information for the last two years for people who are self-employed or verification of employment from the workplace that includes info such as weekly hours, wage, and hiring date.
  • Past 4-month income verification for every household member over 18. Unemployed members can fill out the verification form for zero income. Provide documentation in case any member receives assistance (MFIP, SSI, SSDI, RSDI, and Disability). If there are any other types of income such as child support or alimony, for example, provide the notarized letter or the payment history for the last 6 months.
  • Fill out the rest of the information and release forms that Habitat for Humanity of Broward has provided in regards to the Homeownership Program.

Habitat for Humanity of Broward works constantly in order to bring peace, unity, and security to people across the globe. We have already assisted more than 30 million people by operating in more than 70 different countries in the world. Aside from building homes to provide affordable housing for people in need, Habitat for Humanity of Broward also deals with renovations and repairs of the existing housing, helps the areas and communities affected by natural disasters, supports fair housing policies, accepts housing material donations and resells them, and more. In case you want to join us on our mission to bring betterment where needed or apply for our Homeownership Program, don’t hesitate to check out our website and reach out to us.

5 Reasons To Donate to Thrift Stores

Thrift stores present a rather important part of every community. They allow people to give back to their community as well as provide others with a considerably more budget-friendly shopping opportunity. In that respect, the best thrift stores to donate to are your local ones, but you can always expand your generosity and desire to make a difference. If you’re still wondering whether donating the stuff you no longer use is the right move or not, consider the following reasons to donate to charities and thrift stores.

1. You Get To Declutter Your Own Home

Every spring cleaning may be a challenge but it also provides an incredible sense of freedom. However, once you’re done with sorting out your home, you’re bound to be left with a bunch of things that simply don’t play any role in your current arrangement. Not to mention the things that you have potentially moved to the garage/basement and have been collecting dust for months or even years. Now, keep in mind that you can even donate second hand furniture to thrift stores if the pieces are in good condition. So why deal with the mess and lack of space in your own home, when you can let someone else make the most out of it and declutter your personal environment at the same time?

habitat for humanity veteran build volunteers

2. Give Your Stuff a (Second) Chance To Shine

Just because you might not need something doesn’t mean no one else would want it either. This is especially true for items that are perfectly fine and functional. It’s true that we live in a consumerist society, and as such, it’s rather common to constantly grow your list of possessions. As a consequence, you also grow a list of things that you simply don’t need anymore. And if it’s not broken there’s no reason to dump it either. By donating to thrift stores, you can let someone else breathe new life into these items.

3. Find a Great Deal for Yourself

As mentioned, thrift stores are a great way to support your community. And you, too, are part of that community. In that respect, every time you go to the thrift store to donate something, you also have the chance to find an incredible deal for yourself. It’s a win-win situation.

4. Help People In Need

It’s true that thrift stores sell their goods at very low prices. But even these low prices may not be low enough for some people. You might not be aware of this, but the items that don’t get sold within the thrift stores are often further donated to people in need, such as the homeless, shelters, etc. 

Habitat for Humanity Home

5. Support An Important Cause

Almost all thrift stores run their business around a specific cause. Essentially, this means that a portion or all of the proceeds made from sales will be used to support that cause, be it as a help for shelters and churches, the homeless, families in a difficult situation, and so on. When you thrift store donate, you’re also taking part in supporting a very important cause which is meant to improve other people’s lives in one way or another.

If you’re interested in making a difference by donating the items you don’t use, feel free to start by getting in touch with us at Habitat for Humanity of Broward. You can also explore the volunteer options we have on our website and get involved in the process of helping your community. 

 

Meta Description:

There are many reasons to donate to thrift stores and help your community thrive. Donating the things you don’t need is a small effort that can mean a lot.

6 Things to do with your Tax Refund

Saving money is kind of like eating a healthy diet. You know you should do more of it, but it’s hard to resist making spur-of-the-moment choices that make you happier immediately but worse off later. A tax refund marks a great chance to get into a better financial position for the future.

6 ways to save with your Tax Refund

  1. Create an emergency fund

Many homeowners don’t have enough in savings in case of a sudden financial need. A lack of savings leaves you vulnerable to a job loss, medical emergency or major repair and can force you to carry high credit card balances for an extended period of time. Using your refund to start an emergency fund could leave you breathing easier should one of those events arise.

  1. Pay off debt

If you are carrying a credit card balance, consider using your tax refund to pay that off. Going this route allows you to save more money every month once those minimum payments vanish from your list of bills.

  1. Save for retirement

What better way to sock money away for retirement than by using funds that aren’t a part of your paycheck anyway? You’ll probably be grateful that you had the foresight to save for retirement rather than spend it on something you’d have long since forgotten about.

  1. Seed the college fund

If you have children or grandchildren, you’d be doing them a huge favor by saving your refund in a college fund for their benefit. You would then be able to help them afford a higher education in an era where rising costs leave many saddled with massive debt along with their diploma

  1. Make home improvements

If you live in an older home, spending some of that refund around the house can lower your energy bills. Replacing old windows can improve the efficiency of your air conditioning and replacing old appliances can help you use less energy too.

  1. Buy life insurance

Life insurance can be easy to overlook, but for those who are married with families, a term life policy can provide protection for loved ones at a relatively low cost. For the cost of a few hundred dollars, your tax refund can allow your family to maintain its standard of living if the unthinkable happens.

How Do You Qualify for Habitat for Humanity of Broward’s Homeownership Program?

If you’ve ever played The Sims, you know just how exciting it is to have your own home to organize and decorate. Now imagine having that option in real life. Becoming a homeowner is an amazing accomplishment that provides security and indescribable satisfaction. That all sounds fine and dandy, but what about the financial investment necessary for purchasing a house, right? If buying a house were that easy, everyone would be a homeowner. That is an undeniable truth, but thanks to the Habitat for Humanity application for the Homeownership Program, you might become one sooner than later.

What’s a Habitat for Humanity of Broward House Like?

When you apply for Habitat for Humanity house, you can expect it to meet all of the requirements of contemporary and comfortable living. Just because this is a program that is targeted towards helping lower-income families doesn’t mean that the home quality is poor; quite the contrary!

That said, Habitat for Humanity of Broward gathers skilled and experienced contractors and volunteers that take care of the essentials, from landscaping and painting to plumbing and electricity. We leave no stone unturned when it comes to building a high-quality house that perfectly meets the community’s standards and specifications. Furthermore, every building site has an appointed professional construction supervisor and Crew Leaders to oversee the whole process. They ensure that every part of the building goes smoothly.

Every Habitat for Humanity of Broward house goes through detailed inspection before it gets approved. As mentioned, these homes are built with the highest quality in mind and, therefore, they are meant to last and maintain great market value. This is why energy-efficiency is a very important aspect, among other things.

You’re probably wondering how to apply for a Habitat house already, but it’s crucial that you understand that these homes are not given out for free. You get to buy a house but with a very low-interest mortgage; the monthly payments are set at 30% of your household income. Furthermore, you have to qualify for the Homeownership Program so let’s continue with the required criteria in a bit more detail.

Young Couple Becoming Homeowners, Embraces and Hugs Each Other.

What Are the Necessary Program Qualifications?

Essentially, Habitat for Humanity of Broward has a goal to help low-to-moderate income families settle in their own home. If they qualify for the Homeownership Program, they can then buy a house in the Twin Cities. What’s more, the entire journey will let them learn more about the actual responsibilities of being a homeowner as well as mortgage management and home buying options that the Habitat for Humanity application entails.

Are You Eligible to Apply for Habitat Homes?

There are some general criteria that can help one determine whether they qualify for the Habitat for Humanity of Broward’s Homeownership Program in the first place:

  • It’s necessary to have lived in the Twin Cities seven-county area for minimally one whole consecutive year. These include Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington.
  • Except for the US veterans and military members, one can’t have owned a home (unless it was a manufactured home) for the past three years.

In case you pass the general criteria of eligibility for the Habitat for Humanity application, it’s time to assess the necessary financial criteria:

  • Annual gross income plays a major role and it’s subjected to Habitat for Humanity of Broward’s guidelines depending on the number of family members. For instance, a 1-person household should maintain an annual gross income between $36,949 minimum and $54,950 maximum. A 4-person household, on the other hand, should be in the range between $36,949 and $78,500. It’s simple enough to check detailed information about this matter on the Habitat for Humanity of Broward’s Homeownership Program web page.
  • The credit score is preferred to be 620 and up, but there are some options for people with no or invisible credit.
  • At least $6,300 in savings.
  • It’s crucial that the amount of monthly debt one has to pay is not more than 13% of their gross income per month. When student loans are concerned, they’re counted as 0.5% in deferment or forbearance per month. This means that a student loan total of e.g. $20,000 amounts to $100 of monthly debt.
  • There should be no outstanding liens or judgement.
  • In order to apply for Habitat for Humanity home, one has to be employed at the current job for at least one year or two years in case of self-employment.
  • In case of bankruptcy, one is eligible to apply for Habitat homes only if two years minimum have passed since the bankruptcy and with 24 months of re-established credit in place.
  • At least three years need to have passed since any type of short sale or foreclosure.
  • The amount in outstanding collections has to be lower than $1,000, or $3,000 for medical collections.

It’s not necessary to be a US citizen in order to apply for Habitat for Humanity of Broward’s Homeownership Program; however, legal residency status is required together with meeting the first general criteria referring to living in one of the Twin Cities seven counties for at least one year consecutively.

Furthermore, marital status doesn’t affect one’s eligibility to apply for Habitat homes, and neither does the matter of having children or not.

How to Apply for a Habitat House?

Real Estate Agent Handing a Pen to the Client to Sign the House Purchase Contract

If you find that you meet all of the above requirements, all that’s left to do is work out how to apply for a Habitat house. That said, the application process is rather simple, provided you have all the necessary documentation ready to submit.

Start by filling out the 3-page form available at the Habitat for Humanity of Broward Homeownership Program web page. Once you complete and submit it, you’ll soon get an email notifying you whether or not you’re eligible for the Program. If you are, you’ll be asked to set up your Homeownership Portal account.

This is where the real application process starts as you’ll have to provide all the necessary documentation. These include:

  • A colored copy of picture ID for every household member that’s 18+ years old.
  • Two years’ worth of tax information for the self-employed or employment verification form that states the hire date, wage, and hours worked weekly.
  • Verification of income for the last four months for every household member that’s 18+. Those unemployed should fill out the zero-income verification form. In case that any household member receives assistance (MFIP, SSI, SSDI, RSDI, and Disability), this also has to be documented. All other forms of income (child support, alimony, etc.) require the most recent 6-month history of payments and a notarized letter for this particular type of income verification.
  • Release and information forms provided in regards to the Habitat for Humanity of Broward Homeownership Program.

Habitat for Humanity of Broward connects people around the globe in order to bring safer and more secure homes to different communities. We’re happy to say that we successfully operate in more than 70 countries in the world, building homes and improving people’s lives. Actually, since 1976 when we officially began our work, Habitat for Humanity of Broward has managed to assist almost 30 million people when it comes to the betterment of their living conditions. If you’re interested in applying for our homes or wish to join our cause, feel free to visit our website and get in touch.

How to Get Involved with Habitat for Humanity

As a non-profit organization that has a mission to minimize homelessness and build homes for families in need, Habitat for Humanity has already secured more than four million people and built more than 800,000 homes on a global scale. All the good work that Habitat for Humanity does is made possible thanks to the enthusiasm and selflessness of the volunteers. If you’re interested to learn how to get involved with Habitat for Humanity as well, keep on reading.

Main Ways to Get Involved as a Volunteer

Help Your Local Community

If you want to lend a helping hand and learn how to get involved in the local community as a volunteer, all you have to do is reach out to your local Habitat for Humanity chapter. You can phone, email, or get in touch via the Habitat website where other volunteers will guide you and explain the process. The application form on the site is already self-explanatory, but you’ll essentially be able to choose the most appropriate volunteer areas based on your skills and preferences, as well as the most suitable dates when you can volunteer.

It’s also possible to join a Youth Program if you’re between the ages of 12 and 18. The Program will connect the volunteers with their peers for projects related to the home building process.

If you have a strong desire to help the veterans in your community, you can also join the Veterans Build. This particular program focuses on building and repairing homes for veterans and their families who need it the most. And you don’t have to be a veteran yourself in order to join.

In case you’re unable to join the volunteers to build homes, you can still get involved and help your local community by making monetary donations or donating building materials.

habitat for humanity veteran build volunteers

Volunteer as a Part of a Group

Companies that are interested in engaging with and giving back to their communities can contact their local Habitat for Humanity chapter and discuss opportunities to help. Essentially, the whole business with their employees can join their forces outside work as well in order to help families regain a roof over their heads.

Habitat for Humanity originally started as a Christian organization. This is precisely why they welcome local faith groups to join them on their quest to help others. All religious organizations can get involved with the volunteer work, be it the home building, serving food, or simply collecting donations for the cause.

Ladies can also join the Women Build program which allows them to build homes for other women and children in the community. This is a great opportunity for ladies to learn more about construction work, expand their skill set, and take another step towards women empowerment.

Students can join the Habitat chapter that’s connected to their campus so that they can volunteer during the school break. If your school doesn’t have a campus chapter for Humanity, you can check to see whether you can start one or join the Youth United program.

Help Families Across the Globe

Habitat for Humanity has its chapters and branches all around the world, which allows willing volunteers to help people in need of housing internationally. You can choose to join the Global Village where you’ll have the chance to travel to more than 40 countries where Habitat operates and build homes there. The trips usually last between a week and a month. It’s also possible to volunteer long-term at one of Habitat’s locations in the US or internationally.

College students can start a Collegiate Challenge where they’ll be sent to some of Habitat’s US locations during semester breaks and take part in building homes there.

RV Care-a-Vanners program allows anyone with a functional RV to go on trips around the US and help the poverty-stricken communities. It’s also possible to donate a working RV.

Willing volunteers can also join the Disaster Corps. They’re scheduled to travel to locations that have been hit by a natural disaster and need help with rebuilding their homes and entire communities.

There are no pre-requirements to become a Habitat for Humanity volunteer. Even if you have absolutely no knowledge of construction work, you’re welcome to get involved, and the organization will find a way to utilize your skills or teach you new ones. 

How to Donate Building Materials at Your Local Habitat ReStore

Regardless of whether you want to remodel your home, build a new structure, demolish an old one, downsize, or whatever else you plan on doing construction-wise, one thing’s for certain. You’re bound to be left with extra building materials you have no use for. It’s a common practice in these cases to send your waste straight to the landfill; but why contribute to the growing landfill when you can donate building materials instead?

Among many other things, Habitat for Humanity ReStore accepts used building materials that can be easily repurposed and utilized for the benefit of the entire community. Donated items that still possess value are sold in one of Humanity’s stores with the revenue allocated for building new homes, both locally and globally.

Habitat ReStore Donations

At Habitat for Humanity, donate anything and everything that’s of no use to you but can be appreciated by other people. What’s more, the majority of our stores offer a donation pick-up, making it easy and simple for you to get rid of unwanted items while staying far away from a landfill. It’s also worth noting that donations can often be applicable for tax reduction, which makes the practice a win-win all over!

Essentially, Habitat for Humanity accepts:

  • Furniture, houseware, and décor
  • Home appliances that are less than a decade old
  • Cabinetry
  • Kitchen and bath fixtures
  • Building materials
  • Flooring and tiles
  • Lighting and lamps
  • Doors and windows
  • Clothing
  • Cars

In order to successfully donate some of the things that fit the above-mentioned categories, it’s imperative that they’re functional and in relatively good condition. Items that are broken, damaged, dirty, or otherwise unsuitable for immediate use are not a good donation fit for Habitat ReStore. If you learn that your items are not acceptable as Habitat donations, you can still do the right thing and reach out to your local recycling center to dispose of them sustainably.

used furniture for donations

Donate Used Building Materials

When it comes to building materials, most Habitat for Humanity ReStores accept only those packages and sections of materials that are complete and damage-free. In that sense, scraps and partially used materials are a no-go. 

Flooring, tiles, fixtures, cabinets, doors, and windows may be viewed as part of building materials. Therefore, it’s important to note that all the necessary pieces should be included in the donations if you want to make one. Think cabinets with all the required parts and hardware, windows and doors with properly framed glass, and so on. Aside from those, your local Habitat ReStore may also accept materials such as lumber, fencing, bricks, and blocks. Make sure to contact the stores in order to inform yourself about the exact types of building materials that you can donate there. Aside from items and materials, you’re free to make monetary donations to further help the families in need.

If you’re not sure about the location of a Habitat ReStore that’s closest to you, all you have to do is go on the Habitat’s website and check the Find Your Local Habitat search box or, if you’re based in the US, type in your ZIP code to pinpoint the nearest stores.

When you donate building materials and other gently used items to Habitat for Humanity ReStore, you’re not only giving these a second chance in life. You’re also giving a second chance to all of the families that are looking forward to starting a new chapter in their life with the safety and security of a Habitat home. And by helping people around the world simply by donating things that you don’t need without dragging them to a landfill, you’ll also do a huge part in protecting the environment. 

Top 5 Reasons to Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity

Helping someone is a fulfilling feeling like no other. With your time and effort only, you get to make a huge difference in other people’s lives, and the best thing is you can see that difference with your own eyes! But there are other benefits of the whole concept that makes people happy to become a Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

  1. Get a New and Better Job

Volunteering at Habitat is not just about doing one very specific thing over and over again. We provide our volunteers with a chance to learn new skills and engage in work areas they might not have had the opportunity to explore before. Through team-building activities at Habitat, volunteers go through professional and personal growth, which allows them to seek better job opportunities later on. 

Of course, even if you simply get to exercise the skills you already possess, you get to use your volunteer experience to strengthen your resume and amaze potential employers.

  1. Learn New Skills

As mentioned, Habitat for Humanity community service engages the help of people with various skillsets and allows every single one of them to expand on those. Every day brings something new; you might be assigned to help a family with home repairs, or you might get to work on a building site, most definitely get a chance to learn how to operate a new tool, and much more. What’s more, being engaged in the housing matters of your community will also give you the opportunity to educate yourself more on all sorts of housing issues and finances.

  1. The Joy of Team Building

It’s not every day that different people from different places get to work together with one noble goal in mind. You get to make the impossible happen simply by the fact that you all want to make a difference, and you know that the biggest difference will come from all your efforts coming together. 

There are no requirements, rules, prejudice, or anything else for your Habitat for Humanity volunteer application except the desire to join hands with others to help someone improve their living conditions. In that sense, you might walk into this whole thing surrounded by strangers, but you’ll walk out with a bunch of new friends.

The Joy of Team Building

  1. Make a Change Wherever

If you’re looking for good places to do community service, you can start with your own. This gives you an opportunity to make an impact locally and make your community a better place. But that doesn’t limit you to lend a helping hand to the rest of the world though. When you volunteer with Habitat, you can also travel across the US and Canada, as well as the rest of the world with a group of volunteers who’re interested in making a change at different destinations as well. After all, we build homes in more than 70 countries around the world.

  1. Be a Part of Something Grand

Being a part of Habitat’s volunteer program allows you to (re)connect with others within your community as well as other places in the world. The memories and impact you make will stay with you forever and let you tell an amazing story of unity, kindness, strength, and stability. Together with everyone at Habitat, you have the power to improve people’s lives.

So, how to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity? All you have to do is visit our website and fill out the application form. This is where you provide us with your contact info and preferred volunteer days. You also get to choose your volunteer areas of interest, such as construction, deconstruction, home center, office/clerical support, and/or lunch donations. 

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Buying a Habitat for Humanity Home

Habitat for Humanity works as a non-profit organization across the globe to help the communities and provide a comfortable home to those who need it. That said, it’s important to understand how this program works and what can help you qualify for Habitat homes if you’re interested in the matter. 

Essentially, we help families buy a house at a rather fair market value price without the down payment or interest mortgage. But to understand the whole homeownership program a bit better, let’s dive into it in more detail.

  1. Who Can Get a Habitat Home?

The first thing you have to understand is that we offer a Habitat for Humanity house for sale – not as a gift. As such, we’re not talking about getting anything; if you qualify for the program, you buy a home for yourself and your family. All with considerable benefits, as mentioned. So, how do you qualify for Humanity home? Essentially, there are several qualification criteria that you have to meet. These are as follows:

  • Your annual employment income can’t be less than $40,000 (location-dependent)
  • The maximum income of the entire household depends on the number of household members
  • The children in the family are younger than 18
  • At least one household member must have a full-time job (35-hour week)
  • The member working full-time has to have a consistent full-time working history for 2 years past
  • You mustn’t be in the possession of another real estate at the time
  • You’ve been living in the city where you want to apply for the home for two years minimum
  • Every household member is a recognized citizen or permanent resident of the country where you apply
  • You have no debts in Collections
  • It’s necessary to have at least $2,000 in any type of savings account
  • The Consumer Proposal should be in its final year (looked into on a case-by-case basis)
  • Debt balance and monthly debt payments can be considered for qualification

If you live alone with an annual income of, let’s say $40-60,000, you can probably lead a comfortable lifestyle. But when you have to take care of a whole family, kids and all, on that paycheck, things can become rather challenging. A lot of families find it impossible to get a place for themselves and continue living in rentals. This is where Habitat for Humanity housing can help your family settle down in a true home where your kids can grow up and put their roots down.

The Consumer Proposal

  1. What Is a Habitat House and Is It Good Quality?

A Habitat house is just like any other house designed to meet the modern lifestyle requirements of an average family. That said, the quality is good! There’s no compromise when it comes to this matter. It’s our goal as a global organization to make sure that the build house program we participate in meets all of the design requirements and specifications of the community in question.

The contractors, trades, and volunteers we bring in for work are all experienced and skilled in what they do, from electricity and plumbing to things such as painting, dry-walling, landscaping, etc. 

At every site, we have professional construction supervisors who make sure that everything proceeds smoothly and properly as well as provide volunteer guidance together with other Crew Leaders. 

Our Crew Leaders are experienced volunteers who have been on many building projects with us already and have gone through special training to effectively manage other volunteers and ensure that the build is successful and top-quality.

Of course, just like with all other new homes, Habitat homes also go through a thorough inspection and approval process. Not only do we build quality homes that are meant to last but we also put effort into creating energy-efficient homes that maintain great market value.

  1. Is Habitat for Humanity for Third-World Countries Only?

Habitat for Humanity operates globally. This includes third-world countries, but we’re not limited to them, quite the contrary. 

That said, we build homes in the whole of the US and Canada, many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, plenty of countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as a considerable number of countries in Asia and the Pacific. After all, we recognize that housing is a global issue and hope to make a difference worldwide. 

As the gap solution between renting and buying a house traditionally, we want to clear the road to homeownership for more families who simply can’t purchase a home but need a way to get out of the cycle of renting, regardless of their location in the world.

  1. There Are Other Benefits Aside Home Ownership

If help for buying a house is what you seek, the help you’ll get – and much more! For starters, a Habitat house allows you to calculate the monthly housing costs, which makes it incredibly simpler and easier to save money in the long run, manage your budget, and make some future plans. Furthermore, mortgage payments build equity. 

That said, if you ever decide to sell your home back to Habitat for Humanity, you sure can; and you get to take your equity to purchase another home on the market elsewhere.

There’s no need to worry about rent or potential fluctuations in the payment rates. Most importantly, you’re in complete control of your own home as there’s no landlord to impose their rules. 

This also means that you don’t have to wait for anyone else to take charge of matters within your home, be it fixing something or having to ask for permission to personalize this space however you desire. Yes, only your imagination and creativity are the limit when it comes to how your new home will look like.

  1. How to Get a Habitat for Humanity Home

If this sounds amazing and it feels like you can benefit from this project a lot, all that’s left for you to do is go through the process of buying a Habitat home. We have already listed the qualification criteria for you to check out but there’s also the Eligibility Quiz. Taking this quiz can quickly tell you whether you meet the basic criteria of this program. If you’re approved for this affordable mortgage deal, you’ll be invited to watch an Information Session to learn more about the program’s details. 

Of course, just like you have to meet our requirements to qualify for a Humanity home, we have to meet yours. And in case you decide that the offer is a good fit for you and your family, all that’s left is to submit an application and wait for the final approval!

Habitat for Humanity works with people from around the world in order to provide communities with safe and secure homes. At the moment, we build houses in more than 70 countries across the globe and are proud to say that we’ve helped almost 30 million people improve their living conditions since 1976. Don’t hesitate to check out our website or reach out to us to learn more about what we do and how we make a difference. 

What Stuff Should You Donate to Habitat ReStore?

Decluttering your home is a great way to breathe some new life into your place and finally surround yourself with items that spark joy in you and you tend to use. As you get to better the effects of your personal environment, it’s also important to consider what you’re going to do with all the stuff that you’ve decluttered. The ideal answer would be to donate it, of course. That said, donating to Habitat for Humanity ReStore is simple, quick, and easy, and it will allow you to support a good cause as you free yourself from unnecessary clutter. If you’re wondering what you can donate to Habitat, keep on reading. 

Furniture, Houseware, and Décor

Most people find that a range of different décor and houseware bits and pieces as well as furniture only make a mess at their home. Fortunately, donations to Habitat for Humanity ReStore can help you get rid of these unwanted items and at the same time help others spruce up their home for a more affordable price. Just keep in mind that the items have to be in a relatively good condition as we don’t accept scrap material. 

Home Appliances

It’s also possible to donate your home appliances to Habitat, but keep in mind that we only accept appliances that are less than 10 years old. If your items are older than that, you can recycle them.

Home Appliances

Cabinetry and Kitchen/Bath Fixtures

Turn your old cabinets and kitchen/bath fixtures into Habitat for Humanity ReStore donations, but only if the items are in a relatively good condition and come with all of the necessary hardware. If that’s not the case, you can recycle your items or maybe even find a fun way to repurpose them. 

Building Materials

When it comes to building materials, as well as flooring and tiles, it’s very important to note that Habitat accepts only fully functional and complete packages. Scraps and random pieces of material are not a good choice for a donation. 

Lighting and Lamps

Just like furniture and décor pieces, all sorts of lighting solutions and lamps are a very popular donation that many people are interested in once displayed. However, if you find that the lighting and lamps you wish to declutter don’t work at all, have cracks in the glass, or are completely unframed, proceed to your local recycling center. 

Doors and Windows

When doors and windows are concerned, the situation is rather similar. We’re happy to accept these items as donations, but only if there are no obvious damages to the doors and windows in question. The items have to be functional, with adequate hardware, and no cracks or missing glass. 

As we try to change the world for the better, we hope that you’ll join our cause. The sales we make from your donations to Habitat for Humanity ReStore will be used to build and repair the homes within your community and across the globe. If you find you have some stuff you don’t need even though they’re in a good condition, don’t hesitate to donate them and make a difference yourself.