9 Reasons You Should Buy A House

There’s a myriad of reasons to buy a house. At the same time, there are a couple of bad ones too. 

Still, most of the time, people seem to focus only on the investment side of things and forget about all the other benefits of buying a home.

This is true even more than ever. Ever since the housing crisis kicked in more than a decade ago, people have been more concerned about the material aspect of buying a home and tend to forget about everything else that comes with having your very own piece of land or house.

Sure enough, nobody wants to overpay for a house. Especially nowadays, when people seem to engage in bidding wars just to get a proper roof over their heads. That’s a legitimate concern, but there’s simply more to buying a house than only financials.

A house isn’t just an investment. It’s your very own private space. It’s the shelter that keeps you warm in the cold and dry when it’s raining.

As such, in this article, we’ll focus on all the reasons for buying a home that aren’t related to the investment aspect.

Reasons to Buy a Home

Simply put, a home is a safe haven where you can start a family, where you can truly be yourself and express yourself freely.

Needless to say, when you’re looking at all the benefits of homeownership and the possible drawbacks, you might need to think outside the box a bit. Considering prices and looking at the right time to buy is important, sure, however, homeownership isn’t only about that. 

We all want to get a good deal. Still, the benefits of buying a home can outweigh even a higher asking price if you look at things a certain way,

That being said, here are nine less materialistic but rather obvious reasons to buy a house.

Locking the Price and Inflation Hedge

House Model With Real Estate Agent and Customer Discussing for Contract to Buy House

One of the benefits of buying a home is the ability to lock the price. By this, we mean the ability to lock your monthly payment  in even if prices on the housing market rise over time.

You will have to address slight fluctuations in property taxes and insurance costs, but if your mortgage is fixed-rate, you will pay the same monthly payment as long as you have the loan. 

When you’re renting, you might have to deal with annual increases depending on your landlord and if you’re subjected to rent control. 

Obviously, there’s no certainty in this scenario, and you might end up paying a lot more for the same living space that isn’t even yours.

On the other hand, a home can also double as a great inflation hedge. Why? Because you will keep paying the same loan installments while renters will have to face the diminishing value of their money as time passes.

Paying a hypothetical mortgage of $1,500 today might not feel like a huge expense in a decade or fifteen years.

At the same time, renters will have to find ways to combat the constantly increasing rent prices because of inflation. 

Lastly, the value of your home will rise due to the effects of inflation, making it a win-win deal if you play your cards right.

As long as You’re Paying, You’re Staying

There are a lot of pros and cons of homeownership, and some pro-rent advocates will argue that being a tenant is more stress-free than owning a home.

However, when you’re renting, you are pretty much at the mercy of the landlord, just like in the case of rent cost.

You own nothing, and when the leasing period is over, your landlord can simply decide to search for new tenants, move into the property, or even sell it if they please.

When you’re renting, you’re only secured for the duration of the lease, and everything else is uncertain. 

All in all, when you’re renting, you can’t really call the shots.

The Concept of Forced Savings

Another one of the benefits of homeownership is forced savings. A portion of your mortgage goes toward your loan balance every month. This will more or less force you to save up a certain sum of money every month during the loan term or until you sell your home.

This can present you with a terrific opportunity to become a better saver. And when it’s time to sell the house, all those savings will show your home equity. 

To give you a better idea, the average homeowner’s net worth hovers around $255,000, while a typical renter has a net worth of $6,000, mostly because of equity.

Being Closer to School and Work

If you choose your location wisely, you can significantly cut down on your commute expenses. Surely, certain city locations and districts might be more expensive than others. However, being close to school or work can simply make life a lot easier in the long run.

Also, living closer to friends and family or living in a nice neighborhood can be good reasons to buy a house at a certain location.

It’s Yours

When looking at the benefits of homeownership, this has to be the most obvious one.

The house is yours, and you can do whatever you want. Remember not being able to hang up a picture in your rented apartment? Forget about that.

When you have your own house, you can renovate the kitchen, bathroom, remodel the landscape, tear down non-load bearing walls, reliant everything, change the furniture, and the list is pretty much endless.

Sure, you have a certain degree of freedom when you rent, but still, the home isn’t really yours. As a result, you’ve either made a better living space for yourself for the time being, or you’ve managed to improve the property that belongs to someone else.

Space for the Family

Here’s another huge advantage when looking at the pros and cons of homeownership. If you are looking forward to starting a family, having more space at hand can make raising a family a lot easier.

If there’s one thing the pandemic showed us is the importance of having enough personal space. Outdoor areas for a bit of peace and quiet, along with home office requirements, suddenly became a hot topic, and those who live in large family homes managed to face these new challenges a lot easier.

It’s true that you can rent a home if you need more space. Still, you won’t have the stability as you do with a home. Rising rent expenses and your landlord’s mercy will still creep up at you from time to time.

You Will Have a Backyard

Having a yard, in general, can be a huge plus to make your life more comfortable. Living in a crowded city in an apartment can be a hassle if you’re a car driver and constantly mess around looking for empty parking spaces to get out of your car after a long day of work.

Also, if you have kids, the backyard can be a source for endless adventures and will provide the scenery for countless cherished memories with your children.

Pride of Ownership and Passing Along Something

Family Carrying Boxes Into New Home On Moving Day

For most of us, owning a home is an accomplishment. It’s something that fills you with pride. You truly are the king of your castle.

Lastly, among the most important reasons to buy a home is the fact that you will have something to pass on to future generations. 

Most homeowners love their properties and even insist that their piece of land stays in the family.

There’s Probably Something We’ve Left Out

In this blog post, we’ve aimed to highlight all the advantages of buying a home. We agree that it’s a huge financial decision. Still, it shouldn’t only be treated as an investment. A home is your safe haven, your peace and quiet. And apparently, it’s also something that can help you combat the effects of inflation.

Also, we probably left out a few great reasons. If you want to add them to this list or would like to find out more about us and our mission of building homes and communities, feel free to get in touch with us and be a part of our vision.

How to Sponsor a Home With Habitat for Humanity

Home sponsorship is a great way to help make affordable homeownership a reality for many families in need. Corporations, foundations, faith-based organizations, and even an individual sponsor can leave a massive impact on communities by partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Broward to build sustainable homes and bring hope to the communities that need it the most.

Habitat for Humanity: How to Build a House

Couple Make Their Dreams of Building Their Own Home Come True Visiting House Under Construction

There are a variety of ways to partner with Habitat for Humanity to build a sponsor house. In addition to financial support, home sponsors are invited to help volunteer with our hardworking families and partake in various groundbreaking and dedication ceremonies to take advantage of the team building and exposure opportunities on offer. Sponsorships range from a full home to partial or co-sponsorship. Habitat Broward also welcomes you or your corporation to custom design a sponsorship package that best meets all your needs.

Habitat for Humanity sponsors are critical toward achieving sustainable and safe homes for communities in need. Habitat for Humanity has proven that safe, affordable housing provides economic empowerment and a wealth transfer that impacts generations. Habitat Homeowners also see improvements in family health, academic performance in children, and civic engagement. In addition, Habitat communities raise neighborhood housing values, reduce crime and lead to more connected and harmonious communities.

These include various health and safety benefits for the entire family and community. Stability plays a major role in giving children the best chance to succeed in life. with data showing lower rates of juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, school dropouts, and unemployment later on in life.

Have an Impact on Your Community by Sponsoring a Home With Habitat

Sponsoring a home with Habitat for Humanity is a major investment into your community, children, families, and the future. Corporations, foundations, faith-based organizations, and individuals can all benefit from the tax-deductible contribution while making life-changing contributions to your community. Habitat for Humanity also offers experiences for colleagues, employees, suppliers, and volunteers to take part in an engaging and fun experience outside the day-to-day environment to show direct support to the community.

Partnering with Habitat for Humanity can be a great way to show the community you are a brand that cares. Habitat offers a wide range of brand alignment and brand awareness opportunities to share what you have done with your community in the best way possible. Tailor-made programs and sponsorship packages can allow you to focus on your goals with guided support in order to achieve the best results for your brand.

These tailor-made programs allow you to leave your impact on the community in whichever way you can. Habitat for Humanity sponsors can craft a unique sponsorship program that aligns with their ambitions and provides them with the versatility they desire. This can range from an entire sponsor house to a partial or co-sponsored home. This also varies from simple financial support to other hands-on experiences such as team build experiences and dedication ceremonies on the build sites.

Although raising funds and financially sponsoring a home is a great way to get involved in building the community, partnering in this way also allows you to leave a legacy within the community at the same time. Habitat for Humanity offers the opportunity to leave your name on a building, showcasing your commitment to the community over the long term. This is a great way to give back to the community and be recognized for the vital role that you have played in its development.

How to Sponsor a Home With Habitat for Humanity

Corporations or even individual sponsors can have a long-lasting impact on their communities through the various sponsorship opportunities on offer through Habitat for Humanity. These range from various financial support to brand alignment and on-site experiences for your colleagues, suppliers, or employees. In addition to building homes, Habitat for Humanity sponsors get the opportunity to create a legacy that will last for generations to come. Contact Habitat for Humanity of Broward for more information on how you can help build your community and be part of its legacy.

There are a variety of ways in which you can become a home sponsor. Financially, Habitat for Humanity offers a variety of options for whatever you or your company may desire. From a full build to partially or co-sponsoring a home, Habitat is willing to engage and discuss the possibilities with you. Funds are often the easiest way to partner with Habitat as they can be collected and contributed in full or through a split contribution over the length of the build. These funds can also be collected through employee fundraising, employee matching, employee events, or even public events and challenges. Habitat for Humanity can work with you and your business to develop programs to help run these kinds of employee programs successfully. An added benefit is the tax-deductible nature of your contribution. This makes it a win-win for everyone involved.

One of the many ways you can help with a sponsor house for those in need is through the Apprentice programs. These are programs that help deliver kitchen and bathroom cabinets, assure that homes have safe power and lighting both inside and out, as well as to ensure the home has functional plumbing and water facilities, sinks, and faucets.

Sponsorship Opportunities

House Under Construction on Blueprints Close Up. Building Project Concept

There are a few opportunities available to become a HomeBuilder with Habitat for Humanity. Here are some of the ways you can get involved:

Family Home Sponsor

You can invest in the community by sponsoring entire family homes. This includes five on-site build days, your name or company logo displayed on the Habitat Broward website and in the e-newsletter, as well as recognition on build site signage. Regular updates from the CEO are also included alongside an invitation to attend and participate in the dedication ceremony.

House Foundation Sponsor

You can also opt to become a House Foundation Sponsor. This includes three on-site build days, your name or company logo displayed on the Habitat Broward website, as well as recognition on build site signage. An invitation to the home dedication ceremony is included, along with regular VIP updates from the CEO.

Blueprint Sponsor

An individual sponsor can also be a Blueprint Sponsor. This includes two on-site build days, recognition on the official build site signage, as well as VIP updates from the CEO, and an invitation to the home dedication ceremony.

Volunteer Team Build Sponsor

The Volunteer Team Build Sponsor is a great opportunity that allows for one on-site build day for up to 25 people. This can be great for corporate team building and employee training while investing in communities in need. This also includes public recognition on Facebook.

Join Our Community of Home Sponsors, Today!

When you or your business partners with us on a sponsor house, you are not simply building a home but building hope for an entire community. Partnering with us can help empower families through education, resources, and support to achieve all of their personal and professional goals, including affordable homeownership. With an extensive track record of over 800,000 homes built around the globe, we are the perfect partner for you to bring hope and stability to families in need.

For more information on how to partner for a sponsor house as well as all the sponsorship opportunities available at Habitat for Humanity of Broward, visit our website today. Feel free to get in touch with us for any additional questions or queries that you may have via email at info@habitatbroward.org or give us a call at (954) 654-7496. Alternatively, you can visit our office at 505 West Broward Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Is It Hard to Get a Habitat for Humanity Home?

Having your own home is a key to happiness with added comfort and security. The Habitat for Humanity Homeownership Program provides homes on a low mortgage, allowing you to construct a new house for yourself alongside professional builders. And the best part is that you are going to have full ownership of the said house. After the mortgage is paid in full, we use this amount to build more homes for other families in need.

The average monthly payment is around $1250 to $1350, depending on the location, insurance, and house style. This also includes the taxes with the payments made.

Why a Habitat for Humanity Home?

A home is the basic necessity of every family. But things can get rather tricky in that regard when it comes to low-income families in dire need of affordable homeownership. These families also have to make ends meet regarding utilities and basic insurance. Habitat For Humanity’s Homeownership program provides stable houses to these families within the South Florida housing market – the most cost burdened market in the nation.

It is challenging for low income families to qualify for a fair home loan or find a quality rental they can afford. Sometimes, the option is simply not available so families can end up in  small and overcrowded spaces. At Habitat for Humanity Broward we aim to give these families a chance to claim home ownership they are proud of.

Are These Homes Safe, Decent, and Stable?

Couple Carrying Boxes Into New Home on Moving Day

Habitat for Humanity of Broward is genuinely committed to creating safe spaces for families which they can call home. These homes provide your children with because of their neighborhood-focused locations. The family’s pride and confidence can grow while they are presented with more opportunities within the fields of education and employment.

Many of the homes rented by families Habitat Broward serves are not only overcrowded, but the members often have to face conditions like leaking roofs, broken windows, rodents and insects, and even problems with electrical wirings. On the other hand, a Habitat for Humanity home has secure property rights and additional benefits for women and the entire community.

The houses are constructed by incorporating the sweat equity of the future homeowners. They work for hundreds of hours to build their new home. 

How to Get a Habitat for Humanity Home?

How fast one can get their Habitat for Humanity home varies from one case to another. Once the application is submitted, it takes 30 months for review. Once processed and approved, it takes about 12-18 months to finish the process of construction.

Sweat equity is the time you give to help us make our program possible. We record all your work including maintenance, repairs, and labor on other properties. The time you put in translates into equity to help you secure homeownership in our program. We recognize your hard work and with the Habitat for Humanity Homeownership program, you truly earn your home. 

You can join our sweat equity program after the selection process. Beginning your contribution early can build trust and relationships within our community.

Do You Have to Belong to a Particular Group to Get the House?

The answer to this question is a straight NO. Habitat for Humanity of Broward has always been a part of Christian ministry. But the homeownership rights don’t depend on caste, creed, gender, race, marital status, or any other legally protected status. The important point about how to get a Habitat for Humanity home is that you have to be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the US and you must live or work in Broward.

Do You Receive Complete Ownership of the House?

Yes, you will get complete ownership of your place once you pay off the entire loan amount and the home mortgage.

After the mortgage is paid off, you are the rightful owner of the house. That said, you can choose to live with your family in that house, sell it, or even rent it to other families. There are absolutely no limits to what you can do with your new home once you’re its rightful owner, just like with any other house. 

Happy Couple Moving in a New House.

Is It Hard to Get a Habitat for Humanity Home?

The selection process may sound a little too strict, but it ensures that the rightful family gets their place to stay. Even after the finished selection process and approval, they have to work for it. But other than that, the answer is NO. It is not hard to get a Habitat for Humanity home, considering that the eligibility criteria are pretty straightforward to understand while filling out the application on the website is rather simple.

You’ll be required to complete a 3-page form that’s readily available on the Habitat for Humanity of Broward Homeownership Program web page. Once completed and submitted, you can expect an email notifying you whether you’re eligible for the program or not. If you qualify, you’ll be able to proceed to the next step by setting up your Homeownership Portal account and providing the necessary documentation there. Once you send all the required documentation, this is where the real application process starts, and you’ll have to exercise patience before everything’s ready for the build. 

The condition to pay attention to when it comes to the matter of how to get a Habitat for Humanity home is that the eligible family should work hard to pay off their mortgage and participate in the sweat equity of the new-coming families. You can build a partnership with the new family and their members. Before it’s possible to move into the new house, the new owner should perform the compulsory sweat equity of 300 hours. This helps people in your local community and benefits everyone, especially the families who are already struggling and desperately need some happiness in their life.  

At Habitat for Humanity of Broward we find joy in bringing people together through God’s love to build homes and communities. We aim to give families hope and empower each other through support, hard work, and education. Join us in our mission to break the cycle of renting and help families find affordable, decent housing.

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.

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.

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. 

Buying a Home During COVID-19 – Things to Consider

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the way we go about our everyday lives has changed drastically and many people who were considering buying a home before the outbreak now have quite a number of questions regarding the process.

Among the most common questions are probably Is it a good time to buy property? or Will house prices drop? We have to say that these are all legitimate and in this article, we’ll do our best to give our readers the answers they need. 

First of all, since the beginning of the pandemic, the real estate industry has been considered as a “Critical Sector.” This means that certain security measures have to be applied to fight the spreading of the virus. 

The only problem is, buying a house during the pandemic still requires a lot of face-to-face interactions, so here a few things you should keep in mind before you start looking for your next home. 

Virtual Tours

In most places, open houses have been suspended. As the option of an open-house showing is currently not available (or not recommended), some realtors replaced them with virtual tours via their websites, Zoom, or Facebook Live. On the other hand, virtual tours are highly advised and have significantly improved since before the outbreak. Tours are now more in-depth and show both the inside of the house along with the outside and the surrounding areas. 

Virtual Tours

Showings and Safety Measures

Schedule a showing only if you are serious. Since realtors have to comply with the new safety measures, showings are recommended to be scheduled only when buyers are serious about the purchase and want to become homeowners. You may also be asked to drive separately from the realtor and practice social distancing during the showing (stand 6 feet apart from each other). Also, if you are feeling sick before the showing, consider rescheduling the event. 

During the Showing 

In most cases, only one person is allowed in the home at a time with the agent. Realtors should also provide masks, foot covers, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizer. Buyers are highly encouraged to walk with their hands in their pockets to avoid touching surfaces. 

Be Responsible

Even though realtors have strict guidelines to stick to when it comes to safety, you should also set your own boundaries and convey them to your agent before scheduling a showing.

Some processes may be exclusively online, while closings may also differ – pre-approvals, disclosures, and purchase agreements will mostly happen online. Closing companies may also choose to conduct their processes remotely, while some will still to them in person. When the latter is the case, social distancing is still a must.

What About Prices? 

So far, there’s an evident drop in property transactions, along with property prices too. However, experts are commenting that the latter may just be a short-term effect and that house prices will bounce back. Also, luxury estates are more affected by the pandemic price-wise than lower-priced properties. 

The Takeaway

The processes involved in buying a house have changed, and safety measures should be practiced at all times, even though most things happen online. On the other hand, the biggest concern in buying a house might just be the uncertainty of the economy. If you are financially affected by the pandemic, it’s best to wait a bit until your finances are back in check again.