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Habitat for Humanity believes that all hard-working individuals and families should have access to the benefits and stability of homeownership. In this belief, we are committed to partnering with homebuyers to build simple, decent, and affordable housing.

The low cost of our homes is made possible by the exceptional support of our community. Building costs remain low thanks to impressive donations and generous volunteerism making it possible to sell our homes to Habitat homebuyers who in turn make affordable mortgage payments funding future construction for Habitat families.

If you or someone you know is interested in applying to be a homeowner through Habitat for Humanity, please consider our three criteria:

1. Need for Housing
2. Ability to Pay
3. Willingness to Partner

Overview of the Habitat Home-Buying Process

Applicants must attend a Homebuyer Information Meeting as part of the application process. Applications are available at the Homebuyer Information Meeting and can also be picked up in our office.

Once you complete your application and gather all required documents, make sure to submit everything during an open application period. The Homeowner Selection Committee reviews applications and documents at the end of the month. If applicable, they will schedule a home interview the following month. If the Homeowner Selection Committee determines that you meet the need for housing, ability to pay, and willingness to partner, they will make a recommendation to our Board of Directors for final approval.

If accepted into the program, you will attend a construction site visit and also tour the ReStore. You will sign a partnership agreement and then pay $75 of earnest money. At this point you begin earning sweat equity and completing classes to prepare for homeownership. The Habitat Homebuyer Program typically takes 12-18 months to complete.

How to Qualify

Need for Housing
You will be considered for the Habitat Homebuyer Program if your present housing is not adequate and you have been unsuccessful in obtaining adequate housing through other conventional means.

Lack of adequate housing may include problems with the present structure; water, electrical, or sewage problems; inadequate heating; etc.  You may also meet the need for housing qualification if you are living in an overcrowded or unaffordable situation. If you are living in transitional or subsidized housing, including Section 8, you may qualify.

Ability to Pay
As you will be buying your house from Habitat, you must demonstrate an ability to pay the monthly mortgage payment on your home. This monthly payment includes mortgage, real estate taxes, and homeowner insurance.

Your income should fall within 25% to 80% of the county’s median income for your household size (see chart). Additionally, you must have at least one year of stable income coming into your house. We can include non-work related income such as disability, child support, TANF, Social Security, etc. as stable income if that income is expected to continue for the next three years.

All applicants will undergo a credit check. Because we are interested in your access to homeownership, we are not as strict in your credit review as a bank might be. If there has been a bankruptcy in your past, it needs to be at least a year since filing and you must demonstrate improved credit since then. If you have a court judgment or lien, the total must be $500 or less to be accepted to the program (and must be paid off completely before a homebuyer is eligible for a home lot offer). You must have a reasonable level of debt in repayment and collections, and medical bills will not be counted against you.

Willingness to Partner with Habitat
Once you have been accepted into the Habitat Homebuyer Program, you will begin a partnership with Habitat. This partnership is a unique characteristic of our program in that you contribute to your ongoing eligibility through sweat equity and each adult household member is responsible for completing 250 volunteer hours with our affiliate. This sweat equity hour requirement can be completed during site construction on current homes, at the ReStore, in the our office, and by attending homeownership classes. Sweat equity is a fun way to stay involved with both the Habitat community and the process of completing your future home.

If you meet the qualifications and would like more information about Habitat homeownership, attend our next homebuyer information meeting (see next section for dates).

Questions?
Contact Habitat’s Poverty Elimination Coordinator by email or call 812.331.4069.

Homebuyer Meetings

The circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak have evolved quickly, and we believe now is the time for us to do even more to protect our team, our future Habitat homeowners and the community we care deeply for.

We are officially cancelling the Homeowner Information Meeting scheduled for April 11. Additionally, we are not going to be opening our application window as intended April 13—24. We feel it is too soon to say the exact dates we hope to open the window, but we intend to do so before the end of this calendar year 2020.

Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County, Inc. is a fair housing not-for-profit corporation. Habitat welcomes all potential homeowners regardless of race, religion, national origin, sex, marital or family status, or age.

Warranty Request Form

Please complete the form below to submit your warranty request.

English Form
En Espanol

There is a one-year warranty on all work done on your home by Habitat for Humanity. This warranty excludes damage resulting from wear and tear. There is also a one-year warranty on all subcontracted work such as plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling.

If a problem arises within the one-year warranty period involving work done by Habitat, the homeowner must submit a Warranty Request Form to the Habitat Project Director. The grievance must be addressed by the Project Director within seven days and will be followed by a written agreement detailing the solution and date by which the problem will be fixed. If the Project Director does not address a grievance within the allotted amount of time, the homeowner should contact the Poverty Elimination Coordinator. The Poverty Elimination Coordinator will review the actions with the Construction Supervisor and a response will be issued to the homeowner.

Remember that in order for the problem to be properly addressed, you must submit the Warranty Request Form. If there is a problem with subcontracted work, the subcontractor is to be contacted directly by the homeowner.

FAQ

How long will it take for me to get a home?

The whole process from application to move-in really depends on each situation but on average *may* take about 18 months. There are many factors involved with getting your home that are unique to each individual situation including available land, sweat equity hours, and willingness to partner. We are committed to getting you in your home as quickly as possible.

How does a Habitat mortgage work?

Habitat’s home ownership program is unique in two ways: (1) We sell houses to our homebuyers at the assessed value without adding in profit; 2) We offer affordable mortgages to buy the house. The affordable mortgage is significant because a loan from a commercial bank adds interest payments, which can more than doubles the “cost” of the home to the buyer.

Our policy is that homebuyers should repay their mortgages as fast as they are able and our mortgages are 15 years when that is affordable. However, mortgages may be extended to 20, 25, or 30 years in order to keep payments affordable. There is no penalty to the buyer for paying off the mortgage ahead of schedule – though other restrictions may remain in place for the entire original mortgage period.

Will I get to choose where I live?

Our home lots are offered to homebuyers as they become available. We have built homes in all parts of Bloomington, so there is no guarantee where your lot will be. You have the option of refusing the first lot offered to you, but you will be asked to reapply to the program if you turn down a second lot offer.

Who pays to build each house?

We work with faith communities, businesses, and other organizations and individuals to sponsor the building of a house. Such sponsors contribute a fee that goes towards buying materials for the home and typically sponsoring organizations also volunteer skilled and unskilled workers to build alongside the homeowners on the house they sponsor. Once an affiliate has built 20 houses, the monthly mortgage payments from those 20 families are sufficient to build an additional house each year. Thus, as mortgage payments are recycled, homeowners also sponsor Habitat houses. Other funding comes from grants and individual donations.

How will I earn sweat equity hours?

The primary way to earn sweat equity hours is by working on the construction site (at least 100 hours must be completed this way) and additional hours may be earned by working in our office, attending homeownership classes, helping at ReStore, and attending special events. New ideas to earn sweat equity are always welcome but must be approved ahead of time by the poverty elimination coordinator. At a minimum, each adult member must complete ten hours a month. A friend may donate up to 50 hours towards a homebuyer's sweat equity.

What are homeownership classes?

An important part of preparing partner families for the responsibilities and potential pitfalls of homeownership are the classes that we provide. There are at least three series of classes on the topics of Habitat Philosophy and Partnership, Financial Planning, and Home Maintenance and Neighborhood Development. Homebuyers are expected to attend these classes (counted towards sweat equity hours).

How big will my house be?

House size depends on the number of household members who will be living there. The following is the maximum square footage for each house size: 900 square feet for a two-bedroom house, 1070 square feet for a three bedroom house, 1230 square feet for a four-bedroom house, and 1400 square feet for a five-bedroom house. The square foot numbers describe living space not including stairwells, crawl space and exterior storage.

What does the floor plan look like?

The size and floor-plan for each home we build is determined by the number of household members. Habitat provides a standard floor plan for each size house, which might need to be adapted to meet special needs of the lot or particular considerations of the homebuyer. All adjustments to floor plans are minimal and there is no guarantee that we can meet all the desires of the homebuyer.

Am I able to customize my home?

Yes, there are some customizable choices for your home. Every homeowner can choose at no cost:

Vinyl siding and exterior door colors
Roof shingle color
Countertop colors for kitchen
Phone and cable jack locations
Carpeting and vinyl flooring colors/options
If possible, some minimal changes to the basic floor plan

Can I pay for additional customization?

In an effort to personalize and beautify the home while still staying true to Habitat’s mission of building simple, decent, affordable housing each homebuyer may choose to add certain custom options. Examples of these options include: dishwasher, washer and dryer, ceiling fans, an extra window, etc. Homebuyers can customize their homes further as desired after they sign their mortgage and take ownership of the home.

Are Habitat home built 'green'?

In a further effort to ensure affordable housing, we have focused on building energy efficient homes. All of our homes are up to Energy-Star standards, and we are making steady progress towards even higher levels of green certification. This commitment helps not only the environment, but it also helps create sustained energy savings for our homebuyers.

You may contact the office for a comprehensive list of house features.

Does my house come with any warranty?

There is a one-year warranty on all work done by Habitat. This warranty excludes damage resulting from wear and tear. There is also a one-year warranty on all subcontracted work such as plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling.

What if I need or want to sell my house?

We want to build homes for people to live in, not to sell and make a profit. We do have guidelines for selling your home that will be discussed during homebuyer meetings.