Buy a Home

WHY RENT WHEN YOU CAN OWN?

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati is a partnership housing program in the truest sense of the word. Applicants must demonstrate a need for housing, ability to pay back a mortgage estimated at $500 per month (including taxes and insurance) and be willing to partner with Habitat in the building and buying of their home. Habitat homebuyers work side by side with volunteers each week building their own home and the homes of others, attend homeownership and financial training classes and are positive ambassadors for HFHGC throughout every step of the process. In exchange, Habitat homebuyers are provided the opportunity to build and buy a Habitat for Humanity home with an affordable mortgage payment. We are not a charity and we give away nothing, but opportunity.

STOP PAYING A LANDLORD AND SEE IF YOU QUALIFY TO BUY YOUR OWN HOME!

STEP 1: DON’T PUT OFF APPLYING!

Many Habitat homeowners said they took months to even years to finally apply to build and buy a home with Habitat after they learned about this opportunity. If you are concerned or unsure if you qualify, please don’t assume you are not qualified. Even if you apply and your application is denied, you will be provided with the reason for your denial so you can, possibly, re-apply in the future. You will never know if you are eligible unless you apply. 

STEP 2: REVIEW HABITAT’S 3 CRITERIA FOR QUALIFYING

  1. Must Have Need for Adequate Housing: Must be living in substandard or inadequate housing that does not meet your needs. Living in subsidized housing meets this criteria or anyone whose current housing expenses exceed 30% of their income. Do not disqualify yourself because you feel you do not have a housing need. We encourage you to apply and let Habitat determine if you meet this criteria.
  2. Must Have Ability to Pay: Must be able to afford an estimated monthly mortgage payment of $500 (including taxes and insurance). The ability to pay criteria are listed as part of Step 4.
  3. Must Be Willing to Partner: This is a public partnership with many responsibilities and expectations for each homebuyer. At Habitat, we often say we give away nothing to our homebuyers, but an opportunity. To be considered for a Habitat home you must be willing to earn “sweat equity” hours. You earn sweat equity hours by working to help in building your home and the homes of others, working in the Habitat ReStores or other approved activities. In addition, you earn hours by attending required home buying classes and Habitat events.

HOW MANY HOURS MUST BE EARNED?

250 Sweat Equity Hours – One Applicant Households where only one person is officially purchasing the home must earn 250 hours of sweat equity.
500 Sweat Equity Hours – Two applicant (applicant and co-applicant) households must earn 500 hours of sweat equity.

You must commit to the following partnership requirements.

  • Commit to earning 8 hours of sweat equity per month until home starts construction
  • Commit to being at your build site each Saturday that your home is under construction
  • Commit to paying $800 towards the first year insurance premium
  • Commit to attending monthly Homebuyer group meetings
  • Commit to attending home buying classes that will cover a variety of topics such as an overview of Habitat for Humanity, home maintenance, lawn care, purchasing a home, purchase documents, all forms of insurance, etc.
  • Commit to attend Financial Peace University. This is a national program used by Habitat affiliates across the country. These are 9-week sessions that are, typically, scheduled over 9 Saturdays. If you attend sessions provided by Habitat, classes will be free.
  • Commit to certifying household debts AND income every six months until home is purchased. Any negative change in income or debts could result in your de-selection from the Habitat program.

NOTE: You must be comfortable with friends and family knowing you are purchasing a home with Habitat. This is a public partnership that can involve news coverage, social media coverage and information about homebuyers and build sites are shared on the Habitat website.

STEP 3: CONFIRM YOUR HOUSEHOLD MEETS THESE INCOME REQUIREMENTS

Family Size Minimum Monthly Gross Income Maximum Monthly Gross Income (80% of median income)
1 $1,371.00 $3,658.30
2 $1,567.00 $4,179.20
3 $1,763.00 $4,700.00
4 $2,092.00 $5,220.80
5 $2,452.00 $5,641.70
6 $2,812.00 $6,058.30
7 $3,172.00 $6,475.00
8 $3,532.00 $6,891.70

STEP 4: CONFIRM YOU MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS

  1. Inability to qualify for a mortgage – Habitat will verify this, you do not need to do anything. 
  2. No bankruptcy within the past 3 years (must be 3 years from date of discharge) 
  3. No eviction within the past 12 months 
  4. No foreclosure within the past 3 years 
  5. No felony convictions for anyone in household over age 18 in the prior 5 years 
  6. No open judgments or liens.
  7. Debt/Income ratio cannot exceed 40% of monthly income spent on estimated mortgage payment of $500 and monthly debt combined. 
  8. No more than $2,000 in uncollected past due, bad debt. Example: If a credit card has a $3,000 balance and payments are current, this is not considered a “bad” debt. However, if the credit card is in default and is in collection that would be considered a “bad” debt. 
  9. You can check your credit by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled to receive 1 free copy from each of the 3 reporting credit agencies one time per year by visiting this website.

NOTE: Married applicants can apply individually, but spouse must be listed on application as member of household, provide all income and asset information, consent to a background check, and agree to sign a release of dower at time of home purchase. The spouse who is not an applicant will not have their income or debts counted when determining if the applicant meets the ability to pay criteria, but their income and assets will be considered to determine if the household income is within Habitat’s guidelines.

STEP 5: DETERMINE IF YOU ARE WILLING TO BUILD WHERE HFHGC IS CURRENTLY BUILDING.

Below is a list of currently available build sites as of November 10, 2018.

IMPORTANT: If you would like to be considered for any of these build sites, a completed application with ALL requested documentation for each household member (listed on Page 10 of application) must be received or postmarked by Wednesday, December 5th. 

What if you're unable to submit an application by December 5th?

If the build site is still listed, that means it has not been matched as of today’s date. BUT, we will not be able to guarantee that the site is still available for you to be considered if your application and ALL required documentation is received after December 5th, 2018. 

The list of available sites is updated on the 10th of each month.

Applicants will be given a final list of available build sites AFTER they have completed an application, provided all required documentation, met the ability to pay criteria and have agreed to a final home interview as the last step in the family selection process.

NOTE: Tours of homes, review of building plans, or additional specifics on these build sites, etc. are not available until an applicant has completed the application process and HFHGC has determined you are eligible for our program. At that time, we will host a meeting with all qualified applicants to review in detail the list of available build sites.

STEP 6: Request an application if you think you meet the list of requirements and you are willing to build and buy a home at one of the build sites listed above. 

Even if you are not interested in an available build site, you may apply, but understand we do not anticipate this list of available build site lists changing by the time your application is reviewed.

To complete an application, pick one of these options:

1) Click here to print the application right now.

2) Click here to request an application by completing the Homebuyer Interest Form and an application will be mailed to you. Applications are mailed each Friday.

3) Call 513-621-4147, Ext. 3 to leave your name and mailing address — an application will be mailed. This is a 24-hour voicemail box, so you can call at any time. Applications are mailed each Friday.

Please read the introduction pages completely. This provides you an overview of requirements, selection process, and documentation required to be submitted with application.

STEP 7: Complete the application

You must submit the completed application and all required documentation by mail to determine if you qualify.

Habitat will respond within 30 days of the receipt of your application.

 

Mail  to: 

Homeowner Services
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati
4910 Para Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45237

 

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