How long will it take for me to get a home?
The whole process from application to move in may take up to 18 months. There are many factors involved with getting your home: available land, sweat equity hours, specific needs, etc. We are committed to getting you in your home as quickly as possible and in return we appreciate your hard work and patience.
How does a Habitat mortgage work?
Habitat’s home ownership program is unique in two ways: (1) Habitat sells houses at the cost of materials plus real estate without adding in profit; 2) Habitat provides the money to buy the house without charging interest. The no-interest mortgage is significant because a loan from a commercial bank adds interest payments, which more than doubles the “cost” of the home to the buyer. Our policy is that families should repay their mortgages as fast as they are able. Mortgages may be extended to 20 or even 25 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.
Do I get to choose where I live?
Lots are offered as they become available. We have built homes in Alsea, Corvallis, and Philomath, so there is no guarantee where your lot will be.
Who pays to build each house?
Habitat works with faith communities, businesses, and other organizations and individuals to sponsor the building of a house. Such sponsors contribute financially towards buying materials for the house. Typically, sponsoring organizations also volunteer skilled and unskilled workers to build the house they sponsor, together with the prospective Habitat homeowners. 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 can I earn sweat equity hours?
The primary way to earn sweat equity hours is by working at the construction site. At least half of your hours must be completed on site. Additional hours may be earned by working in the Habitat office, attending Habitat classes, helping at the ReStore, and attending special events. New ideas to earn sweat equity are always welcome but must be approved ahead of time by the appropriate committee or by the Board at large.
What are homeowner classes?
An important part of preparing Partner Families for the responsibilities and potential pitfalls of homeownership are the classes that Benton Habitat for Humanity requires you to attend. There are at least two series of classes on the topics of Financial Planning and First Time Homebuyer. Partner families are expected to attend these classes (counted towards sweat equity hours).
How big will my house be?
House size depends on the number of family 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.
Do I have a choice about what goes into my home?
Yes, you do have some choices. Please see the Home Features section for more information.
Does my house come with any warranties?
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, 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. However, we have guidelines for selling your home. All of the details will be discussed during our homeowner meetings.