Habitat For Humanity of Williamson County Helps A Leander Family Into Their Own Home

Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County I can remember walking into my own house for the first time as a new buyer. I knew down deep that the bank really owned the house, but I could suspend that reality and still believe it was mine – all mine. It’s not the same feeling when you are checking it out with the realtor. That’s still very exciting, but the feeling just isn’t the same. It’s that feeling you only get when all the paperwork is done, and they hand you the keys. You immediately drive over and park in front of the house, walk up and unlock the door, walk in and look around. It’s yours. It’s pure joy. It only lasts for a few hours or maybe a day, and then it’s lost in the move-in hubbub, but for that short time it’s a feeling of pure joy. This is my home.

In the past, a lot of middle class Americans felt that owning their own home was a sure thing. When I grew up it was natural and normal for a person to finish school, get married, start a career and buy your first home. Your first home was usually a fixer-upper and rarely new, but that really didn’t matter. It was yours. It isn’t quite that way anymore for a growing number of people in this country. The hope of home ownership is getting less and less realistic for more and more of us.

The economy is better now than in the past few years, but qualifying for a loan is still a challenge for those of us at the lower end of the middle class. Yearly incomes that used to be very comfortable are now just barely getting people by, especially if you are a single parent shouldering the entire load. We are all looking for better times to come back, but in the mean time, we do our best and hope. For many of our friends and neighbors in Williamson County, that hope is being met by Habitat for Humanity. [Read more…]

Habitat For Humanity ReStore Has Great Deals For Williamson County Do It Yourselfers

Habitat for Humanity ReStoreI have worked on a couple of homes doing volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity through my church. It was hard work in the hot sun, but it was so worth it. I had the chance to meet some really great people who were also volunteers, and I had the chance to meet the families who were going to live in the home after it was completed. Habitat for Humanity is a great organization and they are very active in our local communities helping our friends and neighbors find, help build and acquire their own home.

Habitat for Humanity does not hand out homes to people; they provide opportunities for people to own their own home. Each family helped applies for a home ownership opportunity from Habitat. The families are selected based not only on their financial situation, but also on their willingness to help build the home. Each new Habitat home owner puts in a lot of “sweat equity” into the home before they move in. These families are the working poor in our communities who are trying to get a home, but need a little help to get in that home.

To show you this is not a hand out, each family has to not only help build the home, they have to be able to afford a small down payment that covers taxes and insurance. These families also have to be able to make a mortgage payment on the home after it is completed. This mortgage is also a way that the new homeowner can pay their blessing forward. Habitat does not profit on the mortgage at all. The 20-year mortgage covers the cost of all of the building supplies used on the home, and part of this mortgage payment goes toward funding Habitat’s efforts to build homes for other families. It is really a great program. [Read more…]