FAQ's about Home Ownership
Eligibility and Qualification
Do you give away homes to people who are poor, disabled or on welfare?
No. Habitat for Humanity of Pitt County is both a builder and a mortgage company. All applicants who qualify for a home must have a steady source of income, from working and/or non-working sources, and must repay a 20-year mortgage with on time payments each and every month. Habitats for Humanity of Pitt County’s income guidelines are passed down to Habitat by HUD and are based on median income of Pitt County. The income guidelines change on a yearly basis.
Do I have to have children to qualify for a Habitat Home?
No. Habitat is a Fair Housing Agency, which means we do not discriminate based on race/color, religion, sex/gender, national origin, disability, or familial status. Thus, our program is open to all household types including invidiauls, couples, single parents with children, couples with children, etc.
Ownership of a Habitat Home
If I buy a Habitat home, can I ever sell it?
Yes. Families who purchase Habitat-built homes can sell them. Habitat retains a “right of first refusal”. Selling a house typically requires marketing it through a real estate broker (including paying a commission). Therefore it’s important to continuing to pay one’s mortgage until it is sold, and live in it for several years before there’s enough equity to pay off mortgage(s) and “make money” on it.
Are there any other restrictions on owning a Habitat Home?
Yes, Like all other affordable housing programs, Pitt County Habitat requires that it’s home are homeowner occupied. This means that you cannot use it for business purposes, move and leave it empty, rent it out, or move out and let others live there instead. After a homeowner has fully paid off the mortgage, these restrictions are removed. And like all other mortgage companies, Habitat requires that the property (house and yard) are maintained in good condition and homeowners insurance is required until mortgage is paid in full.
If my income increases after I have bought my home, will that affect my status?
No, Habitat encourages all of it’s homeowners to continually improve their financial status through additional education, training, or job promotions/changes that provide better pay, hours, and/or locations. Our hopes are that having a stable home will free up time and energy to pursue additional opportunities. We’ve had homeowners who have consistently paid their mortgages, continued to work and retuned to school for degrees to increase their earnings.
Building a Habitat Home
If I want more space or bedrooms than Habitat’s guidelines allow, can I do that?
No. Pitt County Habitat builds homes according to the number of family members in a household. Our homes are affordable, energy efficient and provide adequate living and storage space for most families. Our 3-bedroom homes are typically around 1040 square feet and have 1 and ½ bathrooms.
Can I have a garage or carport added to a Habitat home?
No. Pitt County Habitat does not build garages or carports. We purchase lots that are large enough to build a house with a 2-car driveway, but there is no additional room for these other features.
If I own land, can Habitat build a home on it?
Maybe. Our program is for first-time homeowners – anyone who has not owned a home in two years, or ever. If you own land in Pitt County, we might be able to construct a home on it, but our construction department will need to evaluate it. But more importantly, you will need to apply to and be approved for our homeownership program in the exact same manner as all other applicants. Only after you’ve met our homeownership program criteria will we look at this possibility.
How does Habitat decide where to build? Can I ask for a specific location?
Habitat acquires land either through purchase or donation so we have limited areas where we build. In addition, within Pitt County we have seen escalating land prices, increased house sizes, and reduced land availability that made finding and purchase land even more difficult. Applicants who want to be part of our gram will need to be open about the location of their future home, and willing to live where we are currently building. Applicants will need to choose a location on the current/upcoming construction sites at the time they apply.
How long is it from the time I apply for a home until I close and move in?
Typically, families close and move into their homes within 18 months after their initial application is submitted. Since our program relies on sponsors to fund home and community volunteers to help construct them, this timeframe is an estimate. This timeframe allows applicants to plan for their move, complete sweat equity hours required by our program, and participate fully in the construction of their own homes.