Homeownership

"My daughter and I now have a place we can call home. She can have friends over, and has a room made just for her. This is all you can ask for as a mother."
Jeanne, Habitat Homeowner

How are the recipients of Habitat houses selected?

The Buzzards Bay Area Habitat for Humanity Family Selection Committee's mission is to choose families with the greatest and most immediate need while fufilling the requirements of serverity of need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner. The Committee holds informational meetings at local venues and solicits applications from potential families. The process involves recieving the application, USDA Pre-Qualification, need analyisis, and then qualified families are interviewed. After a thorough review process, all qualified families are entered into a lottery. Once a family is chosen, construction begins.

How do you qualify for a Habitat home?

Proof of US citizenship or permanent resident status
Compelling need for adequate shelter – present home is overcrowded, has structural or other problems, or costs more than 30% of income
Ability to pay – good credit and sufficient income (30% to 60% area median income) to afford the monthly payments and costs associated with home ownership
Willingness to partner – acceptance of financial and “sweat equity” requirements (a minimum of 300 hours of labor from the selected family)
Resident of our service area – Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester, Wareham and Westport

Your Commitment to Habitat

As a Habitat Partner, you agree to work together with volunteers in the building of your home. You agree that you and your family, along with other volunteers that you may recruit, will contribute 300 hours of “sweat equity” working on the house construction or helping in other ways that are beneficial to Habitat. Records of your “sweat equity” hours will be kept. You will not be paid for any of this work time. You will be required to sign a separate Sweat Equity Contract.

As a Habitat Homeowner, you agree to take on the responsibility of having a home which includes repairs and maintenance to the home as they arise. Habitat is here for support, but it is your responsibility to keep up with your homes repairs and maintenance once you move into the home. All Habitat homes come with a one-year warranty period.

Closing, Mortgage and Deed Information

When you close on your Habitat home, you will sign a mortgage note and receive the keys to your new home. The loan will be at a low interest rate amortized over a minimum of 20 years. You will recieve a schedule of payments which will include monthly installments of principal, homeowners insurance, and real estate taxes. Insurance and tax funds will be accumluated in an escrow account, and your insurance and taxes will be paid out of these funds. It is your responsibility to pay your mortgage on time and communicate any difficulties to the Habitat office.

Since the house is being sold at an affordable cost, the fair market value will be much greater than the selling price. The house deed will be subject to an affordable housing restriction that will restrict the resale and pricing in conformance with those guidelines to keep it as an affordable housing unit in perpetuity.

Habitat's Commitment to You

Habitat will have continued interest in your success as a homeowner. Buzzards Bay Area Habitat will work with partner families to aid them through good times, as well as, bad times. Habitat will help with financial planning to avoid payment delinquencies and will help with tracking your "sweat equity" hours. Habitat agrees to make your well-being, as a Habitat Partner and future Habitat homeowner, our priority. We urge homeowners to be willing to share their concerns. It is our policy that a mortgage deficiency is grounds for foreclosure. Accordingly, it is important that you be in close communication, as early as possible, with the office in time of stress.

How do I receive an application?

We are not allowed to hold applications. When applications become available, we will send an email to our database of contacts and there will be information published in the local papers. Please fill out the information portion of the volunteer application, noting desire of homeownership, to receive future emails.

Equal House Opportunity lender

Buzzards Bay Area Habitat for Humanity encourages and supports an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing and does not discriminate in the selection of applicants on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, ancestry, children, familial status, genetic information, marital status, public assistance recipients, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran/military status, or any other basis prohibited by law. Buzzards Bay Area Habitat for Humanity is a not-for-profit organization and we do business in accordance with Federal and Massachusetts Fair Lending Laws. BBAHFH is an Equal Housing Opportunity lender.

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