Since 1983, local families have partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis to build homes, communities and hope. Over the course of their homeownership journey, each family invests their time and energy into an intensive path to homeownership. From attending homeowner courses to completing sweat equity hours, each step empowers these homebuyers to build better lives for themselves and their families.
We’ve broken down the process into 7 easy steps to help you better understand how our homebuying process works. Follow along and learn more!
The first step is of course looking into our program and learning more. This can start with speaking one of our staff members at a community event, calling our offices for more information, or even going to our website to see how our program works. Currently, we have all the details of our homebuying program on our website, including some homes plans and a house tour. If someone is ready to move forward in the process, they watch our online orientation session, then take our quiz. After taking the quiz, they receive a link to our application and a return email from our Family Services department.
Just like a traditional homebuyer, Habitat homebuying families go through an application process and have to meet various qualifications. Habitat homebuyers must meet our income guidelines, they must have a need for our services, they must be willing to partner with Memphis Habitat, and they must be able to pay the mortgage note, which goes into a fund to help Memphis Habitat build more affordable housing in our community.
After submitting an application and all the supporting documentation, the next step is an in-person interview. Our Family Services team schedule a home visit with the family to hear more about their desire to partner with Habitat, to get to know the family and to learn more about their current housing status and future housing needs.
After careful review of each family’s full application packet, our Family Services team presents their recommendations to the Family Selections Committee, made up of members of our board of directors. This committee gives the final approval on the applications.
Once selected, a family is officially on their way to becoming a homeowner. Early on in the process, Habitat provides a mix of hands-on and classroom learning through homebuyer education classes. From budgeting to small home repairs and maintenance, each class is aimed to help families be successful in their new homes, all while developing connections with fellow future Habitat homeowners who will likely be their neighbors.
Each family who partners with Memphis Habitat completes 350 sweat equity hours before move-in day. These hours can be acquired by the applicants, their children, other family members, friends, co-workers and others who want to help out. Hours are accrued through attending the multi-week homebuyer education classes, by helping work on their and their neighbors’ homes, by volunteering in the Memphis ReStore and by volunteering with other nonprofits in our community. A homebuyers children who are too young to volunteer on the build site or in the Restore can also help out by earning sweat equity hours for good grades on their report card.
Next, Habitat homebuyers go to closing, just like someone purchasing a home with a traditional mortgage. Habitat offers homebuyers an affordable mortgage with basically 0% interest with monthly payments take into account their household income. Mortgage payments made by Habitat homeowners go into a fund to help build more affordable homes in our community.
Once all of the forms are signed and all of the construction is complete, it’s time to celebrate and move-in! Friends and family, as well as the Habitat staff and volunteers who worked alongside the family on this journey, come together to celebrate with the family, usually in the spring and the fall. It’s the first of many joyous occasions to be celebrated in the new home.
If you’re interested in learning more about and applying to our homebuying program, click here - www.memphishabitat.com/online-homebuying-program.
If you’re interested in supporting this work, click here - www.memphishabitat.com/donate.
IN THIS SECTION