Become A Homeowner
Habitat is here to help you succeed as a homeowner. From the moment you apply for the program until you pay off your Habitat mortgage, we work with you. Here’s one example:
Inay Gavin promised her eldest son the family would have their own backyard. Her promise came true in 2001, when she and her two boys moved into their Habitat home. The very next year, Inay lost her job, and her ability to make the monthly payments set up in the mortgage. Determined to keep their home, Inay worked closely with Habitat staff and made it through a very difficult financial period for the family. Today, she is living mortgage free, after completely satisfying her mortgage in 2011!
Read what Habitat homeowners have to say about becoming a homeowner.
The First Step
The first step toward homeownership is to attend a Homeowner Candidate Orientation. If you meet the Basic Requirements below, you may fill out a Homeowner Interest Form online or call Family Services at 239-652-1681 or 239-652-1682 or stop into our office at 1288 N. Tamiami Trail in order to schedule your spot at Homeowner Candidate Orientation. Homeowner Candidate Orientation is offered once a month, at two convenient times. View the Homeowner Candidate Information Meetings Schedule.
Listed below you will find the basic requirements needed in order to apply for a Habitat for Humanity home in Lee or Hendry counties:
- You must have either lived or worked in Lee or Hendry counties for the past 12 months.
- You must either be a US citizen or a permanent resident alien with your resident alien card.
- You must be married, single or divorced. If you are separated we will accept your application after reconciliation or divorce.
- You must wait three (3) years after a foreclosure or bankruptcy is finalized to apply.
- Your total household income must be a minimum of $16,494.
Following Orientation you can receive an Application, which must be returned to the Habitat office along with the required paperwork. You will then schedule an appointment with a Family Services specialist to begin the Application process.
How Families Are Chosen
A Selection Committee consisting of Lee or Hendry County citizens considers applications based on the following criteria:
I have a need
- I do not own my own home.
- I am currently living in substandard housing which would include any of the following conditions:
- Home is in poor physical condition
- Home is overcrowded
- Rent is subsidized
- Rent costs more than 30% of my income
- My annual income is at least $16,494 but not more than:
Family Size Annual Income 1 person $32,500 2 people $37,150 3 people $41,800 4 people $46,400 5 people $50,150 6 people $53,850
I have the ability to pay
- I have at least $16,494 in steady, verifiable, annual income.
- I do not have excessive debt or multiple accounts in collection.
- I pay my rent on time.
I am willing to partner with Habitat
- Contribute 300 hours of “sweat equity”
- Attend Habitat homeowner training classes
- Pay $1,700 towards closing costs
We are dedicated to the success of our Habitat homeowners and to that end, have compiled a list of Homeowner Resources to help them.
Using the skills they learn in the educational classes, and applying themselves diligently to making their mortgage payments every month, many of our homeowners pay off their mortgages. To celebrate their accomplishment, we host a Mortgage Burning Ceremony.
Frequently Asked Questions
When and where are the homeowner classes?
A class schedule will be made available for your convenience, and the classes are held at the Habitat for Humanity office located at 1288 N. Tamiami Trail, N. Ft. Myers.
Will I immediately be able to move into my house when my hours, classes and payment are complete?
Home availability depends on the building schedule. You may have to wait on your home to be built.
Are pets allowed?
Homeowners are allowed to have dogs, although certain breeds of dogs, (Pit Bull, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, etc.); also, wild animals, farm animals, and dangerous reptiles that are considered hazardous are not allowed. The insurance industry will not insure your property if you have any of the pets listed.
I know nothing about building a home, how am I going to be able to help on a job site?
At each job site we have a site supervisor who will instruct you in what needs to be done. Every job is important, even the clean up. You will learn important skills for the upkeep of your home.
Who can help with my sweat equity hours?
The applicant and co-applicant will each be expected to finish 75 hours. The remaining hours may be completed with the help of family and friends. Those that assist you must be 14-years of age or older. Teens must bring a picture ID to verify age. An adult must supervise all children ages 14-17.