become a homeowner
Everyone deserves a safe and affordable home.
You’re taking a step in the right direction to a house you’ll be proud of calling home.
Shown above is the happy groundbreaking moment as we begin the build for our selected family’s new home! When families open the door to a safe, decent, affordable home, they’re also opening the door to a future full of strength, stability, and self-reliance.
The path to homeownership is not easy at Wabash County Habitat for Humanity, but it’s well worth the investment. When families partner with us to build and purchase their homes, they commit to a process that takes time, but ultimately reshapes their entire lives. Here’s what that process looks like.
• Are you living in inadequate, unsafe, or overcrowded housing?
• Are you paying more than 30% of your income in rent?
• Do you have a consistent and on-time payment history for your rent, utilities, and loans?
• Any bankruptcies must have been discharged for at least 2 years.
• Any debts/collection items must be able to be paid off in less than 1 year.
• Have you had a stable income for the past 2 years?
• Is your annual gross family income within these guidelines?
What counts as income?
- Employment wages
- Food Stamps
- Social Security Disability
- Consistent Child Support
Prospective households are low to moderate income. In the U.S., we serve families whose income does not exceed 60% of the area median income as defined for the area by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
2 ability to pay
The ability to pay is based on the partner family’s job history and demonstrated ability to manage one’s financial resources.
• Are you able and willing to make regular monthly mortgage payments on your new home?
• You must also be head of a household. A household may be a couple or a single person, with or without children.
• You must be willing and able to participate in financial planning and budgeting workshops and other required training sessions. These sessions will be applied to your sweat equity.
• You must be willing to live in and become an active part of a neighborhood where we are building homes.
• We look for at least two years of stable rent and utility payments in an applicant’s name and at least two years of stable work history.
Habitat offers homebuyers an affordable mortgage. Those payments are then cycled back into the community to help build additional affordable homes.
3 sweat equity
What do you have to do besides make payments? Wabash County Habitat for Humanity requires a commitment from the homebuyer to become a partner and work alongside volunteers. Are you willing and able to do the following:
- Help Build Homes
- Attend Homeownership Classes
- Attend Events and Be Photographed
- Be a Good Citizen
- Ask Questions
Between classes, community service, and home construction, your time commitment is around 250 hours.
Sweat equity refers to the actual hands-on involvement of partner homeowners in the construction of their own Habitat homes, as well as participation in other Habitat and community activities. Sweat equity is a Partner Homeowner’s physical and emotional investment in the mission of Habitat.
Habitat for Humanity requires sweat equity for several reasons. Sweat equity provides meaningful interaction between Partner Homeowners, Habitat staff, Habitat volunteers and donors, and the community. It builds pride in homeownership; by investing sweat equity hours in their home, it helps families transition to home ownership. It also helps develop skills and knowledge about homeownership. Partner homeowners gain a real understanding of the construction of their home and the maintenance issues they may face after occupancy.
Are you ready to take the next step?
Stop in to pickup your application to become a new homeowner.
375 Manchester Avenue, Wabash, Indiana 46992| Phone Number (260) 563-9188
There is no fee to apply.
Applications are accepted each year from September 1 – October 31
Once we receive your application, there are three things we review before moving on to the next step:
- Income – Required employment for one year or more with current employer.
- Credit check – Show any outstanding debt.
- Background check – Criminal background is conducted on all adult applicants.
The Wabash County Habitat team members are friends and are here to help. Remember there are no stupid questions. It can be complicated. Please ask questions if something is unclear or you have concerns.
HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) works to eliminate housing discrimination, promote economic opportunity, and achieve diverse, inclusive communities.
Once your application has been submitted and approved, you have completed the initial step in becoming a Habitat Homeowner.
The next steps include:
During the ability-to-pay meeting, you will need to bring along various documents including tax returns, paycheck stubs, driver’s license, and proof of legal residency. It is mandatory for every adult family member who will be on the mortgage or living in the home to attend this meeting. Here, our staff will explain your financial obligations in detail.
Once the ability-to-pay meeting has been completed, WCHFH staff will package your file and submit it to one of our partner lenders for pre-approval for a home loan.
Once final approval is received, the family is required to attend a sweat-equity meeting to discuss ways in which the family can work to achieve their 250 hours of sweat equity.
The construction meeting is scheduled with the new home buyer once the framing date of the home is set. Prior to this meeting, the buyer will get to select colors for the carpet, vinyl flooring, countertops, guttering, windows, and the front door. The construction manager will discuss all the components of the home at the construction meeting.