Habitat Choptank hosting homebuyer information event in Hurlock

Special to Dorchester Banner/Habitat Choptank Ashley Velez, left, is one of nine homebuyers currently partnering with Habitat Choptank to buy a home that she will help to build alongside Habitat volunteers. Habitat Choptank is hosting a homebuyer information event in Hurlock on Oct. 22. Interested community members can drop in between 10 a.m.-noon.

Special to Dorchester Banner/Habitat Choptank
Ashley Velez, left, is one of nine homebuyers currently partnering with Habitat Choptank to buy a home that she will help to build alongside Habitat volunteers. Habitat Choptank is hosting a homebuyer information event in Hurlock on Oct. 22. Interested community members can drop in between 10 a.m.-noon.

HURLOCK — Habitat for Humanity Choptank invites community members to drop in for a homebuyer information event on Oct. 22, between 10 a.m.-noon to Unity-Washington United Methodist Church located at 112 N. Main St. in Hurlock. This free event is open to any individuals and families who may be interested in purchasing a home in partnership with Habitat in Dorchester or Talbot counties.

“With our expansion into Hurlock, we are especially eager to meet with folks who would like to buy a home in that community,” explains Program Manager Pat Ingram. Last fall, Habitat Choptank announced plans to expand its affordable homeownership program to Hurlock. Construction on the first home began in April 2016. The house at 408A Charles St. is now under roof and on schedule to be completed in early 2017. Habitat Choptank has additional properties in Hurlock on which to continue its home build program once the Charles Street house is sold to a qualifying buyer.

Representatives will be at the church from 10 a.m. to noon to explain the requirements buyers must meet to qualify for mortgage financing and purchase a home of their own. Habitat homes are not given away but are sold to buyers who qualify and can show an ability to make an affordable monthly mortgage payment. The homes are affordable because Habitat Choptank sells its houses at cost and at no profit, the homes are built with mostly volunteer labor, and the homes are energy efficient and constructed with durable materials.

The application process begins with verification of household income. To qualify for financing with Habitat Choptank, buyers must have an annual income between $26,880 – $49,920 (for up to a household of four; income range adjusted for larger households). Income includes gross wages and salary along with other verifiable sources of income such as child support or Social Security.

“These are buyers who can’t qualify for conventional financing but who also have the dream of homeownership,” explains Ms. Ingram. In this income range, applicants can document an ability to repay an affordable mortgage for the purchase of a moderately priced house.

Habitat homebuyers are partners in every sense of the word. In lieu of a down payment, they contribute sweat equity toward the construction of their future home and on the homes of other Habitat buyers. Homeowners also participate in a series of classes designed to prepare them for the responsibilities of homeownership.

“The first step is just talking with us to see if you might qualify,” says Ms. Ingram. Buying a home can seem like such a huge goal. “Our process is broken down into steps and it starts by simply asking about the program and discussing your circumstances. If you don’t qualify today, we’ll tell you what changes are needed to meet our criteria.”

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has empowered 69 working households from Talbot and Dorchester counties to build a better future for themselves through the stability and security of owning a home they can afford. Currently, nine buyers are working through Habitat’s multi-step program toward the goal of becoming successful homeowners.
For information about homeownership, to volunteer with Habitat Choptank or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.

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