Habitat Choptank welcomes inquiries for homeownership

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Special to Dorchester Banner/Habitat Choptank
These houses are examples of the size and style homes that can be purchased through Habitat Choptank’s affordable homeownership program. House designs vary according to local building codes, lot size and compatibility with existing homes in the neighborhood.

EASTON – Habitat for Humanity Choptank is accepting applications for homeownership in Dorchester and Talbot counties. Habitat for Humanity is a homeownership program that empowers individuals and families to build a better future for themselves through the stability and security of owning their own home. Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has empowered 68 hardworking lower-income households to realize their dream of ownership. The nonprofit has launched a new strategic plan for the next four years which includes increasing the number of homes completed and sold annually.

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 $27,615 – $47,340. 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 Program Manager Pat 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. 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 calling 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.”

With just that one call to 410-476-3204, Habitat Choptank will explain the program requirements and the homebuying process. Prospective buyers can also go online to www.HabitatChoptank.org for program details. In the ‘Buy a Home’ section of the website, visitors can complete an online screening tool for the homeownership program.

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