Habitat for Humanity Choptank sells homes 70 and 71 in Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE – The holiday season this year was extra special for two first-time home buyers who partnered with Habitat for Humanity Choptank to purchase homes in Cambridge. Doris Stanford moved into a new construction house on Shepherd Avenue. Ms. Stanford, who grew up in Cambridge, is employed with Chesapeake Internal Medicine in Easton. Over on High Street, Victoria Laws, who works at the Cambridge Walmart, purchased a rehabbed house as the new home for her family. Both of these houses were completed using durable materials and with additional energy efficiency features so that the finished homes are affordable in both purchase price and in long-term operating costs.

With the sale of these homes, Habitat Choptank has created a total of 15 new homeownership opportunities in Cambridge since concerned community members began organizing a Habitat effort in Dorchester County in 2005. And that effort continues as two more Habitat homes are already in progress in the City. The Habitat mission has also expanded to Hurlock with the first home now under construction in that community.

Habitat homebuyers are working people who cannot qualify for conventional financing but who earn enough to assume the responsibilities of home ownership when provided with ‘right-size mortgages.’ Homes are sold for the cost to complete and with no profit to Habitat. Each house must serve as the buyer’s residence during the life of the mortgage.

Following settlement, each buyer assumes the full responsibilities of homeownership: repaying a mortgage over the next 30-33 years, maintaining the home, and paying homeowner’s insurance and property taxes. With these responsibilities, also comes joy and a sense of accomplishment for Ms. Stanford and Laws having achieved the dream of homeownership.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has empowered 71 households from Talbot and Dorchester counties to build a better future for themselves through homeownership. Each homebuyer contributed 300-400 hours of “sweat equity” in the building of those houses, attended education classes, saved $4,500 for costs at settlement and eliminated any outstanding collection debt for the opportunity to buy a home with an affordable mortgage. While selling its homes to mostly first time and even first generation homebuyers, Habitat Choptank continues to maintain a less than 2 percent foreclosure rate with only one home foreclosed over the 24-year history. Currently, eight families are working through Habitat’s multi-step program toward the goal of becoming successful home owners and additional applications are welcomed.

For information about home ownership, to volunteer with Habitat Choptank or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.

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