sweatequityHomeownership

Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity works to eliminate barriers to a better, healthier, more financially stable life. With our help, Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity homeowners achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better future for themselves and their families. We sell homes to families and offer 0% or low interest loans and a small down payment to cover closing costs. Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity homeowners make monthly mortgage payments that do not exceed 30% of their gross monthly income.

Each Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity partner family must complete 250-400 hours of “sweat equity” to build their home and the homes of other Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity homebuyers, work in our ReStore, and attend Home Buyer and Home Maintenance classes. Sweat equity can be done during the week, on the weekends as well as occasional evening opportunities at special events.

Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity does not give away houses. We sell them to families who partner with us. Qualified homebuyers must show that they have a Need for Housing, are Willing to Partner with Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity and are Able to Pay for a Habitat mortgage.

How to Apply

In order to apply for Habitat for Humanity’s program, you must first fill out an application. Please use the information below to learn more about Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity qualification requirements and determine if you meet Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity three sets of criteria for becoming a partner family: Need for Housing, Willingness to Partner and Ability to Pay.

Program Qualifications
Applicants of the Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity Homeownership Program must meet and follow specific qualification guidelines. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident, and if married, must be co-applicants together with spouse.

Below are the basic requirements for our Homeownership Program. Read on to see if you qualify.

Residency
You must live or work in Geauga or Lake County for two years before applying.

Need for Housing
Demonstrate a Need for Housing by showing that your current home is unsafe, crowded, too expensive, temporary, or has features that don’t work.

Willingness to Partner
Show a Willingness to Partner by meeting all deadlines during the application process, attending all required events, classes, and meetings, and completing all 250-400 sweat equity hours before moving into the home. Sweat equity includes time spent helping to build your own and other homes in the program, completing financial literacy and home maintenance classes, and other Habitat volunteering events.

Ability to Pay
Show that you are Able to Pay for your home by proving you manage debt and finances successfully and are able to pay a low down payment and closing costs. Automatic denials include a bankruptcy less than 2 years ago, a foreclosure less than 2 years ago and with a remaining balance, an open judgment or a tax lien. Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity provides affordable, 10-30 year mortgages. The household must prove a gross (before taxes) yearly income within our guidelines (see below). Some properties may have a higher minimum income requirement than what is listed below in order to ensure it is affordable. Not every family can afford every house.

# in Household Income Range
1 $21,000-$37,350
2 $24,000 – $42,650
3 $27,000 – $48,000
4 $30,000 – $53,300
5 $32,400 – $57,600
6 $34,800 – $61,850
7 $37,200 – $66,100

Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity includes all full-time and part-time wages from applicants taking ownership of a home. Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity also counts non-wage income from everyone in the household, including alimony/maintenance, child support, food stamps, pension, retirement, SSDI, SSI, survivor’s benefits, TANF, and wages. Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity does not count unemployment or financial aid. If you have any questions, please call (440) 226-3000, ext. 101.

The application process takes about 3 months.

List of Financial Documents
Next, you will give us copies of your financial documents. Habitat will not take your originals or make copies for you.

Home Interview
Someone from our Family Selection Committee will hold a home interview at your current residence.
They will ask questions about your Willingness to Partner.
Next, they will review your Ability to Pay.
Last, they will walk through your entire home to see the Need for Housing.

Homeowner Selection
Lastly, the Family Selection Committee will look at all of the families who have applied. They will vote to decide which family meets all of the criteria. The family is then informed of their decision. Families who are chosen then begin the next phase of the process.
If you have questions, please call (440) 226-3000, ext. 101.

If you would like to fill out our pre-application and send it in please click on the PDF link below. Download the file, fill it out, save, and then email to info@habitatgeauga.org

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