- Must have lived and/or worked in New Hanover, Pender, or Duplin County for a minimum of 12 months prior to application.
- Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.
There must be a demonstrated need for adequate housing, which include one or more of the following:
Most are familiar with the term “Sweat Equity” to mean that one’s labor on their own home will increase its value while keeping costs low. The philosophy of “Sweat Equity” at Habitat is to promote Partnership, Pride in Homeownership, and Development of Skills and Knowledge. Partnership Hours are performed in various ways, but most significantly on the build sites. No construction experience is required!
Prior to closing, a family with 2 adults must work 400 Partnership Hours & a family with 1 adult must work 250 Partnership Hours. The average time you can expect spent performing Partnership Hours will be 2 to 3 shifts per month, over a period of approximately 18 months. Other opportunities are available at our Restores, fundraisers, and community events. Friends and Family may help with a portion of your hours. Those with physical and other disabilities may have a custom Sweat Equity plan designed, if necessary, with doctor’s input.
Attendance is mandatory for all classes prior to closing. A portion of these classes are completed online. Accommodations are made to those without access to internet.
By submitting affordable monthly payments towards closing costs while in our program, you will demonstrate your willingness to pay a monthly mortgage on time in the future. Realistic monthly goals will be discussed between the Future Homeowner and the Credit and Mortgage Counselor upon examination of monthly budget.
By attending regular monthly meetings with the Credit & Mortgage Counselor prior to closing, you will demonstrate a commitment to strengthening your financial readiness for home ownership.
You will be shown land options to choose from during the application process and prior to approval. You will be offered construction-ready property that is in our land-inventory, and that you are eligible for (county/number of bedrooms/affordability/loan type). Land options typically range from inside the city limits of Wilmington to northern New Hanover County. In Pender County, we anticipate building in Burgaw and Rocky Point. In Duplin County, we will be building in Wallace and Rose Hill.
Our partner families support the community as a representative of Habitat. You will also be asked to share your story to volunteers, donors, and other potential homeowners so that they may choose to either support our mission or pursue a path to homeownership after seeing your example.
Habitat homeowners hold the same responsibilities as other homeowners. They are committed to paying their mortgage on time after closing, and they are responsible for keeping their home maintained and repaired as needed. Monthly mortgage payments include principal payment, homeowner’s insurance premiums, property taxes, and other applicable items such as HOA dues, termite agreement, etc. This monthly payment will be affordable, not to exceed 30% of your gross monthly income. Your mortgage payments go towards building more houses in partnership with families in need of affordable homeownership opportunities!
Households with income from 30% to 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). (See income ranges in chart below). Income amounts including wages, Social Security, Social Security disability, child support, other forms of reported income, and all debt will be considered. These numbers are effective April 6th, 2020, and change every year.
We will look at your debts in relation to your income to make sure you have enough left over to pay a Habitat mortgage without being cost-burdened. This includes credit card payments, car loans, and any other loans or obligations.
We are not looking for a particular credit score. We pull your credit to view your payment history. If you don’t have a Credit Report, you will be asked to submit utility bills to demonstrate your payment history.
Our Credit Counselor will review your application and supporting financial documentation. If you meet the qualifications, you will receive a letter indicating whether or not you may proceed to the next step.
Meet with the Credit Counselor to discuss your financial readiness for a Habitat home and receive guidance about your ability to pay for a Habitat home. At this meeting, you will submit necessary biographical documents (such as birth certificates and social security cards), A credit check will take place, but a lower score will not necessarily keep you from being approved. If you are asked to proceed with the application process at this point, you will be expected to complete a current spending plan, and if approved, you will review it with the Credit Counselor at orientation to create a customized financial maintenance and/or credit repair plan to use through the program.
Meet with the Homeowner Services Manager to discuss your need for a Habitat home, to ensure your understanding of what it means to partner with Habitat, and how you plan to fulfill our partnership requirements. You will learn about the property options that we have to offer, and you will have 1 week to choose from these options before moving forward in the application process.
A sexual offender, criminal background check and a global terrorist background check will be conducted on all adults in the household 18 years and older
A member of the Homeowner Selection Committee and the Homeowner Services Manager will meet with you for a short interview. Then the committee will meet to review your file and a determination will be made about recommending your approval into the program by the Board of Directors.
You will start your Habitat Partnership! The first step will be to meet with the Homeowner Services Manager for an Orientation Meeting and to sign a Homeownership Agreement. You will begin right away on working closely with our Credit and Mortgage Counselor on your financial plan, you will schedule your first sweat equity hours, and you will attend the next “Steps to Success” Homeownership Education class series!
No. Approved hard-working families purchase their homes from Cape Fear Habitat through an affordable mortgage.
No down payment is required, although currently closing costs are $3000. Monthly payments in an amount determined by you and the Consumer Credit Counselor towards closing costs and/or debt will demonstrate your willingness to enter into a loan agreement with Habitat.
The monthly mortgage payment varies depending on the cost of each individual home and will not exceed 30% of the borrower’s (and co-borrower’s) gross monthly income.
Yes. All Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity houses now include an Energy Star Whirlpool appliance package, including a new stove, hood, refrigerator and washer/dryer.
Approved families will partner with Cape Fear Habitat in the construction of other homes as well as their own homes. No construction experience is necessary or expected prior to entering the program. Homeowners can also complete a portion of sweat equity hours by working in one of Cape Fear Habitat’s Restores, by participating in outreach events, or by assisting in the Administrative Office. Mandatory attendance at Homeownership Classes counts for a portion of Sweat Equity, as well.
Minimum total hours:
* Some of these hours can be donated by friends and family
Each adult is required to maintain an at least an average of 16 hours of completed Sweat Equity each month.
We do not look solely at credit score. As long as your financial history shows consistency in paying bills on time or you can pay past due non-medical debts, the application will be considered. Prior Bankruptcies and/or Judgements are reviewed, however they will not automatically keep your application from being approved. We can work with you to help you identify ways to improve your credit so that your application can be considered.
Yes. Cape Fear Habitat does not require homebuyers to have children in order to qualify.
No, we do not accept or decline applications based on church membership or religious affiliation.
We will conduct a standardized criminal background assessment on each household member aged 18 or older to determine if the criminal background will disqualify you from the program.
Currently, we do not have a waiting list for homeownership. The length of the application and build process will vary depending on each applicant’s financial readiness as well as the availability of properties. Also, required sweat equity hours must be complete before closing.
The application process usually takes between 1 to 2 months. Once the application is approved, the process from beginning sweat equity to occupancy usually takes between a year to a year and a half, depending on each applicant’s individual circumstances and the availability of properties, or it may be longer depending on other factors. This information will be reviewed with each approved Partner Family individually.
Please direct your friends to this website or encourage them to call our office at 910-762-4744, ext. 114 to request an application be mailed to them.
If applicants do not meet Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity’s criteria and are not accepted into the program, they will receive a letter with the reason and a referral to other resources, if appropriate.
We highly encourage those who are denied due to having too much debt or not enough income to request a face-to-face meeting with our Credit and Mortgage Counselor for personalized guidance on the specific steps that can be taken to eventually qualify. There is no limit to how many times an individual can apply for a Habitat home, so we encourage applicants to reapply when situations change.
The JoAnn Carter Harrelson Center
20 N. 4th Street, Suite. 200
Wilmington, NC 28401
Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org
(c) 2019 Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity |