BUY A HOME

How the Program Works

Habitat for Humanity of Sumner County (HFHSC) works to ensure that everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers, then purchase their home and pay an affordable mortgage. Habitat for Humanity homes are not free. With the generous support and volunteer participation of churches, businesses, and civic groups, we help homeowners achieve the strength, stability, and independence to build a better life for themselves and their families. This is not an emergency housing program. The homeowner partnership program, from application to move-in, typically covers 12-24 months. Habitat family partnerships enable dignity of life for those who choose it and work to achieve it, help to create safer neighborhoods for more children, and facilitate a pathway of hope.

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FAQ

Where does Habitat for Sumner County, Tennessee Inc. (HFHSC) get the money to build its homes?

Habitat homeowners are responsible for qualifying and paying an affordable, reasonable mortgage for their home. We work with volunteers and financial sponsors to build affordable homes for individuals and families in need. Other sources of funding include profits generated by our ReStore retail operation and grants for affordable housing such as the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati’s Affordable Housing Program and the Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s Housing Trust Fund.

What are the houses like?

Our homes have three, four, or five bedrooms (depending on family size) and two full bathrooms. All homes have central heat and air conditioning; a refrigerator, range, microwave and dishwasher in the kitchen; vinyl plank flooring; and a concrete, covered front porch. Our homes are HERS® certified. Our goal is to build our homes in the most efficient, cost effective, and environmentally responsible method possible.

How much are the mortgage payments?

Homeowners make monthly mortgage payments, including escrow, not to exceed 30 percent of the borrower’s gross income. Habitat does not charge interest for the mortgage loans. Terms can be up to 35 years. Property taxes and homeowners’ insurance payments are escrowed and added to monthly mortgage note payments. Mortgage payments are used to help build more Habitat homes.

Is there a down payment for a HFHSC Habitat home?

There is no monetary down payment, but there is a one-time payment of $1,500 required that is applied towards closing costs on the mortgage. These costs may include homeowner insurance premiums, property taxes, and attorney and recording fees. The $1,500 cannot be borrowed.

How do homeowners complete their sweat equity hours?

A partner family must earn its required number of “sweat equity” hours by attending mandatory homebuyer education classes, by volunteering at another approved non-profit organization, by working on the homes of other families in the program, or on their own home. Some hours can be earned by friends and family members.

Do homeowners actually own their homes?

Yes. Habitat for Humanity is a homeownership program, not a rental program. HFHSC is the general contractor and the mortgage lender. Homeowners sign a promissory note; a deed of trust; and a warranty deed. As long as the payments are made on time and the homeowner pays the debt for the house, it will belong to the homeowner. HFHSC has the first right of refusal to repurchase the home. A Habitat home cannot be rented or used to house a business.

Where are there Habitat homes in Sumner County?

Habitat for Humanity of Sumner County  HFHSC. has built more than 60 homes in different neighborhoods throughout Sumner County including Hendersonville, Gallatin, Portland and Westmoreland. We are always looking for large tracts of land to build new neighborhoods or single lots in established neighborhoods.

Is there a support network for partner families?

Yes!  Habitat for Humanity of Sumner County, Tennessee Inc. provides financial management classes, home maintenance classes, and other educational classes to help families learn how to be successful homeowners. The staff, expert volunteers, volunteer mentors, and budget coaches will guide each family through the process.

What are some of the requirements?

Potential homeowners must:

●      Live in Sumner County (for at least six months) or live in Macon or Trousdale Counties and have been employed in Sumner County for at least twelve months

●      Demonstrate a commitment to a drug and violence free environment

●      Have a steady, reliable income to pay the mortgage and maintain the home

●      Successfully complete the mandatory homebuyer education classes

●      Successfully complete “sweat equity” requirements

Be able to contribute $1,500 toward closing costs

How Habitat for Humanity families are selected

Because HFHSC serves the residents and employees of Sumner County, applicants must have lived in Sumner County for at least six months prior or have lived in Macon or Trousdale Counties while having worked in Sumner County for at least 12 months prior to applying. For information on Habitat for Humanity affiliates in other areas, please visit www.habitat.org.

Partner families are selected by a homeowner selection committee based on three criteria: need for adequate housing, ability to pay, and willingness to partner.

Need for adequate housing

Families must have a need for adequate housing, which could mean they are living in a dwelling that lacks proper plumbing or wiring, has structural problems, or is in a state of disrepair. It could also mean that living conditions are overcrowded or that rent is a cost burden according to HUD guidelines. Approved applicants must also be a first-time homebuyer, which is defined as not having owned a home in the last three years.

Ability to pay

●      Families must have a stable income, which can include employment, social security, pension, disability income, worker’s compensation, alimony and reliable child support. Eligible applicants earn between 30 to 60 percent of the Nashville Metro Median Income (statistics are not available for Sumner County) as determined by the latest HUD data. We consider the income of all adults (18 or older) in the household who will be living in the house.

●      Applicants must verify their employment history and provide documentation of the past two years of annual household income. Applicants are not selected if they can obtain financing by conventional means.

●      Eligible applicants must be able to meet applicable debt to income requirements for both mortgage and overall debt payment.

●      Eligible applicants must have the ability to pay off any collections, judgements, or charged off accounts within a specified time frame prior to commencement of construction on their home.

●      Any related Chapter 13 bankruptcies must have been discharged at least 12 months prior to application; Chapter 7 bankruptcies must have been discharged at least 24 months prior to application.

Willingness to partner

Partner families are required to earn “sweat equity” hours by attending mandatory homebuyer education classes, volunteering at the Habitat ReStore or another approved not-for-profit organization, working on the homes of other families in the program, or working on their own home. The number of hours is based upon the number of adult family members to be living in the home; each adult member of the partner family is responsible for 200 sweat equity hours (up to a total of 400 hours). Applicants must complete at least 50 percent of the sweat equity hours themselves; accommodations/exceptions can be made for applicants with disabilities.

Partner families must be willing to accept the location and design of homes currently available. Contact our administrative offices at 615-452-9606 for more information on our current and future builds.

We accept applications year-round. Applications are available online and at the Habitat for Humanity Administrative Offices and ReStore located at 327 Sumner Hall Drive, Gallatin, TN. Applications must be filled out in their entirety and returned to our office by fax, mail, or in person, and must be accompanied by supporting information listed on the back of the application. For more information, please contact Family Services Coordinator Lisa Adkison at 615.452.9606.

Download an Application

What are some of the requirements?

Potential homeowners must:

●      Live in Sumner County (for at least six months) or live in Macon or Trousdale Counties and have been employed in Sumner County for at least twelve months

●      Demonstrate a commitment to a drug and violence free environment

●      Have a steady, reliable income to pay the mortgage and maintain the home

●      Successfully complete the mandatory homebuyer education classes

●      Successfully complete “sweat equity” requirements

●      Be able to contribute $1,500 toward closing costs

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

NOTICE: The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into a binding contract), because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program, or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Project Act.

The federal agency that administers compliance with this law concerning this credit is the Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C.