**The next application cycle for the Home-Buying Program will re-open July 1, 2017 and close October 31, 2017. The Information Session for current Home-Buying opportunities in Pottstown will be held July 20th**

Habitat Montco’s Home Buying Program is an affordable home buying opportunity for low-income families across Montgomery County. Habitat Montco offers an affordable mortgage* on a 30-year loan and requires only a $500 down payment. In addition to a financial down payment, each home buyer is required to perform 200 hours of “sweat equity”. Through its non-traditional lending process, Habitat Montco aims to enable low-income families across Montgomery County to secure stable, affordable housing, achieve their dream of homeownership, and build wealth through their homes.

How does an affordable mortgage* and $500 down payment make this an affordable home buying opportunity?

A traditional mortgage requires a 3.5%-20% down payment on a home. For a $150,000 home, a 3.5% down payment is $5,250 and a 20% down payment is $30,000. Habitat Montco requires only a $500 down payment no matter the cost of the home.

Habitat Montco serves as the bank and holds and services mortgages as would any lender, like Bank of America or PNC Bank. Closing costs for purchasing Habitat Montco’s homes can be covered by a first time home buyers program or built into the 0% interest loan.

Habitat Montco builds and rehabs decent, affordable homes in pre-established locations. Over the past 26 years, Habitat has built and rehabbed 61 homes in Norristown, Pottstown, Upper Dublin, Hatfield, Lower Pottsgrove, and Glenside. Currently, Habitat Montco has homes available in Bridgeport, Norristown, Pottstown, and Upper Dublin.

To qualify for Habitat Montco’s Home Buying Program, families must live or work in Montgomery County for at least one year. Habitat Montco loans to families based on three criteria: need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner.

Need: Families must have a need for stable, affordable housing. This need can include living in transitional housing, struggling with overcrowded or substandard living conditions, paying more than 30% of monthly income for housing, or being unable to obtain a traditional mortgage or save for a traditional down payment.

Ability to Pay: For Habitat Montco’s home buying program, families must be able to afford monthly mortgage payments, which include principle, taxes, and insurance. Typical monthly payments range from $600 to $800 per month for 30 years. Habitat Montco looks at applicants’ credit history to ensure that there is evidence of good payment history and responsibility, but does not require a minimum credit score.

Habitat requires that families have a consistent income and/or employment history. Habitat Montco lends to families that make between 30%-60% of median income for Montgomery County. Habitat Montco looks at gross income (income before taxes) and includes all stable sources of income, such as disability, social security, food stamps, alimony, and child support. The chart below shows the minimum and maximum income limits by household size.

 *(As of March 2017 APR is 0%)

Habitat MontCo 2016 Income Limits

Family Size

Minimum Income (30%)

Maximum Income (60%)

2016 Median Income

Montgomery County, PA

1

   $25,000(rehab)/$30,000(new)

   $34,980

   $58,300

2

   $25,000(rehab)/$30,000(new)

   $39,960

   $66,600

3

   $25,000(rehab)/$30,000(new)

   $44,940

   $74,900

4

   $25,000(rehab)/$30,000(new)

   $49,920

   $83,200

5

   $26,950(rehab)/$30,000(new)

   $53,940

   $89,900

6

   $28,950(rehab)/$30,000(new)

   $57,960

   $96,600

7

   $30,950(rehab)/$30,950(new)

   $61,920

   $103,200

8

 $32,950(rehab)/$32,950(new)

   $65,940

   $109,900

 

Willingness to Partner: Habitat Montco requires each mortgage applicant to perform 200 hours of sweat equity. This sweat equity consists of construction work on homes, financial literacy classes, and working in Habitat Montco’s ReStore or office. Sweat equity hours must be completed before purchasing a home. One of the most expensive parts of being a homeowner is maintaining the home.  Through sweat equity hours, home buyers learn crucial construction and home maintenance skills. For example, if a home buyer puts in his/her toilet, he/she is going to have a better understanding of how to fix the toilet when it breaks. In addition, home buyers learn crucial financial literacy skills through sweat equity to ensure home buyers can afford their homes and weather future financial challenges. Home buyers work one-on-one with a financial coach and participate in 40 hours of group classes. 

Request more information about this program.

Forms for the following Home-Buying application cycle will be available starting July 1, 2017. All interested home buyers are required to attend a Home Buying information session. *Note: Only applicants that are not current homeowners will be considered for the Home-Buying Program. The following application cycle for the Home-Buying Program will open November 1, 2017 and close December 31, 2017.

Upcoming Home-Buying Program Information sessions can be found below:

July 20, 2017 - 6:30 - 7:30 in the Manna on Main dining room at:

                                                                                          North Penn Commons                                           

                                                                                          606 E. Main Street Suite 1001

                                                                                          Lansdale, PA 19446

For more information, please visit the event page. To attend this Home-Buying Information session, please RSVP at Eventbrite

Commmon Misunderstandings About Homeownership Through Habitat:

We do not "give" families homes in exchange for physically working on houses

Yes, Habitat homeowners DO physically work on the houses they eventually purchase, but such volunteer labor is just one part of a comprehensive homeownership agreement each family reaches with Habitat when partnering to first build, then buy, a home from us; and those hours do not replace the mortgage or the responsibility to pay for it.

We do not provide "crisis" or other short-term housing

Due to the nature of Habitat’s program requirements, we cannot help families in emergency situations.If you would like to learn about additional affordable homeownership opportunities, transitional housing or shelters or in Montgomery County, please visit our Additional Resources page

We don’t give houses away

Our families pay a mortgage for their homes. That means families who qualify for our program have stable income. Plus a thorough and detailed financial screening is part of the process -- in fact, our organization collects the same information that mortgage companies use to qualify applicants for traditional mortgages -- and candidates need to prove not only that they are capable of affording our monthly mortgage payment, but also that they are responsible enough to do so