Frequently Asked Questions
What is Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat for Humanity of Teller County is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat builds safe, decent homes in partnership with qualified families and assists these families with the skills necessary to become successful homeowners.
What are the eligibility criteria for Habitat ownership?
Family selection is based on the need for housing, ability to pay, and willingness to become a Habitat partner.
- Need is a category which involves inadequacy of current housing and inability to purchase a home through conventional means.
- Habitat Partner Families must live in Teller County, have steady income between $23,400 and $41,580 annually. Partner Families must provide good references from employers and landlords. They must pass a thorough background check, including an analysis of credit history, judgments and liens, and criminal background.
- Habitat homeowners put in 300 to 400 hours of sweat equity in the construction of their home and those of other Habitat homeowners before moving into their home. We desire that homeowners make a commitment to continue their involvement in the Habitat program during the entire length of their mortgage.
Will credit checks be required?
Yes. You will provide financial documentation to be reviewed by the Executive Loan Committee. The counselors will verify employment, check credit, develop a monthly budget, and provide a financial assessment to Habitat. Past credit difficulty does not automatically exclude you from the application process.
Will a criminal background check be required?
Yes. Past criminal activity does not automatically exclude you from consideration for a Habitat home. However, current criminal problems may jeopardize your ability to repay the mortgage, and so may create an unacceptable credit risk. Habitat reserves the right to disqualify applicants, or to de-select a partner family based on criminal background.
How are families selected?
You must complete and submit an application form and supporting documentation. The Executive Loan Committee will conduct an initial financial review. If the initial financial review is positive, the Family Selection Committee will gather additional information and schedule a home interview. Additional interviews may be needed. When all paperwork, interviews, and volunteer hours are completed, the Selection Committee and the Executive Loan Committee will review all application materials and recommend applicants to the Board of Directors.
How long must I wait to receive a home?
Habitat relies on donations and volunteers to build houses, so it is not possible to say how many houses we can build in any specific time frame.
Across the country, it is not unusual for a prospective Habitat homeowner to wait at least one year before their home is completed. The application process can take as long as 3 months and the building process may take 6-12 months or longer.
How will I pay my real estate taxes and homeowner insurance?
Property tax and insurance payments are included in the monthly payment and are accumulated in an escrow account that is used to pay those expenses when they are due. The first year’s payment for insurance is due at closing.
What will happen if my payments are not paid when due?
Habitat wants you to succeed as a homeowner and will work with you if a problem arises. But it is important that house payments are made on time. There is a late fee for overdue payments. Both Habitat and the USDA have the right to take legal action if house payments are not received when due, and, if necessary, will foreclose on the home.
Who is responsible for the upkeep of my home?
You are responsible for all maintenance on the property. You must make all repairs at your own expense. It is important to maintain the appearance of your home and yard as a testimony to the benefits of Habitat homes in a community.
Will I be allowed to sell my home?
Yes. If Habitat provides the mortgage, there will be two mortgages. The first is based on the cost to build the home and the second is based on the difference between the cost to build the home and the appraised value. You will make payments only on the first mortgage. The balance on the second mortgage becomes due only if you sell the home before paying off the first mortgage. If there are other grants made toward the purchase of your home, you may also have to repay those if you sell your home.
The USDA mortgage has no restrictions, however any interest subsidy that was provided will need to be recaptured in whole or in part, upon sale of the home.
Who can contribute to my required volunteer hours?
Relatives and friends can contribute up to 100 of the hours required. If fewer than 100 hours are contributed, then the Habitat family must work enough extra hours to reach the required total number of hours.
What makes a Habitat home affordable to me?
• Houses are sold for no profit to Habitat
• There is no down payment, only closing costs
• We provide a 0% or low interest loan
• The mortgage and HOA payments are not more than 30% of a family’s gross monthly income
• The mortgage loan length is no more than 30 years
• Community money is raised to pay the up-front costs for every Habitat house
• Labor is provided by Habitat partner families and volunteers
Where exactly does Habitat for Humanity of Teller County build homes?
• Sherwood Forest
• Cripple Creek
• Woodland Park
Do I qualify for a Habitat home?
• You must have lived or worked in Teller County for the past 12 months
• You must be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident
• You must meet the monthly income requirements for the home you want to buy
• You credit history must be clear of excessive debt, collections, or any open judgements; If you’ve had a bankruptcy or foreclosure, it must be discharged.
• Married couples must be co-applicants
• You must be willing to complete sweat equity hours before moving into the home
Can I afford a Habitat home?
First, your income must quality for the home you are interested in purchasing. Each home offered has minimum and maximum income qualifications. We count income from job wages, child support, food stamps, Social Security, SSDI, SSI, TANF, disability, pensions and alimony. Gross monthly income is calculated before taxes.
The monthly income needed to qualify is different for each home and depends upon the type of home, number of bedrooms, and the number of people in your family. Monthly mortgage payments are based on 30% of the family’s gross monthly income.
How can I apply?
1. Review our bedroom policy to see what size home your family will qualify to live in
2. Call, visit our website, or sign up for email updates to learn about the next homes abailable.
3. Review the income qualifications for the home that you’re interested in purchasing.
4. Apply for a Habitat home. We encourage you to attend an application session to apply for the home. No documents are needed at the application session, but will be requested later in the application process
What is Habitat's Bedroom Policy?
You may qualify for a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 bedroom home based on your current family size and depending upon how many males and females are in your family. Couples share a bedroom. Adults over the age of 18 years that are not couples do not share bedrooms. Same gender children under 18 do share bedrooms. No more than 2 people are in each room.
How long does it take to move into a home?
The total time from turning in an application to moving into a home is typically between 5-9 months.
How can I learn more and stay in touch with Habitat for Humanity of Teller County?
Read all of the info on this web site, visit our Facebook Page or call the office at 719-687-4447.