We joined the homebuying program back in 2017. I heard about Habitat and what they do from a school teacher. I went home and talked to my husband and we just went for it. To our surprise they said YES! We purchased our house in June 2018.
The homebuying journey was the best experience of our lives. My favorite memories in the program are the amazing people I met while doing sweat equity hours. I also really enjoyed doing 80s music day on Fridays. We also learned so much from the Tools for Life classes. I learned how to have a garden, do home repairs, and so many other things! Thanks to the Tools for Life classes, I was able to learn interviewing skills, and I began working at a bank in Springfield in February 2018. Those classes were a life saver.
Working on the construction sites, my favorite job was laying the floor. It’s so much fun to learn. It helped us when we replaced the floor in one of our rooms. Another thing we learned was how to maintain a water heater. We actually had ours quit on us once, but thanks to the classes we fixed it!
I have continued to be involved in my neighborhood, including being HOA Treasurer in Legacy Trails, helping with neighborhood events, and distributing information to my neighbors. A hope that we can bring the people in the neighborhood closer together drives me to be involved. I want to be able to have more get-togethers and just socialize. Being around people makes me happy! I enjoy planning neighborhood events. I know most of my neighbors and have become super close to many of them. I really enjoy reminiscing with them about when we all got started and the whole process as we went along in the homebuying program.
Being a homeowner means EVERYTHING to me and my husband. We never thought we would ever be able to own a home of our own. It’s that feeling of knowing “This is ours. We are home.”
Homeownership has allowed us to open our doors to others. Since being a homeowner, we can have pets now. We don’t have to pay expensive fees for having cats. We also can paint the walls any color we want. It’s a safe place to call home. The mortgage payment is so much more affordable than any rent we have paid. My husband and I have also sponsored a child through Compassion International. His name is Ruben and he is so ADORABLE!
I would encourage anyone who is thinking about applying at Habitat to just DO IT! It does not hurt to try. If they say no at first, they let you know what you can do so you can get a yes. They also connect you to an advocate who stays with you and helps you through any tough times or struggles along the way. They want you to succeed.
By Carmen Lawrence