Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, all applicants need to have residency status in the United States before applying for Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program. If you have begun the official process of obtaining residency we would encourage you to apply.
Loan terms depend on gross monthly income at the time the home is purchased. The monthly payment (principal, taxes, insurance and HOA dues) will be 30% or less of a family’s gross monthly income.
That is fine. We will average your annual income based on your tax return/W2.
In order to qualify for Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley’s homeownership program, the applicant needs to either live OR work in Eagle County. If you live OR work in another county, we encourage you to learn more about the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in your community.
A Habitat homeowner may sell their home at any time. Habitat has the right of first refusal as well as a shared appreciation agreement.
NO. Habitat cannot discriminate for any reason. Habitat will work with a family to come up with a modified sweat equity plan.
W2 income, Social Security, child support (needs to be steady and documented), disability income.
NO. All income needs to be documented. Tax returns need to be provided.
Three years of tax returns will need to be provided for self-employed applicants. However, if you have two years of returns and are working on the third you may still qualify.
A legal separation or divorce documentation will need to be provided.
Habitat does not discriminate based on family size or structure.
The process of homeownership begins by submitting an application during an open application cycle. We generally accept housing applications once per year. Habitat staff is available to meet with interested applicants to discuss the process in depth.
If we are not accepting applications, please check back later. We will post on the website as soon as we have an application round scheduled.
- Completed homeowner application in English or Spanish
- Copy of birth certificate, passport or permanent residency card
- Social Security card
- Driver’s license or state-issued photo ID
- Copy of current rental agreement or lease
- Employer name and contact info (if applicable)
- Income documentation, including (if applicable): W-2 forms for most recent tax year, tax return for most recent tax year, paycheck stubs for past two months
- Government assistance award letters: SNAP benefits (if applicable)
- Social Security and/or Disability benefits (if applicable)
- Documentation of alimony and/or child support (if applicable)
- Documentation of any other regular income received (if applicable)
After an applicant hands in a completed application for housing with required support documentation, the Homeowner Selection Committee begins by evaluating an applicant’s financial eligibility. This consists of reviewing income documentation and a credit report. Items that may detract from an applicant’s financial eligibility include outstanding collections, excessive debts, recent bankruptcy and any unpaid judgments or liens. The Committee is also looking for sufficient, stable income to ensure the applicant is ready for the financial responsibility of homeownership.
If the applicant meets financial requirements, there may be a home visit. Here the Committee gathers information about the applicant’s need for housing and willingness to be an active partner with Habitat throughout the program. After the Homeowner Selection Committee approves an applicant’s eligibility it presents recommended applicants to the HFHVV Board of Directors for approval.
“Need for housing” generally means that an applicant’s current housing is inadequate. The Homeowner Selection Committee typically chooses applicants who can prove at least one of the following housing conditions:
- Substandard Housing: Your housing may have maintenance and/or structural issues that create health and safety problems (such as mold, poor heating or plumbing, or unsafe construction).
- Your house is overcrowded, or is not good for handicapped/disabled family members.
- Temporary Housing: You have temporary living arrangements or transitional/subsidized housing.
- Excessive Cost: Your total housing costs (rent and necessary utilities) are more than 30% of your income.
- Unsafe: Your neighborhood is unsuitable or unsafe for family members, especially children or elderly/disabled individuals.
Good credit means that you pay all your bills on time each month and you don’t have excessive debt. Your credit is your responsibility and maintaining good credit is one of the most important things you can do for your financial health. Having good credit means that you have a good credit report. A credit report is a record of the personal financial transactions that make up your credit history, such as credit cards, car loans, personal loans and negative items such as collections from utility or telephone companies.
How does your credit history look? You can check yours by getting your credit report. You are able to get a free credit report once a year from each of the three reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To obtain a copy of your free credit report, visit: www.annualcreditreport.com.
The Homeowner Selection Committee considers the whole picture of an applicant and looks for applicants who are ready to accept the responsibility of homeownership. At the same time, we do not want to sell an applicant a home that they cannot afford. We do not expect applicants to have a perfect credit history. We do require applicants with negative credit accounts to have a plan to fix any outstanding collections or past-due items. We are unable to partner with applicants who have active, unpaid judgments or liens. Excessive debts and/or very recent unresolved collections may also disqualify an applicant.
Applicants who have filed for bankruptcy in the past should show a good credit history since the bankruptcy, and bankruptcies must have been discharged at least three years prior to the application for housing. Certain requirements may be waived in cases of personal or natural disaster.
You may access one free copy of your credit report each year at: www.annualcreditreport.com.
If you plan to apply for a home during the next application cycle, you can prepare by collecting your financial documents. Get a recent copy of your credit report and check to make sure the information is correct. You can get one free copy of your credit report each year at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Habitat for Humanity is not quick. The application process takes between six and ten months. If an applicant is accepted to become a homeowner, the process from acceptance through moving into a home can take from eight months to one year, depending on available funding, construction schedules and the future homeowner’s Sweat Equity progress.
Absolutely. We have limited available homes available. Sadly, this means we cannot accept every qualified applicant. If an applicant is not approved during the current application process, we encourage them to improve eligibility (if applicable) and reapply in the future.
Some of our partner families were denied the first time they applied due to outstanding collections and debts, income that was below our limits or other issues. They successfully improved their eligibility, reapplied and were accepted into the program.
Sweat Equity is work the future Habitat homeowner does, helping to build their home as well as the homes of other future homeowners. It is a central principle in Habitat’s mission of building community and partnering with families to provide “a hand up, NOT a handout.” Providing the opportunity for our future homeowners to work alongside volunteers and future neighbors to build their homes is one of the most unique, empowering and rewarding aspects of Habitat for Humanity.
Once you are approved by the Board of Directors to become a homeowner, you must complete the required number of Sweat Equity hours at Habitat’s construction sites. It’s important for a future homeowner to give consistent, active participation on the construction site. In fact, most families exceed the minimum required hours (250 hours per adult family member). Friends and family may help a future homeowner by volunteering with Habitat and donating their hours to help fulfill your Sweat Equity requirement.
Habitat does not require any previous construction skills or knowledge to be a volunteer or a future homeowner. Our trained staff and long-term volunteers are eager to teach future homeowners and volunteers the skills they need to be successful on the construction site.
Habitat is a nonprofit organization that provides three distinct services in the homeownership process: home construction, mortgage financing and mortgage servicing. These services would normally be given by for-profit real estate businesses. Additionally, Habitat staff members serve as housing mentors, here to support our homeowners in learning the ins and outs of homeownership, getting through challenging times and celebrating successes.
By providing all of these services ourselves, Habitat is able to offer homeowners substantial savings. We are able to open the door to homeownership for those who would not be able to buy a home of their own.
Because Habitat builds homes with affordability in mind, Habitat homeowners have more limited choices about their homes than someone buying from a traditional homebuilder. While Habitat homeowners are able to choose things like the color of the counter tops, the homeowner will have limited choices about things such as the location of the home or the number of bedrooms and bathrooms inside the home.
Plus, Habitat is able to offer mortgage loans with 0% interest, allowing homeowners to save thousands of dollars over the course of a home loan.
Habitat for Humanity, in partnership with families, builds safe, decent, affordable houses. Because we build houses with affordability in mind, Habitat homeowners have limited choices about their homes, including the location of the home.
Our homeowners generally are able to choose:
- Counter top color
- Flooring shade (light or dark)
- Carpet color
- Color of appliances
Still Have Questions? We would love to hear from you.
Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley
P.O. Box 4149
Avon, CO 81620
Phone: (970) 748-6718
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