Buying a Habitat For Humanity Home

Real Estate Agent with United Real Estate TX #0552717

This is a first for me - I have a buyer who is purchasing a home built by Habitat For Humanity.

The buyer, Maria, came to me via a referral partner. She had already found the neighborhood while she worked, briefly, with another agent. I'm still unclear why it didn't work out between buyer and agent, but I do know that she had that agent write an offer on another HFH home in the same development and it Habitat for Humanity Hometurned out to be already under contract.

I met Maria the day after I first spoke with her by phone. We looked at the house she wanted, the one no longer available, and then we looked at what will become, hopefully, her new home. The house had been framed and the plumbing installed, but we could still figure out what each area was going to be and got a feel for the floor plan. We headed over to a nearby McDonalds and we got going on the contract after verifying with the listing agent that the home was still available.

Since this is my first HFH transaction, I had lots to learn. The buyer, already with a lender's pre-approval in hand, could take the easier of the two paths to home ownership with HFH. She's got to take a HUD-approved First Time Homebuyers class and she's got to have four hours of "sweat equity" in the house. She doesn't have to pick up a hammer or lay carpet, but she will be volunteering in a Habitat ReStore for half a day. If she hadn't already been pre-approved for a loan, she would have gone down a different path which includes more volunteer hours in addition to the class.

I stopped by the site this weekend to check on the progress. There was a party going on across the street. A new homeowner was getting the keys to her house! Many of the party guests were those who had worked on her house. I got to meet the HFH coordinator/contractor who explained that her volunteers only work on the framing and outside of the houses. Since the outside of Maria's house is now completed, the responsibility goes to the builder to complete the inside and the finish out.  

In another month or two, Maria will be happily ensconced in her new Habitat For Humanity home.

Posted by

Lorrie Semler, e-PRO, GRI, SRES, CPRES, CRS
Addison Resident/Addison Specialist                                                      Subscribe Button
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Lauren Williams, CPO, CVO
Casual Uncluttering LLC - Woodinville, WA
Professional Organizer: Puget Sound homes

Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417 OHMIGOSH, thank you for this primer on how to get a Habitat for Humanity home. Habitat is one of my two favorite charities.

Mar 12, 2018 01:29 PM #1
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Lorrie- I wasn't aware of this and oh how interesting!!! I love what Habitat for Humanity does. 

Mar 12, 2018 05:21 PM #2
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                                  Thank you Lorrie!!!

Mar 17, 2018 08:20 PM #3
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Lorrie.This is new to me too. I thought it was a direct transaction between Habitat and the new owner. Great story.

Mar 18, 2018 05:45 AM #4
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It’s amazing that we don’t think of this because of the charitable aspect about everything, but it makes sense.

Mar 18, 2018 06:52 AM #5
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Lorrie,
I have done done a HFH sale so wasn't familiar with the process.  I always had the impression they had a list of people qualifying for a HFH home and it was kind of a selection system based on need and ability to repay the loan.  Thanks for the short course. 

Mar 18, 2018 08:46 AM #6
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

That's a great story, Lorrie, and more good news about this wonderful organization that does so much.

Hope things move along smoothly to closing for your client!


Mar 18, 2018 11:53 AM #7
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

How wonderful. I had no idea how people were selected for the HFH homes. That is very interesting!

Mar 18, 2018 02:37 PM #8
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Thank you for sharing this, Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417. I too, am not familiar with the Habitat for Humanity home sale process. I will look more into it so I'm more ready when an interested buyer comes my way.

Mar 18, 2018 06:37 PM #9
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

That's interesting. I didn't know about the process for Habitat for Humanity. Thank you for sharing.

Mar 19, 2018 04:51 AM #10
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

When we had a gas fitting company many years ago we worked on the Habitat Homes. Great way to be part of the community in a postive way. Each time we drive by with our family and friends we let them know what a great experience it was working with everyone involved. 

Mar 19, 2018 05:42 AM #11
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Habitat for Humanity does great work in our local community as well Lorrie! We once bought a Christmas tree, decorated it and put up lights for the family that was moving into their new home buit by the organization!

Mar 19, 2018 06:10 AM #12
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Thank you for the value you add to our members.

This information about HFH homes is new to most of us, so we were enlightened.

Great share.

Mar 27, 2018 11:35 AM #13
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