Homeownership Program FAQs
If you do not find answers to yor questions below, please call us at 512-472-8788 x 150.
Q: How do I get a house?
A: First, it’s important to know that Austin Habitat for Humanity does not give houses away. We provide a hand up rather than a hand out. Therefore, each applicant must agree to partner with us in the program, which includes providing all documentation needed as well as attending homebuyer education classes and working 300 hours of sweat equity. Basic requirements to own a Habitat home are provided in the mandatory orientation session. Click here for a schedule of upcoming classes and call our office at 512-472-8788 x 150 to sign up.
Q: How do I know if I qualify?
A: Austin Habitat builds houses along with families who demonstrate a need for housing, the ability to pay a mortgage and also a willingness to partner. To qualify, you must be must be a first time homebuyer or a previous home owner that has not owned a home for the past three years. (Displaced homemakers may qualify.) Your income must be 60 percent or below the median family income in Austin and you must show you have the ability to pay an affordable mortgage loan for 30 years. Minimum credit score of 580 also applies.
Q: How much will my mortgage cost?
A: We provide the opportunity for affordable mortgages for 30 years. Payments are approximately $500-600 per month for 30 years.
Q: What are sweat equity hours and how many do I have to work?
A: Sweat equity is the Habitat for Humanity term for partnering with us in the process to create homeownership for you and for others. Austin Habitat for Humanity requires each Habitat partner (future homeowner) to complete 300 hours of sweat equity helping build others homes so we can begin building yours. The pace at which you work off your hours is entirely up to you and your family. In general, the process takes approximately 12 months.
Q: Are the houses free?
A: Austin Habitat for Humanity does not give houses away. We provide a hand up rather than a hand out. Therefore, each applicant must agree to partner with us in the program, which includes providing all documentation needed as well as attending homebuyer education classes and working 300 hours of sweat equity.
Q: Do I have to be a first-time homebuyer?
A: By HUD definition you must not have owned a home, independently or with someone else, in the past 3 years.
Q: What if I’m over the income requirements?
A: Habitat has two options for those above the maximum requirements for a home. Our team holds a session titled, “Realizing the American Dream,” for those interested in homeowership but who may need to go through more traditional homebuying arrangements. Also, Austin Habitat can refer you to other affordable homebuying options such as our subsidiary serving families at 80 percent and below median family income. For more information on HomeBase go to www.homebasetexas.org or call 512-410-6616.
Q: What if I’m under the income guidelines?
A: If you are below the income guidelines specified by Austin Habitat for Humanity, we refer you to housing agencies who specialize in your area. See our resources for a list of agencies that may be better equipped to help you or you may dial 2-1-1 for more information on low-income, more immediate, or rental housing options.
Q: Can I sell the house?
A: The Habitat for Humanity program is designed to promote long-term ownership. We find that very few of our homeowners want to sell the home they worked so hard to build. Although it’s unusual, homes can be sold after a period of time. Please call us for more details.
Q: Can I rent my home to other people?
A: No, Habitat for Humanity homes must be owner occupied.
Q: When is the next orientation session?
A: To register for an orientation session, please check our calendar and call us at 512-472-8788 x 150 to reserve your spot.