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Homeowners > Homeownership Q & A
How much does a new construction Habitat house cost?
A Habitat house costs approximately $60,000 - $75,000 to build. A new Habitat homeowner will only pay what it cost to build the house.

How much are the monthly payments?
The average monthly payment is between $350 and $450 depending on house style, location and length of mortgage; this includes an escrow payment for taxes, termite bond and insurance, but does not include any utilities.

How does a Habitat mortgage work?
Habitat acts as the lender for a 20-30 year interest free mortgage. The money that families pay back is channeled into the construction of more Habitat homes for other families.

Do I have to work to help in the construction of the house?
Yes. One of the most vital elements of the Habitat ministry is the partnership between new homeowners and the local Habitat affiliate. The most important connection between families and Habitat is sweat equity. Sweat Equity refers to the actual hands-on participation of partner families. Families are required to complete 500 hours of sweat equity before moving into their new home.

Do I need to know anything about construction?
No. Construction experience is not necessary. Habitat construction supervisors will teach you all that you need to know to complete building tasks. Partner families will attend a tool training before you start on site.

Can I start my sweat equity hours whenever I want?
No, we ask that you begin your sweat equity hours once you have been selected. However we do encourage you to come out and volunteer to see if the partnership would be something you could commit to.

How long does it take to get a Habitat house?
The length of time to get a house will vary. On average the family selection process takes 3-4 months and construction takes 6-8 months.

Where does Charleston Habitat build?
Charleston Habitat builds only in downtown Charleston, West Ashley, and North Charleston. So you would have to be willing to live in neighborhoods in those cities.

How do I qualify for a Habitat house?
Please see the Family Selection Criteria

Do you have to be Christian to become a Habitat homeowner?
Habitat for Humanity was founded and will always be a Christian ministry. However homeowners are selected without regard to creed, both in keeping with the requirements of the law and Habitat’s belief that God’s love extends to all regardless of race, religion, marital status, gender or nationality.

Do you have to have a job to become a Habitat Homeowner?
Habitat requires that you earn enough money to use no more than 25% of your annual income to pay the approximate $350 monthly mortgage payments. While some Habitat homeowners may receive public assistance, most have jobs. Habitat for Humanity works in good faith with people who are at risk financially, knowing that owning a home is not the answer to every problem, but can be an important step- often the first step- toward breaking the cycle of poverty.

Do you have to be a US citizen to become a Habitat homeowner?
You must be either a US citizen or permanent resident to qualify for a Habitat house.

What if I have a lot of debt?
Upon reception of your application we will make a detailed analysis. The biggest problem is what we call “bad” debt- which includes accounts in collections, charged off, or the subject of a legal judgment. All of your bad debt must be paid off before you can actually buy a Habitat house. You will also be referred to a Credit Counseling service so that you can get help in resolving debt and credit issues.

Your “current” debt -which is debt in good standing- including our mortgage must not require monthly payments of more than 40% of your gross family income.

Can I qualify if I am handicapped?
Yes, we will make special arrangements by which you can satisfy Habitat’s “Sweat Equity” requirements.

When can I apply for a Habitat house?
We are not accepting any applications at this time. You can, however, call the Charleston Habitat Office at 722-7145, and we will send you a brochure with complete details of the home ownership program.

When is the next Family Orientation Meeting?
The specific date of the next Family Orientation meeting has not yet been determined. Please keep checking this page for updates.

Will Habitat build me a home if I own property?
Yes, if you have a clear deed/title to the property. The applicant must be the owner on the title, must live in the house, and still qualify based on our selection criteria.
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