Category

Homeowner

Planning for Financial Peace

By | Homeowner | No Comments

Providing insight to finding peace with finances, Meredith Canfield, volunteer manager, describes why Dave Ramsey’s course is a perfect fit for our homeownership program.

About four years ago, my church offered Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) class. I thought, “I have time on my hands and I like the thought of financial peace. What could I lose?” That class changed my life. It changed the way I view wants and needs. It provided me a conversational foundation for all money talks with my now husband. And, most importantly, it gave me a new #1 on my list of top celebrities I want to meet one day: Dave Ramsey. But, let’s save that notion for a separate blog post for nerds like me who could actually appreciate it…

Once I started working through the plan and budgeting, it felt like an instant raise! Every dollar had a spot and I even had money to spare! I learned from FPU that peace can only be maintained if your money is kept in line by a well thought out plan – a budget. Similarly, our Habitat homeowners may feel like they got a raise because of the money they are saving from their affordable mortgage versus their expensive rent costs from the past. But, without a plan of what to do with that extra income or even the new costs associated with homeownership, how will they maintain the peace of financial freedom?

Baby steps.

The theme of FPU’s baby steps perfectly aligns with our Homeownership Program. This is why we have chosen to provide it as part of the requirement to complete 300 hours of sweat equity. After all, the other side of slow and steady 300 hours of hard work feels more rewarding than a quick fix or even something free, doesn’t it? Overall, the completion of sweat equity hours provides a natural partnership between our homeowners and Habitat, a sense of pride when constructing on their own home and provides skills and knowledge they can use during their first year of homeownership and beyond.

While I am biased toward my love for budgeting, saving, and giving, I think the financial nuggets of information provided through FPU will change our homeowners’ lives just like it has for me. I hope and pray that our homeowners feel empowered by the lessons taught in Financial Peace University and always strive to plan for financial peace along their homeownership journey.

Home Means: A Living Room of Records

By | Homeowner | No Comments

Many of us take for granted the ability to paint the walls of our home or customize our living spaces. Moving from apartment to apartment, whether for rising rent or a negligent landlord, means that renters are unable to personalize their space, even as simple as hanging family photos.

Our homebuyers often share that this ability to personalize their living space is something they specifically look forward to in owning their first home. Marina, a 2017 Habitat homeowner, shared photos of how she customized her living room with a music theme. She wrote: “I love the green I chose. It turned out so beautifully! It gives my music theme some Pizzazz! I just have to get another curtain rod, so I can put up my navy blue curtains.”

Check out her photos below!

Thanks, Marina, for sharing a peak into your home!

Another Way to Help Our Neighbors

By | From the CEO, Homeowner | No Comments

From the Desk of Jim Morris, President & CEO

You often here the phrase, “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” In Habitat for Humanity parlance, we often talk about providing a hand up and not a hand-out. Our sense of fulfilling Jesus’s second greatest command of loving our neighbor with the understanding that our neighbor is also participating in some way, whatever means available. As we commemorate 30 years of fulfilling our mission to build homes, communities and hope, Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity has secured the ability to offer future home buyers another hand up that isn’t a free lunch, but is definitely a multiplier toward their efforts to successful homeownership.

In August, the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority granted Greater Indy Habitat the ability to administer Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Having an IDA program will allow future Habitat homebuyers to create a savings account for down payment assistance, matched 4:1 through state and federal monies toward savings goals. It is an opportunity to help build a savings mindset toward long-term homeownership success, while also providing a way for the homebuyer to obtain the up-front monies necessary for being a homeowner.

As part of our pre-buying, homeowner education process, we already walk homebuyers through financial education classes that emphasize credit, debt, or other issues that could prevent them from reaching their homeowner goals and long-term financial aspirations. Having the IDAs as a tool will only continue to benefit the homeowners in their journey to a better quality of life.

According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the personal saving rate in the United States is 5.7%. Recently, GoBankingRates posed the question to more than 7,000 Americans of how much they had in their savings account. Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) had less than $1,000 in their savings account. Most low-income families would fall into this category as they can barely cover expenses let alone save money, so having another tool to provide them the opportunity to save and to invest in their long-term future feels to us like we are adhering to Jesus’s command.

Indy Star Article: Dorsey Build

By | Homeowner | No Comments

Last month Indy Star columnist Matthew Tully stopped by one of our build sites in the Near North neighborhood to check out the action. Talking with Allegion volunteers, Tiger team members, staff, and our homebuyer, Terri Dorsey, Tully heard a 360 view of what goes into a Habitat home build.

“On a recent evening, Terri and her daughter drove by the home. They parked on the street and walked up to it, smiling as they talked about where different pieces of furniture would go. Terri’s daughter focused on the decorations she’ll have on her bedroom walls and a third member of the household she hopes will join them once they move out of their apartment.

‘In her mind, she already has a dog,’ Terri told me with a laugh. ‘Well, now she can have that dog she’s been dreaming about.’”

Read the full Indy Star article.

15 Future Homeowners Graduate

By | Homeowner | No Comments

Congratulations to the most recent graduates of our homeownership education class! These 15 future homeowners completed a semester of classes to prepare them for the challenges and joys of Habitat homeownership.

Each participant completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University to better prepare them for the financial planning involved with owning a home. Budgeting skills were refined and healthy spending habits were shared. Future homeowners also learned about homeowners insurance, taxes, appraisals, and legal issues related to owning a home.

The class completed maintenance courses to prepare them for building or rehabbing their Habitat house and taking care of it after they purchase it with a 0% interest mortgage. Habitat construction staff and community partners offered wisdom on potential challenges with plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and other areas. Homeowners were hands-on for demonstrations of painting, drywall, and hammering.

Next up: building/rehabbing their home alongside volunteers and partners, then purchasing their FIRST home! 

We are seeking qualified applicants to our homeownership program and spots are still open for class this fall. Join us the first Thursday of every month for an info session to learn more or call Martha at 317.777.6086!

Perseverance to Provide Stability for Generations

By | Homeowner | No Comments

Perseverance is a theme we see in many of our homeowners’ stories, and Ebony Duffy’s journey exemplifies this theme. Ebony first applied to Habitat’s program in 2009 and didn’t initially meet the qualifications. However, she did not give up visualizing the impact of homeownership and worked hard to see that happen.

Ebony remembers: “I was determined to improve my credit history and increase my income. The last seven years, I had tough obstacles cross my path. However, I overcame them with my strong beliefs and guidance. There was a time when I worked two jobs, working 14 days straight with one weekend off a month, attending classes and raising my daughter. I was extremely motivated to get my finances in order and provide a stable home for my daughter. I am extremely proud to say that my hard work has paid off. Our new home will bring more memories and a brighter future.”

This summer Ebony will become the first homeowner in her family. She acknowledges the longevity of her commitment to this goal: “It will be a start of a new tradition that will be passed down to my daughter and other generations,” wrote Ebony. “One of my objectives [through Habitat’s program] is to show Kaliyah to never give up on your dreams in life.

Ebony already knows what she’ll do first as a homeowner: “I am looking forward to hanging up a picture of Kaliyah cutting the ribbon for our new home.”

Watch the first stage of construction on Ebony’s home completed during the 2017 Statehouse with Habitat for Humanity Indiana and get a tour of her future home. View photos from Ebony’s build with Eli Lilly & Company volunteers on our Flickr page.

Know someone who might be interested in our homeownership program? Invite them to join us for an info session the first Thursday of every month!

Kick Off Event Recap: Amy

By | Builders Circle, Events, Homeowner, Tiger Team, Volunteer, Women Build | No Comments

This week we kicked-off our 30th year with more than 150 of our supporters. We are again is awe of the outpouring of support and encouragement that fills the room at this annual event.

We started the evening with a private reception for our Builders Circle members, allowing them a sneak peak at the info tables and more personalized attention speaking with our team about ways to get involved. President & CEO, Jim Morris, as well as future homeowner Amy Brown spoke to the members about the important role individual donors play in our mission and the need for continued growth in this area of support.

Once the doors opened for the public portion of the event, the “streets” of the DeveloperTown warehouse were flooded with individual, corporate, and faith-based supporters eager to learn more about the work we are doing in Indy and how they can be a part of it in 2017. We paused for a brief moment for Jim to share more about our plans in our 30th year and to recognize those who have gone above and beyond to support our mission.

We would like to thank our award recipients for their past and continued support:

  • “Frank Hartman” Volunteer of the Year: Jamie Gardner Hall
  • Legacy Corporate Partner: Eli Lilly & Company and Eli Lilly & Company Foundation
  • Build Sponsor of the Year: Davis Homes
  • Legacy Church Partner: St. Paul’s Episcopal

Thank you to everyone who was able to help us kick-off our 30th year. We hope you can find a way to join our work in 2017 as we unite to build homes, hope and community!

Special thanks to DeveloperTown, Sun King Brewery and Monarch Beverage Company, for helping make our Kickoff a success!

Habitat Mentors: Kimberly & Jon

By | Homeowner, Volunteer | No Comments

Many Habitat volunteers pick up a hammer or a paint brush to work alongside future Habitat homeowners; however, did you know there is another group of volunteers that are picking up phones, pencils and personal budgets to support Habitat homeowners on their journey?

Each future Habitat homeowner develops a relationship with a mentoring volunteer who is both a resource and friend on their journey. Mentors and Habitat homeowners communicate at least once a month and help with classroom material, provide homeownership tips and generally encourage and listen.

Wonderful relationships have been formed through the mentor program. Current mentors include long-time volunteers, first-time volunteers, current Habitat homeowners and Builders Circle Members. We recently spoke with new Habitat homeowner Kimberly and her mentor Jon. Here’s what they had to say.

Thoughts from Kimberly, 2016 Homeowner:

Why do you think the mentor program was valuable for you as a first-time Habitat homeowner?
I think having a mentor was one of the best parts of the program.  It was the comfort of knowing that if I had a question about something or needed a little assistance in something I had somebody I could call.  John was AWESOME! It also gave me a chance to not only meet somebody new BUT to meet somebody great.

What does home mean to you?
Having my home now gives me a feeling I can’t quite explain yet. Most days I’m still in shock or shall I say disbelief. Having my home though has given me a peace of mind and a great sense of comfort. The best feeling in the world is knowing that it’s mine, and I had a big hand in building it. When you’re the one actually helping do the work to build your house, it means so much more! Thanks to Habitat, as well as my mentor Jon, for this lifelong experience and journey.I think the overall program that’s offered by Habitat truly prepares future homeowners for what’s to come.  It’s so important that you know how to budget, as well as how to save. During the class, it gives you the opportunity to get to know other future homeowners and that too allows you to have other people to create friendships with, in case you might need help or have a question. I love everything that Habitat stands for, and I’m so honored to have got the chance to be a first-time homeowner through Habitat!

Thoughts from Jon, Mentor volunteer

Why did you become a mentor for a Habitat homeowner?
I had been involved with Habitat as a volunteer in some capacity for several years, and my favorite part always involved the homeowner. Becoming a mentor allows me to be able to walk with the homeowner through their journey from start to finish and realize how their hard work paid off.  The best part though is cultivating a relationship for life.

What has been your favorite part of working with your mentee, or what are you looking forward to?
Working alongside Kimberly on the panel build was special because it was the first work we had done on her home.  Dedication day was very exciting too because the dream was a reality.  Just as joyful though was visiting a few weeks after move in and seeing that Kimberly had made her house her own unique home.

How have you learned from your mentee?
Kimberly showed me another level of dedication and determination.  Through all the hard work and hours spent she also had an amazing ability to have fun, which made it that much easier to spend time helping.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Click Here to learn more!

The Queen of the Castle

By | Homeowner | No Comments

Tiffani opens up and shares how being a new homeowner makes her feel like the queen of her castle. 

 “Being a homeowner is like a dream that I haven’t woken up from yet.  These last two months have made me feel ultimately blessed.  Every day when I leave and come home I walk through and double check everything. I enjoy looking out of the windows and reflecting on this next chapter in my life.

I feel so happy when I walk through the house, whether I am cleaning, in my office, or cooking. This new chapter in my life is the start of something beautiful.  My favorite part of my house is my office, I spend a lot of time in there for school, relaxing, and personal entertainment. I was extremely excited to come home during the holidays after visiting my family.  It was a bitter sweet, as I am currently single.  After leaving the holiday excitement and coming home to relax was an amazing feeling.  I am looking forward to implementing DIY ideas for my house and making them into reality throughout the year. I feel like this is my castle and I am the queen. I couldn’t be happier!”

We encourage you to explore ways to Get Involved with Habitat for Humanity, so together we can provide strength, stability and self-reliance to future homeowners.