Steps to Homeownership
Owning a home is a major commitment and an exciting opportunity! Are you ready?
Follow these steps to open the door to affordable homeownership with Austin Habitat for Humanity.
Step 1. Do you qualify?
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. Click here for more detailed information.
Step 2. Attend an Orientation Session: Find out more about Austin Habitat’s homeownership program and how to apply.
This is a requirement for moving forward in the process. Call 512-472-8788 x100 to register for our next class.
Step 3. Schedule a meeting with Habitat staff to evaluate your family’s financial preparedness for homeownership, including credit history, debt, and income.
If you do not meet minimum financial qualifications, our staff will create an action plan to help you prepare for homeownership.
Step 4. If you are invited to apply for homeownership, we will gather additional information and documentation needed and submit your application for verification and approval.
Step 5. If your application for homeownership is approved, you will move forward in building and purchasing your new affordable home!
Step 6. If approved, you will begin your homebuyer education classes and 300 hours (minimum) of sweat equity. Sweat equity is an exciting learning experience in which you work with family, neighbors, and friends to build other Austin Habitat families’ homes before starting on your own.
Hours can be earned on the construction sites, at our ReStore locations or in the office.
Step 7. After completing half of your sweat equity and putting half of your down payment down, you will be given the opportunity to select a lot & home during the next round of selections. Depending on the neighborhood and home, you will have some additional options to select (i.e. paint colors, countertops, etc.).
Step 8. Construction on your home will begin according to a predetermined schedule.
We will raise the walls on your house and you will complete your sweat equity!
Step 9. Habitat staff, volunteers, and donors who have been with you every step of the way gather with your family and friends to dedicate your new home!
Step 10. After you close on the house, you move in!
Partner families are expected to remain engaged with Austin Habitat’s mission by staying in good communication with Austin Habitat, making timely mortgage payments, and assuming an active role in their neighborhoods and participating as mentors to new families entering the process. The application process takes roughly 2-4 months and the sweat equity requirement typically takes 6-12 months. On average it takes about 12-18 months to complete the entire homeownership process, from the date of the application to the house closing. (Timing depends on how quickly the family chooses to work through their sweat equity hours.)