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  • Owning a Habitat Home
  • Do I Qualify?
  • How to Apply
  • FAQ
  • Housing Resources

We Make Homeownership Possible

To make the dream of homeownership achievable, Habitat for Humanity RFV partners with local individuals and families to build safe, affordable homes that enable them to become a lasting part of our community. Here is one Habitat homeowner’s story in their own words: 

The Ice Family

Prior to becoming Habitat homeowners, we were renting a less than 600 square foot, 2-bedroom house with a toddler and a baby. We knew our situation was the best “deal” for us financially and in this valley, but still, we dreamed.

We applied for a Habitat home more than once, but we were not chosen each time. Almost a year after we had our last interview with Habitat, we got a call that would change our lives forever. A Habitat family unfortunately had a change of circumstances, and they asked if we be interested in purchasing the home. It was truly divine timing how everything worked out for us.

We have now been in our house a little over a year, and the peace of mind and joy that has come with owning a beautiful, new home is indescribable. We always had dreams of hosting gatherings, growing a garden, the freedom to make a house our own, and to continue to grow our family. We have begun to see those dreams become reality, starting with the impending arrival of baby #3, coming in early 2021!

We can’t thank Habitat enough for the chance to grow as individuals and as a family in our safe and beautiful home sweet home.

Habitat Homeowner Selection Criteria

Homeowners buy their homes with an affordable loan from one of Habitat's third party lending partners. 

Our partner families are selected based on the following four criteria:

Need

Families must currently live in substandard, crowded, or unaffordable housing, or housing that for some reason does not meet the needs of the family.

  • Your shelter is inadequate because of problems with heating, water supply, structural safety, overcrowding, etc.
  • Your monthly housing payment is more than 30% of your monthly income.
  • The neighborhood you live in is unsafe.

Willingness to partner

In order to be selected to purchase a Habitat home, you must show your willingness to partner with us by demonstrating timeliness, understanding, and eagerness of the partnership throughout the process. This includes:

  • Saving $2,000 for closing costs
  • Contributing 250 hours per applicant on the construction of their home and the homes of other families
  • Attending required homeowner education classes
  • Making on-time mortgage payments
  • Handling home upkeep
  • Continued involvement with Habitat RFV by volunteering and participation in fundraisers and special events

Residency status

To quality for a home, you must be a United States Citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident of the United States. You must have lived or worked in the Roaring Fork Valley for at least one year to apply. Our service area includes Aspen to Parachute.

Ability to pay

Families must meet the financial requirements and have a stable, monthly income sufficient to meet routine expenses, maintain a homes and make monthly mortgage payments.

  • Our current income range is $25,000-$57,000 per year.
  • Monthly mortgage payments should be less than 30% of the homebuyers gross (before taxes) monthly income.


FAIR HOUSING NONDISCRIMINATION CLAUSE

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

Steps to Becoming a Habitat Homeowner

The number of candidates selected varies year to year and is in direct relationship to the number of homes we are currently able to build. All applications are thoroughly reviewed by our Family Selection Committee and applicants will be kept informed throughout the application process.

Step 1: Qualify

Review qualifications by clicking on the Do I Qualify? tab above.

Step 2: Apply

We are not currently accepting applications at this time.  When the application period opens you will need to return your fully completed application and provide all required supplemental documents by the Application Period deadline. (Note: Some of our homeowners were denied the first time they applied due to outstanding collections and debts, income that was below our limits or other issues. They successfully improved their eligibility, reapplied and were accepted into the program.)

Step 3: Application Review & Home Visits

  • All applications will be reviewed by Habitat of the Roaring Fork Valley’s Family Selection committee (committee includes community volunteers, Habitat staff members and current Habitat homeowners).
  • All information provided in your application will be verified.
  • A member of the committee will be in touch with you while your application is being evaluated.
  • Of the qualified applicants, the families who are ready for homeownership will be selected. Applicants that are not selected are encouraged to reapply in the future.

Step 4: Selection

After the Homeowner Selection Committee approves an applicant’s eligibility it presents recommended applicants to the Habitat RFV Board of Directors for approval.

Step 5: Partnership

If selected for Habitat homeownership, you will begin 250 “sweat equity” volunteer hours (per adult) and will participate in homeowner education classes.

Step 6: Homeownership!

Upon completion of all sweat equity hours, approval of a mortgage through one of our third party lending partners, and verification of down payment funds, you will begin the closing process. Once you become a proud Habitat homeowner you will move into your home and begin paying your mortgage. You may also be asked to participate in a dedication ceremony held when you move into your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Homeowners buy their homes with a no-interest, no-profit loan from Habitat. 

Our partner families are selected based on the following four criteria:

Are Habitat Homes Given Away?

No. Our homes are built in partnership with low- and moderate-income families. Partner families pay for closing costs and make affordable monthly mortgage payments. Partner families are required to invest 200 hours (per adult) of their own labor into building their Habitat house and the houses of others, as well as attend a series of home-buyer education classes.

Where do you build your homes?

We build in the following counties:

  • Pitkin
  • Eagle
  • Garfield County

Our service area spans from Aspen to Glenwood Springs to Parachute.

If you are interested in getting involved with Habitat outside of the Roaring Fork Valley service area, visit Habitat for Humanity of Colorado for a map of other affiliates in Colorado.


I have to build my own home? What if I have no construction skills?

Habitat does not require any previous construction skills or knowledge to be a volunteer or a future homeowner. We have a fully trained staff and long-term volunteers who are eager to teach our future homeowners and volunteers the skills they need to be successful on the construction site.

What should I do before applying with Habitat for Humanity to be prepared?

If you plan to apply for Habitat’s Homeownership Program during the next application round, you can prepare by collecting your financial documents. Get a recent copy of your credit report and check to make sure the information is correct. You can get one free copy of your credit report each year at www.annualcreditreport.com.

What is good credit, how will I know if I have it?

Good credit means that you pay all your bills on time each month and you don’t have excessive debt. Your credit is your responsibility and maintaining good credit is one of the most important thing you can do for your financial health. Having good credit means that you have a good credit report. A credit report is a record of the personal financial transactions that make up your credit history, such as credit cards, car loans, personal loans and negative items such as collections from utility or telephone companies.


How does your credit history look? You can check yours by getting your credit report. You are able to get a free credit report once a year from each of the three reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To obtain a copy of your free credit report, visit: www.annualcreditreport.com

What if my credit report shows outstanding collections, debt, bankruptcies, judgments, and liens?

The Homeowner Selection Committee considers the whole picture of an applicant and looks for applicants who are ready to accept the responsibility of homeownership. At the same time, we do not want to sell an applicant a home that she or he cannot afford. We do not expect applicants to have a perfect credit history. We do require applicants with negative credit accounts to have a plan to fix any outstanding collections or past-due items. We are unable to partner with applicants who have active, unpaid judgments or liens. Excessive debts and/or very recent unresolved collections may also disqualify an applicant.


Applicants who have filed for bankruptcy in the past should show a good credit history since the bankruptcy, and bankruptcies must have been discharged at least three years prior to the application for housing. Certain requirements may be waived in cases of personal or natural disaster.


You may access one free copy of your credit report each year at: www.annualcreditreport.com.

What if my application is not approved? Can I apply for homeownership again in the future?

Absolutely. We have limited available spots in our Homeownership Program. Sadly, this means we cannot accept every qualified applicant. If an applicant is not approved during the current application process, we encourage her/him to improve eligibility (if applicable) and reapply during a future application round.


Some of our partner families were denied the first time they applied due to outstanding collections and debts, income that was below our limits or other issues. They successfully improved their eligibility, reapplied and were accepted into the program.

Will I be able to apply if I am separated from my spouse and applying alone?

Your divorce will need to be final before you apply.

Will I qualify if I do not have any children?

Habitat cannot discriminate based on family size or structure.

Can I qualify if I am self-employed?

Three years of tax returns will need to be provided for self-employed applicants. However, if you have two years of returns and are working on the third you may still qualify.

What types of income will be used to see if I qualify?

W2 and/or 1099 income, Social Security, child support (needs to be steady and documented), disability income.

Do I need to be a permanent resident to apply?

Yes, all applicants need to have residency status in the country before they can apply for Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program.

How many years will my mortgage be?

Loan terms depend on gross monthly income at the time the home is purchased and the lending partner that is selected and can range from 20-38 years. The monthly payment (principal, taxes, and insurance) is encouraged to be under 30% of a family’s gross monthly income. 


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Other housing resources:


Whether you are ready to apply for a home through Habitat for Humanity or just beginning your home buying journey and you believe you can qualify for affordable housing here are a couple of resources for you to explore to get started:


Rental and Ownership Opportunities:


Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority- rental and ownership opportunities, including home within Basalt Vista if you work full time within Pitkin County

https://www.apcha.org/


Roaring Fork School District, including homes within Basalt Vista if you work for the school district


Garfield County Housing Authority-

http://garfieldhousing.com/



Grand Junction Housing Authority- 

http://www.gjha.org/


Free Market Financing


USDA has financing options for families who earn below 80% AMI for the county in which they are interested in purchasing, loans can be up to 38 years, with low-interest rates, and subsidies based on income. If you are interested in finding out if you can qualify for one of these loans, email Kristen at KristenW@HabitatRoaringFork.org. 


Housing Resources

Whether you are ready to apply for a home through Habitat for Humanity or just beginning your home buying journey and believe you can qualify for affordable housing, here are a few resources to explore to get you started.

Rental & Ownership Opportunities

Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority

Rental and ownership opportunities, including home ownership within Basalt Vista if you work full time within Pitkin County. apcha.org


Roaring Fork School District

Home ownership opportunities, including homes within Basalt Vista if you work for the school district. Contact Megan Kappelli (megan@zgrent.com) for more information and click here for more information on Phase III.


Garfield County Housing Authority

Rental and ownership opportunities, including home ownership within Basalt Vista if you work for Roaring Fork Schools. garfieldhousing.com

Free Market Financing

USDA has financing options for families who earn below 80% AMI for the county in which they are interested in purchasing, loans can be up to 38 years, with low-interest rates, and subsidies based on income. If you are interested in finding out if you can qualify for one of these loans, email Kristen Wilmes at KristenW@HabitatRoaringFork.org



What families are saying about Habitat homeownership


“Although I got to paint my room, my favorite part of the house is the doorbell! It isn’t just a doorbell, it is a sign of welcome, a sign to say this is your home. I’ve never had a doorbell that has ever worked and sometimes there wasn’t even one. So, when I see that doorbell, I know this is our forever home.” 

Maryann (Age 16), Habitat Homeowner Family Member

“I would have been in a tough situation without Basalt Vista. 

Our new home is absolutely the reason I’m able to stay in this Valley, still be a teacher and do what I love, and be able to co-parent my daughter.” 

Natasha Walker, Basalt Vista Homeowner