HOMEOWNERSHIP PROGRAM APPLICATION

PRINT THE APPLICATION
Click on the link above to download/print the Homeownership Program Application.

HOMEOWNERSHIP PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Blount County Habitat for Humanity builds and sells homes to eligible buyers in the Blount County community. This is made possible with the very hard work of the buyers, volunteer labor, grants, donors and sponsors. Habitat’s does not offer 1stmortgage loans. All Habitat’s homes are purchased using affordable 1stmortgage loans from other approved lenders. Habitat’s Homeownership program works with eligible buyers to prepare for a mortgage loan application and homeownership.

The homeownership program offers many benefits:

  1. Help preparing for a mortgage loan
  2. Help with closing costs
  3. In-house down payment assistance grant for those eligible
  4. Free homebuyer education
  5. Free financial management mentoring

PROGRAM QUALIFICATIONS

BCHfH’s homeownership program has 3 primary criteria:
(click to expand)

1. Need For Housing

Need for housing is considered in four ways: rental cost burden, condition of current housing, homelessness and overcrowding. Blount County Habitat for Humanity Homeowner Selection Committee works with the Programs Manager to determine if a qualifying need for housing exists.

2. Ability To Repay An Affordable Mortgage

Ability to repay an affordable mortgage is determined by the Director of Programs. This includes the review of an applicant's credit report, debt owed, household income, employment verification, rent verification, etc. The Director of Programs considers loan requirements outlined by approved lenders when making the determination.
Habitat understands that it takes work to get ready for this loan application. We have 6 months of financial and credit work built into the program. The homeownership program is designed to work with each buyer to prepare for this process.

3. Willingness To Partner

Willingness to partner very simply means a buyer completes the requirements of the program. All buyers must earn sweat equity. This is hours awarded for the time spent in homebuyer education, financial management and mentoring, work at the ReStore, work on construction and work with a credit counselor if needed.
Additionally all buyers must save a buyer contribution equal to 1% of their contract purchase price. This pays for the first year of homeowner's insurance and escrow account deposit.

4. Additional Requirements
    1. Reside in Blount County for the last 12 months
    2. Be a legal resident of the United States
    3. Household income at or below 60% area median income determined by HUD - Click here for chart
    4. No ownership interest in a home for the last 3 years
    5. No member of a household may be required by any jurisdiction to register as a sex offender
    6. No household member 18 years old or older may be convicted of certain drug or violent criminal offenses (subject to review)

INCOME LIMITS

Blount County Habitat for Humanity will consider applications from homebuyers with household income at or below 60% of the area median income for the family size as determined by HUD. HUD updates this information annually.

  1. Area Median Income Chart
  2. Habitat uses grant funds when available to make the home more affordable to the buyer. These grant programs may have additional income requirements that must be met by the buyer. Certain properties or funds may be restricted based on these requirements.

APPLYING FOR THE HOMEOWNERSHIP PROGRAM

The application process includes a written application and supporting documents (like tax returns, verifications of income, creditworthiness, employment, rent, etc.), a meeting with the Programs Manager, underwriting (or the process used to determine if the buyer can afford a Habitat home and qualify for a mortgage) and a home visit with the Homeowner Selection Committee to determine the need for housing. Applicants that qualify for the Preparatory or Homeownership Programs must be approved by the Board of Directors in order to be accepted into either of the Programs.

All buyers are referred to as Partners on purpose. We must work together in partnership to realize Habitat’s mission of decent housing for all. This partnership begins at the time of application.

Return complete applications in person at the Habitat main office- 1017 Hampshire Drive, Maryville- Regular office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30 pm.

We will not process incomplete applications.

Applications are available:

  1. Print from blounthabitat.org
  2. Request by email melissa@blounthabitat.org
  3. Pick-up at the ReStore– 548 N. Foothills Plaza Dr., (865) 379-9299
  4. By mail

Application Assistance by appointment. Call the main office to schedule, (865) 982-8717.

Complete as much of the application as you can before the meeting.

HOMEBUYER EDUCATION

Every buyer must complete homeowner education. Buyers learn about homeownership and money management and begin to earn their sweat equity. We want you to succeed, so we will spend a lot of time together preparing for your life as a homeowner.

Buyers use a bi-monthly education calendar (that is posted to this website), homeowner education syllabus, and the homeowner course tracker to manage the completion of the education requirements. These resources are provided by and monitored by the Programs Manager.

There are two tracks towards homeownership through Habitat, the Preparatory Program and the Homeownership Program.

The Preparatory Program is designed to allow the partner to work on personal financial matters that are a road block to loan approval, while attending education classes and sweat equity.  Partners in the Preparatory Program will go through a second assessment prior to being accepted into the Homeownership Program.

The Homeownership Program is designed to begin the loan application process and once partners are preapproved, then begin building a home with Habitat.

Habitat does not guarantee mortgage loan approval for any partner in either program.

PREPARATORY PROGRAM EDUCATION

Education Courses Required:
1. Welcome and Orientation
2. Money Management (1-4)
3. Debt Management (1&2)
4. Banking
5. Credit and Underwriting
6. Coping with Hardships and Cost Cutting

Additional Requirements:
1. Monthly Financial Mentoring
2. 1-on-1 Credit Counseling by referral if required

 Education Courses Encouraged:
1. Identity Theft and Credit Fraud
2. Homeowner’s Insurance
3. Closing on a Home (1&2)
4. Repairs, Maintenance, and Common Issues (1-3)
5. Alcoa Fire Department- Safety Plan- Annual Night Out
6. Yard Care (1&2)
7. Selling a Home
8. Communication
9. Nutrition and Food Safety (4-part class)

HOMEOWNERSHIP PHASE 1: LOAN PRE-APPROVAL

Courses Required in Phase 1:

  1. Welcome and Orientation
  2. Education Assessment Meeting
  3. Homebuyer Education Seminar
  4. Alcoa City Police and Fire Department Annual National Night Out
  5. Money Management (1-4)- as needed
  6. Debt Management (1&2)- as needed

Additional Requirements:

  1. Buyer Contribution savings- $90 monthly IDA deposit with monthly bank statements showing deposits required
  2. Monthly Financial Mentoring- as needed
  3. Begin construction sweat equity on other’s homes
  4.  Loan application submitted after program pre-approval conditions are complete and Money Management course completion (if required)

HOMEOWNERSHIP PHASE 2: PURCHASE CONTRACT TO LOAN CLOSING

Courses Required in Phase 2:

  1. Closing on a Home 1&2
  2. Credit and Underwriting
  3. Identity Theft and Credit Fraud
  4. Homeowner’s Insurance
  5. Selling Your Home
  6. Repair, Maintenance & Common Issues (1-3)
  7. Yard Care (1&2)

Additional Requirements:

  1. United Way Volunteer Hours (4hrs. minimum-10hrs max)
  2. Loan pre-approval received, grant and subordinate loan pre-approval, & execute Purchase Contract
  3. Continue buyer contribution savings in your IDA
  4. Complete weekly sweat equity on your own home
  5. Continue monthly financial mentoring appointments if required

SWEAT EQUITY – WHAT IS THAT?

Homeowners spend time in class, managing money, working at the ReStore, helping at special events, building homes, and volunteering in the community. This time is called Sweat Equity. There is no dollar value or refund for sweat equity if a homeowner is deselected or withdraws from the program.

Habitat requires Sweat Equity for many reasons:

  1. Communities and Partnerships work best when everyone plays a part.
  2. Builds community and creates connections between homeowner, Habitat staff, Habitat volunteers and the community.
  3. Neighborhood pride: Helping to construct homes gives a feeling of accomplishment and ownership.
  4. It gives the homeowner an opportunity to meet their neighbors before they close.
  5. Build skills & knowledge to help deal with maintenance and repair issues.

Accommodations are made for buyers requiring special consideration.

MORTGAGE FINANCING

All homeowners apply for select mortgage loans with Habitat’s assistance. Homes are purchased with the affordable mortgage loan each homeowner is eventually approved for. Habitat cannot sell a home to anyone who does not qualify for an affordable home loan.

Habitat uses a combination of affordable 3rd party mortgages, grants and Habitat subordinate loans to make each home as affordable as possible. BCHFH defines affordable as 21-25% of the homeowner’s gross monthly income.

HABITAT HOME DESIGN

Blount County Habitat for Humanity builds the best home we can while keeping the homeowner’s needs in mind. We are not a custom builder but are committed to safe, decent and affordable homes. Sometimes the home design is influenced by characteristics of the lot and the community where it is located. The basic Habitat home includes the following: (click page below to enlarge)

HOME REPAIR PROGRAM

Home repair is a large part of Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. The home repair program makes safety and health based repairs and modifications to existing homes. We utilize affordable loans, grants and donations to finance these repairs.

HOME REPAIR APPLICATION

PRINT THE APPLICATION
Click on the link above to download/print the Home Repair Application.

REPAIR & MODIFICATION PROJECTS

Repair & Modification Projects Can Include:

  1. Roofing, Heating & Air, Electrical Systems
  2. Plumbing Systems & Leaks
  3. Bathroom Modifications &/or Ramps for homeowners with physical disabilities
  4. Trip Hazards– interior & exterior
  5. Crime Prevention like exterior motion sensitive lighting & removal of overgrown shrubs

PROGRAM QUALIFICATIONS

In order to qualify for the Habitat Home Repair Program you must submit an application establishing:

  • Need for Home repair in order to make your home safe and healthy for occupancy
  • A willingness to partner with Habitat through Education, Sweat Equityand Program Compliance
  • Ability to pay by qualifying for one of the available financial products
  • Additional qualifications:

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Program Requirements Include:

FDIC education course, (approximately 30 minutes done online in your home via our technology)

8 hours of sweat equity required. Please note special accommodation will be made for persons with disabilities.

REPAIR FINANCING

Repair Financing: Habitat utilizes loans, grants and donated services to make home repairs affordable.  We use the following financial products:

  • USDA 504 Loan
  • USDA 504 Grant
  • THDA Emergency Repair Grant
  • BCHfH Critical Home Repair Funding

Click here to download the home repair flyer for more information about these products.

APPLY FOR THE HOME REPAIR PROGRAM

Program applications are accepted and processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Habitat will accept applications while funds are available. We will not process incomplete applications, so please call with questions, (865) 982-8717.

  • Download an application here or request one be sent by mail, contact us by email reception@blounthabitat.org or by phone (865) 982-8717
  • We will review your complete application, then call to discuss your financial options and schedule a home inspection
  • A home inspection will be completed by our Home Repair Project Manager
  • A scope of work is agreed to and a financial product application is submitted if required (varies by product) *
  • Once you have financial approval a contract is executed and work begins**
  • A final inspection is performed by the Home Repair Project Manager when work is complete***

*There is no guarantee you will qualify for the financial product, or that all the work you request will be completed.

**Work may be performed by licensed 3rdparty professionals OR by Habitat and affiliated volunteers.

***A 3rdparty inspection may also be required. This varies by financial product.

AGING IN PLACE PROGRAM

Links To Aging in Place Program Details:

Program Qualifications  •  Program Requirements  • Applying for the Aging in Place Program

Aging In Place is a part of Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. The aging in place program makes critical home repairs and accessibility modifications to existing homes helping seniors live in their own homes longer.

The funding for this project is provided through a grant awarded by the Davidson County Chancery Court, Part III from the Senior Trust/Elder Trust settlement (Case No. 11-1548-III) and through a contract administered by the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.  

REPAIR & MODIFICATION PROJECTS

Repair & Modification Projects Can Include:

  1. Grab Bar Installation
  2. Roofing
  3. Heating and Air
  4. Bathroom Modifications and/or Ramps
  5. Trip Hazard Removal- interior and exterior

*Repairs are completed as budget allows and cosmetic work is NOT covered.

PROGRAM QUALIFICATIONS

In order to qualify for the Habitat Home Repair Program you must submit an application establishing:

  • Need for Home repair in order to make your home safe, healthy, and accessible for occupancy
  • A willingness to partner with Habitat through Program Compliance
  • Ability to pay by qualifying for the Aging In Place grant and paying the $13 deed restriction recording fee
  • Additional qualifications:
    • You are 60 years old or older
    • Proof of homeownership in Blount County
    • Household income up to 60% area median income (click for limits)
    • Mortgage and all property taxes must be current
    • The home is your primary residence not a secondary home
    • You do not own other property
    • Repair work required must be within the grant guidelines and budget of the grant
    • All owners on the property deed will be available and sign ALL necessary documents

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Program Requirements Include:

  • Completion of the Aging in Place application and submission of all relevant supporting documents
  • 5-year deed restriction executed and recorded on the property- This grant is forgiven over the 5 years unless you sell or transfer ownership of your home within 5 years after the aging in place work is done.
  • Homeowner is required to pay the recording fee for the Aging in Place 5-year deed restriction

AGING IN PLACE FEATURES

  • Opportunity to complete accessibility enhancements, energy efficiency improvements and critical home repairs
  • Helps you continue living in your own home longer and maintain your independence
  • Forgiven in 5 years- if you do not sell or transfer title during the 5 years AND you follow the grant terms
  • Can be paired with other eligible funding sources if you need additional eligible work beyond the grant’s funding limit

APPLY FOR THE AGING IN PLACE PROGRAM

Program applications are accepted and processed on a first-qualified, first-served basis. Habitat will accept applications while funds are available. We cannot process incomplete applications, so please call with questions, 865-982-8717. Application assistance is available if you need or would like assistance completing the Aging In Place program application.

  • Download an application here or request one be sent by mail, contact us by e mail reception@blounthabitat.org or by phone 865-982-8717
  • Once your application is pre-approved with all supporting documentation, a home inspection will be scheduled
  • A home inspection will be completed by our Home Repair Project Manager