Frequently Asked Questions about Habitat Homeownership

How is a Habitat Partner Family selected?

The families go through a family selection process that seeks homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program through performing "sweat equity" in the building of their home, and their ability to repay the zero percent interest loans. The length of the family selection process varies depending on the availability of homes. It may be more than a year from the beginning of the selection process until the family can move into their home.  Habitat follows a nondiscriminatory policy in family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing families who receive Habitat homes.

How can I get an application for housing?

Families who are interested in applying for a San Diego Habitat home must attend an orientation meeting. Please note, applications are not sent through the mail. At the meeting, specific information about San Diego Habitat will be given, including the application process and the home(s) we will be building. Please visit our upcoming events calendar to find out about upcoming orientation meetings.

How does a Habitat mortgage work?

Habitat acts as the lender for a 20-year to 30-year 0% - interest mortgage. The monthly payments that the family pays to Habitat are then used to help build additional homes for more families.

How much does a Habitat home cost and how much are the monthly payments?

Recent homes that Habitat has built and sold cost between $150,000 and $250,000. Monthly mortgage payments are approximately 33% of the family’s monthly income. This includes the principal, house insurance, and property taxes.

Do I have to be a U. S. citizen to qualify?

No. However, you must be a permanent resident to qualify.

What is "sweat equity" and when can I start working on my hours?

Instead of a cash down payment, potential homeowners work 250 hours of labor per adult applicant. This sweat equity can be applied to the construction of their own home, the construction of homes for others, assisting in the ReStore or in the administrative offices, or on other Habitat projects.

Does Habitat prevent homeowners from selling their homes and making windfall profits?

Habitat retains the "Right of First Refusal" to purchase back any home in the event that a homeowner needs to sell. Habitat buys the home back at a price that shares with the homeowner the appreciation in the value of the house.