Frequently Asked Questions

HomeownerAre Durham Habitat houses free?
No. Habitat homeowners purchase their homes from Durham Habitat through a zero-percent interest mortgage.

Where is your office located?
We are located on the 3rd floor of Trinity United Methodist Church at 215 North Church Street. The church is located between the Parrish Street municipal parking lot and City Hall. 

Is there a down payment required?
No. In lieu of a down payment, Habitat partner families must give at least 250 hours of sweat equity toward the construction of their home.

How much is the monthly mortgage payment?
The monthly mortgage payment varies depending on the value of each individual home. Currently the average monthly mortgage payment for new homebuyers is between $475 and $525.

Do you have a waiting list?
No, we always accept applications. Preliminary applications are reviewed each Friday, and our office should respond within 2 to 3 business days.  

How long does the process take?
The application process can take 3-6 months, but it can take up to a year or longer from first application to the close on your home.

Can I reapply if I am denied?
Absolutely. If you are denied for our programs, you may request the reason(s) for denial within 60 days of the date of the notification. This request must be made in writing. It provides you with the opportunity to correct any issues and resubmit another application. 

Do I have to be employed?
No, but you must have a steady income and meet the household income minimum of $1,380.00 per month. Qualifying income includes but is not limited to child support, alimony, SSA, SSI, retirement and income from your employment.

Can a single person apply?
Yes, you do not have to have children to qualify. You may also be married.

Can I qualify if I have had a foreclosure?
Yes and No. Each application and credit file is reviewed individually. A post-foreclosure waiting period may be required.

Where do you build?
We currently build in urban neighborhoods that border Durham's downtown.

Can I choose where I want my house to be built?
Yes and No. Once you are approved, we will offer you a selection of currently available Habitat-owned building lots. You will not have the option of searching for a site on your own.

What size house can I get?
Your home size will be based on the current needs of your family.

Can anyone help me with my sweat equity?
Yes, an approved family has to commit to working a minimum of 250 hours toward the purchase of its new home. Of those hours, 75 may be given by anyone that will not be living in the home.

Can I use my section 8 voucher?
Yes. A homebuyer receiving the Housing Choice Voucher will have the option of using it toward his/her mortgage payments. However, it is the responsibility of the homebuyer to work with Durham Housing Authority to ensure your continued eligibility. Please note that your voucher assistance is not guaranteed to supplement your mortgage payments. Should your voucher cease at any time, you are responsible for the full payment.

Can I apply if I own a business?
Yes. Your complete income tax records for the previous two years will be evaluated closely to ensure that you meet the income minimum and do not exceed the maximum income for your family size.

If I already own my home and it need repairs, can Habitat fix it up?
Yes. We have several repairs programs that may assist you with urgent repairs to your home. This program is designed mainly for senior citizens and disabled individuals with low income. For more information on how to qualify and apply for the Urgent Repair Program, please contact Benee Dixon, at 919-682-0516, ext. 111 or bdixon@durhamhabitat.org.

Has Habitat ever foreclosed on a house?
Yes, unfortunately, we have. You will purchase your home from us, and we expect you to make timely monthly mortgage payments. If you do not make your payments for three consecutive months or more, Habitat may begin foreclosure. Your payments are important because they help fund homes for future families.

Habitat Success Stories

Twenty years ago, Bob came to a Habitat construction site, and he's been volunteering since. "Framing is the fun part," Bob says, "but my favorite task is roofing." He also leads a youth group in making rain barrels for each Habitat home.

Bob