Homeownership

Waco Habitat for Humanity believes in offering a hand up out of poverty housing, not a hand out. We’re on a mission to provide affordable housing and our homeowners join this mission. Our homebuying program helps low-income families escape poverty housing by building and buying an affordable home. Waco Habitat for Humanity sells 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes to qualified applicants through a 30-year 0% interest-rate mortgage.

If you are interested in becoming a Habitat homeowner, please read the requirements below to see if you may qualify.

To be accepted into the homebuyer program, you must:

  • be a U.S. citizen or legal resident and
  • live or work in Waco-McLennan County for the past 12 months

To be accepted into the homebuyer program, you must demonstrate at least one (1) of the following:

  • Currently living in housing which is overcrowded or in bad condition
  • Currently paying 30% or more of income for housing
  • Currently unable to secure decent housing through other means, such as a conventional market loan

To be accepted into the homebuyer program, you must:

  • Have stable income between 35% and 80% of the median income of Waco-McLennan County (Housing is considered affordable when the household pays no more than 30% of its total monthly income toward housing. We follow this guideline. If your income level would require you to spend more than 30% of your income on a Habitat mortgage, you may not qualify for our program. See Qualification Income Limits chart below for local income limits.)
  • Demonstrate an ability to make regular monthly payments for rent, utilities and other credit obligations, including mortgage payments, real estate taxes, and homeowner’s insurance. We will help determine if this payment will jeopardize your ability to meet all of your family’s financial obligations and expenses.
  • Have been at current place of employment for at least one year

Qualification Income Limits

The area median income of a family of 4 in Waco is $65,688 annually. These figures are updated annually by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. We serve potential homebuyers who earn between 30-60% of this area median income (all household income included). This table is for reference purposes. Please do contact us if you would like more information about our program. (Last updated June 2020)
To be accepted into the homebuyer program and complete the homebuyer program (required to purchase a mortgage from Waco Habitat for Humanity) you must:
  • Provide Waco Habitat with a minimal down payment of $1,800
  • Fulfill required “sweat equity” hours
  • Disclose financial and personal information, including employment references, proof of income, payment stubs and records, etc.
  • Complete Habitat program application requirements
  • Attend all homebuyer workshop classes
  • Promptly make monthly home mortgage payments
  • Maintain and repair the home after occupancy
Homeownership Benefits

94% of families feel equipped and capable of maintaining home

72% of children improved by one or more letter grades in school

73% Reported a higher sense of financial security

How to apply for a Habitat for Humanity Home

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Step 1: Evaluate your eligibility and readiness

Habitat homeowners help build or repair their homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. To qualify, applicants must meet general eligibility requirements and have a need, the ability to pay, and a willingness to partner with Habitat. Applicants can evaluate their readiness for homeownership by completing the self-assessment and reviewing the FAQ below. 

Step 2: Get an application by attending our Homeownership Information Session

Applications will be made available to individuals who attend the Homeownership Information Sessions. Please see the schedule below. 

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Step 3: Complete the applicaion and gather all required documents

Waco Habitat will begin accepting applications on October 1, 2021. Copies of all required documents must be submitted with your application. All supporting documentation submitted with the application will be kept and cannot be returned to the applicant. Please do not bring originals, copies can be made at our office. 

Step 4: Submit your application

Applications can be submitted in person with the $30 application fee (check or money order.) They cannot be received electronically.

If you have questions or need to speak with someone about an application, contact Ivon Mendoza at (254) 756-7575 or ivon@wacohabitat.org. To limit personal contact, processing questions will be handled by phone, email, or mail. If Habitat determines an in-person meeting is needed, an appointment will be required.

Step 5: Watch your mail for communication from Habitat regarding the status of your application

As Habitat goes through the processing steps, you will be notified if any additional information is required from you. All notifications regarding the status of an application will be mailed to the applicant’s address. Please notify Ivon Mendoza of any changes to the applicant’s contact information throughout the application process.

How does Habitat for Humanity help families?

People in your community and all over the world partner with Habitat to
build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build
their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.

Will Waco Habitat for Humanity (WHFH) give me a house?

No, but if you meet the criteria and are accepted into the program, we will
invite you to become a Habitat homebuyer and purchase one of our homes.

How are homebuyers selected?

Applicants submit a pre-screening questionnaire. Applications are reviewed
by Director of Homeowner Services to determine household income and
Debt-To-Income Ratio. If applicant meets requirement, they will be invited to
fill out the full application for homeownership. Then, the Homebuyer Loan
Committee, comprised of WHFH Directors will review applications with
Director of Homeowner Services and determine which applicants qualify and
recommend those who do for acceptance to the program. The Habitat Board
of Directors then reviews those recommendations and decides on final
approval. Total household income must to fall within 30-60% of the median
household income range.

What is the first step towards purchasing a new home?

If you are interested in the WHFH program and have reviewed the
requirements, the next step is to contact Ivon Mendoza at
ivon@wacohabitat.org or (254) 756-7575 for the application or download it by clicking the buttons above

Will Waco Habitat for Humanity run a credit check?

Yes. We will ask you as a homebuyer applicant to submit financial
documentation to us. We will verify employment, check credit, and make an
assessment as to whether Habitat is an appropriate program for you. You are
not required to have perfect credit, but WHFH must ensure that payments are
being made. WHFH does not check your credit score – we use the details of
the report to determine your outstanding debts (not including medical debts)
and the payments you are making.

What is sweat equity?

Sweat equity can take many forms for partner families working with Habitat.
It can mean construction work on their home or on a home for another
family, cleaning up the build site, working in a Habitat ReStore, assisting in
administrative duties, or countless other ways of helping out. It’s about doing
the work — the hard work — to bring an idea to life. Families are required to
do a total of 300 hours.

How long is the process?

The process typically 18-24 months from application to house closing.

Do you require a down payment?

Yes, WHFH requires families to save $1,500 by closing for the first 2 months
of taxes and insurance.

What else is expected of homebuyers?

In addition to sweat equity and homeowner classes, we ask homeowners to
share their stories. We occasionally ask homeowners to talk about the
program or be featured in media, but we always respect your privacy and
wishes. At Habitat, we build community by asking you to meet neighbors, get
involved in Homeowners’ Associations and become a true partner to our
program.

Other housing resources and information

  • Check out resources at the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) website, where you can take their eligibility quiz (separate from Habitat for Humanity program) and learn about down-payment-assistance (some Habitat for Humanity homebuyers may be eligible for down-payment-assistance). TSAHC is is a statewide nonprofit corporation created at the direction of the Texas Legislature.
  • Learn more about Texas Bootstrap program.
  • Not ready to buy a home? Find information about U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rental assistance programs.
  • Did you know we also offer financial counseling to the public? Contact Homebuyer Services for more information about availability and our next classes.

Equal housing opportunity

The selection of homebuyers who purchase Habitat homes is considered by the Loan Committee with final approval from the Waco Habitat Board of Directors, using criteria that does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, age, handicap, religion, marital status, or because all or part of the applicant’s income is derived from public assistance programs.

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