Homebuyer Program

How it Works

Habitat for Humanity offers a homebuyer program to qualified low-income individuals and families in the Fox Cities. Habitat extends a 0% interest mortgage loan. Monthly mortgage payments include repayment to Habitat for the home (principal), as well as for property taxes and home insurance (escrow).

Where to Start

Habitat Homebuyer Readiness Info Sessions will tell you the info you need about buying a home with Habitat. We have readiness info sessions two times per year. Our next session will be in the spring of 2022.

Download and print the Applicant Guidelines by clicking on the button below.

To receive a video with detailed instruction about applying and preparing for the homebuyer program, please fill out the form below.

Qualified applicants will need to meet the Selection Criteria and other requirements listed below.

Need

Applicants must be in need of housing due to any of the following situations:

  • Structurally substandard, unsafe, or unhealthy living conditions
  • Temporary housing or over-crowded living conditions
  • Housing costs (rent + utilities) exceeds 30% of gross monthly household income
  • Housing is inaccessible
  • Reside in subsidized or transitional housing (section 8, Title 42, etc)

Ability to Pay

Habitat will evaluate applicants’ household income and debt. Applicants must be comfortable with a monthly mortgage payment that would be set at 25% of your gross monthly income. Applicants must have enough income through stable employment or other forms of permanent income to afford a home and all basic living expenses. 

Income includes all wages, unemployment (only if related to seasonal employment), social security, pension and/or disability. Self-employment income is defined as the net profit. Income can also include child support, kinship care and other types of income which is received on a regular basis and is needed to cover monthly expenses. All income sources are included when they are expected to last for 3 years or longer.

2020-2021 Income Guidelines are based on family size. Your gross annual income must be at or above the minimum and at or below the maximum.

2020-2021 Homeownership Income Guidelines

Family Size Minimum Maximum
1 $27,000 $36,000
2 $27,000 $41,100
3 $27,700 $46,300
4 $27,700 $51,400
5 $27,700 $55,350
6 $29,800 $59,600
7 $31,900 $63,750
8 $33,900 $67,800
9 $36,000 $71,000
10 $38,050 $76,050

Debt

Applicants’ credit history does not need to be perfect. Many applicants have some debt. Is it important for applicants to know how much is owed and for the total amount of debt to be manageable.

  • All collection debt must have proof of active payment plans or be paid in full
  • Judgments for money must be satisfied. [Go to CCAP – Wisconsin Circuit Court Access at: wcca.wicourts.gov]
  • Bankruptcy or foreclosure must have been satisfied for at least twelve months
  • It is recommended that applicants obtain a free copy of their credit report to ensure all credit is reported accurately [Go to www.annualcreditreport.com]

Willingness to Partner

Applicants must be willing to work in partnership with Habitat with their positive and active involvement in the Homebuyer Sweat Equity Program. Applicants must be willing to complete 300 to 500 hours of sweat equity by attending classes and workshops, working at the Habitat ReStore, participating in Habitat or ReStore events, and building on other homes as well as their own.
*Accommodations for health and employment issues will be made on a case by case basis

Additional Applicant Requirements

  • Divorce proceedings must be finalized
  • Applicant(s) must provide applicable documentation of Permanent Residency or Citizenship
  • Applicant must clear a criminal background check
  • It is important to determine who the homebuyers will be when there are multiple adults who are planning to live in the home permanently. This is an income based program. If you currently live in the home with someone you do not intend to buy the home with, contact Habitat for clarification.
  • Wisconsin is a marital property state and Habitat requires married couples to apply jointly
  • All adult (over 18) household members must sign a general release for a background check and other verification
  • Habitat is unable serve applicants if any household member is a registered sex offender
  • Any conviction(s) which are recent and/or severe in nature will be evaluated on a case by case basis

How to Apply

Individuals interested in home ownership through Habitat will need to complete and submit a pre-application document along with a $30 application fee (one fee per application) when pre-applications are open.

Pre-applications will be available September 8-22, 2021  (click the link at the top to access. ***Pre-applications are only available during open periods) and also available in a container attached to our Little Free Library at our office at 921 Midway Road in Menasha during the application period only***

Pre-application steps to complete:

  • Obtain the pre-application (available September 8-22, 2021)
  • Submit the pre-application in person (drop in the white drop box at the Habitat office) or by mail – pre-applications must be postmarked no later than the last day of open period)
  • Include a $30 pre-application fee (one fee per application) made payable to “Habitat” (personal check, money order, or cashier’s check only – no cash or card)
  • Check your public record for Judgments or Liens – You may have a court-ordered judgement and not even know it! Judgments or liens need to be paid before Habitat can work with you. Go to: https://wcca.wicourts.gov/index.xsl before applying.

How Do I Calculate My Income?

General Release Other Household Members

*Every adult (over 18 years) must sign a general release form. All married couples must sign a joint release form.

*Pre-Applications submitted electronically or without pre-application fee will be considered incomplete.

Not ready to apply? Contact Habitat for your options.

Our Family Services staff can work with you to find where you are at in your home-ownership journey and provide appropriate resources.

For email inquiries: HomeBuyer@foxcitieshabitat.org

Call (920) 967-8915 for details on this program.

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