The Lorain County Habitat for Humanity has two homes available for immediate occupancy, one each in Lorain and Elyria, said Director Kelly LaRosa. Volunteers have spent hours giving the gently used homes — Habitat for Humanity not only builds new, but rehabs homes, too — the once over and now the homes need owners.
“Each home needs something different and these homes got everything they needed,” LaRosa said.
“The Lorain home needed a new kitchen and the Elyria home had a complete electrical upgrade and new flooring. I know each homeowner will want to do their own personal touches, but we get them started with a home that is completely up to code.”
One home is on Elyria’s south side. It features four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and is 1,757 square feet. There is also a two-car detached garage. The other home is in the Homewood neighborhood of Lorain. It has two bedrooms, one bathroom and is 998 square feet.
Mortgages on both homes could be between $300 and $350, based on approval. LaRosa said. Habitat offers buyers 20-year, zero-interest mortgages.
Just like every home needs something different, every homeowner is different, too.
Good candidates for homes include low-income families who do not own their own home, who are living in a substandard home or a home that is too small, or who have been unable to qualify for a traditional home loan.
“It’s hard to say exactly what a perfect family would look like. You can be single, a senior or a family of four,” LaRosa said. “We’re looking for those people who traditionally would not be able to afford a home.”
Nathan Brumfield can vouch for the success of the program.
He had been living in a trailer in Elyria when he hurt his back at work and had to go on disability. There was no way he would qualify for a traditional loan to realize his dream of one day owning a home. But he now owns a home in Lorain via the Habitat program.
“Habitat helps low-income families, telling them they can have the American dream, too,” said the 37-year-old Lorain resident. “I have no credit. I don’t have bad credit, just no credit and it takes years to build credit to be able to buy a house.”
Brumfield said being a homeowner has given stability not just to him, but also to his extended family. Recently, two teenage nieces moved in with him and he is looking at becoming the girls’ foster parent.
“It was a no-brainer. I had a home and they needed a place to stay,” he said.
To “pay” for his home in part, Brumfield spends Saturday’s at the Habitat’s ReStore on East 34th Street in Lorain.
Information about the homeownership program is spelled out on www.loraincountyhabitat.org. The cost to apply is $32.50 for each applicant and $65 for co-applicants. Credit reports are included in the cost of applications.
The first step to owning a Habitat home is to attend an eight-hour pre-purchase homebuyer class. The next class is set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 27, Sept. 3 and Sept. 10 at the NorthCoast BIA at 5201 Waterford Drive in Elyria. Prospective buyers must attend all three days to complete the course. To register, call (440) 322-2355. Registration is required.
The application and approval process also includes a contribution known as “sweat equity” in which each family contributes a set amount of work hours to Habitat programs.