Welcome Home, Charles!
New Habitat Homebuyer Charles celebrates his first holiday season in his new home, and it’s a family affair
Home isn’t just the place you live in, but also the people who make it. New Habitat Homeowner Charles can especially appreciate that, now that he has bought his first house only a few minutes away from his parents’ home. Living most of his life with his parents, he was ready to strike out on his own – but not too far from the people who mean home to him.
“I’m still trying to come to terms with it. It’s such a big thing, and so much went into it,” says Charles, an automotive technician with over 10 years of experience. “I kind of thought I’d get [a house] eventually, but not this soon though.” Many Habitat homebuyers express a similar sentiment – that they never imagined they could afford a home, or be able to do so on their own. But by partnering with Habitat Chesapeake’s homeownership program, affordable housing options become a reality. For Charles, that means spreading his wings and moving into his own space.
I’m still trying to come to terms with it. It’s such a big thing, and so much went into it.
– Charles, new Habitat homebuyer
“I was glad, because I think he needs to find a place of his own, and he can invite his friends over,” says Charles’ mother. “I think he’s a little nervous about how he’s going to take care of everything. I try to teach [my children] financial management and how to budget, so you just need to be careful how you do things and you’ll be alright.”
Financial management courses are included in the homeownership education program, in addition to hours spent working onsite. Due to COVID-19, much of Charles’ time in the homeownership program was done virtually, but there was still plenty of opportunity to learn. “It was an interesting process,” says Charles, referring to the mostly-virtual program. “I did pretty much everything online. I learned quite a bit through the training courses, [on] the stuff in the house, how the housing market works, and the history of housing in this country.”
But just because it was done virtually does not mean it was without its challenges. Partner families and homebuyers like Charles have to juggle jobs, schools, families, and other obligations on top of the hours of sweat equity required to complete the program. “Since it was all online, I would have to come in after work, get home, and look at the training courses – either it was a video or I’d have to read an article or several articles at a time and write a report. I can’t say that those were all that easy for me,” says Charles. “I come in after work and I’m tired, and I try to watch this video or read up on this article and I start to fall asleep here and there.”
The months of hard work paid off, though, because Charles is now settling into his new home on Fulton Ave in Sandtown, with plenty of support from his family.
“Thinking about it, there are too few people who get that opportunity,” says William, Charles’ father. “If you look at the statistics, […] Blacks have been excluded from much of the wealth in this country, so we don’t have a lot to give to our kids. Even the ones who are now educated and up a step, are still way behind the curve. So for us to be able to help our child to get to this point is absolutely incredible.”
I [had] the opportunity to work on 2 or 3 different Habitat houses, and I just loved the opportunity. It was wonderful. I learned a lot. I ran across an ad for Habitat, and I said, wow! It would be absolutely incredible if somehow we could get Charles into this.
– William, Charles’ father & longtime Habitat volunteer
Habitat has been a family affair for Charles’ family from the start. William, who worked for Northrop Grumman, has volunteered on several Habitat homes, and it was on his suggestion that Charles apply to the homeownership program after running across a Habitat Chesapeake homeownership post on social media.
“I somehow convinced him that this was the way to move forward with this even though he’s working 6 days a week, seems like 10 hours a day,” says William. “He made it through the program, he put that extra effort in, and he pushed. We are extremely proud of him.”
Charles’ mother echoed the sentiment for their son as well. “I think it’s a good opportunity, and thanks to Habitat he had this opportunity to get a home for himself.”
Habitat Chesapeake is honored to welcome Charles to his new home, where he can build new memories while staying close to his incredible family. Welcome home, Charles!
Thank you, Charles, for choosing to partner with us, and thank you to all our sponsors and partners like you who make affordable homeownership in Maryland possible.
About Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake
Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake (www.habitatchesapeake.org) brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Since 1982, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake has built more than 770 homes in 18 communities, providing a brighter future for 2,700 children and family members. Homeownership is proven to transform lives – improving health, increasing children’s chances of academic success and offering an opportunity to build wealth across generations. Likewise, homeownership enhances neighborhoods by bringing tangible investment, engaged, long-term residents, rising property values and a sense of community.
New Habitat homebuyer Charles just moved into his new home on Fulton Ave in October 2021. Join us as we welcome Charles!
Above: Charles poses with his parents and the Habitat Chesapeake homeownership services team.