The Dream of Homeownership

A safe, decent, affordable place to live is one of the most fundamental needs in life.  Unfortunately, the resources required to fulfill this basic need are unavailable to millions around the world, including many people right here in Central Maryland.  

Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake extends the dream of  homeownership  to low-to-moderate income families, offering  new and fully-rehabilitated 2 & 3 bedroom homes with all-new appliances,  central air conditioning and low monthly payments. We select Habitat homebuyers based on three specific criteria: 

  1. Ability to pay 
  2. Need for decent housing 
  3. Willingness to partner 

Read on to learn about what we look for in our homebuyers and how to get started!

What We Look For

Ability to Pay

Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake partners with a unique group of deserving individuals—hardworking men and women who make enough money to pay a monthly mortgage, but not enough to qualify for traditional bank loans. Below is a chart of income guidelines for individuals and families qualified for the Habitat Chesapeake program.

People in Household

Minimum Household Income

Maximum Household Income
1 $19,950 $50,350
2 $22,800 $57,550
3 $25,650 $64,750
4 $28,450 $71,900
5 $30,750 $77,750
6 $33,740 $83,450
7 $38,060 $89,200
8 $42,380 $94,950

Guidelines are based on applicant’s gross income (Source: HUD).

Income Stability

An applicant must have stable, verifiable employment and/or long-term stable benefits. Applicants must have uninterrupted employment for at least one year. 

Credit: We review credit reports for indications of homebuyer readiness, however applicants must meet the following credit guideline

  1. Have a minimum credit score of 600**
  2. Have no open judgments or liens at the time of application
  3. Bankruptcies must be discharged for 2 or more years
  4. Reasonable ratio of monthly debt payments to monthly income

**Other relevant positive payment history will be considered in the absence of traditional credit usage.

Need for Decent, Affordable Housing

Individuals and families must be in need of better living conditions. This includes living in overcrowded or deteriorating conditions, living with family or friends, or paying too much to rent a sub-standard house or apartment.

Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake is an equal opportunity housing provider.  Habitat considers applicants without regard to race, religious preference, sex, gender, handicap, familial status or national origin.

Willingness to Partner

To solidify the concept of partnership, homebuyers are required to invest “sweat equity” volunteer hours when purchasing a Habitat Chesapeake home. An individual homebuyer must complete 250 hours of sweat equity, 200 hours of volunteer service and 50 hours of homebuyer education. A two-adult household when applying as co-applicants, must complete 350 hours of sweat equity, 300 hours of volunteer service and 50 hours of homebuyer education.

In this partnership, Habitat Chesapeake works with each partner family to ensure they maintain the credit and financial standing necessary to purchase their Habitat Chesapeake home, and the ability and commitment to make timely monthly mortgage payments on their affordable home.

How to Apply

Pre-Qualification Application

If you think you may qualify for Habitat Chesapeake’s homeownership program, after reading through the requirements above, we ask that you complete the pre-qualification questionnaire. The pre-qualification questionnaire is not a final application for homeownership.  This form is to help determine if the Habitat Chesapeake program might be a good fit for your household.  It’s one step in the process of applying for a home.

Click Here to Apply

Documentation

The process begins with completion of the pre-qualification application and submission of requested documents. The documents required are:

  • Most recent tax return•
  • Valid driver’s license or identification, social security card, and birth certificate
  • Three months of your most recent paystubs
  • Three most recent years taxes (State, Federal, and W2’s)
  • Signed employment verification form
  • Rental reference from current landlord
  • Twelve consecutive months of rental receipts
  • Twelve consecutive months of gas/electric bills
  • Twelve consecutive months of telephone bills
  • Twelve consecutive months of credit card or cable/internet bills
  • Twelve consecutive statements for checking, savings, and any retirement accounts
  • Public Assistance, Social Security, Retirement, or Pension Letters (if applicable)