We offer a homeownership opportunity to homebuyers who are unable to obtain conventional financing because of down payment requirements, insufficient credit or credit history that requires financial counseling and repair. Currently, qualifying gross income for a household of four for Talbot County is between $30,065-$55,835 and Dorchester County is between $23,940-$44,460.

Habitat’s path to homeownership is an important and in-depth process, requiring hard work, time and dedication. But this helps to ensure the long-term success of Habitat homeowners.

Through financial coaching, education and support, sweat equity and savings, and access to affordable financing, we provide an opportunity for individuals and families in our communities to purchase a quality constructed, energy-efficient, affordable home and prepare for the various responsibilities of homeownership, along with generating wealth for themselves and their families.

How to Qualify for a Habitat Home
Thank you for your interest in becoming a Habitat homeowner. We believe that everyone should have a safe, affordable place to call home.

Residency
Applicant must currently have lived and/or worked in Talbot or Dorchester County for at least six months.

Housing Need
Applicant must be living in housing that is overcrowded, in disrepair, unsafe, subsidized or too expensive.

Qualifying Income
Applicants must meet income guidelines which are 35—65% of the current HUD median income for our service area based on household size. Currently, qualifying gross income must be between $30,065—$55,835 for a household of up to four for Talbot County and $23,940-$44,460 for Dorchester County. Income can include wages and salary along with other verifiable sources of funds, such as child support or alimony.

Debt-to-Income
Total monthly expenditures for recurring debts such as car loans, student loans, credit cards and the mortgage payment must by 43% or less of monthly income.

Excessive Debt
Applicants with no more than $500 in collectable debt who meet other partnership requirements may be enrolled in the program and connected with coaching and financial education.

Screenings
Applicant and any person over 18 years of age who will live in the Habitat home will be screened through the National Sex Offender Registry and will need to complete a criminal background check.

Willingness to Partner

If you qualify, you work closely with professional staff and a volunteer coach through the home ownership process, helping to take charge of your debts, savings and family budget to achieve financial stability.

Habitat homebuyers commit to:

  • Dedicating at least 200-300 hours of “sweat equity” depending on family size
  • Helping to build other Habitat homes and their future home alongside volunteers
  • Attending home owner and financial education classes
  • Working closely with a volunteer coach for mentoring and support through the home buying process
  • Being free of any outstanding collectible debt before moving into a SAFE home
  • Saving for closing costs through an established Habitat Savings Account
  • Paying an affordable mortgage for the cost of the home
  • Assuming responsibility for maintaining the home and paying home owners insurance and property taxes

What is Sweat Equity?
Every Habitat home buyer must earn at least 200-300 hours of sweat equity depending on family size before going to settlement by volunteering on the construction sites helping to build their future home and other Habitat homes or through helping out at our ReStore or other approved community service activities.  Extended family members who will not live in the house, friends and neighbors may help partners to accrue sweat equity. Sweat equity contributes to three fundamental Habitat goals: spirit of partnership, pride in ownership and development of skills and knowledge.

Can anyone apply to be a Habitat homeowner?
Yes. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, age, disability, religion, national origin, family/marital status, or because all or part of income is derived from any public assistance program.


Homeownership Pre-screening Application

Your interest in purchasing a home with Habitat Choptank could be a big first step to a brighter future. To see if you might qualify to buy a home in Dorchester or Talbot County, complete this form. The information will be emailed to our Client Services Manager.