Frequently Asked Questions

How does Habitat work?

Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity (VVHFH) builds houses in partnership with qualifying families, using as much donated materials and labor as possible. VVHFH then sells the houses at low interest and no profit. VVHFH builds decent, affordable no-frills housing. The monthly payments from each VVHFH home in your community combine to provide funds to help build the next home.

Who qualifies for a Habitat house?

There are many criteria a family will need to meet to be considered for a VVHFH Home. Problems with current housing such as over-crowding, excessive rental payments, structural problems in current housing as well as willingness to partner with Habitat will be reviewed. Employment history, residency in the Verde Valley, credit history, and ability to re-pay the monthly mortgage payment will also be considered.

What is involved in the application process?

Pre-screening packets are available to people interested in finding out more information about becoming a Habitat homeowner.  Call VVHFH at 649-6788, visit the offices at 737 S. Main Street, Cottonwood, Arizona, or request a pre-screening packet online.  (use the link provided on this website.)   Additionally, VVHFH holds prospective homeowner public education forums.  During these presentations, criteria for homeownership  is presented and pre-screening packets are available. If you meet the minimum criteria at the pre-screening level, you will be given an Application for Housing.  This is a 7-page document that must be completed and returned within 20 days. If  your application is complete and all information has been confirmed to be correct,  representatives of the Family Selection Committee will ask to meet with you to review required documents, which include but are not limited to:
  • Social Security cards
  • U.S. birth certificates or proof of permanent residency
  • Arizona driver’s license or state-issued identification card
  • most recent 2 years’ signed IRS income tax returns with W2s, 1099s, etc.
  • most recent 2 months’ bank statements
  • last 4 pay stubs (if employed)

How much does a Habitat house cost?

While actual home costs vary from house to house, a typical monthly mortgage payment would be between $400 – $600 which includes principle and escrow for taxes and insurance.  The houses are sold with 20-30 year mortgages and payments will not exceed 30% of the family’s income.  A $35.00 non-refundable application processing fee is due when applicants meet with Habitat representatives to go over their application and documentation. An initial down payment of $1,000.00 is required for closing costs, fees and utility hookups and 1 year home insurance.  An additional $1,000.00 is due within 3 months of being accepted for a home, but 30 days prior to closing on the home.

If I qualify and have been selected as a new homeowner how long does it take to move in?

It can take anywhere from 9 months to 2 years for a family to actually move in. On average once you have completed your pre-construction hours and ground has been broken, it takes 6-8 months to build your Habitat home.

If I am selected to be a new homeowner what will my responsibility to VVHFH be?

Sweat equity requirements are as follows:  300 hours sweat equity for a single-applicant family; 450 hours for applicant and co-applicant.  If there is a third adult who will be living in the home and who is a financially contributing member of the household, an additional 50 hours of sweat equity is required. Up to 50% of the total sweat equity requirement can be performed by family and friends.   A minimum of 50 hours of sweat equity must be completed  before construction has started.

What is sweat equity?

“Sweat equity” refers to the actual hands-on involvement of prospective homeowners in the construction of their home and in other VVHFH activities.  There are many ways to fulfill sweat equity requirements:  help in the actual construction or other on-site tasks at your home site or other VVHFH  home sites; volunteering to serve on a VVHFH committee; volunteering to help at the VVHFH ReStore; etc.

What else should I know?

After moving in,  you are expected to make monthly payments on time and keep the home and yard well maintained.  Annually, you will be responsible for property taxes, homeowner insurance renewals and HOA (Home Owner Association) fees, where applicable. You may not take out home equity loans or liens on your property, as VVHFH is your bank.  If you default on your property payments VVHFH will foreclose on your property. In the event  you need to sell your home prior to the completion of the mortgage, VVHFH has first right of refusal on your home.  The only time you can acquire equity from a sale of  your home is if you have lived in the home for a minimum of 10 years, and  you  have satisfied the terms of the mortgage on the home. Habitat works in partnership with home-buyers, understanding that home ownership is a fundamental way for people to secure a better future for their family and their families future generations

What are the income guidelines?

Income limits for our program are 30% – 60% of median income per year for Yavapai  County. Gross Annual Income includes:  wages, child support, alimony, Social Security and disability payments. Note:  The above income brackets can change annually.
Household Size Minimum Income Maximum Income
One $11,500 $22,300
Two $13,200 $26,300
Three $14,800 $29,600
Four $16,450 $32,900
Five $17,750 $35,500
Six $19,000 $38,100
Seven $20,400 $40,750
Eight $21,700 $43,400
  Note:  The above income brackets can change annually.

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