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Habitat for Humanity RGV to host Homebuyer Orientation

December 2, 2018

HARLINGEN — Habitat for Humanity is searching for four families in need of a new home.

The Housing Ownership Program of Habitat for Humanity of the Rio Grande Valley is hosting a Homebuyer Orientation on Tuesday, Dec. 4, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Harlingen Chamber of Commerce.

Nonprofit personnel plan to build a home for two families in Harlingen, one family in San Benito and one family in Primera that demonstrate a need for a new home.

Attendees will learn about the application process, where the nonprofit plans to build and what qualifications they look for in their homeowners.

Construction is expected to start sometime in late January or early February.

Habitat for Humanity RGV Director of Mortgage and Family Services Hansel Ibarra explained the advantages of this opportunity and said each mortgage payment is equal to what families would possibly be paying if they were renting.

“We’re talking about possible three bedroom, two bathroom homes with mortgage payments around $500 to $600 with taxes and insurance already included in that payment,” Ibarra said. “Aside from that, you would also be entering either zero percent interest for 30 years or a low interest rate for 30 years for the construction of the home so that’s the big advantage.”

Additionally, families are expected to pay a closing cost which covers the documents, such as the deed of the home.

Nonprofit personnel hope to find families as soon as possible so each selected family can start providing input on how their house is going to look and so they can begin working on their required 300 hours of “sweat equity.”

Ibarra said the main reason the nonprofit asks families to complete 300 hours of equity is because they want them to feel invested with the nonprofit and feel proud of their new home.

“We’ve figured out that if we just give the key to families, they don’t take as much pride as if they themselves helped with things, such as painting the house or cutting the grass,” Ibarra said.

Within the past two years, Habitat for Humanity has offered about 24 houses.

Looking ahead, nonprofit personnel hope to continue increasing the number of homes they offer each year.

“What we’re doing gives us an amazing feeling,” Ibarra said. “Once you hand the key to each family and see them step into their house, it all adds up because you see that all of that time and work you spent with each family was successful.”

ahernandez@valleystar.com

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