“Habitat Set Me Up For Success”
Whether you’re renting or trying to buy in Milwaukee, the rising cost of housing is making it harder and harder for families to find a home that’s affordable. Hardworking families are being priced out of the market as rent continues to outpace wages. Sarah was looking to become a first-time homebuyer and give her two boys a place they could truly call their own. She was pre-approved for a loan and went out onto the open market to see what might be available in her price range. She found options, but they all needed significant work.
“I would have had to put $20k-$30k worth of work into these homes,” she said.
On top of that, the homes she was looking at would have cost her $900-$1000 per month. While she was approved for that type of loan payment, Sarah knew it’d be pushing her expenses.
“My goal is to not spend more than 30% of my income on rent,” she said. “I have insurance, bills, food, and when you have one income it adds up.”
At Habitat for Humanity, we know families should never have to spend more than 30% of their income just to have a decent place to live. Yet, one in three Milwaukee renters spend half or more of their income on housing.
One day while Sarah was looking at houses, she got a call from Milwaukee Habitat. She had applied a few weeks prior but wasn’t sure if she’d qualify. That’s when she got the news that she’d been approved to build a brand new three bedroom home in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood.
While she has the means to purchase elsewhere, Sarah knew that buying a home through Milwaukee Habitat would, in her words, “set me up for success.” Qualifying families in our affordable homeownership program spend on average $600-$800 per month on a mortgage to build a brand new home. Compared to what she was expecting to pay on the open market, plus renovation costs, Sarah knew Habitat homeownership would provide her family financial flexibility for the future.
Sarah is looking forward to having a place for her two boys, Margiel and Genesis, to play. Their two bedroom rental, Sarah says, is not the most family-friendly and doesn’t have any outdoor space. Now, the boys will have their own rooms and a backyard, which Sarah intends to deck out with a bonfire and BBQ.