Not only was I getting a home, I was getting an interest free mortgage; and, with Habitat, mortgages do not exceed 30% of monthly income. With Habitat there will never be a situation where I am forced choose between paying mortgage, getting medicine, or fixing the car. I could finally attain better financial stability.
In my old apartment, my utility costs on comfort billing was $300 per month. We only had baseboard were dangerous that and expensive to run, along with single pane windows I covered with heavy plastic and blankets to reduce heat loss in the winter. Because Habitat for Humanity places such a high priority on building energy-efficient homes, my February Avista bill was only $79.
I was going to college and raising a toddler; I had to work two jobs to afford everything Brantlee and I needed, on top of rent. Being able to put my hard-earned money to a house payment instead, is amazing. The house would be ours. No one could take it away. We could do anything.
My home is in the Hope Subdivision in the Orchards. It is a small community with several Habitat homeowners. The children all get the amazing opportunity of growing up together. Since moving in, I put up a chain link fence to keep Brantlee safe. Shortly after, Brantlee got his own very best friend, Axel, a border collie. The two are inseparable; Axel even tries to sleep with Brantlee every night.
Every homeowner has to do a set amount of sweat equity in the building of their home. They can paint, hang walls, hammer nails, or do many other things. Because my house was already built, I did my sweat equity through general volunteering at the Home and Garden Show and Pumpkin Patch. I also speak at events about my journey with Habitat and I work in the office on weekends gaining skills I can add to my resume.
In December 2021, I graduated from Walla Walla Community College with my Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology and also Medical Billing and Coding Assistant Certificate. Being a Habitat homeowner, made getting my degree that much easier. I didn’t have to worry about Brantlee’s safety or keeping warm at night. I could concentrate on graduating and having the best possible future for Brantlee. In fact, since graduation, I was able to quit one of my jobs and got a promotion at work. I have already missed so much of Brantlee’s childhood. I will not miss any more of it, and Habitat helped.
I am excited to pay it forward. A new house is being built in the Hope Subdivision. A new family is getting the opportunity to become homeowners and improve their lives. During the home-building process, volunteers have the opportunity to sign studs with messages of hope, quotes and scriptures. I cannot wait to write the new family a little message in their house or shed like all of the people did in mine.
Meanwhile, I feel my possibilities are now endless. Thank you L-C Valley Habitat for Humanity.