Myths and Facts

Myth: Habitat Homeowners Can Sell Their Homes and Make a Large Profit

Fact: This does not happen, and here’s why. Habitat homeowners purchase a home with a payment that does not exceed 30% of their gross income. That often means a family pays a first mortgage of $110,000 when the appraised value of the home is say $200,000. Habitat places a second deed of trust, called a “silent second” on the home for this $90,000 difference. It is called a “silent second” because the homeowner pays no payments on this amount but, in the event the homeowner decided to sell the home, they would still owe what remains on their first deed of trust and also this “silent second.”

The second deed of trust is forgiven beginning in year 20 with 10% forgiven each year thereafter. If the homeowner stays in the home the full 30 years of the mortgage, both the first and second deed of trust are paid in full.

However, Habitat homeowners have the same risk as does any homeowner. When they sell their home, and the price of housing in their community has appreciated in value, there is an opportunity to enjoy the appreciated price of the home and make money on the sale that they can invest in their next home. But there is also the risk that the price of the home could go down by the time they are ready to sell. This is a risk that all homeowners have.

Myth: Wasn’t Habitat Founded By Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter?

Fact: That is often what people think. However, Habitat for Humanity was founded by Millard and Linda Fuller in 1976 in Americus, GA. Fuller left a lucrative law practice to follow his belief and dream that everyone deserved a decent and affordable place to live.

Millard and the then future president, Jimmy Carter, attended the same church in Plains, GA. and were friends. President Carter and his wife Rosalyn supported the Habitat concept, and when Carter was elected president, Millard paid him a visit at the White House.

He asked President Carter to come and build on a Habitat home knowing that President Carter’s participation would result in much publicity and recognition of the Habitat mission.

President Carter agreed to do a build and Rosalyn came along with him. The rest is history. Habitat for Humanity received national and international recognition because of the Carter’s involvement. Although now in their 80s, Jimmy and Rosalyn still participate in the organizations’ home-building work by committing to build once a year as they lead the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Work Project helping build homes and raising awareness of the need for affordable housing in the United States and across the world.

Habitat today enjoys world familiarity. Habitat for Humanity’s name recognition is valued just below that of Federal Express. People know Habitat and they know what we do.