You Could Own a Home

Habitat homeownership is NOT a gift. Habitat homes are for middle income people or families who would otherwise be unable to buy a home. We help you work to buy your own home with a mortgage of 30% or less of your gross income, probably less than you pay in rent.

Examples of people who might qualify for a Habitat Home in Leelanau County


Adult Couple
Income up to
$84,000 a year


Single Adult
Two Children
Earning up to
$45 an hour


Single Adult
Earning up to
$35 an hour


Two Adults
Two Children
Income up to
$105,000 a year

Habitat homeownership can change your life.

 Our Homeownership partners are part of the Habitat-GTR Family. When you are accepted into the homeownership program you will have our full support.

Habitat homeowner

•Training for Personal Financial Management skills.

•A personal mentor through the homeownership process.

•Knowledge and experience with your home and it's construction.

•A sense of belonging to the community.

•Volunteer support.

•Down payment assistance.

•Homeownership when it would not be otherwise possible.

•Mortgage payments no more than 30% of income.

•Stability, pride and equity with homeownership.

How do we select our partner families?

With guidance and some financial assistance from Habitat Grand Traverse Region, Habitat Homeowners purchase their homes with an affordable mortgage with a payment of no more than 30% of their gross  income at the time of closing. 

To qualify we evaluate these factors:

Credit and Debt: Habitat homeowners should have a credit rating of “Good” (670-739) or better. Successful applicants will have personal debt (car loans, credit cards, store accounts) under 11% of their income. 

We can work with prospective homebuyers to help them plan to reduce their debt, rehabilitate their credit, and improve their standing. We highly recommend all potential homeowners sign up for financial coaching through Habitat Michigan.

Ability to pay an affordable mortgage: Applicants must have an income source that has been steady for two years. They must be able to qualify for a mortgage for a portion of the appraised value of their home. We will consider income levels under, at, or slightly over the area median income. Less income does not make a candidate more eligible. 

Willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity: This includes taking classes in Financial Management, Budgeting, Home Maintenance, as well as performing 200 sweat equity hours to help build/renovate your home or the homes of others. It also means you will be a part of the public face of Habitat.

Demonstrated need for affordable housing:  The concept of need varies from family to family. We select families or individuals who we think will benefit the most from our assistance. An applicant’s need is determined by our volunteer family selection committee.

What is sweat equity?

In most cases, prospective Habitat for Humanity – Grand Traverse Region families contribute 200 (per adult) hours of ‘sweat equity’ on a combination of education and in the construction or rehabilitation of their home.  Family and friends are able to assist the homebuyer in completing sweat equity hours, up to 40 hours.

Sweat equity is an exciting cornerstone to the Habitat ministry designed to meet three important goals:

  • Partnership – meaningful interaction between partner families, affiliate representatives and Habitat volunteers
  • Pride in homeownership – Investing in sweat equity hours in their own homes helps families begin the transition to homeownership.
  • Development of skills and knowledge – In the classroom families participate in Home Maintenance classes to equip them with basic skills they could use in their home in the future. Classes in Financial Management, Budgeting, Use of Credit, etc. helps the family understand what they need to do once they own their home to be able to maintain their home long-term. On the build site, partner family members gain a real understanding of the construction or rehabilitation of their home and of the maintenance issues they will face during occupancy.

Are you interested in homeownership with Habitat?

Use the form below to express your interest in Habitat homeownership. We need a few basic details to begin the Habitat journey.

Download the Expression of Interest form

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation.  We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

Email your completed form

Mail the completed form to:
Homeowner Services Manager
Habitat - Grand Traverse Region
P.O. Box 5412
Traverse City, MI 49696

Drop off the completed form
Homeowner Services Manager
Habitat - ReStore
2487 Rice Street
Traverse City, MI 49684

Please enclose the form in a sealed Envelope.

The ReStore is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am - 5pm.