Own A Home

step 1

qualification criteria

To apply for a home, you must meet the following criteria:

Are you a veteran? If so, click here.


You must fit within our specific income range as determined by 2017 HUD income limits:

Are you living in conditions such as:
- Overcrowded conditions
- Unsafe, unsanitary conditions
- Substandard housing - with a leaky roof, poor heating or lacking proper plumbing
- Paying a very high percentage of your income for rent (more than 30 percent)


Have one year of steady, verifiable income.

Have reasonably good credit. We don't require perfect credit. We consider families who demonstrate the ability to make regular payments on their bills.


Have lived or worked in Sarasota for one year.

Willing to volunteer and contribute sweat equity toward your home and the home of other Habitat homeowners.

If you do not meet these requirements, exceptions are rare and would be made on a case-by-case basis. You also can find more affordable housing information by visiting www.floridahousingsearch.org.

step 2

things to consider

Here is some basic information about how the program works. Part of the application process includes a special Homeowner Orientation where applicants get lots of information and the opportunity to ask questions. Attendance of the Homeowner Orientation class is not required in order to receive an Application for Homeownership.


Habitat Sarasota builds single-family homes. We also rehabilitate existing homes. The size of the home(s) you will be offered is based on the size of your family when you apply.


Habitat Sarasota's affiliate boundary is from south of University Parkway to the Venice/Nokomis Connector SR 681.


The length of time it takes to complete the program varies and is really dependent on how quickly you can meet your requirements. You must attend a series of homeownership classes, complete 300 to 500 sweat equity hours and save for closing costs and for your first year’s insurance ($3,000). On average, homeowner candidates take one year to complete our program. Some candidates have done it in half that time, and others have taken two or more years. To keep you on track, you are required to put in a minimum number of hours and contribute toward your deposit each month.


Because of volunteer labor and donations from organizations and individuals, Habitat homes are sold to homeowners at no profit. Also, they are financed with a zero-interest mortgage.


Depending on the value of the land, on an average, a three-bedroom Habitat home will have monthly payments ranging from $700 to $800, which includes taxes and insurance.

step 3

how to apply

  1. Complete the Homeowner Pre-Qualification Questionnaire.
  2. Your form will be reviewed. The Homeowner Services staff will contact you to let you know if you meet the minimum criteria for the program, based on the information provided.
  3. Complete your application for homeownership. Gather all of the required documents listed on the application cover sheet and fill out the application completely. Part of the application process is to attend an orientation. Click here to view the upcoming schedule.
  4. Submit your application. Once you submit your completed application with the required supporting documentation, our Homeowner Services staff will review your information. We will verify employment and other sources of income, have a credit/background check done and ask you for references. Your long-term debt, including your expected Habitat housing cost, must be below a certain threshold. (The review process may take two to three months.)
  5. A home visit and interview is part of the selection process.

step 4

once you are approved

You will be asked to sign a Partnership Agreement, which states the specifics of the program and your roles and responsibilities.

Sweat equity begins. Single-adult households are required to complete a minimum of 300 sweat equity hours. Multiple-adult households are required to complete a minimum of 500 sweat equity hours. Homeowner candidates work in the office and on other families' homes, before starting their own home.

You must complete a series of homeownership classes and contribute a $3,000 deposit. This money goes toward closing costs, your first year of homeowner's insurance and 2 months of homeowner's insurance and taxes for escrow. This is accomplished with monthly payments.

Our philosophy:

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. -Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie

Our proven model can be measured in many ways, one can see it in how well they take care of their homes. When a family moves from an inadequate living situation into an affordable home, children's grades in school typically improve – some even go to college – and the sense of belonging in the community increases.

It is best to begin by filling out our online Pre-Qualification Questionnaire. However, it is not a requirement to receive an Application for Homeownership. An Application for Homeownership can be downloaded here, picked up at an orientation, picked up in our office, or mailed to you. Please contact Lori Bo, our Homeowner Services Coordinator with any questions at (941) 487-5520.

Attend a Homeowner Orientation
You may find it helpful to attend one of our optional Homeowner Orientation to help answer the many questions you probably have. Attending an orientation is part of the application process, but you do not have to apply to attend or attend to apply. Orientations are held at local libraries in Sarasota. There is NO FEE to attend, but please do arrange for childcare during this time. Click here to view the 2018 schedule.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of the 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.

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