Habitat for Humanity of St. Francois County

Be a Homeowner

How can I become a Habitat home buyer?

You must qualify based on income, have an acceptable credit history, and show that you have repayment ability. Show income history for past 2 years and probability of continued income. Be willing to partner with habitat. Be able to secure pre-qualification of loan approval from one of our lending partners. Be willing to put in 500 hours of sweat equity and pay a $500 down payment. Then make payments on the home for up to 30 years.

What does a Habitat home include:

  • Energy efficient construction
  • Some Decorating choices
  • Donated Whirlpool range and refrigerator (When available)
  • And much more!


You will be considered for a Habitat home if:

  1. You are willing to partner with HFHSFC, its volunteers and supporters during the construction of your habitat home.
  2. You agree to live in St. Francois County and build in a community where HFHofSFC has available lots. (You would have a choice of lots in a particular school district of your choice, assuming that we have lots available in those communities).
  3. Your family total income does not exceed 60-80% of the median family income in St. Francois County (this can be determined when you do your in-person application).
  4. Monthly payments on your current non housing debts, as well as your projected monthly house payment must be less than 39% of your monthly income. These debts include car payments, medical bills, credit cards, student loans, personal loans and your projected house payment to Habitat, but do not include current expenses, such as utilities and phone.
  5. You can obtain and retain financing through one of HFHSFC’s lending partners. HFHSFC will assist you in applying for financing with a lending partner.

Willingness to Partner

  1. Complete 500 hours of sweat equity, the first 100 hours must be completed within 90 days of signing the family partnership agreement. These hours can be done by volunteering in the Habitat ReStore, and/or on the worksites of the homes being built.
  2. Communicate and work in partnership with HFHSFC and your appointed family partner through the process and the construction of your home.

What Is Sweat Equity?

Equity is the value of the property beyond the amount owed on it. Sweat equity is equity homeowners earn by working to help build their home with Habitat volunteers. Of the 500 hours, ½ must be completed by occupants of the house and ½ may be completed by family and friends.

Selection Process

  1. You must have an appointment to complete the application. You can set up the appointment to do the application in person by calling 573-760-1702.
  2. You will need to bring in the following documents to be able to complete the application.
    • Most recent 2 years tax returns with W-2’s
    • Most recent 2 months bank statements
    • Most recent 2 months of pay stubs
    • Proof of child support paid and /or received
    • Copy of Divorce Decree if applicable
    • Proof of Child Care paid
    • Picture ID
    • Proof of birth dates and Social Security numbers for each person in the household
    • We will verify your income, have a credit check done, and check references, including landlord(s).
  3. Once your application packet is completed it will be submitted for review and approval to a partner lender for financing.
  4. If you are pre-approved for financing, and meet the credit criteria, you will meet with members of the Family Selection Committee. The Family Selection Committee will explain the partnership requirements to you and then make a recommendation for your acceptance into the habitat program to the full board.
  5. Upon the board meeting, and discussing your acceptance into the program, you will be notified of the board decision as to whether or not you are accepted as a partner family.
  6. If accepted, prior to signing your partnership contract, you will be required to show proof that you have completed a homeownership education class and received a certificate of completion.

Credit Problems

When you live on a limited income, it is difficult not to have credit problems. However, it would be awful to go through all of the steps required to become a homeowner—and then lose your house because you cannot make the monthly house payments. Therefore, we do require that an applicant have good credit to be accepted. If you have credit problems and wish to increase your chances of being accepted, you may want to contact the following nonprofit organization:

Clear Point Financial Solutions
Formerly Consumer Credit Counseling Service
573-760-1510; 1-877-422-9045
Call M-R 7:30 am – 7:00 pm; F 7:30 am – 5:00 pm
You do not need to come in.
They can help you by phone and through the mail.
A member of the Better Business Bureau who has been
in the business of getting people out of debt.

Your House Payment

Since you will actually be buying your home from Habitat, you must demonstrate your ability to pay the monthly house payment. This payment will include not only the mortgage payment, but also the payment for real estate taxes and homeowners’ insurance. These payments are also known as Escrow. Escrow payments will be required to be paid to ensure that the tax and insurance payments remain current.

If Your Family is Selected…

  1. You will meet your Family Partner, review the Partner Family Agreement, then sign it ensuring that you understand the process, and agree to the terms.
  2. Your Family Partner will work with you to determine whether we have or can obtain a lot in a neighborhood in which you wish to live. When a site is available, then you will begin the next step.
    • Note: If we do not have a lot, Habitat will attempt to locate one. However, other qualified families for whom lots are available may be started while the lot search is taking place.
  3. We will work with you to select a floor plan from the stock pans that HFHofSFC has on hand.
  4. There will be a ground-breaking ceremony. The ground preparation work will begin, and the concrete foundation work will be completed as permits are obtained, as scheduling and weather permits.
  5. Building will begin. You, your family, friends, and other Habitat volunteers will work together to help construct the home. Plumbing, roofing, HVAC systems and electrical will be done by professionals who volunteer their time if/when possible, and if not, may require Habitat to hire these tasks done. Habitat retains control of the home and its construction through to the completion of construction, and up until the final loan closing selling you the home.
  6. Once the home construction is completed, you have met the sweat-equity requirements, made the $500 down payment, provided proof of the first year’s homeowner insurance premium has been paid in full, and you have met all other agreed-upon Family Partner requirements, we will have a closing performed by the Title Company, and sell you the home.
  7. Finally, we will have a House Dedication and open the home for the day for friends, family and volunteers to take a tour and offer you and your family well wishes in your new home.

Equal Housing Opportunity

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U. S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage an affirmative marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexual harassment), familial status, and disability.