Hometown Habitat News

The Road to Happiness

Pictured Here: Cheryl and David are on a roll volunteering at the Habitat Lake-Sumter Jingle Build Off 2023 creating a special playhouse for a local family. Habitat Homeowners are required to meet requirements other than a 640+ credit score and steady credit – they also perform sweat equity hours towards the purchase of their home.

To Cheryl and David, becoming Habitat Homebuyers means one thing: stability. For nearly sixteen years, the pair have been living in campers and other mobile homes: impermanent spaces that required them not only to move their living space every time threat of a big storm or other natural disaster came along, but also to climb shaky stairs in and out of their mobile home on top of having health conditions that make navigating stairs an especially hazardous task.

Cheryl and David knew that they couldn’t continue to live in that kind of environment, so they began to explore opportunities towards homeownership. Cheryl explains that the initial search was frustrating, as every property they came across was either totally unaffordable, or the condition of the home was almost unlivable.

About three years ago, however, a friend (who happened to be a Habitat Homebuyer themselves) recommended they explore Habitat’s program as a path to homeownership. Though they had to wait a while for the right project to open up, Cheryl and David couldn’t be more excited to finally be building their home. Their home is the second house being built in the Cottages at Heritage Grove, a 23-unit pocket neighborhood and Habitat Lake-Sumter’s first 55+ community. This community is intended for households just like Cheryl and David’s, who have been looking for a safe, affordable place to call their forever home.

“You know, you live in a camper for so long you, you learn to not bring stuff in.

I need something solid…I need something solid during the storms we get down here…

So, this build is very exciting.”

Cheryl and David believe their new home will provide the security, safety, and stability they’ve been searching for. They explain that to them their new space means “Peace, tranquility, quiet, [security], and fun.” Between their persistence in applying over the course of three years and the sweat equity they’ve put into their home, it’s clear that becoming Habitat Homebuyers is a point of pride for the pair.

They’re also both quick to express their gratitude towards those who have donated their time and effort into building their home. Cheryl explains that “I watched these people that come— they don’t know us— and they come, and they help put hours into our house. It’s just amazing. And I watch them in the heat, sweat…they just come out and volunteer their time. And that’s what is amazing…I can’t say enough about that. It’s just amazing that these people will donate their time to a total stranger to help them build or fix their house.”

Between their own sweat equity and the generous aid of volunteers, Cheryl and David are finally seeing their dream of homeownership come true. David explains that for himself— and he believes for many of Habitat’s volunteers and donors as well— participating in this build is about more than just changing someone else’s life: it’s about changing your own.

With the drive to go the extra mile on their journey, Cheryl and David have reached their destination with gratitude and joy.