Homeownership is within reach!
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville makes homeownership possible for those who meet the income qualifications and other eligibility requirements listed below, offering 0% APR mortgage loans to keep mortgage payments affordable.
Eligible applicants will be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, meet criminal background check requirements, and have an ability to afford homeownership, a housing need, and a willingness to participate in the Habitat program as described further below. During each application period, additional criteria may apply.
Click each blue heading below to reveal more information.
- Financial criteria (income, credit, savings)
Eligible applicants will demonstrate ability to afford the estimated monthly mortgage and household expenses by meeting the criteria below.
Income — Habitat requires steady income history for the last two years in the United States with at least six months of history for current employment or income sources. Self-employed individuals must have at least one full year’s tax filing showing self-employment income. See the chart below for general income guidelines.
These are subject to change, and having income within these guidelines does not guarantee eligibility. Income limits will be updated with each application period.
Below limits were updated 1/21/2024 for Davidson County only. Limits for other counties will be posted and updated as application periods are announced.
Household Size Minimum Mortgage Eligibility Income (Davidson County - Feb 2024 applications) Maximum Household Annual Income** (Davidson County - Feb 2024 Applications) 1 $45,000 $54,500 2 $45,000 $62,300 3 $45,000 $70,100 4 $45,000 $77,900 5 $45,000 $84,100 6 $45,000 $90,300 7 n/a* n/a* 8 n/a* n/a*
** Mortgage Eligibility Income includes stable sources of income for the applicants and may differ from Household Income which includes all income sources of all household members.
* Homes available in the February 2024 application round will feature three bedrooms, requiring households of six or less. Four bedrooms will be available in later application rounds.
Credit — A minimum FICO credit score of 600 is required. If an applicant has no score, they will have the opportunity prove credit worthiness through alternative sources of credit such as rent, utility, or other bill payments. All applicants should demonstrate a positive recent rent and bill payment history. Those paying little to no rent be asked to provide evidence of readiness for a mortgage payment through savings or other positive financial management.
Collections/Judgments - Collections and charge-off balances or other old debt balances on credit reports and any outstanding judgments must be less than $2000 at the time of application and must be capable of being resolved before the purchase of the home (approx. 9-12 months after application). An additional $2000 of medical collections may be allowed if making payments on these.
Bankruptcy - Bankruptcies must have been discharged or dismissed for two years at the time of application.
Debt Ratio - The total of all monthly loan payments, including estimates for deferred student loans and the future mortgage, must not exceed 41%.
Budget Impact - Habitat will evaluate an applicant's monthly net income to determine if it is sufficient for the future home expenses and the applicant's other expenses. We want our homeowners to be set up for success not stress!
You can order a free copy of your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com, or by calling 1-877-322-8228.
Savings — Applicants must be able to save approximately $4,500 for closings costs within approximately 9-12 months from application. Applicants will have the opportunity to participate in an optional matched savings program provided by Pinnacle Financial Partners who will contribute up to $1000 towards closings costs if all program guidelines are met.
- Housing need
Applicants generally meet the housing need criteria when their household income is below the current household limits (see chart above). Higher priority may be given to applicants with additional housing concerns such as living in overcrowded conditions, temporary homes, or unsafe environments; needing accessibility for a household member with a disability; or paying rent higher than 30% of income. If qualified financially, applicants will receive a home visit to further evaluate their need.
Applicants should not have owned a home in the last three years nor had a foreclosure in the last four years (exceptions may be granted for disaster victims).
Habitat of Greater Nashville serves those living or working in Davidson, Cheatham, Dickson, Robertson, or Wilson counties for at least six months (or other adjacent counties if they do not have a Habitat affiliate, but homes are only built in counties listed above).
Other local Habitat affiliates:
- Willingness to participate in Habitat's program
Applicants must be willing and able to attend homeownership classes for several months on scheduled Tuesday and Thursday nights and a few Saturdays (both in person and virtually), volunteer 10 days to build their own home and/or others’ homes on weekends, and volunteer 15 hours in the Habitat ReStores. Habitat calls this “sweat equity.” (Accommodations can be made for applicants with disabilities).
Applicants must be willing to accept the location and design of homes Habitat currently has available. Additional details about the homes available are provided each application period. Click "Apply" at the bottom of this page for more information.
- Applicant resources
Many homeowners have applied more than once and succeeded at becoming homeowners, whether through Habitat or other programs, after using these resources:
Housing and Financial Counseling:
HUD Housing Counseling Agencies – These agencies provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, and credit issues. Search for local agencies here - https://apps.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm.
Financial Empowerment Center – Free financial and credit coaching! They have helped many of Nashvillians improve their credit, lower debts, and implement monthly budgeting skills in order to qualify and become successful homeowners with Habitat or through other mortgage programs. Contact them at (615)748-3620 or to schedule an appointment.
THDA Homebuyer Education Agencies – Find local agencies that provide homebuyer education classes.
Order a free copy of your credit report – www.annualcreditreport.com
Resources to find affordable housing:
TNHousingSearch.org - https://tnhousingsearch.org – Offers thousands of detailed, up-to-date listings of apartments and homes for rent throughout Tennessee. Plus, they specialize in helping people with special challenges, from affordability to disabilities to emergency housing. Search by city, county, or ZIP code to find current listings in your area. Or call 1.877.428.8844 for bi-lingual, one-on-one assistance finding the right listing for your needs and budget.
211 Helpline – United Way of Greater Nashville’s 24/7, 365-day information and referral helpline that provides individuals in need with help in times of crisis and beyond. Call 211, or visit https://www.unitedwaygreaternashville.org/211-helpline/
MDHA (Nashville/Davidson County) – The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency maintains five distinct types of public housing: Elderly Only; Elderly and Disabled; Family; Contemporary; and Market Rate and operates Section 8 Housing Rental Assistance Voucher Program. - http://www.nashville-mdha.org/
Metro Social Services – For those experiencing a housing crisis in Davidson County, call 615-862-6444.
Lebanon Housing Authority - https://lhatn.org/ or 615-444-1872
Dickson & Waverly Housing Authority - https://www.dicksonhousing.org/ or 615-446-9371
THDA Section 8/Housing Choice Vouchers (Wilson, Cheatham, and Robertson Counties) - https://thda.org/help-for-renters-section-8/waiting-list-openings-and-closings