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.
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 11/3/23 for Dickson and Robertson County only. Limits for other counties will be posted and updated as application periods are announced.
Household Size Minimum Applicant Annual Income (Dickson County - Nov 2023 applications) Minimum Applicant Annual Income (Robertson County - Nov 2023 applications) Maximum Household Annual Income** (Dickson/Robertson - Nov 2023 applications) 1 $34,000 $36,000 $60,000 2 $34,000 $36,000 $60,000 3 $34,000 $36,000 $65,000 4 $34,000 $36,000 $65,000 5 $34,000 $36,000 $65,000 6 $34,000 $36,000 $65,000 7 n/a* n/a* n/a* 8 n/a* n/a* n/a*
** Household income may be different than Applicant Income as it includes the entire household.
* Homes will feature three bedrooms requiring households of six or less.
Credit — Habitat does not generally have a credit score requirement, however, some homes will require a 620 score based on funding sources available. Additionally, old debts such as collections and judgments must be less than $2000 at the time of application and must be resolved before the purchase of the home. An additional $2000 of medical collections may be allowed if making payments on these. We also consider recent history of payments on rent, utilities, loans, and other expenses, and the amount of monthly loan payments, including estimates for deferred student loans. Bankruptcies must have been discharged or dismissed for one year for Chapter 13 and two years for Chapter 7. 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 $3,500 for closings costs within roughly 9-12 months.
- 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). Those currently living or working within a particular county may be given higher priority than applicants desiring to relocate.
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 any current application dates and Information Meetings.
- 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