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Wanted: Real Estate Philanthropists
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Wanted: Real Estate Philanthropists

Philanthropy. Charity. Generosity. Though noble ideals, they may not be the first three words that come to mind when you think of the real estate industry. Yet, with the explosion of home renovation television channels like HGTV, and programs like ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover,” compassion has assumed the real estate face, entered the limelight, and become chic again.

In such times, it is sobering to consider that over 2 billion people alive today have no place to call “home”. When evening arrives, one in every three people lies down to sleep at the mercy of the elements. Confronted with this staggering degree of need, how can one real estate professional lend a helping hand?

Habitat for Humanity

One opportunity to make a real impact is offered by Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that’s been in the “building and renovation” business for almost three decades. In that short time they’ve built more than 175,000 houses, sheltering more than 900,000 people in more than 3,000 communities worldwide. On average, that’s 6,034 homes built every year – or 17 homes every day. By the end of 2005, more than 1 million people will live in decent, affordable Habitat for Humanity homes.

As their website explains, “Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat is founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent, affordable place to live in dignity and safety.” When you have a free moment, we invite you to journey through Habitat’s historical timeline.

How Does the Program Work?

Habitat establishes “affiliates” throughout the United States and the world. Currently the United States has more than 2,000 affiliates, and affiliates have also been established in the District of Colombia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the territory of Guam, as well as in 78 other countries.

Habitat houses are not simply “given away” for free. Potential homeowners are described as “homeowner partners”. People needing adequate housing need only apply to their local Habitat affiliate for consideration. Future homeowner partners are then selected by the affiliate, based on the following criteria: level of need, willingness to partner with Habitat, and ability to repay a no-interest mortgage. The home’s cost is offset by teams of volunteers who donate their time to help build free of charge.

Three key objectives guide the construction of all Habitat homes: simplicity, decency, and affordability. A Habitat home is anything but typical. Ranging in size and dimensions based on topography, culture, and available materials, each house is assembled with genuine care and concern for the family who will inhabit it. Habitat’s pervasive contingent of volunteer manpower constructs homes in over 80 countries around the world. Click the following links for an intriguing read on the various types of North American houses and worldwide houses Habitat builds.

While throughout the world the cost of Habitat houses vary from as little as a few thousand dollars to the median price in the United States of $48,585, Habitat houses are affordable for low-income homeowner partners because there is no profit included in the sale price, and no interest charged on the mortgage.

While iSucceed mentors are all incredibly successful agents in their local markets who have who reaped great financial rewards from their accomplishments, the majority also recognize the value of giving back to the community, and do so by participating in programs such as Habitat for Humanity and other local charities, as well as donating their time and knowledge to iSucceed.

If you can see the benefits of partnering with a non-profit organization such as Habitat for Humanity, consider becoming a financial partner, or volunteer on a local, national, or international level. Not only will you gain the satisfaction of knowing you made a real difference, your perspective on your own real estate practice may benefit from your volunteer experience. T he next time you pick up the phone to speak with a prospective homebuyer or seller, remember that your growing success is placing you on a path toward generous philanthropy.





References


External Links
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