Habitat homeowners build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. The help these homeowners receive allows them to achieve independence and provide a better life for their families. It is for this reason that we celebrate these homeowners who have achieved that dream of independence.
Habitat for Humanity of Lexington’s board members, staff and homeowners came together for a celebration for those homeowners who have paid off their mortgage. In honor of those, a dinner was held on November 15th at 6:00 in the evening at Grace Episcopal Church on South Main Street.
The celebration began with dinner catered by one of Lexington’s Habitat for Humanity homeowners Marcella McPhail, and the Lowery family. Dinner was followed by remarks given by Habitat for Humanity board president, Mickey Sharpe, Executive Director, Marjorie Parker, and Habitat for Humanity of Lexington board member, Rev. Lee Jessup. Attorney Frank Bell also spoke to those in attendance about the importance of having a will. The crowd was also treated to special music by Habitat homeowner, Bernadette Hanna., and her daughter Arsherress M. Jenkins. As the highlight of the evening, seven homeowners were recognized for paying off their mortgage: Ms. Angela Cox, Mr. & Mrs. Clarence Hamilton, Ms. Debra Lyons, Ms. Peggy Wagner, The Clodfelter family, Mr. & Mrs. Jones, and Ms. Lisa Rogers. These homeowners were given gift cards in recognition of their accomplishment. The homeowners were applauded for their hard work and commitment to making their payments, and making their dream of homeownership come true.
“Paying off your mortgage is wonderful,” says Denise Owens, the Mortgage Servicing Officer for Habitat for Humanity of Lexington. Denise goes on to explain that becoming free of mortgage payments is indeed an accomplishment worth celebrating, but it does not mean that there will be no more house payments. “I have had the pleasure of meeting those homeowners who have paid off their homes. They know they need to put money in an account each month that they cannot touch, to cover expenses such as taxes, insurance and also the maintenance of their homes.” Habitat does not abandon homeowners as soon as their mortgage is paid off. They are encouraged to make an appointment with Denise to discuss what paying off their mortgage means, and the importance of planning and saving for home expenses. “I know that this is not something that homeowners want to think of, but it is so much easier to know that they have the money saved when they need it to pay the expenses.”