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Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity: Homeownership Good Cents

Purchasing a home comes with unique expenses—such as yard maintenance, trash collection, and home repairs—that can overwhelm homeowners with limited incomes. After working to repair credit or build credit to buy a home, these homeowners may be tempted by access to credit, have trouble managing expenses, and lose sight of their long-term goals. This workshop helps limited-income homeowners, along with those considering buying a home, to build long-term stability by learning the basics of handling new homeowner expenses, planning for home repairs and maintenance, avoiding financial pitfalls, and using a spending plan to meet expenses and reach goals.

Workshop Materials

You must agree to the terms of the Content License Agreement below to access the materials. Once the materials are downloaded, they may be used as-is or customized to best meet your needs.


Each kit provides workshop facilitators with the materials needed to run a workshop straight out of the box, or the choice to adapt any of the detailed presentations, scripts or learner action plans to suit their unique audience’s needs. Here is what you can find in each workshop.

A Presentation

Display these PowerPoint slides during your presentation to keep the workshop engaging and on track.

A Script

Consult the script for tips on how to prepare for your workshop, what your primary talking points will be, and follow-up resources.

Activities and Info Sheets

Guide your workshop participants through the hands-on activities and informational sheets to bring the financial skills to life.

Related Resources

Find additional suggested resources that can help round out your educational offerings.

FAQs

The FAQ section for each workshop can help answer your questions about working with your intended audience.

FAQs

It has been a while since I was a first-time (or new) homebuyer. Will I be able to conduct this workshop?

You likely have more knowledge than you realize. Try to remember the challenges you faced after buying your first home. Were there more expenses than you expected? What surprises did you face? If you need to supplement your memory, search the Internet for phrases such as “challenges faced by new homeowners,” “advice to new homeowners,” and similar statements. You will find a number of helpful articles; just be sure the websites you visit provide helpful, objective consumer information and are not sales devices.

What if I am asked to give specific financial advice?

Each person’s financial situation is unique. The purpose of this workshop is to give new homeowners a prospective about the financial challenges and expenses they may face. Encourage participants to anticipate expenses and set priorities. For example, a roof may need to be replaced in the next few years, but a sagging fence could be a legal liability and immediately strain neighbor relations. Encourage participants to learn more about financial basics so they can make the right choices for themselves.

How can I be most effective as a workshop facilitator?

Be respectful to your participants and acknowledge the importance of owning a home. At the same time, most homeowners remember rookie mistakes they made after buying a house and a little humor can go a long way in showing that you have been there, too. Did you try fixing a pipe leak only to make an emergency call for a plumber on a Sunday (at increased rates, no less)? Just remind participants that most mistakes, even those caused by overzealous do-it-yourselfers, can be corrected—but the corrections could be expensive.

What if someone asks me a very specific question? For example, how would you handle the question: “Should I now get a dog because my kids want one or for our protection”?

With this type of question, you may be tempted to offer an opinion rather than offering general financial guidance. Instead of stating your opinion, consider challenging participants in the room to consider what is involved. For example, with adopting an animal, are the family finances capable of caring for an animal? Take into account adoption fees, routine and special vet care, food, training, accommodations to the yard, and similar expenses? Beyond the immediate financial considerations, encourage participants to think about how the family members will establish a caregiving routine.

What if one person dominates the discussion?

Before conducting the workshop, practice a few lines you could use spontaneously to limit one person from dominating the discussion. For example, if one person is going on too long about his or her situation, you could say, “I appreciate your input and participation, and I am concerned about the time because we have some other topics to cover.” If one person is asking the majority of the questions, look for someone who has not asked a question and direct a query to him or her specifically.

What assumptions should I make about the financial knowledge of the participants?

This workshop is focused on limited-income individuals who have managed to attain the goal of homeownership and they should be congratulated. Still, how they handle the choices and temptations that new homeowners commonly face could make the difference between whether they are long-term owners or temporary owners. Even individuals who have displayed the enormous discipline needed to obtain a home could be swayed by the desire for new things and tempting credit offers. Also, new homeowners may not be accustomed to paying for the services provided by a landlord. This is a period of transition, and, as with all transitions, there are great possibilities and great responsibilities.

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