SPRINGVILLE — Although Utah County has a glut of homes for sale, the Utah Valley Home Builders Association is planning on building at least one more — to be completed in about a week's time.

The Habitat for Humanity home is part of the National Home Builders Blitz 2008. Construction started Friday on framing the first floor of a two-story home. The launching party and beginning of framing the second story is today. Crews have already built the foundation and the main floor.

It will be the largest home Habitat for Humanity has built in Utah County, said Executive Director Kena Jo Mathews.

The six-bedroom home is at 661 W. 150 North, where the kickoff party begins at 8 a.m. today. Breakfast will be served and the public is invited.

Completion is scheduled for Saturday, Mathews said. The home is valued at about $220,000.

The home will measure 1,900 square feet, Deann Huish, executive vice president for the homebuilders association, said. The association has lined up 12 framing companies with 20 framers and more than 30 other trades to build the home.

"Those of us who are less skilled will do the cleanup," she said.

In the past the homebuilders association built two homes in as little as three days each, working around the clock. On this build they have the luxury of time and won't be working on a 24-hour basis, she said.

Habitat for Humanity has been helping low-income families build homes in Utah County since 1991. However, this is the first home the group will have built in Springville and the eighth time the builders organization has pitched in, Mathews said. Most projects are in Provo or Orem.

Another home recently broke ground in Orem as the first-ever Habitat for Humanity homeowner-sponsored build, which means that financing is coming primarily from monthly mortgage payments by the previous 29 home recipients — a milestone for the organization, Mathews said.

The Habitat for Humanity goal is to build one home a year funded from the interest-free mortgages of previously constructed homes. This is the first time that's happened, Mathews said. The organization has built 31 homes.

Habitat for Humanity holds the mortgages on every home it builds and includes a second trust deed with no payments so homebuyers can't sell right away and profit from the good will of others, Mathews said. Every home is built by a contingent of homebuyers in the program who help build each other's homes.

The homes are sold for the cost to build, plus a small percentage of the cost of the lot. Buyers cannot earn equity until they have lived in the home for 10 years, but they can earn appreciation, she said. If they sell the home short of 10 years, any equity goes back to Habitat for Humanity.

To qualify for the program, families must be living in substandard housing, meet income qualifications and agree to work on the homes of others in the program as well as their own, Habitat bookkeeper Sara Benedict said.Monthly payments are based on the cost to build divided out into 20 or 30 years and no more than 28 percent of their income.

So far, only three families in the program have sold their homes, Mathews said. The organization acquired one of them and renovated it for the next family, so it still holds the mortgage, she said.


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