News & Events

The Gift of Home

07/15/14 at 01:00 PM by Jillian Hanes

At Neighborhood Housing Services, we have a lot of people ask us what we need.  While money and volunteers are vital to our organization, one woman recently made a unique contribution – her home. 

Several months ago, we received a call from a woman who told us that her friend’s home needed repairs.  She wasn’t sure what our organization was all about or how we could help, so we invited her to one of our luncheons.  The woman brought her friend, Rita, to hear the NHS story.  Rita was especially interested in the Acquisition and Rehabilitation of Single Family Homes portion of our presentation.  Afterward, she told us that she would soon be moving into a senior living complex, but wanted to see her home revitalized and sold to a new family.

When Rita was ready to make the transition, she called Michael, our Director of Real Estate and the head of our Acquisition and Rehabilitation Program.  Michael took the time to get to know Rita and the story of her home while he drove her to her appointments.  During their several outings when they would talk over coffee or smoothies, he found out that she had owned the home for 35 years and really wanted to make it a place that a family would be proud to live in.

Michael gave Rita a detailed list of his plans for the house, and she agreed to sell it to NHS at a discounted price.  Unlike the average housing “flipper,” NHS makes quality and energy-saving improvements to our homes – investing between $30,000-$60,000 in each property and selling them to low – to moderate – income families.  Rita’s home received the attention we felt it needed which included the following repairs:

  • Re-sided the home to add a layer of insulation
  • Replaced all single pane windows with energy-efficient double pane windows
  • Increased the size of the master bathroom
  • Updated all flooring
  • Removed wall/window unit AC’s and added central air
  • Improved efficiency of current furnace system
  • Modernized all interior walls and ceilings
  • Replaced all kitchen appliances with energy-efficient systems
  • Landscaped
  • Added sprinklers to the backyard
  • Replaced all lighting and plumbing fixtures with energy-efficient ones
  • Painted the exterior and interior
Before                                              After

Rita’s home received approximately $57,000 worth of updating – a remodel that she will certainly be pleased with.  The home is just about finished, and Rita has not seen any of the improvement process.  Michael is waiting until the rehabilitation is completely done before he brings her back in to see the home that she chose to pass on to another family. 

Because Rita sold us the home at such a discount, we are now able to pass that savings on to a new family that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a house with this many improvements. This family will also have the opportunity to partake in our Homebuyer Education, Prepurchase Counseling, and Mortgage Lending Programs to support the success of their homeownership experience.  In a sense, Rita has given the gift of Home as part of her living legacy – a gift that NHS would love to see more of our community members give.

For more information about Neighborhood Housing Services’ Acquisition and Rehabilitation of Single Family Homes Program or to donate a home or property, contact Michael at 258-6219 or

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