$138K Habitat for Humanity house for sale in Florence


  • Construction on 1 Garfield Ave. in Florence. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/MEGAN MCDONOUGH

  • A new homeowner receives the keys to 1 Garfield Ave at the property’s dedication event.  —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • The new homeowner unlocks 1 Garfield Ave. in Northampton at the property’s dedication event recently.  CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 8/16/2019 12:02:57 AM
Modified: 8/16/2019 12:02:46 AM

NORTHAMPTON — As part of an effort to increase affordable housing options, Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity recently completed and sold its first house for Northampton’s “Just Big Enough” program, and is listing an additional Florence property for resale.

The first ”Just Big Enough” house, at 1 Garfield Ave. in Florence, was completed and sold in recent months to “a single person who is now a proud homeowner,” said Megan McDonough, Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity’s executive director. Construction on the approximately 650-square-foot, one-bedroom house wrapped up in May, and the house sold in June for $120,000.

“We’ve always built simple, durable homes,” McDonough said of the “Just Big Enough” initiative, “but we’ve been exploring different home sizes and how we can promote the concept that small homes can be an option for homeownership.”

The project had been in the works for the past three years.

While 1 Garfield Ave. is already occupied, the neighboring house at 5 Garfield Ave., which was also built by Habitat for Humanity, is currently listed for resale at $137,986. The three-bedroom, 1,280-square-foot house was built in 2014, and originally sold for $122,871, the Gazette reported at the time.

Potential buyers must meet the following criteria: a $49,700 income limit for a one-person household; a $56,800 income limit for a two-person household; a $63,900 limit for a three-person household; and a $70,950 limit for a four-person household. Households also must have no more than $75,000 in liquid assets.

“A resale opportunity like this is really unique because it allows someone to make a purchase at a more affordable price,” McDonough said.

Habitat for Humanity draws from donations and city grants to keep property costs below market price, McDonough said, and deed restrictions stipulate that the houses must remain affordable if sold again in the future.

Affordable housing opportunities “helps us to maintain a diverse population of people with different incomes who are able to live in Northampton,” McDonough said. “Northampton is becoming increasingly unaffordable for working people, so having these permanent affordable homes … really makes a difference in access to living in the city, and all the great school systems here, and all the amenities that people love in Northampton.”

The Garfield Avenue neighborhood is now “completely built out,” McDonough said, with six Habitat for Humanity houses in the area. The organization is now building several single-family homes on Glendale Road in Northampton, as well as a single-family home on West Pelham Road in Shutesbury. The group will be using modular construction for the first time with the Glendale Road units.

Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity offers a unique opportunity in which housing applicants work with volunteers to help build their eventual homes, McDonough said, “so they’re part of the significant sweat equity that goes into those.”

Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity has built 43 homes across Hampshire and Franklin counties, 18 of which are in Northampton.

The organization will open applications for additional homes in the fall and winter, McDonough said, and anyone who is interested can call the Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity Office at 413-586-5430 to sign up for updates.

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com.

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