Are you new to real estate investing and worried about wasting money by not being skilled enough yet to do your own rehabs projects without possibly causing more problems than you are fixing?
Or are you a veteran real estate investor who fixes and flips properties on a regular basis but has always hired someone else to do the rehab work? Does this leave you without a good understanding of what is really involved or even if they are doing a quality job or not?
Fortunately for you there is a fantastic way to get a tremendous “hands-on” education in all aspects of building or repairing a house, from the dirt to the roof and everything in between, that is absolutely free and, as a bonus, good for the soul.
There actually are endless opportunities that you can experience for yourself at no risk to your own properties, including demolition, framing a house, adding windows, installing drywall or tile, installing countertops, painting, caulking, sawing, building a privacy fence, and on and on. Best of all, you will not be learning all of this in one of those “big box” building supply store classrooms.
These opportunities are ones you have probably been overlooking all along because they abound with your local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity® International.
That’s right, as a volunteer with your local Habitat, a non-profit organization that acts in furtherance of the Habitat for Humanity mission, you can receive authentic hands-on, job-site building experience at your own pace whenever you have room in your schedule. You will be trained in every kind of building project under the sun by dedicated, enthusiastic and skilled industry professionals.
If you are not familiar with Habitat for Humanity, it is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat partners with low-income families and individuals in need of decent and affordable housing by offering them a hand up, not a handout.
Being associated with Habitat for Humanity as a volunteer can provide you with free building experience but also with a wealth of valuable bonus knowledge about housing and construction industry that can help in your own business. That information includes updates on new building codes and trends in architectural design, home improvements and building materials, in addition to learning unique challenges that can come with repairing existing structures or developing new home sites.
What is most rewarding, though, is not simply the experience and knowledge you gain but, more importantly, the friendships you build and the opportunities you help provide others by giving back and donating your time and effort to improve people’s lives and transform local communities.
Everyone deserves decent affordable housing and Habitat for Humanity has been a leader in giving low-income partner families and individuals a hand up since 1976. Habitat could not do all it does without relying heavily on donations and volunteers, and real estate investors can gain so much by providing ongoing support for such a worthy cause.
From my own experience, I have been volunteering with various Habitat affiliates like Habitat MidOhio and Habitat LA for more than 10 years and one of the most important things I’ve learned about Habitat for Humanity is the tremendous spirit and dedication of all those involved, from the organizers, employees and sponsors to the hardworking volunteers and homeowners themselves. It is an inspiring organization to be around and one that deserves our help because it provides hope for so many.
Everyone involved in the Habitat process, including the families who partner with Habitat for a home, understand that a home is a far-reaching investment.
Just like volunteers, Habitat homeowners play a hands-on role in the homeownership process, beginning with required sweat equity hours they perform working alongside volunteers to help build and renovate the places they will call home. After the home is built, the partner families receive their keys in a powerful and often tear-jerking Habitat dedication ceremony while also taking over an affordable mortgage for the opportunity.
A surprising yet frequent development that happens to many Habitat volunteers along the way is they develop a severe case of what the staff likes to call “Habititas,” a condition that keeps them coming back to volunteer more and more.
Volunteers can not only participate in local home builds, but also have the unique opportunity to volunteer abroad in nearly 30 nations around the world through Habitat’s Global Village trips.
According to Habitat.org, volunteering with Global Village can differ depending on your area of interest, including building one house or many houses at a time, advocating for policy while building, disaster recovery, minor and major home repairs, energy efficiency projects, working with vulnerable populations like children or the disabled, and trips just for women. While your personal trip may last for a week or more, your financial, emotional and physical contributions can be life-changing for both those in the communities where you work and in your own life for years to come.
Whether you can participate locally or globally, Habitat for Humanity will welcome your volunteer efforts with open arms. The experiences you gain, the people you meet, and the people you help make this a win for you and a win for them. As a real estate investor, it does not get any better than creating a win-win situation for everyone.
To find out more about becoming a Habitat for Humanity volunteer, visit www.habitat.org to find a local affiliate near you today!
Written by: Barry Smith of Homesmith (Ohio) and Homesmith Group (Southern California)
Hey Barry – great job on this! Never knew too much about this group – thanks for the insights.