“We’ve had a home to grow up in. To make friends in. To thrive in. Staying in the same place has made us more secure.” – Katie Hobson
Katie and Michael Hobson have been Habitat homeowners for 13 years. From raising their four children to building their savings, owning their own home has given them the freedom to pave their own path. But it wasn’t always this way.
Prior to becoming homeowners, Katie and Michael were living paycheck to paycheck.
“When our two youngest were little, we had to budget down to the last two dollars to make sure we had enough for rent,” said Katie.
While at first it was similar when moving to their Habitat home, after a year they had an extra $50 a month they could put into savings.
“We were so excited. It was huge because we never had any money to put into savings because it was all going to our everyday living expenses. And because we had such an affordable mortgage, we could put a little more over time. I remember saying ‘wow, we can put money into savings,’ and it was the best feeling in the world because we finally had a secure living situation.”
Through their affordable Habitat home, focus could be moved from everyday finances to larger financial goals.
“We’ve been able to put money aside to help with our kids’ college. We have been able to donate money to causes that are necessary. When we've had people who had a problem that could be fixed within a couple hundred dollars, that is something...we can help with,” said Katie.
On top of financial freedom, a Habitat home has also given the Hobson family a space that is stable.
“I bounced around from town to town and home to home,” said Katie. “It's very nice for me to watch my kids go through the same teachers and have the same neighborhood all because we have stayed in the same place, and we have put down roots.”
In fact, their neighborhood has been the key contributor in not up sizing their home, keeping their roots firmly planted.
“Our home is great but I’m most thankful for our neighborhood,” said Katie. “Our neighbors on either side are Habitat homeowners and we have such a nice, safe, little neighborhood. Like when my kids were little, and if they were doing something they weren’t supposed to, I heard about it. My kids have always known where they could go if they needed help. It has been so amazing to have a community and have a little neighborhood where my kids were important and where we’re important and our neighbors are important, and we ended up in this wonderful little bubble of amazing people.”
When asked what affordable housing meant to their family, Katie and Michael were nearly at a loss for words.
“Gosh, I mean it means everything,” said Katie. It means people can have safety and a community. Housing gives families security, and they need that so much.”