SOUTH PARIS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Owning your own home is part of that American dream, but it's just not a reality for many families.
For some of those families, it's a lack of credit; others can't save enough for a down payment. Neither are needed to take part in Community Concepts' Self-Help Homeownership Program.
The only catch is that families have to work for it; building their own home on nights and weekends, while helping other families build theirs.
We caught up with one family after nearly five years in their very own home.
"We started the class in March 5 of 2012 and we started building in June," Eric Hoyt remembers about reaching out to Community Concepts.
"We had looked at tons of houses and couldn't find the right house," said his wife, Hope. "We couldn't afford the right house," Eric added.
Self-Help Housing through Community Concepts changed that. Six families are chosen per year to work together. They go through homebuyer education together, get financing that's often at a much lower rate, and save a lot of money by actually building together.
"They will teach you as you go," explained the Hoyts. "Every process is a learning experience." Four years after moving in, the Hoyts have used that experience to make their home their own.
"A lot of people don't have much confidence in themselves; they don't think they can build something like a house," said Susan Bradford, who runs the program.
"You can see them gain confidence in other parts of their lives after building the house."
That's because the home isn't just a gift, or a handout; it's something these families have worked hard for. "It's awesome when it's done you get to stand back and say I did that," said Eric Hoyt about the experience.
To learn more about the Self-Help Homeownership Program, click here.
You can also email Susan Bradford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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