Benita Palmer officially achieved her lifelong dream of home ownership with a simple signature.
Last month, Palmer signed the closing paperwork and became the owner of Habitat for Humanity of Bulloch County’s House 48. The home is located in the Willow Hill community near Portal and is the first home built outside of Statesboro by Bulloch Habitat.
"I get teary-eyed as I think of all the people who helped build my house,” Palmer said. “Thank you all from the bottom of my heart."
The official signing was followed the next morning with a dedication service at the home that was attended by the Habitat board, employees, volunteers, friends and family of the Palmer household. Palmer and her five children will live in the home.
Reflecting on all that went into making the construction of House 48 possible, Marcus Toole, Habitat's resource development coordinator, said:
"It's been a long road from raising money and looking for a construction manager just so we can begin construction to the completion of this house. What a feeling of satisfaction it was to leave House 48 after the dedication with the moving van pulled up to the front door and the Benita Palmer family finally moving in!"
In fact, Randy Holman, the prospective buyer for Habitat House 50, spent many hours earning sweat equity by helping build Palmer’s house.
"You know there is a certain pride as I look around Benita's home knowing that I helped build this,” he said. “But pretty soon, it's going to be my home, and I can hardly wait to roll up my sleeves and get started."
Toole said Habitat plans to begin construction later this month on Holman’s house in the Clito area of Bulloch County. Also, the home will be Habitat Bulloch's first ever rehab project.
"All we need is a permit and it's off to the races," said Bill Kroutwald, Habitat Bulloch's construction manager.
Anyone interested in helping build Habitat House 49 that will be Randy Holman’s house, look for volunteer opportunities on Habitat Bulloch’s website: habitatbulloch.org.
“One thing folks may not understand about Habitat is that our houses are not free and they are not low rent housing,” Toole said. “Habitat offers a no-interest 25-year mortgage for the house which the hew homeowner pays off monthly.”
Meanwhile, Habitat Bulloch is raising funds and looking for a lot in the downtown Statesboro area for House 50. Anyone wanting to donate funds or land should contact Linda Christy, executive director, or Toole at (912) 489-2076.