Barry County couple getting 3-bedroom home through Habitat

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Groundbreaking for the new Habitat for Humanity home located at 8th and Oak Hill took place Thursday. From left: Amanda and Justin, recipients of the home; Scott Conover, youth pastor at First Baptist Church; Padyn Beyer, with Classic Concrete; Denny Ball, construction supervisor, all prepare to break ground at the site of the new home. Jordan Privett/

Habitat for humanity holds groundbreaking for new project

Amanda and Justin will be the home owners of the new Habitat for Humanity home located on the corner of 8th and Oak Hill.

Groundbreaking occurred on Thursday, and the couple are excited be in their new home within the year.

First Baptist Church Youth Pastor Scott Conover offers a prayer before breaking ground on Thursday at the site of the new Habitat for Humanity home to be built at the corner of 8th and Oak Hill. Standing behind him from left: David Hermann, president of Habitat for Humanity in South Barry County, and Denny Ball, construction supervisor. Jordan Privett/

Amanda said the couple have been together nearly nine years, and have lived in Barry County, where Justin grew up, since then.

“I was a military brat and moved around a lot growing up,” Amanda said. “We lived in Purdy for about six years.”

Amanda said they heard about Habitat for Humanity home opportunity through a brother-in-law, who works with Habitat as a builder in Joplin.

“He told us about it, and we found out where we needed to go in Cassville to fill out the application,” Amanda said. “We love Cassville.”

Amanda said she and Justin filled out the application a year and a half ago, and had to go through six classes to teach them about mortgage and budgeting. Also, the couple will have to put in 150 hours of “sweat equity,” and friends and family of theirs will also be required to put in another 150 hours.

“We can earn those hours by helping keep the job site clean and by painting,” Amanda said.

Amanda said their kids are already grown, and Justin’s mother may move into one of the spare rooms, but they are unsure right now.

“The house will be a three-bed, one-bath house,” Amanda said. “They don’t really make two-bedroom homes like we had originally requested.”

Amanda said she was able to help design the inside and got to pick out a floor plan. The couple are responsible for their own furnishings, but will receive a stove and a refrigerator from Habitat.

“David is an amazing man,” Amanda said. “He has done everything for us, when he called me and told me we were getting the house, I just bawled. He just sat there and listened to me until I calmed down.”

Amanda said she went to OACAC every two weeks to just make sure they were getting the house.

“At the groundbreaking, it hit me hard that we are really getting it,” Amanda said. “The whole team at Habitat and OACAC are just an amazing group. We are very blessed.”

David Hermann, president of Habitat for Humanity said, the idea behind ‘sweat equity” is that, if you just give someone something, they won’t have the same respect as if they had to work for it.

“It makes it more personal to them,” Hermann said. “They are coming in and actually helping build their own home.”

Hermann said the idea behind the classes, is to make the process fail-proof. In other words, Habitat wants to make sure the homeowners can manage money before they are given this home.

“We make sure when they set foot into their new home they have all the tools in their tool box, to be as successful as possible,” Hermann said. “This is not a situation where as soon as they get into the home, we walk away. We are their partner until they physically own their own home.”

According to Hermann, Habitat partners with Lowe’s, not only because they get a break, because the projects are for Habitat for Humanity, but also, Hermann is a retired vet and Lowe’s offers an additional 10 percent discount for that, as well.

However, Hermann said not everything is donated, and Hermann tries to use different people, in the same area to provide services like electric and plumbing, so they can have an opportunity to partner with Habitat.

“Generally, to build a house through Habitat for Humanity costs roughly $60,000,” Hermann said. “The difference between us, and someone else buying a home is that we are interest free.”

Hermann said he tries to do at least one home a year, and there is a pre-screen application process.

According to Hermann, applicants have to make enough money to responsibly pay their mortgage, but can’t make too much money, or they wouldn’t need to have a Habitat house. To qualify, the applicant must be a member of the Barry County community, by living and/or working for at least a year, the applicants can not be convicted felons, the applicant must have the ability to pay a monthly house payment and partner with Habitat by working 150 sweat equity hours.

“It is hard to say when this house will be finished,” Hermann said. “However, it will be started this year and hopefully we will be finished by summer of 2019.”

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