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Building Community Blog

Like many other nonprofits, Twin Cities Habitat is dedicated to making the most of every dollar entrusted to us. And just like any other local builder and developer, Twin Cities Habitat is at the mercy of the local real estate market when it comes to purchasing land to build our homes.

We also feel the same competition other homebuyers experience when it comes to purchasing homes that we repair or update and sell to our qualified buyers. That's why when an individual, company, congregation or other community group decides to donate a home, land, or other property in support of our mission, it's definitely something we celebrate.

"Believe it or not, land is one of our top needs and directly impacts our mission," said Laura Tanner, Major Gifts and Planned Giving Officer at Habitat.

When Don and Jo Gustafson finally sat down to create their will, they found it to be a surprisingly simple process. And their decision about what to do with their home was just as easy: they would donate it to Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. That decision was years in the making.

We all have our own stories of home. This series shares those stories from Habitat staff. We'll explore questions like: what does home mean to us? How did we find a stable home? How do our stories inform our work? And how do Habitat's mission, vision, and values resonate with our experiences?

This story is written by Blake MacKenzie. He's our Communications Specialist, and has worked at Habitat since 2013.


My mom still owns the home I grew up in. It was built in 1960 and is situated on a hill. Bricks wrap around the front entry, soaring up along the chimney. Beyond that the hill dips down, revealing windows to the basement. Growing up, I liked to say it was four stories tall (really, it was a split-level, with two stories on each side). 

As a first-time homebuyer, there are many things you'll learn and experience as you go through the process of buying your first home. Having support from someone who’s already been through the process can be immensely helpful.

If you’re in need of some friendly advice, you’ve come to the right place! Here are six things I wish I had been told as a first-time homebuyer starting my homebuying journey...

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