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Life is about to get a lot better for Christina Fisher and her children.
The 38-year-old single mom soon will be moving in to a new home in Rossford thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Wood County and a local builder. The home, at 219 Bacon St., was dedicated Sunday. The keys are to be turned over to her on Friday, when she closes on the home purchase, and she'll start moving in that day.
"This means so much to us," Ms. Fisher said, noting that she turns 39 on Wednesday. "This is quite the happy birthday and Christmas present, all wrapped up in a nice pretty bow."
She said she enjoyed selecting her own kitchen cabinets and countertops, a first for her.
The home is the 31st project completed by the Wood County affiliate of Habitat in the past dozen years, according to its executive director, Jennifer Kephart, and the first one built to Energy Star 3 standards for efficiency. The walls, ceiling, and floor are stuffed with insulation; the goal is to keep monthly utility costs (gas, water, and electric) to $150.
It has 1,080 square feet of living space with three bedrooms and 1.5 baths. The lot on which it stands once held an abandoned home destroyed by arson. Habitat bought it from the city of Rossford, which acquired the property in a tax foreclosure. The $8,000 purchase price was what the city spent to raze the place and remove debris.
The home was appraised at $120,000, and Habitat provides no-interest financing. Ms. Fisher will not be able to sell it for 10 years, and then only with the approval of the Habitat board. To qualify to purchase the Habitat home, she and her family contributed 250 hours of sweat equity to the project.
For Ms. Fisher, the place is a dream come true. Two of her children, Alexis and George Sting, 17 and 14 respectively, will live with her, while a third, Tiffany Sting, 18, is in Hyde Park, N.Y., attending culinary school.
Habitat selected her after determining that she satisfied their three criteria: need, a willingness to contribute sweat equity, and having the financial resources to own the house.
Ms. Fisher lives with her father, Bob Fisher, near Stony Ridge, and is the lead bookkeeper at the Travel Centers of America truck stop in Lake Township. The Rossford home will give her family stability, she said.
Construction of the home was financed by a federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant, which had to be spent by the end of the year.
Ground was broken on Oct. 16, but the tight deadline meant that Habitat had to depart from its normal practice of using volunteers and instead went with a professional, Ridge Stone Builders and Developers, of Perrysburg.
Habitat found Ridge Stone through an appeal sent out by the Home Builders Association of Greater Toledo on its behalf.
"It was an accelerated schedule, and Ridge Stone really came through for us," Ms. Kephart said.