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Habitat homeowner reflects on 1 year since build at FOX59: ‘I can’t believe I put that in there’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Every year FOX59 teams up with Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity to help a deserving Hoosier own their very own home.

Last year we helped Karen Leachman make her dream of home ownership come true.

The build started right here at FOX59. A year later, Leachman is now enjoying life in her new home.

She's living just a few blocks from where she grew up.

Leachman works with Ten Point Coalition to reduce violence in the area.

“I started off with Ten Point through walking with them. I looked at the different Habitat Houses and said I was going to try it,” Leachman said.

She qualified and started taking financial classes and helping to build other Habitat homes.

Then came the FOX59 panel build for her house!

“I didn't know it was going to go up like that and everybody had a part they was building, and then when they actually stood it up, I was like wow,” Leachman said.

FOX59 viewers helped with the build.

“If it wasn’t for the volunteers we wouldn't, I wouldn't have been able to do it,” Leachman said.

But it wasn't just volunteers. Karen put in a lot of hours building her dream home with her own hands, and she's enjoying the fruits of her labor.

“A a lot of times I come in here and the dining room window was the first window I put in.  A lot of times I sit there and say, ‘Man I can't believe I put that in there,’” Leachman said.

Now she has a message for others who also want to become homeowners.

“I tell them it's well worth the try just to see if you qualify, and then you can take it from there. Cause it's not based on your credit score.  It's based on how you pay your bills,” Leachman said.

Leachman is able to pay her bills thanks to a zero percent interest on her mortgage.

“We always say the house is not free.  You do have an affordable mortgage, and it's based on your income,” Leachman said.

There are two other Habitat homes on Leachman’s street.

She plans to be a mentor to other families going through the Habitat process.

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