Archive for month: February, 2019

Master Homeowner Tips: Being a Good Neighbor

It’s easy to be a good neighbor if you love where you live.

Maintain your domain.

Take a walk across the street and look at your property. Is it an advertisement for home repair services? Aside from old cars on blocks, avoid leaving toys in the yard, mow your lawn regularly, and fix any broken fence gate that goes clink-clank in the night. These little nuisances won’t make you friends.

Don’t blare the tunes.

Everyone loves a good party, but watch the volume when you crank up the music. If you plan on having a bash, let your neighbors know, so if they want, they can choose to have a quiet evening at home another night.

Keep an eye on Fido.

If your dog spends time in the backyard, be mindful if he’s a barker (as a rule, don’t let a barking dog woof it up for more than two minutes). If your yard isn’t fully fenced in, make sure your pooch doesn’t take his bathroom breaks on your neighbor’s lawn.

Make yourself helpful.

If you know your next-door neighbor is taking off to Japan, offer to collect her packages or mail until she gets back. If you’re sweeping your sidewalk, keep going and sweep hers, too.

Don’t drive like a maniac.

Keep it light on the gas pedal. Always be mindful of children, bikers, and runners. Think about safety.

Smile and say hello.

Make a habit of taking a stroll after dinner. Offer a smile. Strike up a conversation. Tell someone you like their garden. Or just give a small wave. Send out some good vibes and you’ll definitely get some in return.

If you ever decide to build a fence, confer with your neighbor first, and purchase one that’s attractive on both sides.

If you’d like to learn more about being a good neighbor, check out our Master Homeowner Class, Neighborhood Relations.

Master Homeowner Program

Fayetteville Comes to Charleston

Tiny Fayetteville, West Virginia, with a population of less than 3,000, has to be the per-capita state champion of food. There are so many fantastic locally-owned restaurants in this one small town that it boggles the mind.

Pies and Pints (which began in Fayetteville before spreading to 13 locations in six other states) still serves their amazing craft pizzas right there on Maple Avenue, and just down the hill on Keller Avenue you will find Secret Sandwich Society serving to-die-for sandwiches, burgers and salads to anyone lucky enough to get a table. Over on Court Street, The Cathedral Café, a Fayetteville institution, serves – among other things – fantastic breakfasts featuring their one-of-a-kind Sweet Potato Pancakes. Up the hill from Cathedral is Wood Iron Eatery, the new kids in town, serving wonderfully creative breakfasts and lunches with a California spin. Throw in a cute little ice cream called The Stache (where you can pose for a picture with your ice cream mustache) and, rumor has it, a new noodle restaurant called New River Curry House, and you have all the makings of a culinary wonderland just an hour’s drive from Charleston, and all within short walking distance of each other.

And perhaps the crown jewel in this culinary treasure chest is The Station: A casual fine-dining restaurant that features craft cocktails and a local farm-to-table vibe. Sitting right there on Court Street, at the threshold of the historic district, The Station offers discriminating diners Appalachian-inspired comfort food prepared with a mix of local and regionally sourced ingredients. From Artisan Cheese Plates, to Roasted Beet Salad, to Bangers and Mash, to Shepherd’s Pie, to Pastas and Curry, a visit to The Station is sure to please the pickiest palate.

The Station’s credo is all about local: “We believe that people have a growing interest in knowing where their food comes from and how it is produced,” says co-owner Amy Summerford. “We also believe in eating food that is produced in a way that is kind to what is being produced, where it is being produced, and to whom is producing it. Therefore we strive to create unique and delicious meals using thoughtfully sourced local ingredients that are respectfully and skillfully prepared. We delight in nourishing our customers while supporting our local economy because we believe it is the right thing to do and because it makes us happy.”

It makes a lot of people happy. And on February 20, Habitat for Humanity is happy to bring The Station to town for one night only for this year’s iteration of our annual fundraiser, “A Taste of The Station in Charleston.”

Join us! You can purchase tickets online at

Partnering with Habitat for a Better Life

“If I hadn’t found Habitat, we would still be in that one-bedroom apartment, and it wasn’t the best of conditions.

There was an old electric stove, and depending on what you were doing, you’d get shocked. The dryer was always going out, and we had to hang clothes all over the house. It seemed really quiet when we were looking for a place, but then over time, there was a lot of violence. There was actually a homicide in our building. It’s those things that put a lot of stress on people, and we were definitely feeling that.

I didn’t think I was going to qualify, but they considered my situation a dire need: four people in one bedroom, having the issues that we were having.

I had no idea that I was capable of doing a lot of the things we ended up doing. I loved it. For over a year, I was working full time, plus doing sweat equity to build my future home. I was also enrolled in Habitat’s Master Homeowner Program.  It taught me everything I needed to know to maintain my home for life.

Monday evening I took classes at Habitat’s education center, and I put in my construction hours on the weekends.

Habitat Family

While constructing my house, I got to know my neighbors. We built each other’s homes, and you can’t get much closer than that.

The biggest difference overall is that general sense of security. Just knowing that it’s ours, and we make all the decisions — it’s been really comforting for our family. I think the kids knowing that they won’t have to move is very comforting. We’ve made a lot of moves over the years — 13, in fact. I know my son really appreciates having his room. Having his space, his own room — he really likes it a lot.

You know, I think I was more scared buying a car than buying the house. The only reason for that was Habitat for Humanity. I feel really comforted knowing that, if anything were to happen, Habitat would work with me. So I didn’t feel scared, just willing.

When I went to sign all the official paperwork, and they hand you the real keys and the title and everything, that’s when I was like, “This is happening. This is now my house, and these are my keys.”

We moved in right away, that next weekend, and even with boxes all over the place it felt like, “This is my house.”

Click HERE to make a secure, online financial contribution.