Keith and Libby Shaub purchased their house in 2001. In 2019, they made their final payment and reveled in being mortgage-free homeowners.
With raised glasses of sparkling cider, Keith and Libby Shaub of York celebrated paying off their York Habitat for Humanity home in 2019. It was the completion of a journey that had started nearly two decades before.
Living in a claustrophobic apartment after their marriage in 1999, Keith and Libby knew they needed more space.
“We had a daybed with a trundle that was underneath the bed,” Keith says. “When we put it up, I couldn't get out of bed, it was so tight. The rooms were real small.”
They didn’t think they’d ever be able to buy a home until they learned about York Habitat for Humanity’s home ownership program.
Sweat equity with a personal touch
Without a consistent source of income, Keith and Libby were denied on their first application for the home ownership program. That inspired them to focus their efforts and nail down steady jobs. In 2001, their application was approved, and they were moving toward owning a home.
With York Habitat’s help, Keith and Libby purchased a three-story home in York with two bedrooms and one bathroom. They finally had enough space to add a queen size bed and exercise equipment, and had an extra room where Keith could expand his model railroad collection.
One of the unique aspects of York Habitat’s program is the requirement that homebuyers build sweat equity by participating in the construction or renovation of their homes. Keith and Libby enthusiastically joined in, starting with helping to dig out the basement and add a concrete floor.
They took on various projects, such as transforming the kitchen and removing layers of plywood from the ceiling. Their hard work and dedication turned the house into a home filled with their personal touches. Keith’s framed Army ribbons and medals hang on their dining room wall. Libby’s colorful décor graces the living room mantel and bookcases.
Stability, security, opportunity
Owning a home meant freedom and a sense of belonging for Keith and Libby. Unlike when they rented, they could decorate and make changes according to their preferences without limitations set by landlords. Over the years, they’ve painted the walls, remodeled the kitchen, and installed a new living room floor.
The convenience of having the washer and dryer on the upper floor and the ability to modify their living space to meet their needs made a significant difference in their daily lives, especially when Libby was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a couple of years ago.
Becoming homeowners through York Habitat for Humanity provided Keith and Libby with stability, security, and the opportunity to build a future. Their sense of pride and accomplishment reflects the positive change that homeownership brought to their lives. They cherished the idea of having a place they could call their own, which stands as a testament to their hard work.
“If you can do it sooner, do it sooner,” Libby advises prospective York Habitat homeowners.
As Keith and Libby near their 25th wedding anniversary, they continue making improvements and modifications to their home. They’re installing a walk-in shower and making other accessibility modifications that will allow them to remain independent as they age. For Keith and Libby, the stability, freedom, and pride that come with owning a home has helped set them up for success as they navigate what life has in store.