Builders of Hope’s State Street Village

Builders of Hope’s State Street Village

Affordable & Beautiful

July, 14, 2009, by David

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Builders of Hope, is one of the most progressive concepts in affordable development in the area.  They have a common mission: “providing safe, affordable housing to working families,” but go about it in a unique manner:  taking tear-downs, moving them to a new area and rebuilding them to be better than they originally were.  The houses are available to both low income and those above the median income bracket. 

The latest community for Builders of Hope is the State Street Village.  This project involves 25 lots off of a new cul-de-sace off of State Street in south Raleigh- with homes starting just over $100 thousand.  For that buyers get spacious lots, quality homes, a great view of downtown and the chance to be part of improving our city as a whole.  State Street Village represents a redevelopment strategy that starts with creating a community that has great fundamentals and is cohesive aesthetic. 

The houses are priced below market value, but are a quality offering beyond both older and new homes.  Builders of Hope guts the frames- rewires them, plumbing, installs new or recycled finishes, new energy efficient appliances, energy efficient windows, and insulates them tight. The offer is one for people, who may not otherwise have a chance, to have a home to be proud of. The homes are built for quality with a focus on energy efficiency and aesthetics.  Builders of Hope works with Advanced Energy to certify each house for energy efficiency.  Advanced Energy seals the house and tests for energy loss through the floors, walls and openings.  The certified homes are incredibly efficient and much more affordable to heat and cool. 

Nancy Murray started Builders of Hope after a great career in advertising, because she felt it was time to help others.  Murray studied construction and worked with City Government to get things rolling and in doing so has established the forward thinking approach described above.  Murray is working to give the working-class an opportunity to own a home they can be proud of and doing it with a nod towards the challenges of this century.

If you are considering purchasing a home- the project is worth looking at and buying in is a great way to support the organization.  Builders of Hope also needs volunteers and materials be sure to check out their website below.

State Street Village

State Street Village Page


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DevelopmentBuilders of HopeNancy MurrayState Street VillageAdvanced EnergySouth & East Raleigh


  • Phillo
    07/14 03:53 PM

    “The offer is one for people, who may not otherwise have a chance, to have a home to be proud of.” 
    Let’s hope this ends better than the last time people who may otherwise not have a chance bought homes.

  • TC
    07/14 05:41 PM

    Affordable housing has to be more creative than building cheap and selling cheap.  Otherwise these homes, just like all the affordable housing before, will eventually bring down net property values, become unkept eyesores, and eventually be torn down for more sound development (and that does NOT mean more expensive).

  • Drew B
    07/14 06:19 PM

    Phillo: That comment doesn’t really make sense. The “last time” as you put it refers to people purchasing homes that they couldn’t afford using creative financing that most people who weren’t getting greedy knew was a bad idea.

    TC: I’d like to hear more specifics about what you mean as far as more creative tactics since the basics of this project seem sound to me. These appear to be of high quality building, in a convenient location, oriented towards ownership vs rental. All of which are generally associated with successful neighborhood projects. In fact it seems like a private version of the city sponsored Cooke St development which, from what I can tell, is working very well.

  • smitty
    07/14 10:24 PM

    Future rental slums.

  • Matt W
    07/15 12:39 AM

    What is to prevent investors from snapping these up and renting them slumlord style, much like they have done for years in East Raleigh?  Or for someone to buy-in and flip in a year or two for a quick profit, given that these will be sold below market value?

  • RaleighRob
    07/15 09:17 AM

    ^Whatever guys….that can happen to any development of houses of any age in any part of the city.  (From what I read on the organization’s website, they are targeting this to working families for goodness sake.)

    Someone’s doing something really good here by building reasonably-priced homes adjacent to downtown…something Raleigh has an acute shortage of.  And all y’all can do is be pissy and negative?  We don’t need that here.

  • smitty
    07/15 09:30 AM

    Developers are not some sort of public saviors, no matter what sort of brush they are painted with.

  • Matt W
    07/15 10:04 AM

    I am not trying to be negative at all.  When and organization sells an asset below market value, there are going to be a lot of people trying to get their hands on that asset, one way or another.

    Personally, I don’t think that ownership vs. rental is necessarily a good idea, especially for lower-income folks that may not have extra savings in case of job loss, health issues, rising property taxes, cost of maintenance, and on and on.  One of the great things about rental is that, if your situation changes dramatically, you have some flexibility to move into a lower rent space.  This is gone with home ownership.

    Another issue will be financing.  It is nigh impossible to secure even a small home loan these days without stellar credit and a 20%+ down payment.

    I am ALL FOR more affordable housing near downtown (my fiancee and I bought a home near Crabtree Mall for this very reason—there was nothing near downtown under $300k that wasn’t in some sort of disrepair), but I am skeptical that holding the price of an asset down artificially and trying to target certain kinds of buyers will be effective in accomplishing their very positive goal.

  • Ken Metzger
    07/15 10:25 AM

    If one were to actually go to their website, then one would see that there are eligibility requirements to be met.  You have to earn learn than the median income.  There are probably other requirements, as well, such as it can not be an investment property.  You can also apply to rent a home if buying a house is not an option.

    These homes are also probably of higher quality than most new homes.  They are solid older homes that just needed to be moved, but given full electrical and plumbing upgrades.

    As far as financing goes, they will just need to have decent credit and a stable income.  There will probably not be a need for a down payment, because the homes are sold below value.  One usually only has to borrow a percentage of the appraised value, not actually put cash into a house.  The value of these houses being higher than the mortgage principal also makes it a very low risk for the creditor, because they can easily recoup the loan amount through foreclosure.

  • smitty
    07/15 11:36 AM

    The website says you have to earn equal to or LESS than the median income to buy.  After that first sale though, anything can happen to these homes, including being bought by an absentee landlord.

    If current foreclosure disaster has shown anything, it’s that stuffing low income people into a mortgage is not doing them a favor.  Homeownership can no longer be seen as a cure-all.

    The other interesting question is where are these houses coming from?  Are these the houses that are being torn out of existing neighborhoods to be replaced by larger homes?  If so, why aren’t they being refurbed in place?  Is this “new” neighborhood just the waste product of the destruction of another?

  • Ken Metzger
    07/15 11:54 AM

    The “foreclosure disaster” was caused mainly by people buying homes that they could not afford or having ballooning payments on the premise that the value of the property would increase.  This is trying to create housing that someone with a lower income can actually afford.  There may be sale restrictions on these houses like the Cooke St development where one is not allowed to sale in the first five years without a penalty.  Based on the location, one would not expect the value to increase enough in the next few years for property taxes to cause a problem.

    These houses are ones that the owner would just destroy if they were not moved by Builders of Hope.  Sure, it would be great if they were just refurbed where they are now, but that is just not reality.

  • Kay
    07/15 06:08 PM

    I am one of these low income people that most of you speak of. I was lucky enough to purchase a home under a similar program in the Bloodworth St/South St area. We purchased a brand new home and it has gone up in value since we have been there, despite, the numerous break-ins we’ve had in the neighborhood lately, the loud/messy students at Shaw (same as any other college), the roaming homeless people, etc. We have amazing neighbors of all kinds and we absolutely love what the city program created - a neighborhood of people of mixed backgrounds, homeowners who actually care about their property, and people who WANT to be there and STAY there. How did I get here with no money? There are grant programs for people in certain income brackets, lower rates when you live in “targeted census areas” and loans from the city homeownership program. If we stay for a certain amount of time, a good bit of that money does not have to be paid back (the grants). We also have the sale penalties that Ken spoke of above.. we wouldn’t even think about leaving though :)

  • Matt W
    07/15 07:02 PM

    Kay, that’s great information, thank you for sharing.  Can you explain more on the sale penalties?  Are those part of the deal from the city homeownership program?  Were the grants a part of that program as well?

  • macK
    07/15 09:04 PM

    How do you assure that these houses will actually go to people who need them and not investors?  Seems like its well intentioned but it will probably just be gentrified by young white people (like me) rather than helping low-income working families.

  • Ken Metzger
    07/16 09:42 AM

    macK, I am sure the house has to be your primary residence.  If, by “investor”, you mean someone who earns a profit after living there for five years, then that is a possibility.

  • David
    07/17 09:39 AM

    Certainly a house is a means to building wealth and Builders of Hope doesn’t deny that to folks in their program.  There are limits on how early and how much profit can be made. 

    @macK the program actually wants to sell a percentage of homes to folks near the median income bracket- in order to secure financing for the whole project. The homes, however are required to be their primary residence. 

    @Ken thanks for shutting down the Trolls.

  • smitty
    07/17 04:16 PM

    So after five years, then they will be rentals.

  • TC
    07/17 09:18 PM

    Drew B,

    More creativity means building homes that push the envelope for everyone:  Like using unconventional materials, being more space conscious, alternative mechanical systems.  All-in-all setting an example.  This would prevent them from being future tear-down candidates and driving down property values.  (And being creative with materials, building methods, and systems can be used to make homes EVEN cheaper.)

  • Margo
    07/19 10:05 AM

    It’s likely that some of the homes are coming from the North Hills area…over the past few years, lots of smaller homes off Lassiter Mill have come down and been replaced with much larger, newly constructed homes.  This is a better option than scrapping all those older homes.

  • messocollards
    07/20 11:43 AM


    Low to moderate income people and mortgages made to them are not the cause of the current recession and the state of the real estate market.  It would be nice if you’d quit regurgitating Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity talking points with little regard to fact.  It is class warfare at it’s basest.

    On the contrary, loans like you describe have a much lower foreclosure rate than market rate mortgages.  The collapse of the real estate and credit markets was largely caused by the failure of unsound derivative investments and securities.  In addition, Ben Bernanke recently testified to Congress that the notion that lower income home buyers somehow led to this crisis was pure poppycock.

    Your assumption that these homes will become rentals also has no basis in fact.  These homes must be owner occupied and most financing products available to developments such as this include provisions to ensure that doesn’t happen.

  • roi
    07/20 02:35 PM

    Tax question:  Does any one know if a house is being torn down so that a new house can be built on the lot, and the owner donates the tear-down house to the “Hope” project can the value of the tear-down be considered a contribution for tax purposes?

  • Dave
    07/20 04:37 PM

    This is Dave from Prime Energy Group.  We are a local company that specializes in building envelope technology, namely spray foam, one of the most advanced materials on the market for insulation. We have worked with Builders of Hope (BOH) on several projects and have partnered with BOH on the State Street Village project to help them build healthy, sustainable, and smart.  After reading the past few posts, I strongly urge anyone who wishes to comment to first go to the BOH website and thoroughly read about the organization, its principles, and its economic, social, and environmental goals. 

    I simply wanted to share what a positive experience we have had with BOH.  Our company became involved with BOH after I attended an open Talk ‘n Walk at the John T. “Pop” Green Neighborhood Center back in January.  The founder and CEO gave a presentation on the organization, and as a local business owner, I was truly inspired.  I had no idea how to make it happen, but I just knew I wanted my company work with this organization and help them achieve some of their goals.  Prime Energy Group, BOH, and Advanced Energy have since worked together to create an insulation solution that will help the BOH homes perform efficiently and have extremely high levels of indoor air quality.  What this means is that these homes will be more comfortable and quiet, and have less dust, pollen, and allergens than homes with traditional fiberglass insulation.  Additionally, because of the use of spray foam, the homes will require smaller mechanical systems and use less energy than homes with traditional fiberglass insulation.  Our contribution to the thermal envelope of these homes is just one aspect of the huge process that BOH undergoes on each house.  I have personally worked on the jobsites with BOH, and the homes that are re-constructed often come with many upgrades and bonuses not typically seen even in new construction from tract builders.

    The homes that BOH re-construct (all rescued from a landfill destination) sometimes arrive with granite countertops, custom cabinetry, hardwood floors, Corian vanities, and high-end fixtures.  Attention is focused on salvaging as much of the interior as possible refinishing it, and re-using it, so the end product is really remarkable. These homes are stripped back to the studs, and all plumbing, electrical, and insulation is replaced, along with the roofs and exteriors.  The quality construction coupled with these frequent “bonuses” result in fantastic homes, and ultimately, a fantastic neighborhood in which people will be very proud to live.  As Kay (who lives nearby) mentioned above, she has amazing neighbors and “. . . a neighborhood of people of mixed backgrounds, homeowners who actually care about their property, and people who WANT to be there and STAY there.”  That is what BOH is working with the city and the community to create at State Street. 

    BOH is partners with the Raleigh Rescue Mission, the Durham Rescue Mission and the Capital Area Workforce Development Board.  They have a work-mentor program that works in conjunction with the Raleigh and Durham Rescue Missions faith-based programs, which offer job and life training. Additionally, BOH participates in Project New Build, which offers job and educational training for at-risk youth.  These are great programs that help people in our community.  I have had the opportunity to work together with project managers that are mentors to several of the program participants, who are learning marketable construction, and green building skills.  To listen to the participants tell their stories, to hear how they have changed their lives with the help of BOH, is awe-inspiring.  As part of our involvement with the State Street project, we are going to be working with BOH to assist with their work-mentor program specifically in the area of green job training as it relates to building science. 

    BOH is a great organization that helps individuals, families, and communities.  This organization is one that Prime Energy Group is proud to work with.  If you are frustrated in general about the state of the economy as most people are, I challenge you to come out and volunteer with Builders of Hope.  You may even find a way to use your professional experience to help build a relationship as we did.  Be part of this force in the right direction as you help from the ground up, to heal the local economy and the environment, as well as the people and communities of Raleigh.  Inaction, speculation, and denouncing the efforts of organizations that help others are not enablers of change.

  • smitty
    07/20 09:41 PM


    Please show me where I said that poor people caused the recession or the housing market.  If you are going to attack me, at least attack a point that I actually made.  Can you also point me to some info showing how these homes will not become rentals, I can’t find that on the website.  In fact, the application has a box asking “Do you need assistance in finding a lender?”  Sounds like you don’t have to borrow from govt programs at all.


    Your spray foam insulation sounds interesting.  What blowing agent do you use?

  • Kay
    07/21 09:33 AM

    Smitty, the process we went through with the city program required that we go through one of there approved lenders (there are only about 10-15 to choose from but all are great). We ended up with the BB&T lender on the list. They then pre-approved us for the city program to make sure that we fell within the income levels that were required, that our credit score was the right amount, debt to income was ok, etc. They then sent our info to the community development for approval. After we got approval from them, BB&T proceeded with our loan. We then were able to proceed with our federal help as well. If we had just gone to any old lender out there, we wouldn’t have gotten the help we need. It’s a really complicated process and you really have to use someone that’s familiar with these types of programs.

    Our home will not become a rental anytime soon. If we were to sell it after a year for example, the city will take 90% of the proceeds from the sale (it might be 80% but I can’t remember). That percentage lessens each year we stay in the home. We would also have to pay back all the money that we received from the city to help us purchase the home. If I’m not mistaken, if we were to sell, the buyer also has to qualify for the same program that we did in order to keep it from being flipped or rented, etc.

  • Dave
    07/21 10:12 AM

    The blowing agent in the foam is H20.

  • Michael
    12/23 11:24 AM

    Well, I am proud and honored to be a new resident of the State Street Village area in the near future.  I am a very civic minded man who sees a wonderfully positive future for Builders of Hope, now beginning work in Fuquay-Varina and Charlotte.  Hopefully, this will be become a nationwide project that will benefit many other people who, like myself, could not otherwise have afforded to live in metropolitan areas like Raleigh again.

    Kay will attest that there is an extensive and thorough application and screening process to buy one of BOH homes.  Also, there are very strict legal, binding documents we must sign declaring that we will abide by the policies and restrictions governing the buying and selling of these homes.  Our homes, also, be inspected periodically to see that the residents are properly maintaining the dwellings.  Furthermore, we are required to attend classes that give us skills on how to properly manage our finances and these houses.

    In summation, the negativity that you read in some of these posts are just opinions of the authors.  They have not deterred my enthusiasm about my new home or the admirable work of Builders of Hope in the least. 

    From the beginning, I sensed and believed there is a positive future of these developments and for Builders of Hope.  Kudos to Nancy Murray (for following the vision to begin such a wonderful program), Lindsay Locke (who has led me through every step of this journey with her knowledge and expertise), Darryl Colwell and the many, many guys who oversee and do the hard labor to refurbish these energy efficient, totally green homes.  You are my heroes.

    A thousand thanks could never fully express my gratitude.

  • Sharon Langer
    04/14 06:37 AM

    It is hard to understand the amount of negative comments on these homes. I think the organization has a good heart and what comes after is not their fault.
    I viewed these homes in 8/09, and I met with all the principals. At least, they are trying to help and building Green. They are delivering a good product in a bad economic environment

  • Tim Cooper
    09/11 05:06 PM

    Even at these prices, I cannot afford it.  My father with an eighth grade education and a union factory job could raise kids and afford his home, and die debt free.  With my college degree and company downsizing for shareholder value, and CEO uber-salary structure, my own salary has lost value over time….I can’t touch it.

    I appreciate such efforts at residential community revitalization for those who can manage. It looks to be a worthy endeavor.

  • Shaon Langer
    09/14 07:24 AM

    Well, Tim, I can commiserate. I am prematurely retired (ok, I might be able to get job as greeter at Walmart),but both my dad and my mother graduated HS. Both of them have made WAY MORE MONMEY than I ever will with a Masters Degree

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