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First Fannin Habitat homeowner pays off mortgage early

  • January 30, 2019
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By Elaine Owen, Editor

Almost 20 years ago, Paula Behrens applied for a Habitat for Humanity loan. The
length and terms of a Habitat mortgage is based on affordability. In Behren’s case, she
and her three boys, twins Paul and Stephen and John Henry, a 20 year note was the best

Chris Hall, Executive Director of the local Habitat Chapter said, “Paula was the first
homeowner for our chapter of Habitat. She qualified for the Homeownership Program in
1999 when the affiliate was called North Central GA HFH, which consisted of Fannin,
Gilmer and Pickens counties. Her home was built on a piece of property in Morganton,
Ga. that had been given to Habitat. After the affiliate dissolved, Pickens County formed
its own chapter, and Fannin Gilmer HFH was formed in May of 2002.”

Last Wednesday, January 23, Behrens paid off her loan–and received a check for
part of the balance of her escrow account. She smiled as she talked at the office of Attorney
Laura J Ray in Blue Ridge.

“I sure had my share of ups and downs along the way, but in the end, I overcame challenges of being a single mom and provided a good home for my boys. I started my own home cleaning business.

This way, I could make my own schedule, take my boys to school every day, and get them involved in sports and other activities. All three boys found their way to be successful young men and I am proud of them,” she said.

Behrens said she looks forward to retiring and continuing the many improvements that have made her home and property truly beautiful.

“There’s always something to do. I add plants and trees, then dig up some of the plants and put more in…it’s a continuing process but I love it–I still love it!”

As Attorney Laura J Ray completed the paperwork for Behrens to sign, Hall said, “Laura has represented Habitat for Humanity for many years and has always donated her services for all real estate transactions. She and her staff are a blessing and we can never thank her enough for all she does to support Habitat.”