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Improving homes on a budget: Habitat Omaha's ReStore helping homeowners while interest rates are high

Posted at 7:34 PM, Nov 06, 2023
  • Customers talk about why they come to the Habitat Restore over shopping elsewhere
  • Benchmark Mortgage discusses interest rates for homeowners
  • Warehouse sale Nov. 8-11


Shopping for household items can be expensive, especially with high interest rates for homeowners. I’m Jill Lamkins at one of Habitat Omaha’s ReStores — a place that offers shoppers some relief from other costly purchases including buying a new home.

“Well everyone is looking to get a deal I think these days and this is a place where you can find unique items that you wouldn’t be able to find at a new place.”

John Spain and his friends are working on putting together a home speakeasy. He’s here because shopping somewhere else could be costly.

“I'd say it’d be three to four times more expensive, easily.”

While John has paid off his mortgage, Amy — who’s been a homeowner for 17 years — is still working on hers.

“So I bought an Ethan Allen dining table and chairs, four chairs, and I spent $200 for the entirety and the dining room table is still on their website for $3,000.”

Deals here help keep items out of the landfill and into the hands of others who are re-purposing.

“When you're a first-time home buyer it’s tough right, you have to come up with a lot of money for the down payment and everything else, but we allow homeowners an opportunity to still improve their homes, but they do so on a budget.”

Working within your budget is something that may be helpful especially helpful now.

I spoke to Eric Almquist at Benchmark Mortgage who told me interest rates have been on an upward trend for the past 18 months.

“Mortgage rates climb when inflation climbs and you saw inflation hit a peak back in September of last year, October of 9% — since, it’s moved a little bit lower but rates have kind of been stubbornly staying high.”

As rates go up, affordability for current homeowners can become more of a challenge.

“Homeowners are getting hit with higher rates, higher prices, higher taxes, higher insurance."

This means homeowners are wanting to save in other ways…

“It’s the best of both worlds, you can refurbish and re-purpose things but you can also find items just to make your home new and fresh and you're not breaking the bank when you do it.”

Items here are always at a bargain price but from Nov. 8-11, they’ll be having a warehouse sale for anyone to take advantage of. In your neighborhood, I'm your Northwest Omaha reporter with 3 News Now.