About 50 real estate practitioners kicked off the 2009 REALTORS® Convention & Expo on Wednesday, Nov. 11, by lending a hand to the building of 1441 Harding Avenue, a green home constructed by Habitat for Humanity. While the initial construction of the house began in August, real estate pros helped with some of the finishing touches: painting, nailing, framing doors, and putting up drywall. New homeowners Abdi Farah and Amran Abdi, Somalian refugees who relocated to the U.S. a few years ago, will be able to move in this December.

Nothing feels better than to see your lifelong dream become a reality. Homeownership is one of the most important financial steps you could take in order to secure your family's future, Abdi Farah said.

Since 2001, NAR has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build a home in the city where the REALTORS® Convention & Expo; however, this was the first green home built under this partnership. The unit was constructed under the LEED-certification guidelines and will be solar-powered. Today is a great day to show that REALTORS® do care, said Bradford Bates, San Diego Habitat for Humanity's executive director.

It's giving back, and helping a family to give them a leg up, said Jan Hayden, ABR®, e-PRO®, an associate with Coldwell Banker in Baltimore, who has worked on almost 60 Habitat for Humanity homes. Like Hayden, many of the participants volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in their local communities.

2009 NAR President Charles McMillan and other members of the NAR Leadership Team were on hand to present the family of five keys to their new home, along with a toolbox, green cleaning supplies, and a Lowe's gift card.

Source: Katherine Tarbox, REALTOR® magazine (11/12/2009)