The Torres Juarez-Guzman and Guzman-Gonzalez families finally had their dreams realized Saturday.The families spent the past year building up more than 300 hours of sweat equity so that they'd finally own their own homes.


"It's built with love. It's built with the hands of the families themselves and volunteers from throughout the community," said Dan Rosensweig, the president of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville.


Not only do the families own their three bedroom homes in the Prospect Avenue neighborhood, but the Guzman brother and sister are living under the same roof.


“Sometimes we worry when we build duplexes that the two families aren't going to get along, but these families are connected not just by sweat equity but by blood as well and they're really looking forward to their extended family living together,” Rosensweig stated.


For the Torres Juarez-Guzman family, the 1200 square foot home is even more special. “One of the families was living in a trailer that was bisected by a tree a year and a half ago. They were able to patch it up enough to live in but they had a three bedroom trailer that's now two bedrooms,” Rosensweig said.


But the journey to get their homes wasn't easy. “They have put in hundreds of hours of what we call sweat equity. That means its work that's not remunerated. They come in and work with other volunteers for Habitat,” said Habitat board member Anne Ternes.


Ternes says the families are incredibly appreciative. “Think now they feel much more settled. They have an opportunity to be in the place where they're going to live for a long time. That's a good thing for them and for their children.”


The Guzman brother and sister work six days a week. For over a year, every seventh day was spent working at Habitat for Humanity and adding up that sweat equity toward home ownership.