HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — As part of Habitat for Humanity of Horry County’s homebuyer program, Hilton Grand Vacations and Habitat hosted a volunteer build day on Wednesday for a couple part of the program.

Teresa and Ricky Nelson joined the homebuyer program last fall. A year later, the foundation is in place, window and door frames have been crafted and on Wednesday, the walls and front porch started taking shape.

The Nelsons have moved to the “sweat equity hours” portion of the homebuyer program. That means both Teresa and Ricky have to complete a minimum of 300 volunteer hours each before they can buy and move into their habitat home.

They’re getting their hours a few different ways, but on Wednesday they hammered nails and sawed wood, truly building their home from the ground up.

“It feels really wonderful to enjoy building our own home because too many people can say that they build their own home, but we can say that we are building our own home,” Teresa Nelson said. “We just are blessed for it.”

Volunteers from Hilton Garden Vacations joined the Nelsons at the build.

“For me personally, working for a company that supports and allows us to come out and donate our time back to the community, at the end of the day, it’s very rewarding,” Erik Johnson said. “You see something that you’ve accomplished, you see something that is coming together to help benefit the Nelson family.”

The Nelsons have been together for 16 years and look forward to when they officially move into their first home together.

“That’s going to feel real nice, it’s going to be quiet, it’s going to be nobody but me and her,” Ricky Nelson said. “So, we are going to enjoy ourselves in our own home.”

The Nelsons said before they partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Horry County, they dreamed about having a house on the exact road theirs is currently being built.

“So, we always come here and we sit in this little lot here and we just sit here and talk and laugh and all this kind of stuff,” Teresa Nelson said. “So I told him one day, I said ‘you know what?’ I said, ‘if we had to get a house, I really [want] for our house to be here.'”

That house is proof that the Nelsons dream of owning their own home is turning into a reality.

Once the house is finished and all other requirements of the homebuyer program are complete, the Nelsons can buy their habitat home with a 30-year interest-free mortgage.

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Savannah Denton joined News 13 in July 2023 as a reporter and producer. Savannah is from Atlanta, Georgia, and is a graduate of the University of Alabama. Follow Savannah on X, formerly Twitter, and read more of her work here