Sanford: New home ‘too good to be true’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 2, 2014


It seems that 2013 was a big year for the county’s fourth Habitat for Humanity family.

Tammy Taylor, now Sanford, got not only a new house, but also a new husband – and she couldn’t be happier.

“This was the first Christmas in 10 years that when we woke up, we weren’t freezing to death,” Sanford said. “This has been the best year. I can’t explain how happy we are.”

Located at the corner of College and Oak streets in Andalusia, the three-bedroom, one-and-half bath, handicapped-accessible home is a much different picture than the Sanford’s former 1910 wood-frame home in Lockhart.

Qualities like being an Energy Star certification home, tons of cabinet space and room to spread out are what makes the Habitat home, well home, Sanford said.

“It’ has been a fabulous year for us,” she said. “After two years together, Andy and I got married in March. In October, we closed on the house, and a few weeks before that, my daughter got married and moved to Michigan.”

Sanford’s son, a recent mechanics school graduate, lives with the newly married couple while he searches for a job.

The move to Andalusia put Sanford closer to work at the Andalusia Head Start, where she’s been a teacher since 2005.

“This home has been a God send for my family,” she said. “After we closed on the house, we never spent another night in our rental in Lockhart. We slept on blankets, and to this day, I sometimes wake up and think, ‘Am I really here? Did this really happen?’

“Sometimes it seems too good to be true,” she said. “But I thank God every day for Habitat for Humanity.”

Currently, the non-profit organization is working on its fifth home, and the Sanfords have worked to give the Laney family the same experience they had.

“This is not a free house,” Sanford said. “But the mortgage payment is certainly cheaper than you can pay rent – especially for such a nice house.”

As part of the award process, Habitat families are required to work, or put in “sweat equity,” at their new home. To do that, the Sanford family and friends do all the upkeep of Habitat properties.

In February, Sanford said once the home was completed, her wheelchair bound sister could make her first visit in seven years.

On Tuesday, that visit happened when the Sanfords hosted a belated Christmas/early New Year’s Day dinner.

“It was a good day,” Sanford said with a smile.

Fundraising is always ongoing for the organization, and donations can be mailed to the local HFH chapter at: Covington County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 1034 Andalusia, AL 36420.