ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Just in time for Christmas, an Elizabethton woman is stepping into her new house.

“Today’s a fabulous day,” said Laura Kelly, Executive Director of Holston Habitat. “We are here to celebrate Patti as she achieved her dream of having an affordable home.”

Patti marks the 317th family served by Holston Habitat since its founding in 1985. Her home is the 24th project in Carter County.

She put in a lot of work before she could claim her new home.

“She’s been in 10 weeks of homeownership education classes, she has contributed over 250 sweat equity hours,” said Kelly. “She has physically built this house, and she has saved for her closing costs.”

1300 construction hours and 170 people worked to make this house a reality for new homeowner Patti.

Originally, Patti was scheduled to be in her home by October, but the build faced some delays. Those delays didn’t dampen her spirit.

“Apparently, this is God’s plan for me to be here at Christmas,” said Patti. “I cried happy tears for two days. I had butterflies yesterday morning, and then it has just been happy tears.”

Long before she put in sweat for this home, Patti said she’s overcome obstacles. She encouraged anyone else struggling to keep fighting.

“I just don’t want them to give up. You know, seek help or therapy if you need to,” said Patti. “Seek out a church, if you don’t have one.”

Kelly said stepping into a new home is just the beginning.

“Every time I get to see another family step into affordable homeownership, it means that their lives are going to transform,” said Kelly. “She is going to reach financial freedom because she owns a home she can afford.”

On Monday, Patti will officially sign all the paperwork and be able to move into her new home for Christmas. Patti has a 0% interest mortgage through Holston Habitat.

The two-bedroom, one-bath home was sponsored by Sam, Chris, Steve, and Joe in memory of their Uncle Charles “Dude” LaPorte with a $25,000 contribution. Word Fellowship Church contributed $2,500.