KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)- The real estate market is still a bit wobbly for some, but in East Knox County, it's enjoying a boom - thanks to Habitat For Humanity.
The organization built seven homes this week and has dozens more to go in its newest subdivision.
"We haven't even laid the carpet yet we just put the cabinets up yesterday."
Little by little, Michael Gates is seeing his new home take shape.
Michael Gates: "I always wanted to build a house myself but didn't know how. It's been great watching it going up piece by piece."
The war veteran is part of a new subdivision being built in East Knox County - through the work of Habitat Humanity and one thousand four hundred volunteers.
Bill McMillan: "It changes these people lives. They really can't put in words more often than not it's tears that express feelings. It's tears of joy and wonderful thing."
Habitat kicked off a blitz build last Saturday - building seven homes in the Silver Leaf community. In addition to new homeowner Michael Gates, there's Candy Zancker.
Candy Zancker: "This has always been a dream of mine to have a home to call our own."
A dream that almost didn't come true. Zancker had signed up for the Habitat program in 2008. But after her divorce, she lost her job and no longer qualified for a home. She says she was determined, though, not to give up and encourages others to do the same.
Candy Zancker: "Stick thru it keep trying your best don't let anything bring you down. "
Now Zancker, Gates and five more families will be neighbors in this community with a strong foundation.
"I know everybody here gotten to know each other last couple of years it's like family already."