NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — There’s no place like home, and for one local family, they learned that on Monday.

It’s thanks to a year long project involving Habitat For Humanity and some area Rotary Clubs.

And as one might expect, the new homeowner couldn’t be any more proud.

Monday morning on Madison Avenue in Newport News, the American dream of owning your own home was realized by the James family.

But it wasn’t easy, with over a year in the making, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.

“As you know, the world turned upside down, but if anyone can help build during a pandemic, it’s the Rotarians,” said Janet V. Green, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg.

It took five Rotary clubs to be exact, as well as Habitat for Humanity, who see owning your own home as building blocks for a better community.

“The James family are now going to be taxpayers here in Newport News. They’ll have a smaller commute, the children … will be going to public schools. And if you think that’s happening block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, we are so pleased to play a small part with Habitat for Humanity in the transformation of this community,” said Green.

As for the James family, mother Kameera James and 9-year-old Trey let 5-year-old Premier, do the honors at the ribbon cutting.

“Today feels amazing, it’s great, it’s a wonderful feeling,” said James.

And with homeownership, James can say goodbye to signing leases, security deposits, noisy neighbors, and rent being raised.

It has been a long time coming.

“I got selected in 2019, so the pandemic came and lengthened out the process. ‘Cause it’s been a really long time … it’s amazing to finally be here. The house is built so I’m ready to move in,” James said.

And while the James family begins to add the finishing touches to make it their own, they can rest easy in the fact that they won’t be moving anytime soon.

“It’s just really amazing that I’m going to be able to own this, and my sons are going to be able to have a stable place to stay and it’s just a wonderful feeling,” James said.