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Homebuyer Assistance Puts Homeownership Within Reach for Pittsburgh Family

When Twayne first considered homeownership in 2017, he came to NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania to complete a homebuyer education course and learn about first-time buyer assistance. While he didn’t move forward with purchasing a home four years ago, he returned for education and one-on-one counseling last year. This summer, he became a homeowner.

One of the primary reasons Twayne and his wife, Lavonda, pursued homeownership was for their children. “We’re a blended family—I have two kids, my wife comes with one,” he said, explaining they want to give their children a sense of structure and a stable household. “We want them to feel comfortable, safe, and secure at home,” said Twayne.  

Down-payment assistance was an important factor in the purchase. He qualified for our Arriving Home program, which provides down-payment assistance in the form of an affordable loan, for first-time homebuyers in our region. In addition, Twayne received a grant from NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania, supported by Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) funds. The grant helps eligible first-time buyers purchasing in Pittsburgh’s South Hilltop neighborhoods and the municipality of Mount Oliver. “Those funds came in handy, along with what we had saved,” he said. The assistance from both programs allowed them to preserve a portion of their savings after closing on a Federal Housing Administration home loan through WesBanco. “It doesn’t get a lot better than that,” Twayne said.

With three kids and a full-time job as a service technician, he liked that the home was move-in ready. Twayne enjoys the tranquility of the neighborhood and the deck off the back, where he takes in the view. “It’s nice to go and relax,” he noted.

Twayne has some advice for other first-time homebuyers: “Educate yourself. Educate, educate, educate.” He noted there are a lot of moving parts to a home purchase and many people involved, jokingly comparing the process to a second job. Twayne emphasized the value of homebuyer education and gaining knowledge before diving into homeownership. “Going through the course, you’re learning the ins and outs, and the steps,” he explained. Twayne appreciated that NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania provided support throughout the process and remains there for him should he need post-purchase guidance. “I recommend NeighborWorks to people all the time,” he added.

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