A story shared from PHFA

Owning a home has made all the difference       

Ask Laurie Henry what’s better than a PHFA home loan, and she’ll say two PHFA loans.

Laurie’s speaking from experience, because a year after she moved into her three-story townhome, the heat pump went out. But Laurie didn’t panic. She quickly learned that PHFA offers a low-interest loan for homeowners who need to make energy efficiency repairs. For a new homeowner, it was just the assistance she needed.

Like many single moms, Laurie had been renting while raising her two sons. Her apartment, while affordable, was on the third floor of a building in downtown Harrisburg. She had to park on the street. There wasn’t a washer or dryer in the unit. Plus there was no yard where the boys could play. Laurie wanted something better.

Every year, she doggedly saved her income tax refund and starting building her house fund. She also attended a homebuyers’ workshop led by Tri County Community Action. The information provided a good refresher, she says, on how to handle one’s personal finances. But more importantly, people who completed the six-hour class were eligible for a $3,000 loan from Dauphin County that they could apply toward their closing costs. That brought Laurie closer to her goal.

With a little careful saving, homeownership is possible

George Crumlich with Howard Hanna, a PHFA-approved lender, was another huge help. Within two days of contacting him, George had Laurie pre-approved for a PHFA home loan. Today, Laurie’s active boys have a yard for playing, and she has a home with conveniences like a dishwasher and a garage. They’ve even adopted a dog.

“It’s been good for my boys,” Laurie shares with a smile. “They have a backyard to play in. There’s a strip of woods that they get to explore. There’re lots of parks nearby. We can have backyard campfires, which we never could have had in the city.”

Laurie advises other renters, including single parents, “In most cases, rent can be as much as you would be paying for a mortgage. It just doesn’t make sense at all [to keep renting]. If you save your tax refunds and buckle down, and only buy what you need, and save for a couple years, you can have a house.”

Consider PHFA, too, when you start your home search, Laurie advises – or if your heating or cooling system fails.

“I rave all the time about the people I dealt with at PHFA and how amazing they were,” Laurie exclaims. “Both times I got PHFA loans, it has been amazing!”


HomeHUB Editorial Board

The content of HomeHUB© is informed by a Editorial Board which consists of representatives of key statewide stakeholder entities that believe in the importance of rebuilding homeownership in Pennsylvania. For additional information, visit our "About" page.