Plenty of families and individuals in Northeastern Pennsylvania have a dream of buying their first home. Problem is, many can’t afford it. PS Bank of Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, has decided to do something to make home buying easier. Its mortgage division, PS Mortgage, has combined forces with FHLBank Pittsburgh and its First Front Door (FFD) product to put more families in homes. FFD offers up to $5,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time homebuyers. PS Bank’s lenders took the first step of telling realtors, associates and, importantly, prospective homebuyers about the FFD grants. They also contacted Lackawanna County and the City of Scranton, which both offer homebuyer assistance programs of their own. Both agreed to combine funding resources with FFD, enabling families to receive more than $15,000 in assistance toward their home purchase.
“Many of our customers didn’t realize programs were out there to help first-time homebuyers,” said Lori Rudalavage, Vice President and Senior Mortgage Lender at PS Bank. “The FFD assistance not only lowers their out-of-pocket money but sometimes eliminates the need for private mortgage insurance. It makes their monthly mortgage payments affordable.” In 2017, PS Bank utilized FFD to place 16 families and individuals in homes.
Rudalavage recognizes the added benefits of helping people buy homes. “Homeowners spend money on improvements and repairs, boosting the local economy and making their neighborhoods better places to live,” she said. Rudalavage also acknowledges the boost PS Bank gets from all this home-buying activity. “Anytime we can help a family obtain a mortgage loan, it benefits us, too. Not only do we get their business now, but we can often count on referrals or repeat business from that family in the future.”