The United Way of Lawrence County offered a five-week homebuying course in partnership with the Penn State Extension and 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania this fall.
Each year, the president of Lawrence County Board of Realtors® speaks at one of the classes to give insight from the real estate side of things. This year, Kim Cragle, LCBR president, spoke about the consumer notice, steps to go through once homebuyers are ready to purchase a home and what to expect when buying a home.
“I just think it’s wonderful,” Cragle said of the program. “I think everyone should have a chance to purchase a home.”
The program is targeted to Asset Limited Constrained Employed households, which fall above the federal poverty line but earn less than the basic cost of living. They make up 41% of Lawrence County’s population. The homebuying program was designed to teach and inform members of ALICE households about the basics of buying a home, with each weekly class covering a different homebuying-related topic.
Topics for each week included understanding credit reports, setting financial goals, meeting local bankers, neighborhood legal services, utility tips and more. The program featured presenters such as neighborhood legal services, PAR, utility companies and various agents, banks and services.
Sponsors helped fund the program and provided $50 gift cards to participants who completed all five weeks. Funding for the program also came from the Lawrence County Board of Realtors® annual Community Festival, which included crafts, vendors, yard sale items, games and food trucks.
On average, program participants are ready to purchase a home a year and a half after beginning the classes. The weekly program ran from Sept. 12 through Oct. 10.