Pat, Reynoldsburg

"My husband and I have been married 33 years, with nine wonderful children and three grandchildren," Pat says. "We have four children at home, and the older ones visit regularly with dogs, children, and friends so we need plenty of space."

Pat and her husband had been renting for the past seven years because of a job loss and other life events, but it was always their hope to return to homeownership. When Pat heard about OHFA's homebuyer programs through her lender, she took the opportunity to learn about the loan options available.

"The down payment assistance was wonderful because it allowed us to improve a few things on the house once we moved in without depleting our limited savings," she said. "I also took advantage of the free homebuyer education, which provided good information in a convenient online package."

OHFA offers three loan packages for homebuyers: Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance, Ohio Heroes and Grants for Grads.

"Once I started looking," Pat says, "I realized how much help is available for potential homeowners."

Today, Pat and her husband enjoy all of the comforts of their new home, especially relaxing with their family. "Family is our number one priority, and that usually means gathering around food. The kids still want mom to cook."

Ryan and Adrienne, Dayton

When Ryan and Adrienne found their home on a quiet, mature street in Dayton in 2011, it almost seemed too good to be true. The house seemed perfect for the family's first home.

"It was an accident that we came across it. I was just driving down the street and saw the sign and thought it was so cute," Adrienne said. "We came and saw it, and it just kept getting better and better, because it had the great big backyard, the space that we needed, the basement. It just had tons of features that we had been looking for, and that was really exciting."

Both born and raised in Dayton, Ryan and Adrienne had been living in an apartment since moving back to their hometown from California five years earlier. The family dreamed of the opportunity to own a home but didn't think it was possible.

"We were sick of paying rent, and we wanted to start building equity and invest in something," Ryan said.

After doing some research online, Ryan and Adrienne learned about OHFA's Down Payment Assistance and couldn't believe their first home was within reach.

"It was a great help for us, because we had minimal money to put down. With this being an FHA loan requiring three and a half percent down and getting two and a half percent to cover that, it was a great help to us," Ryan said.

They settled into their home in early 2012 and quickly got to work.

Their two children, Ava and Julian, have also really enjoyed their home, from playing in the backyard with their friends to catching lightning bugs outside. Both Ryan and Adrienne are also looking forward to a future momentous occasion – dropping Ava off at her first day of kindergarten in the fall.

"She's going to start kindergarten in August, and the school is about a mile away. It's the best elementary in the school district," Ryan said. "That's going to be wild dropping her off at school the first time, and it will definitely be a big memory."

Ryan and Adrienne said they love to have family and friends over to see their first home and are grateful that OHFA's program made it possible.

"I'm the first person out of my family to own a home, and that's very gratifying," Ryan said. "The (Down Payment Assistance) was paramount in us getting the place, and I would definitely recommend other future homebuyers to look into what's out there and available if they don't have enough money to put down."