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Tiffany Bajus was tired of renting.

A recent graduate of Marshall University who now works as a communications specialist for the school, Bajus, 26, wanted to find a permanent place for and her 3-year-old daughter Audrey. She wanted a home where they could play games in the backyard, enjoy a sunny afternoon on the front porch and go for leisurely strolls through Huntington’s gorgeous Ritter Park.

She and her Realtor searched and searched. After a year of looking, she found the perfect house.

“I knew the minute we walked in the front door that I loved it,” she said of her cozy, well-appointed brick one-story on West Tenth Avenue. “I don’t know what it was, but it just had so much character.”

Bajus worked diligently with her mortgage loan officer at Huntington Bank. They decided her best option was a Homeownership Program Loan through the West Virginia Housing Development Fund. A short time later, she was unpacking boxes in her new house.

Painting, scraping and sanding are now done, and Bajus said making the house her own and letting Audrey decorate her room has been the most rewarding part of the experience.

“Every little girl wants to paint her room and make it her own. You just can’t do that in a rental,” she said. The house is wonderful, Bajus says, but the location is what truly makes it great.

West Tenth Avenue is a few blocks from Ritter Park and short stroll from downtown Huntington. Sunny days mean playing at the park’s children’s playground, lingering at the railroad museum or admiring the rose garden at what has been recognized as one of the nation’s premier outdoor spaces by the American Planning Association. A short walk in the other direction gives Bajus and her daughter a chance to explore historic downtown Huntington. They can watch a movie, stop by the bookstore or catch some live music at Pullman Square.

“We really like being here,” she said.

    Tiffney Bajus and her daughter Audrey sit on the front steps of their home in Huntington, W.Va. Bajus used the West Virginia Housing Development Fund’s Homeownership Program to purchase her residence. The West Virginia Housing Development Fund is West Virginia’s affordable mortgage finance leader.