Wounded veteran gets mortgage-free Dormont house
Many soldiers enjoy warm homecomings. Tyler Schell received the keys to his first home.
“I've never been a homeowner. I've always lived in apartments,” Schell, 23, a retired Army specialist, said Thursday as he surveyed the empty living room of his newly renovated Dormont house. “It's hard to believe it is happening until you wake up here a couple of times.”
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage partnered with Texas-based Military Warriors Support Foundation to provide Schell the mortgage-free house on McFarland Road through the Homes 4 Wounded Heroes program, which helps military personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“They approached us about the program, and we signed up,” said Tyler Smith, Wells Fargo's vice president of REO Community Development in Des Moines.
Since the partnership began in 2011, Wells Fargo has donated 28 bank-owned properties to wounded veterans nationwide. The foundation has awarded more than 300 homes.
Schell's is the first house donated in Pennsylvania.
Allegheny County tax records value Schell's two-bedroom Cape Cod home at $80,200. Wells Fargo paid almost $40,000 for repairs and upgrades, Smith said, including a remodeled kitchen, new boiler, paint and carpeting.
Schell will be responsible for paying property taxes and home insurance, Smith said. Military Warriors will turn over the deed in three years, per program policy.
Schell plans to move in next week when his possessions arrive from San Antonio. The Sharon native has lived there since coming stateside with wounds from a roadside bomb that exploded in September 2009 in Wardak province, Afghanistan. Thirty percent of Schell's body was burned when he was trapped in a burning vehicle.
Another explosion injured his brother, Guy, 36 hours later in the same province.
They deployed to Afghanistan together in January 2009 as part of the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division.
Both received Purple Hearts for their combat injuries and recognition by Homes 4 Wounded Heroes.
Guy Schell's home will be in West Palm Beach, Fla., his wife's hometown.
“He's getting a place and truly deserves it. But I thought there was no way we would both get it,” said Guy Schell Jr., 27. “I cannot say enough how much they've helped us out. They've done us a great deed.”
Tyler Schell plans to pursue an education in architecture at a Pittsburgh-area university.
“It's something you never expect to happen to you, but it does,” Schell said of the gift. “It's just hard to come up with words, really.”
Jason Cato is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Snow causes roof to collapse at Crawford County plastics plant
- Wolf to outline charter school plan in budget address
- As House looks to dismantle state stores, hybrid system might be option
- ‘Tipping point’ near for Pa. government, conservative expert predicts at Freedom Forum
- Judge orders Harrisburg to stop enforcing 3 gun ordinances