Tawan Davis: The Real Estate Investor Turning Tenants Into Homeowners

real estate agent for convincing client
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: July 20, 2023
  • Updated On: July 20, 2023

Tawan Davis arrived in Philadelphia with a mission: to provide renters with quality, attainable homes. Davis, founder and CEO of the Steinbridge Group, has now added a second mission: to help those who need it most to build generational wealth.

Tawan Davis moved to Philadelphia from New York five years ago. He focuses on taking distressed buildings and transforming them into workforce residential rental properties, providing working Philadelphians and their families with comfortable homes. As he explains  it, a home that his mother would be happy to live in.

As part of his mission, Tawan Davis has acquired over 200 properties in neighborhoods across the state. He rebuilt the properties then offered them for rent.

On average, his tenants made approximately 65% of the area median income, equating to approximately $61,500 for a family of four. Davis priced the properties so that rent would account for no more than a third of his tenants’ incomes without rent subsidies, which is the standard measure of affordability.

Five years after his arrival in Philadelphia, Davis has shifted gears. Today, Steinbridge Group operates with an emphasis on enabling working families to build generational wealth while simultaneously strengthening the communities in which they live.

As part of this goal, Tawan Davis is turning his tenants into homeowners by providing them with affordable housing,  partnering with PNC Bank and broker Deborah Spence to help them finance their purchase. 

Davis chose Deborah Spence, owner of the Fierce Reality Corporation, for two reasons. First, she is one of a relatively small number of black female real estate brokers who own their own firms. Second, she is passionate about the topic of homeownership, touting herself as a disrupter who is making it fair for everyone to improve their lives and buy real estate.

As Deborah Spence indicates, generational wealth is easily acquired via real estate, providing those in generational poverty with an escape route. Tawan Davis himself can lay testament to this, and today he is committed to making an impact across Philadelphia by enabling his tenants to make the leap from renting to property ownership.

Buying a first home can be a daunting prospect, even for those who have sufficient support and resources to enable them to purchase a home via traditional channels. Deborah Spence has designed an open house program that relies on support and education.

Along with first-time homebuyer workshops and financial management seminars, Spence uses the open house as a means of education. Through the program tenants can attend educational seminars, learning about property ownership, financial literacy, and the steps involved in buying their first property.

At an open house in Point Breeze in May 2023, Tawan Davis and several of his Steinbridge Group partners, and an executive member from the PNC bank mortgage department, met up with two party buses full of renters who showed up at the two-story rowhouse.

The group conducted a tour of the property, which is one of the model homes outfitted by Steinbridge Group. Deborah Spence also made a speech that talked about homeownership, which she described as “a form of black economic empowerment”. As Spence indicated, homeownership is a chance to correct the imbalances and overcome injustices that have kept black household wealth significantly below that of white households.

Tour participants were invited to take away materials about financing a home purchase from several lenders and view videos explaining how Steinbridge Group works to improve the quality of life for people living in underinvested city neighborhoods.

Speaking about Deborah Spence, Tawan Davis said that she had helped to demystify the process, rolling back some of the intimidation people experience when they are going through the homebuying process.

For many lower-income families, the main obstacles to homeownership include an inability to save the required down payment; a poor or lacking credit history; and a lack of funds to cover the closing costs and fees associated with purchasing real estate. 

Tawan Davis chose PNC as his lending partner because the company operates a range of different programs, providing prospective buyers with comprehensive assistance including help with brokerage fees, down payment assistance, and the like. Buyers of Stein bridge Group properties will be able to take advantage of these programs or alternatively work with Deborah Spence’s lender – or one of their own choosing – to fund their property purchase.

Steinbridge Group’s push towards homeownership started in March 2023 and is now beginning to show real results in terms of helping people on low-incomes make the leap from renting to homeownership. As of March 2023, Tawan Davis estimated that fewer than 10 homes had been sold. Ultimately, the aim of the initiative is to list up to 10 homes each month over an 18-to-24-month period, focusing primarily on the Point Breeze area and upper Brewerytown, before expanding across Port Richmond. 

Tawan Davis has also revealed that Steinbridge Group intends to extend the initiative to other parts of the Eastern seaboard, with the company bidding on houses in Harlem and the Bronx – helping families across Philadelphia and New York to buy their homes and build generational wealth, while providing stable homes in which to raise families and spurring regeneration in local communities.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.