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Hometown Heroes Loan Program - Learn How to Get up to a $35,000 Grant in Gilchrist County, Florida

What's better than living in a county known for crystal clear springs, unrivaled affordability, low crime rates, and good schools? Arguably, nothing. Gilchrist is home to many natural springs, rivers, and amazing people. If living in such an area sounds enticing, it's about time you considered purchasing a home in this county.

Wait, there's more! If your income or savings aren't enough to facilitate your transition to home ownership in Gilchrist, the Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program may help you do that seamlessly. All you have to do is fulfill all stipulated requirements.

Do you want to discover more about Hometown Heroes and everything surrounding owning a home in Gilchrist County, Florida? In that case, you're in the right place. Get ready to have your mind blown!

An Introduction to the Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program

According to statistics, 13.3% of the State of Florida's population lived below the poverty line in 2020. That means millions of Floridians earn meager incomes and government standards consider them poor. Unfortunately, most community workers belong in this category too.

A recent report indicated that at least 1 in 4 community workers earn less than $25,520 annually, which is the federal poverty level. This figure is shockingly high considering that said professionals are educated and essential societal pillars.

Low income is one of the reasons why most full-time community workers can't afford so many things, including homes. Most struggle to cover basic expenses like rent, food, transportation, and utility bills.

Fortunately, if you are an income-qualified community worker in Florida, the state government has stepped up its efforts toward ensuring you lead a comfortable., fulfilling life.

As a sign of their respect for the contribution, the Sunshine State has introduced the Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program.

This loan program provides financial assistance to eligible community workforce so they can purchase a primary residence in the community in which they work and serve.

The FL Hometown Heroes Loan Program is administered by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC).

Borrowers can receive up to 5% of the first mortgage loan amount (maximum of $35,000) in down payment and closing cost assistance.

There will also be a minimum floor set at $10,000 for those individuals able to purchase a home for less than $200,000.

Down payment and closing cost assistance is available in the form of a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage. The Florida Hometown Heroes loan is not forgivable.

This second mortgage becomes due and payable, in full, upon sale of the property, refinancing of the first mortgage, transfer of deed or if the homeowner no longer occupies the property as his/her primary residence.

What Do Participants in Gilchrist County, Florida, Need to Qualify for the FL Hometown Heroes Loan Program?

The FL Hometown Heroes Housing Program is taking applications from all interested participants. But, before applying for a loan, have you established your eligibility? After all, this platform doesn't fund just about anyone.

Hometown Heroes exclusively aims to help eligible full-time workforce, employed by a Florida-based employer. Borrowers must work a minimum of 35 hours a week or more for an employer that is a FL based company.

If a borrower is employed full-time (must document 35+ hrs. per week) by a business located in Florida, meets Program requirements, and can credit qualify for a mortgage, many more First Time Homebuyers should be able to qualify for this program.

There will no longer be an occupational requirement. The property the borrower(s) is purchasing will be their primary residence and they will be a Florida resident.

But we are just getting started. You can't qualify for a loan if you don't have documentation that supports your eligibility.

The Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program requires you to possess and submit copies of verification of employment (VOE) indicating employment of 35 hours or more a week. You also need a fully-executed attestation from the Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program.

That isn't all. Before applying for the Hometown Heroes $35,000 grant, check if your income meets the program's limit requirements. That is important because this platform has specific conditions that participants from every state must satisfy.

If you plan to live and work in Gilchrist County, Hometown Heroes program can help you buy a home if your income is within the region's maximum income limit of $130,050.

If your earnings exceed this limit, you have zero chances of getting a down payment and closing cost assistance from the program.

In addition, the FL Hometown Heroes Housing Program requires you to pick a home with a contracted purchase price that doesn't exceed Gilchrist County limits.

Gilchrist County, Florida has two distinct Hometown Heroes loan limit categories.

The first option applies to FHA loan category; the loan limit is $472,030. USDA-RD does not have a Cap on Loan Limit.

The other Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Preferred, HFA Advantage, and VA. This option accommodates homes with loan amount that don't go beyond $726,200.

Essential Additional Information About the FL Hometown Heroes Loan Program

Before proceeding with your application, note the following:

  • You can use the FL Hometown Heroes program with the Mortgage Credit Certification (MCC) program. But, at the moment, Florida Housing doesn't have the MCC program.

  • Hometown Heroes assists eligible borrowers that need help covering their down payments and closing costs.

  • Florida Housing doesn't allow participants to combine different down payment assistance programs.

  • You may use down payment assistance from a different agency, provided the subsidy comes from an entity willing to take the 3rd lien granting position.

With that in mind, find a trustworthy loan officer in Gilchrist County, Florida and kickstart the application process. Don't forget to check your credit score beforehand.

Hometown Heroes requires participants to have at least 640 points but manufactured housing and manual underwrites require a minimum 660.

Also, ensure you have all vital documents on standby, including VOE copies, federal tax returns, pay stubs, and wage/ tax statements.

If you have everything that FL Housing requires from borrowers, fill out the FL Hometown Heroes loan application form. That is if you are already convinced that buying a home in Gilchrist County is a splendid move.

If you need more convincing or help in selecting the best neighborhoods in the region, don't fret. We have you covered.

Florida Tax Exemption Benefits

One of the top benefits of using the Hometown Heroes Program is tax exemption, saving you thousands of dollars.

Under Section 420.513(1) of the Florida Statutes, this program provides an exemption from documentary stamp tax and intangible tax for first and second mortgages and notes used to secure loans for housing financed through Florida Housing's Homebuyer Programs.

This means that when you purchase a home through these programs, you won't have to pay the documentary stamp tax and intangible tax on your mortgage, saving you a substantial amount of money.

The Florida documentary stamp tax is a real estate transfer tax levied at a rate of $0.70 per $100 paid for the property in most counties, except Miami Dade, where it is $0.60 per $100.

With the Hometown Heroes Program, you can exclude this tax when you meet the program's criteria. Additionally, the Florida intangible tax, which is calculated at 2 mills per dollar of the note's just value secured by the mortgage, is also exempted.

For each $100,000 of your home purchase price, this exemption can potentially save you approximately $2,000 in documentary stamp tax and intangible tax.

Wooden Raised walkway early in the morning at Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park Florida

Why Use the Hometown Heroes Program to Buy a Home in Gilchrist County, Florida?

Buying a home is a significant, life-changing move. So, you shouldn't do it in a hurry without asking yourself important questions like: is the area you plan to live in suitable for your household?

You can use several indicators to gauge Gilchrist County's suitability, including:

Cost of living

The cost of living is rising worldwide, and the US isn't exempted. Several issues have contributed to this, including supply chain disruption by the pandemic, good shortages, rising shipping costs, climatic changes, trade barriers, and rising energy and petrol costs.

That is terrible news because high living costs mean spending more on essentials like housing, transportation, and food. And higher expenses lead to fewer savings, which can be a massive problem for the low-wage workforce.

But you can do something to alleviate this problem's pangs: live where most necessities are affordable. Take Gilchrist County as an example.

The BestPlaces website awards Gilchrist's cost of living an 89.2. This platform considers 100 as the US average, meaning Gilchrist has cheaper living costs.

Overall, groceries and transportation are considerably cheap in this region. But, the most affordable, all things considered, is housing.

The median home cost in Gilchrist is $192,800, which is comfortably within Hometown Heroes loan limit requirements for the county.


Most Gilchrist County residents own their homes, meaning this area has a better sense of community. That is important because it brings people together and shows young ones why unity is a vital aspect.

Living in such an area allows you to connect with your neighbors and form closer bonds. That boosts your sense of belonging, resulting in social ties that ensure you manage stress better and avoid other crippling behavioral issues.

Moreover, Gilchrist County residents are well known for their southern hospitality. Does that mean anything to you?

If you are unfamiliar with the concept, picture living in a society with fellow homeowners who are polite, welcoming, kind, charming, and charitable. What more can you ask for?


Gilchrist is one of the safest places in Florida and the entire US. This county's overall crime grade on is a solid A+.

That is the platform's best grade, indicating that the region's safety is much higher than the US average. In fact, according to, Gilchrist is safer than 96% of other counties.

The crime rate in Gilchrist is 16.36 per 1,000 residents. It's much lower in the county's southeast part, which residents consider the most secure. Your chances of being a crime victim in the neighborhoods in the southeast regions are 1 in 7.

Violent crimes are few in Gilchrist county, with robbery, rape, and murder virtually non-existent. Other uncommon crimes include identity theft, kidnapping, drug crimes, vehicle theft, arson, and animal cruelty.

Gilchrist's safety levels make it an ideal place to live as an individual or raise a family. After all, no one would like to reside in high-crime neighborhoods where even children are at risk of becoming victims.


Most cities in the United States have between 100,000 and 1 million residents. Some even hold one million+ people. The problem with living in such areas is high population comes with countless problems.

The problems people in high-population areas constantly deal with include overcrowding and crime. Overcrowding compromises privacy and leads to poor hygiene practices. On the other hand, higher populations often encourage higher crime rates.

Besides, poverty, pollution, and political turmoil become inevitable when many people live in one area.

But don't lose hope yet. Gilchrist County may be the answer you seek if you prefer living in a city but want to avoid many of the problems associated with these places.

That is so because Gilchrist's cities and towns are sparsely populated. The biggest, Trenton, had 2,042 people in 2020. Is that good, you may ask?

The phrase less is more applies to most areas in life, including population. The lesser the population in a given area, the more residents enjoy greater privacy levels, cleaner environments, and unrivaled access to essential amenities.


A healthy spiritual life is one of the keys to leading a happy life. If you believe that, buy a home in a community that values religious beliefs, like Gilchrist County. Most residents in this county are congregants in several Christian churches in the region.

In Trenton alone, 30.1% of the people are Baptist, 1.3% are Methodist, 2.4% are Pentecostal, and 5.1% belong to other Christian faiths.

To conclude, if you prioritize living in a faithful community, you won't find most neighborhoods in Gilchrist County lacking.

Recreational areas

Gilchrist County has one distinct moniker: The Springs Capital of the World. Do you know why?

This region has nine beautiful springs - Blue Springs, Ginnie Springs, Hart Springs, Rock Bluff Springs, Sun Springs, Lilly Springs, Bell Springs, Lumber Cap Springs, and Otter Springs.

As a resident of Gilchrist County, you can visit many of the springs in the region and lose yourself in fun activities like swimming, snorkeling, cave diving, tubing, and paddling.

This county also boasts many top-tier, family-friendly amenities, including recreational parks and natural resources with abundant wildlife and game.

Best Neighborhood in Gilchrist County, Florida

If you want to buy a home in Gilchrist County, consider living in the following neighborhoods:


Trenton is Gilchrist County's county seat. By 2020, this city had 2,024 residents.

One of the outstanding qualities of Gilchrist County is affordable real estate. The average value of Trenton homes is around $196,835. Therefore, you can use the Hometown Heroes Loan Program to buy property in this city.

And If your household has school-going children or you plan to raise a family, good schools won't be an issue if you choose to live in Trenton.

This city has several outstanding institutions, including Trenton Elementary School, Victory Christian Satellite Schools, and Trenton High School.


Does small-town living sound appealing? If yes, buying a home in Bell may be a worthwhile investment.

Bell is a small, quaint town tucked in Gilchrist County. This area had a mere 573 people in 2020, despite being Gilchrist's second-largest town.

Most of this town's residents own their homes, so the vibe is a laid-back, rural-mix feel. Plus, most people living here are conservative and value a community mindset.

Property is relatively cheap in Bell. The median home value in this small town is $79,500, which is more than 2X lower than the national average. That means you can comfortably afford housing in this area.

Worried this town may have insufficient schools? Rest assured that Bell has many accredited learning institutions, including Bell Elementary School, Riverside Christian School, and Bell High School.

Spring Ridge

Spring Ridge is a small, sparsely populated, unincorporated community in Gilchrist County. This neighborhood had around 400 residents in 2020, and the population hasn't grown much.

If you'd like to raise a family in an unincorporated area with fewer regulations, freedom to use your property as you choose, and smaller taxes, buy property in Spring Ridge.

Fanning Springs

Fanning Springs is a city located in Gilchrist County. By 2020, this city had a little over 1,000 residents. It's also home to one of the most popular parks in the Sunshine State: Fanning Springs State Park.

If you seek an attractive lifestyle destination, Fanning Springs won't disappoint. Plus, since it's a popular recreation and wildlife & nature-viewing center, you can run a small thriving enterprise in this city and reap handsomely.

This gorgeous city's median listing home price is around $198,989. And more than 70% of Fanning Springs' population live in their homes, meaning it's a friendly place.

Fanning Springs residents also have access to countless reputable schools in the county, including Trenton High School, Cedar Key High School, and Trenton Elementary School.

All Cities, Towns, and Neighborhoods in Gilchrist County, Florida

  • Bell
  • Spring Ridge
  • Trenton
  • Fanning Springs
  • Wanamake
  • Wilcox Junction
  • Blitchville
  • Williford
  • Neals
  • Wilcox
  • Wannee
  • Tyler
  • Curtis
  • Lottieville
  • Thames
  • Harvard
  • Waters Lake
  • Mutual
  • Craggs
  • Little Lake City

Ready to Start Your Journey to Homeownership?

What makes a particular area ideal for homeownership? Low living costs, good ambiance, low crime rates, exemplary schools, and economic opportunities.

Gilchrist County, Florida has these qualities and many more, including mixed races and different denominations.

So, what's stopping you from buying a home in this region? Limited finances? If money is the primary obstacle, try applying for the Florida Hometown Heroes loan.

Now that you know what this program requires from borrowers, determining if you're eligible should be a breeze.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

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