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

Hernando County has a moderate cost of living that puts it in the middle of the pack for Florida counties. It is one of the most affordable places in the Sunshine State. If you are looking to hanker down in Hernando County, the Hometown Heroes Program can grant you up to $35,000.

Hometown Heroes Loan Program Hernando County, Florida

Suppose you are a first-time homebuyer in Florida and meet the income requirements.

In that case, you may be eligible for the Hometown Heroes Loan Program – an initiative designed to help eligible community workforce buy their first homes.

The Hometown Heroes loan program operates through the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC)

The FHFC has partnered with local lenders in all 67 counties across the state to provide this grant program. You can apply for it by contacting your local lender directly.

Hernando County, Florida, is one of the counties in Florida where the Hometown Heroes program is available. The Hernando County, Florida, Housing Finance Authority administers the grant program for eligible full-time workforce, employed by a Florida-based employer.

The grant amount depends on your income, borrowed amount, and credit score. You can qualify for up to a $35,000 grant from this program.

The Maximum Income Limit for Eligibility

The maximum income limit for eligibility is $130,350 per year. This means that your family's annual income must be less than $130,350 to qualify for this program.

If you qualify, you can receive funds to purchase a home in Hernando County, Florida.

Loan Limits for FHA & USDA-RD

The Hometown Heroes Loan Program is a great way to get assistance with your mortgage payments. The loan limits for FHA is $472,030.

USDA-RD does not have a Cap on Loan Limit.

Loan Limits for HFA Preferred, HFA Advantage, and VA

The HFA Preferred, HFA Advantage, and VA loans are available with zero down payment option and no mortgage insurance required.

Under Hometown Heroes, the maximum loan amount is $726,200.

Qualifying for the Program is Easy

To apply, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Borrower(s) must be employed full-time by a Florida-based employer and work 35 or more hours per week.

  • The property the borrower(s) is purchasing will be their primary residence and they will be a Florida resident.

  • The borrower(s) are first-time homebuyers which means, a borrower(s) must have had no present ownership Interest in a principal residence at any time during the three-year period prior to the date on which the Mortgage Loan is executed.

  • Borrowers must have a minimum FICO of 640 and maximum DTI of 50%.

To apply for the Hometown Heroes program, fill out the application form provided by your lender. You will need to provide:

  • COPY of signed, FINAL 1003.

  • COPY of VOE confirming employment of 35 hours a week or more with a Florida based employer.

  • COPY of fully executed FL Hometown Heroes Certification Form.

  • COPY of DD214, if applicable (for Veterans) and COPY of LES or SCRA (for active-duty military personnel).

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.

About Hernando County, Florida

Hernando County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2020 census, the population was 190 700. Its county seat is Brooksville. Hernando County is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area.

It is located in Central Florida and contains many lakes, including Lake Tsala Apopka and Lake Lindsey, both connected to the Hillsborough River by natural canals.

In July 2016, Hernando County adopted a formal plan for future land use and development called the Hernando County Comprehensive Plan 2020 (HCP 2020).

The plan guides growth and development for the next 25 years through zoning regulations, environmental policy, and infrastructure planning guidelines that balance economic development with environmental protection and social equity goals.

Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate in Hernando County, FL, is 4.5%. The number of people employed in Hernando County, FL, is around 58,150 people.

The job growth rate for Hernando County, FL, was -0.3% over the past year. Compared to other states, Florida has one of the lowest unemployment rates among states with similar population density and median age levels.

Income Per Cap.

The median individual income for Hernando County, FL, residents is $45,380. The average household income for Hernando County residents is USD 71,450 per year compared to USD 57,420 nationally.

The average household income for families in Hernando County was USD 85,930 per year compared to USD 68,540 nationally.

Tax Rate

In addition to state sales tax, you'll also pay county sales tax in Hernando County, FL, when making a purchase there.

The current combined state and county sales tax rate for Hernando County is 6.5%. The income tax rate in the county, as everywhere else in the state, is 0.00%.

Median Home Price

The median home price in Hernando County is $379,000. The home price in 2022 is expected to be 18.7% higher than the 2021 home price.

Hernando County has long been a popular destination for retirees and snowbirds looking for warm weather. While many of these retirees are from the Midwest or Northeast, many others come from other parts of Florida.

Some have returned to their roots as Hernando County has become home to many families born and raised here but left for other places such as Tampa or Orlando before deciding to return home.

Home prices in Hernando County have increased significantly over the past few years due to a variety of factors, including:

  • A limited supply of homes available for purchase compared to demand;

  • An influx of new residents moving here from other areas like Tampa or Orlando; and

  • An increase in people retiring here from colder climates like Michigan and Minnesota, where they used to live.

Cost of Living in Hernando County, Florida

The cost of living in Hernando County, Florida, is 6 percent lower than the national average, according to

The cost of living in Hernando County is 8 percent lower than the state average.


Hernando County residents pay an average of $1,164 per year for electricity and natural gas combined.

This is less than the rest of the country. Annual utility bills are lower because of milder temperatures and less severe weather conditions in this area.

Healthcare Costs

The average healthcare cost per month for people covered by health insurance is $316 in Hernando County.

Healthcare costs can vary significantly depending on your plan type and whether or not your employer offers coverage as part of a group health insurance policy or if you're paying for it out-of-pocket as an individual policyholder through government exchanges like or directly through private insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield or Aetna.

Food Costs

Food costs in Hernando County are 2.4% lower than the national average.

Most families spend between $250 and $300 per month for groceries and prepared foods such as fast-food restaurants or takeout meals.

The cost of food depends on where you buy it, how much you buy it, and what kind of food it is. The cost of dining out is cheaper in Hernando County than nationwide.

Childcare Costs

Childcare costs are lower than the national average in Hernando County and other parts of Florida. The average price for childcare centers is $946 per month, while nannies cost between $400 and $600 per week.

This estimate is based on information gathered from local daycares and early childhood education centers and includes tuition fees only. It doesn't include costs such as books, diapers, food, or transportation.

Alfred A McKethan Pine Island Park beach in Hernando county Florida

Why Hernando County, Florida is A Good Place to Live for Families and Young Professionals

The climate

Hernando County, FL, is not just beautiful and lush, but it has a beautiful climate. The weather is warm and sunny year-round, with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year.

Winter temperatures rarely drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and summer temperatures rarely rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is an ideal place to live for people who enjoy outdoor activities like golfing, boating or fishing.

The right location

Hernando County, FL is located in Central Florida, just north of Tampa and south of Orlando. This makes it easy to reach major cities like Orlando and Tampa while still close to smaller towns like Brooksville and Spring Hill.

Many residents commute to Tampa or Orlando for work each day because they want access to big cities but prefer the slower pace of life in Hernando County, FL.

This combination makes Hernando County, FL, a perfect place to raise a family or start a new business venture.

Low cost of living

Housing costs are relatively low compared to other parts of Florida. If you look hard enough, you can find great deals on homes for sale in Hernando County, FL!

Housing prices have risen slightly but not enough to make this place expensive compared to other cities in Florida that offer similar services and amenities at a higher price point.

A growing food scene

Hernando County, FL, has a lot of great restaurants and a vibrant food scene. There are several high-end restaurants and delicious places to eat at all price points.

Some of the best restaurants in the area include The Old Store Restaurant and Cafe, which serves Southern-style comfort food; The Back Porch Restaurant, which serves breakfast all day; and Big Daddy's Chicken & Waffles, which serves Southern-style soul food.

Growing economy/job opportunities

Publix Super Markets Inc. is one of the largest employers in the area, with over 2,700 employees working at its three locations in Hernando County, FL.

Other large employers include CSX Transportation Inc., which employs more than 900 people at its headquarters in Hernando County, FL; Citrus County Bank & Trust Co., which employs more than 600 people at its headquarters in Hernando County, FL; and Walmart Inc., which employs more than 1,000 people at its local store locations

According to, the county's job market is expected to grow by 7% over the next four years. This means plenty of opportunities for people looking to start their careers in Hernando County, FL, or those who want to move up in their current career field.

Family-friendly activities/cultural attractions

The area surrounding Hernando County, FL, has plenty of great things to do for families and young professionals alike!

There are several parks like Historic Downtown Brooksville Park where you can take your family for picnics and stroll through beautiful gardens or visit the nearby Old Jail Museum

Families can enjoy outdoor recreation at parks and beaches, while young professionals have many significant cultural events to attend, including festivals, concerts, art fairs, and more!

If you're looking for something fun to do with your kids or friends on a weekend night, there are always events around town!

Healthcare is good in Hernando County, Florida

Hernando County, FL, has an extensive hospital system that serves all of the county's residents. Hernando County Hospital is a full-service, non-profit hospital that offers excellent healthcare options to everyone, regardless of income level or ability to pay.

Other hospitals are Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point (Bayonet Point), Florida Hospital Spring Hill (Spring Hill), and Sun Coast Hospital (Brooksville). Other smaller hospitals serve specific populations such as veterans or seniors.

Excellent schools

Many excellent schools in Hernando County, FL, include Spring Hill Elementary School, Spring Hill Middle School, and Spring Hill High School.

The schools have high standards for students to succeed after graduation and go to college or other post-secondary education opportunities.

The Best Public Schools in Hernando County, Florida

Springstead High School

Springstead High School is in Spring Hill, Florida. This public school provides education for grades 9-12 and has 1,516 students.

The student body is predominantly white, with 7% of students being Hispanic and 93% white.

Nature Coast Technical High School

Nature Coast Technical High School: Nature Coast Technical High School is located in Brooksville, Florida. This public school provides education for grades 9-12 and has an enrollment of 1,593 students.

The student body is predominantly black/African American (96%), with 2% of students being Asian/Pacific Islander and 1% of students being multi-racial or Latino/a.

Central High School

Central High School is a public high school located in Brooksville, Florida. It has approximately 865 students in grades 9-12 and is part of the Hernando County School District. The school colors are orange and black, and the mascot is a bulldog.

Central competes in Class 5A (the largest schools) of the FHSAA's classifications for public schools. Sports teams compete as the Central Cobras.

The school has a marching band, cheerleading squad, drill team, pep band, jazz band, and concert chorus that all perform at home football games and other events.

Brooksville Elementary School

Brooksville Elementary is a public elementary school located in Brooksville, Florida, serving grades K-5.

The school colors are red and white with blue as an accent color. The mascot is the bulldog. Approximately 690 students enrolled at Brooksville Elementary this year, with around 60 teachers on staff.

Pine Grove Elementary School

Pine Grove Elementary School is a public elementary school located in Brooksville, FL. It has 334 students and 27 teachers on staff.

The school reports it has an 86% graduation rate. The student-to-teacher ratio at Pine Grove Elementary School is 20 to 1.

Pine Grove Elementary School offers many programs such as physical education and music classes and other extracurricular activities such as sports teams and clubs that your child can be a part of. They have a wide variety of curricula, including math, science, language arts, social studies, and more!

The Best Towns And Cities To Buy A Home in Hernando County, Florida

Hernando County, FL, is a great place to buy a home. There are many towns and cities in Hernando County, but these are the ones that are ideal for first-time buyers.

Spring Hill

Spring Hill is a small town in Hernando County. There are many things to do in this town, including going to the Spring Hill Museum and Gardens, which has a wide range of exhibits that tell the history of this town.

Another popular attraction is the Olde Historic Village, which allows you to experience life in Florida during the 19th century. If you are looking for something more modern, you should check out Spring Hill Mall. This shopping center has over 100 stores and restaurants.


Brooksville is another town located in Hernando County. This town has a population of just over 15,000 people, and it is considered one of the safest cities in America because it has no violent crime at all!

It also has multiple attractions such as The Nature Coast Botanical Gardens and The Lady Luck Casino & Hotel. You can also visit one of the many museums or take a tour through some local farms.


The small town of Hudson is at the center of Hernando County's real estate market.

The town is just a short drive from the Gulf of Mexico, which makes it a popular spot for vacationers looking to buy a second home or rent out their properties when they're not in use.

Weeki Wachee

Weeki Wachee is another small town that attracts people looking for an affordable place to live near water. Like Hudson, Weeki Wachee has a strong sense of community and a low crime rate.

This makes it an attractive location for families with children — especially if they want their kids to grow up near water without dealing with traffic or crowds at the beach during peak season.

Riviera Beach

This city is located on the Gulf Coast and offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the state. It also has a thriving arts scene and is right off I-75, making it easy.

This city has an excellent school system, so if you have kids or plan on having kids in the future, this may be a good option for you.


Dunedin offers many family-friendly amenities such as parks and several different restaurants and shopping centers.

This city also has one of the highest median incomes in Florida, making it an excellent place for families looking to build wealth through homeownership.

All the Towns and Cities in Hernando County, Florida, Qualify for the Hometown Heroes loan Program

  • Brookridge
  • Brooksville
  • Hernando Beach
  • Hill 'n Dale
  • Masaryktown
  • North Brooksville
  • Ridge Manor
  • South Brooksville
  • Spring Hill
  • Timber Pines
  • Weeki Wachee
  • Weeki Wachee Gardens

In a nutshell

The Hometown Heroes loan program is a home-buying assistance program that provides up to $35,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible community workers.

The program helps eligible applicants purchase a home without a down payment in Hernando County, Florida.

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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