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

As the house prices in Florida continue soaring, many eligible community workers are struggling to keep up. Affordable housing policies have been advocated in Florida that would provide vital housing relief to indispensable members of Marion County and its environs.

The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program makes homeownership affordable for eligible community workforce. This will be achieved by closing cost assistance and making down payments to eligible workers.

Are you an eligible full-time workforce, employed by a Florida-based employer? If so, you may be eligible for the Hometown Heroes Loan Program!

This program provides up to $35,000 in grant money to help you purchase a home. Read on to learn more about the program and how to apply.

What does the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program entail?

The Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program is a property financing program that targets the first-time, income-qualified homebuyers.

The program provides mortgage loans of up to $35,000 to assist them in raising their home value and making homeownership more attainable for households with income limits not exceeding $128,250.

Down payment and closing cost assistance is available in the form of a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage.

Who can apply?

The program has been created to help eligible community workforce with a greater need for housing. It also aims to provide relief from property taxes.

These eligible community workforce also tend to be fairly low-paying, making it hard for them to afford a home they can actually live in.

Homeownership is something many workers aspire to attain; however, this is often difficult for them due to financial constraints.

The program was designed to help alleviate some of these expenses by offering grants and tax credits. Here are the eligibility 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.

  • Borrower(s) must not exceed the maximum Income & Loan Limit requirements, household size, for the county in which the property is being purchased.

How to Qualify for a Grant in Marion County, Florida

The Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program is controlled by the Florida Housing and Finance Corporation.

The current housing crisis in Florida demands that the state of Florida offers its solution to the problem. The goal of this agency is to ensure that every qualified applicant receives a grant, which will not exceed $35,000.

This agency is well-equipped to help you apply for the program and is committed to making homeownership your reality.

Qualifying for a loan under the Marion County program requires you to do the following:

  • Find a participating loan officer - Participating loan officers are registered with the program. They have been trained and given all of the necessary information about how you can qualify for a homeowner grant in Marion County.

  • Ensure your credit score is high enough - Before applying for a loan, you must ensure that your credit score is at least 640 and maximum DTI of 50%.

  • A written or verbal VOE indicating employment of 35 hours or more a week and copy of signed, FINAL 1003.

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.

Best Areas To Purchase A Home In Marion County, Florida

Marion County has several options for you when finding a new home for you and your family. From the rustic charm of St. Augustine to the bustling features of downtown Orlando, this county has so much to offer.

And with full-time jobs and excellent incomes, you can afford to make a down payment on a house that you can call your own.


With more than 5000 people, Belleview city in Marion County has an average household income of $52,034, a median monthly rent cost of $834, and a house value of $88,900.

The city's annual growth rate is currently at 1.70%, with a poverty rate of 18.61%. People in Belleview are predominantly white, with a median age of 42.5, compared to the state's median age of 36.

Being one of the best places to buy a home, Belleview provides plenty of amenities to keep you busy. It has a school district that boasts quality education, allowing your kids to have promising futures.

Silver Spring Shores

Located in the heart of Marion County, Silver Spring Shores has a population that exceeds 2,500. The town's poverty rate is below the state average, with 19.88% living below the poverty line.

As a homeowner in this area, you can expect an average annual income of $45,500, a median monthly rent cost of $828, and a median house value of $112,150.

Headquartered in Downtown Orlando, Florida's real estate market has seen a lot of action in the last decade. With more than 1,000 residential properties being sold each month, you can be confident that your name will be on the list of those who purchased their dream home.

Although Marion County is out to prove that it is filled with a thriving community with plenty of opportunities for residents and businesses alike, it would not be possible without having innovative programs that push the state forward.


With about 58,000 people, Ocala is another excellent place to live in Marion County. Its average household income is $46,756, its median monthly rent cost is $847, and its median house value is $111,800. The city boasts of a good quality school with an exceptional track record.

Located just north of the city center in Ocala, this neighborhood offers an excellent chance for homeowners to be close to the benefits that living in the city can offer.

This region is an excellent choice for those of you who would like to have the benefits of living on the outskirts of Orlando, yet close enough that you can head downtown without traveling too far.


Having a population of about 6500 people, Dunnellon city in Marion County is an excellent option for those who want to live near the state capital, Tallahassee.

The city has a poverty rate of 18.5%, 2% lower than the state average. Its average household income is $45,887, its median monthly rent cost is $817 and its median house value stands at $109,900.

Residents of this region enjoy the quiet suburbs of Dunnellon, which is surrounded by beautiful pine trees and rolling hills, with a town center just about a mile away. It's a great city for families because there are plenty of amenities in the region.

Marion County is home to about 400,000 people from all walks of life. From firefighters to doctors and nurses to police officers, they are all working hard to make this area as great as it deserves.


With more than 50,000 people, McIntosh city in Marion County is another great place to live. The city's poverty rate stands at 17.51%, 2% lower than the state average.

The average household income is $46,931, the median monthly rent cost is $836 and the median house value stands at $115,150.

With a community focused on safety, this is a city you want to raise your family in. The Marion County Sheriff's Office works hard to secure the region, especially during holidays and special events.


This area is home to more than 50,000 people. The region has plenty to offer, with an average household income of $47,729, a median monthly rent cost of $832, and a median house value of $118,600.

Located in Tuscawilla near the county line with Polk County, this area is known for its affordable housing and excellent schools. The city is focused on being low-crime and safe for residents.

Reddick is an excellent choice for those who would like a low crime rate and quality schools for their children. It is also safe, with a crime rate below the state average.

Ocala Florida in map

Buying A Home in Central Florida? Well, here are the benefits of living in Marion County, Florida

A densely populated region with an average household income of $51,027, a median monthly rent cost of $856, and an average house value of $127,400. Marion County's poverty rate is less than the state average, with a 15.29% living below the poverty line.

Quality affordable housing is also a significant benefit to this region. There are more than 1,000 properties sold each month, and the median home price is below the state median at $97,300.

A fantastic place to live and raise your family, this region has a median income of more than $54,000 and a median home worth more than $130,000. These attributes make Marion County an extremely desirable place for families to call home.

Marion County's unemployment rate stands at close to 7% as of March 2011, lower than state and national rates.

A Great Place For Families

Marion County was named the 10th best place to be a mom by Forbes and the 8th best place to raise a family by Parenting Magazine in 2009. The area has an extensive family social network, filling the need for a support system in nurturing your children.

As of 2011, there are only 52 single-parent households and a median household income of $48,544. A low crime rate and good schools contribute to this ideal place for families.

Access to Opportunities

With a population of about 320,000, there is always plenty to do. You will never be bored from unlimited job opportunities and newly opened businesses to community festivals and class activities.

There are over 1,000 properties sold each month in Marion County's real estate market, giving home sellers a chance to get the best deal possible. The low median home price and high median income make this an attractive area for investors.

A Great Place To Live

A dense population with an average household income of more than $51,000 and a median home value of about $135,000 means plenty of great places to live. The city of Ocala is very safe, with a crime rate below the state average.

Marion County has a great job market that can offer jobs in any field you choose. Opportunities include work in education, health care, and business.

Good Public and Private Schools

Marion County has a great business environment, which begins with the education system.

The region has the advantage of two major universities, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) and Stetson University College of Law.

Other colleges include Columbia College, ECPI College of Technology, Florida Technical College-Ocala Campus, Jones College-Ocala Campus, Lake-Sumter State College, and Valencia Community College, among many others.

A great community for retirees

If you love nature and want to be outdoors, this is the place for you. Marion County is well known for its parks and trails. With more than 80 parks throughout the region, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy nature.

The area also has more than 60 miles of multi-use trails that wind their way through some of the most beautiful areas in Central Florida.

Not to mention fantastic weather. The average high temperature in Marion County is 80 degrees, and the average low is 64 degrees. There are also more than 45 days of sunshine a year.

In terms of demographics, Marion County is growing faster than the state. According to the Census Bureau, the population is expected to increase by more than 10% but remain below Florida's estimated growth rate of 13%.

This means that you have more opportunities to find a place that fits your lifestyle.

All Marion County Cities

All the cities, neighborhoods, and other populated areas in Marion County, Florida are here.

  • Orange Lake
  • Orange Springs
  • Belleview
  • Candler
  • Citra
  • Fairfield
  • Fort Mc Coy
  • Lowell
  • McIntosh
  • Ocala
  • Reddick
  • Silver Springs
  • Sparr
  • Ocklawaha
  • Dunnellon
  • Eastlake Weir
  • Summerfield
  • Weirsdale
  • Anthony

Other populated places:

  • A and M MH Park
  • Arbors of Ocala MH Park
  • Anthony
  • Bahia Oaks
  • Belleview MH Park
  • Big Lake Village MH Park
  • Blue Skies Estates MH Park
  • Hoyt
  • Huntington
  • Irvine
  • Jack MH Park
  • Kendrick
  • Kerr City
  • Point Pleasant
  • Quail Meadows
  • Rolling Ranches
  • Rolling Woods MH Park
  • Rainbow Lakes Estates
  • Rainbow Park
  • Romeo
  • Ross Prairie
  • Sunset Harbor
  • Sweetwater Oaks MH Park
  • Saddle Oak Club
  • Saddle Oak Club MH Park
  • Terrys MH Park
  • Tobacco Patch Landing
  • Twin Oaks MH Park
  • Tall Pines MH Park
  • Tall Timber MH Park
  • Urbans MH Park
  • Victory MH Park
  • Villages of Ocala East MH Park
  • White Oaks MH Park
  • Woods and Lakes
  • York
  • Zuber


Marion County has a great mix of urban, suburban, and rural areas. There are plenty of opportunities for young families and seniors alike.

There is a strong sense of community in the area as well. If you're looking for an affordable place to raise your family or want to get out and enjoy nature, Marion County should be on your list of places to explore.

Homeownership grants can help people in your area secure a home they can call their own. The grant money is available to those who qualify and is intended to assist them with closing costs, and making down payments.

This grant program has been implemented to help these men and women realize the dream of homeownership.

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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