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

What if you could get up to $35,000 for your home purchase? Well, now you can! It would help if you met certain Hometown Heroes Loan Program requirements. For instance, your purchasing home must be in Orange County, Florida.

Many first-time homebuyers don't think that they can qualify for a loan on their own because they don't have enough money saved up for a down payment or because they have bad credit from past mistakes in life like getting into debt or having a negative credit report due to late payments or even bankruptcy issues.

But there are options available to first-time homebuyers with income less than 80% AMI that may not have been considered previously because they thought they would not be able to qualify for a loan on their own.

Hometown Heroes Loan Program

Do you know about the Hometown Heroes Loan Program, a program for community workers? Great news! This loan program is now available in Central Florida.

The Hometown Heroes Loan program is for eligible full-time workforce, employed by a Florida-based employer. The loans are intended to help these heroes purchase homes in Central Florida.

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

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

Program Requirements

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.

  • 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.

$35,000 Towards Your Home Purchase

The Hometown Heroes Foundation will give eligible community workforce $35,000 to purchase their homes. 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.

Eligible Borrowers

The Hometown Heroes program will give you a grant of up to $35k towards purchasing your new home but you must meet certain requirements.

  • Minimum FICO of 640 for all loan types.
  • Maximum DTI of 50% (Maximum DTI with manufactured housing is 45%).
  • Earn less than 150% of the area median income, according to their local county data.

Property Eligibility

  • Attached / Detached 1-Unit Dwelling (includes townhomes)
  • 2-4 Unit Properties
  • Condos
  • Manufactured Housing (1994 or newer)

Income & Maximum Loan Limits for Orange County

  • FHA, VA, HFA Preferred & HFA Advantage Income Limits - $131,700
  • FHA Loan Limits - $472,030
  • HFA Preferred & HFA Advantage and VA Loan Limits - $726,200

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.

Downtown Orlando skyline glistens as it reflects in the clean waters of Lake Eola in Florida

Why Orange County is a good place for families and young professionals

Orange County, Florida is a great place to live for families and young professionals.

The county has a proven track record of job growth, job diversity, property tax rates, business-friendly regulations, transportation infrastructure, great schools for your kids, outdoors and entertainment for the whole family, and nightlife for young professionals.

There's plenty to do if you're a sports fan. There are many colleges with great reputations. The public transportation system is excellent. The weather is fantastic all year round.

A proven track record of job growth

The economy in Orange County is booming right now. It's one of the fastest-growing regions in the country! The unemployment rate in Orange County is currently below 5%, which means plenty of jobs are available if you're looking for employment opportunities.

Job diversity

You'll find jobs in all industries throughout the county, including healthcare, finance, and technology. Many local businesses offer high-paying salaries and benefits packages to help their employees grow their careers within their company.

Property tax rates

Taxes are lower than in many other large cities, making it easier on your wallet and your home budget! The average annual property tax rate in Orange County is 0.75 percent — less than half the national average rate (1.38 percent). This makes housing more affordable for families.

Business-friendly regulations make it easy to start a company

According to Forbes magazine, Orange County is one of America's most entrepreneurial regions. Orange County has been ranked as one of the top five best places for small businesses. It's also one of only four counties nationwide where more businesses are being created.

Good infrastructure

The transportation infrastructure includes highways, interstates, and public transit systems that make it easy for residents to get around town or across town quickly and efficiently when needed. There's even an airport in downtown Orlando, so you don't have far to go when flying into town!

Great Schools for Your Kids

Orange County has some of the best schools in Florida. Like many private schools and charter schools, the public school system is excellent. Orange County is a great place to live if you want your child to attend one of these great schools!

Outdoors and Entertainment for the Whole Family

If you love being outdoors or want to enjoy some time together as a family without spending money at home on entertainment, Orange County has plenty of options. There are many parks and recreation areas around town where families can go hiking, biking, or have fun together.

There are also plenty of shopping malls like Florida Mall, where there are plenty of restaurants and entertainment options for everyone in your family. You're sure to find something that everyone will love!

If you're into sports, there are plenty of professional teams to root for

UCF is home to the UCF Knights football team and the UCF Knights men's basketball team if you prefer college sports.

The Orlando Magic plays basketball at Amway Center, and the Orlando City Soccer Club plays soccer at Camping World Stadium.

The Orlando Predators play Arena Football League games at Amway Center, and the Orlando Solar Bears play ice hockey at Amway Arena.

Colleges and universities with excellent reputations

Orlando is also home to many colleges and universities with excellent reputations, such as Rollins College, University of Central Florida (UCF), University of South Florida (USF), Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), and Valencia College and Seminole State College of Florida.

The best public schools in Orange County, Florida

Orange County, FL, is a great place to raise a family. It's a beautiful area with lots of activities for children and adults alike. The county has many excellent public schools that offer a variety of programs and services.

Ocoee Elementary School

The Ocoee Elementary School has received an "A" grade from the state of Florida since 2010. It is located in the city of Ocoee, which is part of Orange County. This school has been recognized as one of the best in Florida due to its high academic standards, excellent teachers, and modern facilities.

The Ocoee Elementary School offers a wide range of classes, including art, music, and physical education. It also has an excellent gifted program that allows students to work at their own pace if they have special needs.

Windy Ridge K-8 School

Windy Ridge K-8 School is a public school in Orlando, FL. It has 528 students in grades KG-8 with a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. According to state test scores, 19% of students are at least proficient in math and 20 % in reading.

Bay Meadows Elementary School

Bay Meadows Elementary School is a public school in Longwood, FL. It has 469 students in grades PK-5 with a student-teacher ratio of 12 to 1.

The school provides after school tutoring program and A.P. courses (A.P.). According to state test scores, 21% of students are at least proficient in math and 21% in reading.

Meadow Woods Elementary School

Meadow Woods Elementary School is a public school in Orlando, Florida. It has 379 students in grades P.K., K-5 with a student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1. According to state standards, 100% of students at this school are considered proficient in math and reading.

Whispering Oak Elementary School

Whispering Oak Elementary School is a public school located in Orlando, Florida. It has 548 students in grades PK-5 with a student-teacher ratio of 17 to 1. According to state standards, 100% of students at this school are considered proficient in math and reading.

Lakeville Elementary School

Lakeville Elementary School is a public school located in Orlando, Florida. It has 646 students in grades PK-5 with a student-teacher ratio of 17 to 1. According to state standards, 100% of students at this school are considered proficient in math and reading.

Orange County cost of living

The cost of living in Orange County is high, but it's not the highest in the state. It costs more to live here than anywhere else in Florida — but it's still affordable if you're willing to make a few sacrifices.

Cost of Living Index

The cost of living index refers to how much money you need to maintain your lifestyle in a particular area. The higher the number, the more expensive it is. The lower the number, the less expensive it is.

The overall cost of living index in Orange County, Florida, is 93.8, slightly below the national average of 100.0. The cost of living in Orange County is a bit higher than the state average, which may be due to the cost of housing.

However, the cost of groceries is much lower while transportation is more expensive.


Rent for an average one-bedroom apartment in Orange County costs $1,848 per month.

This is an increase of 1% compared to last year but still lower than other parts of Florida like Miami ($2,010), Tampa ($1,856), and Orlando ($1,546).

If you're looking for a two-bedroom apartment instead, expect to pay around $2,207 per month.


The average price of a gallon of milk in Orange County is $3.77, while $3.72 nationally. The average cost of a dozen eggs is $2.99 (compared to $2.66 nationally), and an average pound of chicken breasts costs about $5 (versus only $4 nationwide).

If you're looking for ways to save on groceries, the following tips will help:

  • Buy seasonal fruits and veggies in the season when they're cheaper—and freeze them for later use!

  • Shop at warehouse stores like Costco or Sam's Club instead of traditional grocery stores; many products are less expensive because they're bought in bulk quantities from local growers or manufacturers.

The best towns and cities to live in are Orange County, Florida

  • Eustis is one of the most affordable places in Orange County, with an average home price of $216,000 and an average household income of $43,000. The city has 15,000 people and offers excellent schools and parks for families with children.

  • Tavares is located in Lake County and has over 8,000 residents. The average price for homes here is around $200,000, and the average household income is around $50,000 per year. This city offers many opportunities for recreation, such as golfing or boating on Lake Dora.

  • Clermont is another affordable place to live in Florida, with an average home price of just over $200,000 and an average household income of just under $60,000 per year. Clermont has beautiful parks where residents can enjoy the outdoors during their free time, including the Clermont Gardens Park & Zoo, which features a variety of exotic animals, including zebras and giraffes!

  • Mount Dora is a quaint little town with historic buildings and a vibrant arts community. It's also home to the Mount Dora Water Tower, a landmark that has become a city's icon. It's a great place to raise a family or retire.

  • The town of Leesburg is considered one of the most desirable places to live in all of Florida by Money Magazine. The city has been named one of America's Best Small Towns by Rand McNally/USA Today, one of America's Top 100 Places to Live by Relocate America, and one of the top 10 best places to retire by CNNMoney magazine due to its low cost of living and high-quality health care services.

Grants are available for homes purchased anywhere in Orange County, Florida

In Orange County, Florida, you can receive a $35,000 grant to help put down a deposit on your home. The Hometown Heroes Loan Program is available for first-time, income-qualified professionals who work in the county.

These grants are available for homes purchased anywhere in Orange County, Florida. Among other areas, the program is available in:

  • Christmas
  • Windermere
  • Apopka
  • Plymouth
  • Oakland
  • Clarcona
  • Ocoee
  • Winter Park
  • Zellwood
  • Winter Garden
  • Maitland
  • Killarney
  • Tangerine
  • Gotha
  • Orlando


Hometown Heroes is an excellent opportunity for those who want to buy a home in Orange County, Florida. Homeownership is part of the American Dream, and the Hometown Heroes Loan Program helps make it possible for you.

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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