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Homes for Heroes <br>A hero’s welcome home

NORTH LIBERTY— There are a lot of ways to say thank you to the heroes among us for the service and sacrifices they make on our behalf. One way, offered through a national program, works to make home buying a little easier.
Homes for Heroes (HFH) rewards and thanks those who serve and desire to purchase a home. Maria White of EXIT Hawk Realty in North Liberty explained why she chose to affiliate with the program.
“We wanted to find a way to give back to the community, and this was a program we could grow with.” White said HFH started in Minnesota shortly after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. A group of business owners banded together to create a network designed to save heroes money when buying or selling a home. Originally the program catered to firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and law enforcement officers. It has since expanded to include members of the armed forces, educators and support staff and all healthcare professionals. White said, “(the goal is to) benefit those who are constantly giving to our communities.”
A portion of the agent’s commission is credited at the closing, and other discounts may apply to lender fees, closing costs and even home inspectors if the providers of these services are affiliated with HFH. “At the end of the day, we’re giving back 25 percent to the hero, whether they are the buyer or the seller,” White said. “It’s pretty awesome and we’ve had an awesome response.”
White, who said she is the only broker in Johnson County affiliated with HFH, first learned about the program from her friend, Abby Waltz. The Iowa City native works with EXIT corporate and the HFH program. “It sounded like a great fit for us,” White said. “We’re truly giving a part of our livelihood, but it’s important to give back, it’s what we should do.”
White said about 20 sales through HFH have been completed so far and that “it’s really coming to the forefront now. We’re really starting to roll it out.”
Recently, David and Carrie Finn benefited from HFH and wrote about their experience as they purchased a home in Fairfax.
“During the sale of our home in Des Moines we became aware of the Homes for Heroes program. We decided to submit our contact information online to be connected with a Homes for Heroes realtor for the purchase of a home in the Corridor area. We were contacted within a few short hours by Maria White, with Exit Hawk Realty. Maria was flexible, honest, fun and easy to work with. And we can’t forget that the Homes for Heroes program provided us with over $2,000 back in our pocket. That doesn’t happen too often when you purchase a home with just any realtor.”
White said, “It’s a win-win, the buyer or seller is realizing a benefit from this and know they are appreciated.”
The process is simple without any additional forms, no red tape, no fine print, no hidden fees and no catch. To apply, one only needs to provide their name and contact information along with how they serve their community. “It truly is very simple,” White said. If a person is qualified to buy a home, they are good to go. However, if a buyer or seller is already working with a realtor, White can’t help.
For those she can work with, White stressed no corners are cut; the same high level of service is provided whether it’s a HFH deal or not.
EXIT Hawk Realty serves Johnson County and the surrounding area, but outside the area, she said, “We’re more than happy to steer them in the right direction.” Through the HFH website, it is possible to find an affiliated realtor practically anywhere in the country.
“We’re really excited about this and I think it’ll be a phenomenal thing. These are the core people that the community truly relies on.” Even though it means cash out of her pocket, honoring those who serve is important to White.
“It’s a sacrifice, but I feel so strongly about it, I’ll happily do it.”
For more information about Homes for Heroes, contact Maria White at 319-626-2200 or via email at maria@exithawkrealty.com, or, www.homesforheroes.com.