Homes for Heroes—New Castle County Helps First Responders Buy Homes

Participating Realtors donate a quarter of their commission to the buyer to help with closing costs.

Last year, Penny Lehrer and some fellow real estate agents decided they wanted to reward those who serve their country and community. So they teamed up to launch Homes for Heroes—New Castle County.

The national Homes for Heroes Foundation is a public charity that helps those who serve the United States and its communities, including military personnel, police, firefighters and other first responders who need financial assistance to buy a home. The local affiliation also serves accredited teachers.

The Realtors help those in need to buy a home by donating 25 percent of each commission to the buyer toward closing costs. The group is so serious about its mission that Lehrer asked that the real estate agencies they work for not be named.

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“This is just a way we felt we could give back,” says Lehrer, who notes that the five agents have a combined 60-plus years of experience in the business. “We want to honor those who sacrifice their lives every day for us.”

The Realtors are forming alliances with mortgage lenders, attorneys and other professionals, who agree to pitch in with discounts or to waive charges like a search or appraisal fee.

“That’s a nice benefit to get a little help from both ends,” says Lehrer.

To get the word out, Lehrer and Co. have visited fire halls, veterans groups, and the Delaware National Guard. They also have a Facebook page. Those interested may sign up on the Homes for Heroes website. (—D.O.

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