So you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in Colorado, and it just so happens you’re a hero. That’s great news, because there are special rebate programs for people like you to help you save money when you buy a home! But how do they work? Who’s eligible? How much can you save? Are there any drawbacks? Which one is best for you and your family?
We’re happy to compare and contrast for you the two most popular hero rebate programs in Colorado. If you still have questions or would like to start saving now, contact us and we’ll be happy to help!
Front Range Heroes
Homes For Heroes
What’s the mission?
FRH: We launched Front Range Heroes in early 2019 to give back to the local hero community by offering an easier, more streamlined process for home buyers, as well as make it much more affordable to achieve home ownership in an expensive market. While other programs like Homes for Heroes already existed, we designed our program to improve upon what’s out there and make the program work better for Coloradans by providing a more personalized experience (as well as bigger rebates). Our group is comprised of military veterans, with family members who are veterans, nurses, teachers, and first responders. We’ve been part of the hero community all our lives.
HFH: Homes for Heroes offers rewards to home buyers who provide their contact information, as they operate as a national lead generation service for subscribing real estate agents and mortgage lenders. They limit the number of agents and lenders who can participate in the program by zip code and provide your contact information to those agents and lenders on a round robin basis when you sign up, so in general you do not have a choice in who you work with when you sign up on their website. The subscribing agents and lenders may not be closely connected to the hero community.
Where does the rebate come from?
FRH: Home buyers get a rebate from our full-service Realtor’s commission, and it is paid directly to our home buyer at closing, so they can use it to cover closing costs and pre-paids like taxes and insurance, and don’t have to front that money and wait weeks for reimbursement. There is also a large lender credit to pay for closing costs on top of the agent’s rebate, which is included in our savings calculator on our website. These incentives can help you qualify on an asset basis because they are given at closing.
HFH: The participating real estate agent pays a fee to Homes for Heroes after closing, and then buyers receive a Rewards Check by mail a few weeks after the closing for up to 25% of their real estate agent’s commission, which can vary. Home buyers must pay their own closing costs in full at closing and wait on the rewards check to come in the mail. There is sometimes a lender credit, if you choose to work with a lender who participates in the program. The Realtor reward will not lower your obligation at closing, which sometimes creates a qualification challenge from an asset standpoint.
How much are the rebates/rewards?
FRH: Our Realtor rebate for buyers is approximately 29% of the buyer agent’s commission, or 0.8% of the sales price. There is also a Lender Credit of $1,500 added to the rebate. A $450,000 home would translate to a total rebate/credit of $5,100. When you sell a home in the Denver Metro Area with Front Range Heroes, our Realtors charge just a 1% flat commission instead of the typical 3.2% commission. For a $450,000 sales price, you’d save $9,900 over a typical agent’s fee of 3.2% by paying a commission of just $4,500 instead of $14,400. You can calculate your exact savings on our website without having to call or contact anyone.
HFH: The Rewards Check that comes after closing is typically worth up to around 25% of your real estate agent’s commission, or .7% of the home’s sales price. Their website indicates the average savings for a home buyer is $2,400 when they buy or sell, which includes $1,700 from the real estate agent and $500 from the lender. When you sell a home with a Homes for Heroes agent, you receive a discount equal to 25% of your agent’s commission. For a $450,000 home on a typical 3.2% commission, your savings would be $3,600, and you’d pay a commission fee of $10,800 to sell this home in the Denver area ($6,300 higher than with us).
Are there any other discounts?
FRH: We partner with local businesses who offer discounts to our clients. Buyers get a $50 discount on home inspections and radon inspections from a veteran-owned inspection company. We also partner with a local insurance broker who can find bundle discounts for you and save you money on your homeowners policy. Coming soon we’ll be adding vendors in areas like movers, home cleaners, painters, irrigation specialists, plumbers and electricians, auto detailing specialists, and more. We strive to partner with veteran-owned or local small businesses that provide an exceptional level of service. We also periodically offer additional rebates for your closing costs when you visit us and register at Open House events we host, or engage with our Facebook or Instagram pages.
HFH: Discounts on services directly related to the purchase or sale of your home are available through partnering businesses (title insurance, home inspections, etc.) listed on their website. There is no mention if these are locally owned or veteran-operated businesses.
Are there differences in the kind of heroes who are eligible?
FRH: We offer most of our Hero Care Package (the $1,500 lender credit being excluded) to anyone with a hero in the household. The hero does not need to be on the mortgage application or on the home sales contract. We serve anyone who currently or in the past has held a hero occupation, and – this is huge – we help volunteers, too, past or present! We consider anyone who spends their hours, days, weeks, months, and years in service of other humans, animals, or our planet to be true heroes.
HFH: While past and present heroes are eligible (no mention of volunteers), the Homes for Heroes website does not specify whether the Hero must be on the mortgage application or home sales contract in order to be eligible for incentives.
Are there exclusions on properties or occupancy?
FRH: All property types and occupancy types (primary, second home, rental property) are allowed with Front Range Heroes! The lender credit of $1,500 requires primary occupancy.
HFH: The Homes for Heroes website does not specify whether the program works for unique properties or anything other than a primary residence.
What about other advantages?
FRH: Our team has over 50 years of combined experience and works well together. Our familiarity with each other makes us efficient and keeps the process streamlined, with communication flowing easily between all parties. We’re all local to Colorado and have a vast network of contacts and resources for anything you need help with. You’ll close on time, every time. If you are buying a home outside the Front Range, we will refer you to a real estate agent who will honor the rebates and provide a high level of service.
HFH: Since you may be teamed up with a lender and Realtor who have never worked together before, there could be delays or inefficiencies in their communication, which could put your offer/contract at risk. You also will not necessarily be matched up with a team that has the level of experience you desire. If you are buying outside the more populated areas in Colorado, it is possible you will not be assigned a Realtor who lives in and is familiar with that area. That can be a big disadvantage in a competitive market.
FRH: Our website gives you all the tools you need to succeed in Colorado’s hot real estate market. We offer a powerful MLS property search on our website that is free to use. We also offer information about loan programs, a blog, a mortgage calculator, and give you direct access to every member of our team, including a chat feature so you can get immediate help from an actual real estate agent and loan officer. We won’t make you wait 24 hours to hear from us.
HFH: There isn’t an MLS property search feature on the Homes for Heroes website, nor is there a property search app. You cannot contact the lender or real estate agents directly; you must submit your contact information and then wait to be contacted by an agent or lender (they specify a 24-hour turn time on getting back to you). Their chat feature will not connect you directly with a real estate agent or lender who can answer specific questions you have about buying or selling a home.
And the winner is…Front Range Heroes! We offer larger rebates, more discounts, quicker service, experience, and a team approach that makes the process easier for you. With us, you’ll not just get the great service you deserve, you’ll also save an incredible amount of money.
Visit our website to read important disclaimers, conditions, and terms described above. All of the above information about Homes for Heroes was taken directly from their website. If you’ve had an experience with them that differs from our comparison, we’d love to hear about it, and we’d love the opportunity to provide an even better experience for you! We’re always available and ready to go to work for you. Reach us anytime!
Thank you for being a hero!