Home town hero

Teachers, first responders, health care professionals and military personnel can save money by using a real estate program that provides individuals who work in these professions — otherwise known as heroes — with discount services when they buy or sell a home.

The program, Homes for Heroes, Inc., is the largest nationwide network of affiliate real estate, mortgage and local business specialists and is committed to providing easy ways for heroes to save on a home.

In 2002, not long after 9/11, Homes for Heroes, Inc., was established to give back to firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, military (active, reserves and veterans), healthcare professionals and teachers for all that they do.

Ruth Reed

Ruth Reed is one of two realtors in Granbury affiliated with the Homes for Heroes program.

“Ruth Johnson is our CEO; she’s the one who created it after 9/11 and is the one who still runs it,” Reed said. “She just wanted to find a tangible way to say ‘thank you’ to our nation’s public service. It’s a way of saying ‘thank you’ whether it’s teachers, military or law enforcement. There are just so many people who do things because they have a passion to help people; they don’t do it for the money and if they did, they would be in a different line of work. We love to be able to say, ‘thank you’ when they buy or sell a home with a tangible gift for them.”

According to its website, since 2009, Homes for Heroes, Inc., has helped more than 43,000 heroes save over $75 million on their real estate transactions; sold more than $10.4 billion in real estate to heroes; actively partnered with more than 3,900 like-minded real estate and mortgage professionals who have joined in the mission and donated more than $862,000 to heroes in need through the Homes for Heroes Foundation.

Buying or selling a home not only benefits heroes when they use the Homes for Heroes program, but also helps other heroes in need. Every time someone buys or sells a home using Homes for Heroes, Inc., the program donates a portion of its earnings to the Homes for Heroes Foundation, a nonprofit organization that serves American heroes in dire need of housing or emergency financial assistance.

“Some of the grants have gone to individuals, maybe a firefighter who lost his house in a fire or to shelters where you’ve got some homeless veterans in a shelter and they’re given a $10,000 grant to continue with their work and be able to improve the shelter or make it bigger so they can serve more people,” Reed said. “I love the fact that not only am I giving back to an individual when they purchase a home or sell a home, but I'm also giving to something bigger. It’s such a neat program.”

Reed’s daughter-in-law, Annie, is a clinical professional who works in the psychiatry department at Baylor Scott & White Health in Burnet. Her husband, Tyler, is a pastor at First Baptist Church of Burnet and they have three foster children.

They purchased their first home in September 2020 through Reed and saved about $1,400 by using Homes for Heroes, Inc.

“I really don’t feel super deserving of it, but I know health is not just about physical health, especially with COVID and how so many people have been struggling with mental health, so just being able to be a support to people as they walk through the pandemic has been really cool,” Annie said. “Being able to give a little bit back after a lot of very challenging work this past year was really neat, and it definitely helped us get into our first home and kind of plant roots where we want to grow our future.”

Samuel Hernandez is another recipient of Homes for Heroes, Inc. He is a school counselor at Estacado High School in Lubbock, and this is his 23rd year in education.

Through Reed and Homes for Heroes, Inc., he was able to purchase a home in June 2020 and saved about $874.

"My youngest daughter, Laura, she just had a child and was about to have her second child. Her living situation was pretty inconsistent, so it really helped,” Hernandez said. “I knew whatever came up, I was going to be able to afford it. I think it’s fantastic, especially in this day and age. It’s nice to be recognized as someone who is doing their part, even through this pandemic.”

According to the Homes for Heroes website, in total, the program has helped 43,770 heroes save $75,571,451.

“I love giving back to community and national heroes,” Reed said. “I, myself am a former teacher. My daughter is a teacher. My son-in-law is deployed right now. Everything about the program resonates with me personally. I see the sacrifice that my Navy son-in-law is giving right now. As a teacher, both myself and my daughter, I see how much time you pour into those kiddos, how much your own money pours into those kiddos; that’s what I see. I see so much of the passion that they have, not doing it for the money. They just do it because they want to help out, so I love getting to help out in situations like that.”

To find a realtor affiliated with Homes for Heroes, Inc., visit www.homesforheroes.com or visit Reed’s personal website at http://www.homesforheroes.com/affiliate/ruth-reed-1/.

ashley@hcnews.com | 817-573-1243