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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – A national program called Home for Heroes has come to Colorado. It started shortly after 9/11 as a way to honor first responders. Now the program has grown to include teachers, nurses, and military personnel and offers rebates and discounts on real estate transactions.

“Most of our hero communities tend to be underpaid,” said Jay Holland, a real estate agent in Colorado.

Holland is an ambassador for Homes for Heroes and plans to foster the program in Colorado. As a veteran of the Marine Corp and son of a teacher, Holland said that this is an issue that’s close to his heart.

LINK: Colorado Homes For Heroes

“Home affordability is a really big deal and this program allows them to buy houses closer to where they work,” Holland told CBS4.

Officer Wade Hackett has been a police officer for six years and he’s one of the first to benefit from Colorado Homes for Heroes. He and his family bought a single-family home in Castle Rock four months ago.

“We honestly didn’t think we could afford a place like this. It was just fantastic the way it came together,” Hackett explained.

As part of the program, Holland agreed to give back 30 percent of his commission and he worked with a mortgage lender, title company, and home inspector who also agreed to discount their fees.

“Depending on the price point, it’s several thousand dollars. Wade was able to save almost $7,000 on his two transactions. The average hero in Colorado saves about $2,800 per transaction,” Holland said.

“I have a basement now. Never had a basement before so that’s nice… you know… I can have a little man cave down there and stuff,” Hackett said.

The average starting salary for a police officer in Colorado is about $42,000 a year. That compares to the median household income in our state which is just over $61,000. With a little kindness from strangers, Hackett was able to improve on his American dream.

“In our profession, we go above and beyond.” Hackett said. “They did exactly what I expect out of myself…in the mortgage and real estate business. And it’s hard to find people who do that.”

Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you’d like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.

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