Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- "It kinda rewards people -- firefighters, teachers, doctors, medical people, Army -- who've given so much to the community," said affiliate realtor Gil Iarocci.
In the case of Michel and Joshua Deslatte, their reward was more than $700.
Now, thanks to Homes for Heroes, these first-time homeowners can afford to live here.
"This is a wonderful wonderful dream come true, wonderful home," Deslatte said.
The family just closed on the house and moved in last month. Michel is retired Army and Joshua is in the Reserve and also a police officer.
It's no secret that buying a home is expensive, but this program takes an edge off the cost.
"If they're buying a house, we give them a credit on their closing statement, 25 percent of a commission. If they're selling a house, they get a rebate. Same 25 percent," Iarocci said.
"We got like all our money back from the closing, all the earnest money. We put up a thousand dollars and got it all back," Deslatte said.
That money comes straight out of the realtor's paycheck, but he says it's worth it to help a hero.
"It's really just a very small way of saying thank you for what they do. I don't know anybody who can't use a little extra money when it comes to moving," Iarocci said.
The Deslattes are no different. Now they can repair the chimney and start their garden, and they couldn't be more thankful.
"I think it's good that there's something out there that appreciates not just military, but everyone who sacrifices," Deslatte said.
The program started after 9/11 to honor firefighters and first responders, but now that list has expanded to nurses, military, teachers and more.
Even though it's only been in Augusta and Aiken since June, the program has helped people save more than $2 million nationally.