Businesses hope to put people in homes, boost economy

The One Million Dollar Challenge kicks off Aug. 31.

Kitsap County could get a $1 million boost.

“This is our chance to really give back,” said Shaun Guerrero, with the Kitsap Mortgage Team at The Legacy Group. “It’s a chance to help our neighbors.”

The Kitsap Mortgage Team has partnered with local businesses to help put $1 million back into the local economy and first-time homebuyers’ pockets.

The One Million Dollar Challenge is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31 at the Silverdale Beach Hotel. Guerrero said the event is meant to educate potential first-time homebuyers and get them to seriously consider buying homes.

“We want to eliminate fear through education,” he said.

Kitsap Mortgage Team wants to get at least 125 first-time buyers into homes by Nov. 30 so they can take advantage of the homebuyer tax credit, a reimbursement of up to $8,000.

The tax credit was signed into law by President Barack Obama in February as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Nearly 50 percent of all homebuyers did not know the tax credit existed for first-time buyers, according to a National Association of Realtors survey, and the Kitsap Mortgage Team hopes to change that.

Guerrero said local businesses are onboard with The One Million Dollar Challenge event because first-time homebuyers could put the tax credit right back into the local economy. And if 125 people do buy homes and get the $8,000 tax credit, it adds up to $1 million.

“There’s a lot of really, really exciting things that are going to come out of this,” Guerrero said.

The One Million Dollar Challenge will have educational seminars on a variety of topics including credit myths, facts and tips; top 10 fears of first-time homebuyers; financing; the tax credit; real estate; and mortgages.

“Each person is going to have their own plan of action,” Guerrero said.

He said Kitsap Mortgage Team hopes to have at least 50 businesses at the event offering discounts on a variety of products and services.

Guerrero said Kitsap Mortgage Team got The One Million Dollar Challenge idea from loan officers in Arizona who hosted a similar, well-attended event.

“They were just beating their drums and really excited about it,” he said.

Guerrero said the businesses involved with The One Million Dollar Challenge aren’t participating for their own benefits, but to support first-time homebuyers and boost the local economy.

“It’s not going to be a real sales pitch event,” he said. “Let’s help the people of Kitsap County to not participate in the recession.”

To register for The One Million Dollar Challenge, call (360) 698-6470.

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