Most people know that you need decent credit to buy cars, homes, or things on credit cards.  Not everybody knows good credit helps renters and buyers.

Good Credit Helps Renters and Buyers
Good Credit Score

The first thing that happens when you purchase a home is the lender pulls up your credit report.  If it meets certain criteria, you’re credit approved on the spot.  FNMA and Freddie Mac have direct underwriting standards, and if you fall within those standards you’re basically approved.  There is far less documentation needed by the underwriter in these cases.

Some people rent because they haven’t saved the down payment for a home, or they don’t have the credit necessary because events have happened in their life.  Other people just make bad choices with credit and have low scores to show for it.

Good Credit Helps Renters and Buyers

Regardless of the reason, good credit can help renters too.  Most landlords do credit and criminal background checks before renting, hiring a solid Property Management company takes the work out of renting your property.  Increasingly, condo and homeowner associations do the same before approving a tenant in an association.  Even insurance companies are using credit reports to determine eligibility and rates for insurance.  Like it or not, landlords, banks, and financial institutions have found that credit is an excellent way to judge risk and future behavior.

Whether renting or buying, good credit increases your chance of getting approved.  Good credit also helps with the terms of the deal too.  For instance, better credit means a better rate when borrowing.  It can also mean savings on rent and deposits as well.

Utility companies sometimes waive deposits for people with good credit.  This can add up, especially if you need water, sewer, electric, cable, etc.  If the landlord charges first month’s rent, last month’s rent, and a security deposit, and the utility companies charge deposits, it can get very expensive to move.  Having good credit can help you negotiate all these things.

When shopping for a mortgage, it pays to shop around.  Some of the bigger banks have what they call overlays.  Basically, they are extra requirements they place on borrowers over and above basic standards.  They do this because their institution is being extra cautious.  Perhaps they’ve had to buy back faulty loans in the past, or they’re worried about their standing with the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).   Whatever the reason, you don’t need extra hoops to jump through to get a loan.

We Can Recommend a Lender

We know lenders that do not have extra overlays.  This will save you time and worry when applying for a mortgage.  Our parent company just came out with a new program that offers a low rate, and some fantastic benefits.  In addition to the low rate, borrower pays no origination fees, no underwriting fees, zero processing fees, and gets $1,000 closing credit.  This is a significant savings to a buyer.

So, what’s the catch?  To get all this, a buyer must either work with an agent from our company or buy one of our company’s listings.  Essentially, they’re forgoing profit to help our sellers and our buyers.  Whatever the reason behind it, I like it.

We’ve shared with you a great way to save some serious money.  The other way to save is to improve your credit.  If you’d like to talk to a loan officer and see where you stand, call us at 239-489-4042 and we’ll put you in touch with someone.  Some buyers are surprised to find out they qualify now!

Other buyers have work to do.  It’s frustrating to find a home only to discover you can’t buy now.  We’d rather identify potential issues and begin working on them now, so we can find you a home you can purchase.  Many credit fixes can be done in 6 months.  Other fixes might take a year, so the earlier you identify and fix the better.

If you’d like to search the MLS like a pro, visit  To sell your home, call Brett or Sande at 239-489-4042 Ext 4

Happy St Patty’s Day.    We look forward to saving you some of that green stuff!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

16804 Colony Lakes Blvd

Colony Lakes

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Gateway Golf & Country Club

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Island Park Village

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Bell Tower Park Open House

Consumers, lenders, title companies, and real estate agents probably don’t all realize that big changes are coming down the pike and it will affect real estate closings in a big way later this year.

Big Changes Coming to the Closing Table

You’ll be hearing more about this issue this Spring and Summer as these new rules go into effect for closings starting August 1, 2015.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which is a new entity instituted by the Obama administration dictates that mortgage documents are locked in at least 3 days before closing.

Big Changes Coming to the Closing Table

Lenders will have to use the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure form and this form must be given to consumers three days before closing.  Any change to the form requires the clock to start over which means many closings will be delayed.

Some would argue this concept would change the common practice of lenders sending mortgage documents to the title company the day of closing which forces buyers to scramble to get a wire or cashiers check just before closing and this is a good thing.  They’d be right, in part.  That would be a good thing, however there will be some unintended consequences and perhaps some lawsuits arising out of the implications of implementation.

This new rule shifts the burden from title companies to lenders to disclose the TILA.  Lenders have not been used to communicating with all sides of the transaction.  Typically that’s been the role of the title agent.  Lenders had a hard enough time getting a file from clear to close to their closing department and then on to title company.   This now adds an extra layer, and if they weren’t great before, they’ll be less than average going forward.

Realtors and sellers will gripe because any change will change the closing statement, which could dictate postponing closing.  How will a seller plan for a closing on a certain day when they must turn around and close on another property the same day?  Any change to the first closing resets the clock and postpones it three days, which will postpone subsequent closings.  I remember one day years ago where we had 5 simultaneous closings on the same day.  We had the buyer and seller on all 5 properties and we ran into an issue on closing number 3 at the closing table.  If #3 didn’t happen, 4 and 5 wouldn’t either and we had buyers and sellers with packed trucks all waiting to close.

Today this closing might not take place.  We scrambled with the loan officer and made it happen, but that absolutely could not happen after August 1.  The buyer has no say in the matter either.  These are new Federal regulations and no matter how much a buyer or seller is impacted by the new rules, it won’t matter.  Buyers and sellers will be sweating out closings hoping lenders have the disclosures in on time and all documents ready for closing.  If you like going to Vegas, you can bet with certainty that many closings will not happen on the day they’re supposed to.  It’s just a fact and Realtors, buyers, and sellers better load up on their chill pills now, because there will be high demand and short supply on those pills around Aug 2nd.

Don’t forget Bella Casa is having a close-out sale this weekend.  Special incentives and financing are available on brand new 1, 2 and 3 bedroom luxury condos in South Fort Myers.  Call our office for details 239-489-4042 or stop by the sales center located on Plantation Rd 1/4 mile North of Daniels.  Open Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 11-6

Feel free to search the MLS at or call us to get your home sold. 239-489-4042

Bella Casa Close-Out Event
Bella Casa Luxury Condominiums Fort Myers, FL

Don’t forget this weekend is the Big Bella Casa Luxury Condominium Close-Out Event