Have you heard about these buy now refinance free later offers lenders are offering?  Do they make sense? Let’s explore what these are and if they make sense for you.

Buy Now Refinance Free Later

Is the refinance later part really free? It depends on how you look at it. If by free you mean no cost to the borrower and the rate and payment goes down, then yes, it is free. Could the borrower receive an even lower rate if they paid their fees, the answer is yes. So, in a sense, it did cost the borrower versus the rate they could have gotten.

Buy Now Refinance Free Later

Let’s break it down. There are closing costs associated with financing or refinancing a home. There is a possible appraisal, title insurance, doc stamps on the note, and intangible tax on the note. These fees must be paid somehow. The lender can pay them for you, but they typically roll them into the mortgage rate, or what they call the spread.

This cost could equal as much as half percent to three quarter percent in the rate from the lender I asked. Let’s say you have a 7.5% mortgage on your current property. Rates go down to 6.5%. If the cost for a no closing cost refinance is half percent, you could refinance your current rate of 7.5% down to 7% and it wouldn’t cost you anything. You’d be wise to take that deal, wouldn’t you?  And if rates went down to 6%, you could do it again and receive a new refinance of 6.5%, and it wouldn’t cost you anything.

You could keep doing this every time rates went down. Perhaps this is why refinance applications are up 7.6% this week over last week. Homeowners are refinancing their existing rates and saving money. For anyone that purchased in the last year or so, this could be an excellent strategy to save money.

Pro Tip Strategy

When rates begin dropping it will create more buyer demand. Right now, buyers have excellent choices in housing, and sellers are more willing to deal or pay concessions this year than last. Once buyers flood back into the market, sellers will be less accommodating.

Wouldn’t it make more sense buying a home today with excellent inventory options rather than fighting more buyers down the road for the best properties? Once you’ve secured your home, you’ve locked in your housing costs. The landlord cannot raise your rent and housing prices won’t go up for you because you’ve already purchased. If the rate goes down, you can refinance it at no cost to you. If rates go up, you’re locked in.

How to Finance

Should you take the offers I’ve heard on the radio that say buy today and we’ll refinance you for free down the road? The lender is either putting building costs into your rate now, in which case you’d be paying a higher rate today, or they’ll add it later.  I would not select the added cost now if I were purchasing. Personally, I would wait and just deal with it later. What if rates don’t go down enough, soon enough? You paid extra money upfront for something you may not use. The costs are the same, so why not pay it when you use it? And, as we discussed, are you really paying it if you receive a benefit later and it costs you nothing to lower your payment?

Always Call the Ellis Team

We have lenders we work with that can help you make the best decision. If you want, we can offer advice too. We are not loan officers, but when we hear your story, we can help guide you to the lenders that have good choices for you.

Why Wait?

Financially, we don’t see a reason to wait for rates to come down. While you wait for rates to move lower you face increased competition from other buyers.  We have a limited window to take advantage before other buyers figure this out. Give us a call at 239-489-4042 and get a jump on the competition, and lock in your housing costs. Once we do that, things can only get better. You won’t be at the mercy of your landlord, interest rates, or other buyers bidding against you.

Search the MLS like a pro.

The Ellis Team has Two Locations to Serve you. Call us first so we can make sure we have someone to help you.

Fort Myers

12840 University Dr


Cape Coral

3208 Chiquita Blvd S



The Ellis Team Current Market Index predicts future real estate pricing accurately by analyzing key data that influences the direction of the market. Back in 2003 we were able to predict the market would take off, and it did.

2005 Warning

In October 2005 we warned people the market was about to turn. I remember doing a lengthy article on NBC where we tell people the end of the bull market is near. We all know what happened after that.We will work to find that story and upload to our YouTube Channel.

Agents told us back then we were crazy. This was a runaway bull market, and it couldn’t be stopped. People were flipping houses and making $100,000+ per house. They couldn’t, nor did they want to see the data that was driving the market. Back then we advised Ellis Team clients to stop buying, even though it cost us commissions. We could see what was about to happen because of our index.

CMI Predicted Bottom in 2009

We knew the market was on its way to stabilization in 2008. In 2009 we called the statistical bottom of the market, even when prices were about 30% of what they were a few years ago. View the CMI Index back in 2009. Again, in 2009 people thought we were crazy calling the bottom of the market. We wrote several articles back in 2009 and went on WINK TV telling everyone the bottom was here, but people didn’t believe that either. People tend to follow the crowd and believe where the market has been rather than where it is going.

Current Market Index Predicts Future
Current Market Index in 2009


The point is market outcomes have more to do with data than they do with emotions. Buyers today want the market to fall. Sellers want the market to rise. The market does not care what anybody wants, it rises and falls because of the data. The trick is learning which data to use and how to interpret it.

Ellis Team Current Market Index Predicts Future Real Estate Pricing

The Ellis Team current market index currently sits over 4.3. We no longer publish this index publicly as we keep it for paying customers of the Ellis Team. Southwest Florida real estate prices rose from the 90’s through 2005. 2006 is when we saw prices begin to fall. The Ellis Team Current Market Index (CMI) predicted that would happen around July of 2005 when the market was absolutely red-hot. The market peaked in January of 2006.

Current Market Index Predicts Future Real Estate Pricing
Real Estate Prices 2009

The CMI has been rising. We focus on the direction of the CMI as the actual number. When the index reaches 4+, either on the upswing or the downswing it begins to move prices. There is typically a 2–6-month lag between the index and the actual price movements, so knowing where the index stands, and the direction is critical ahead of time.

Back in 2006 the Ellis Team was able to advise seller clients to get aggressive with pricing before the market forced them to take even less. All our clients listened, and they were glad they did as they watched the market plunge. These decisions were based off data, not emotions or I think this might happen.

Later when home sales became tough, we went on TV again and showed a different way to sell homes when others weren’t able to sell.

The Ellis Team Current Market Index will go up and it will go down, as will prices. It was designed to help interpret the forward direction of pricing. You cannot read more into it than that, as we have to look at the actual number, the direction, and the pace. Back in 2006 the pace was significant. While the current number is rising, it is nowhere near the pace of 2006, so we are not calling for a plunge in values.

Consultants Vs Salespeople

The cool thing is this index will tell us the forward direction of real estate prices before they happen. If you have questions about your home and the Future of Real Estate, call Brett Ellis or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500. We’ll be glad to evaluate your situation and give you the information to make good decisions for your family. We consult with you after listening to your needs.

Good luck and Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!


Latest released data shows SW Florida 12-month housing prices hold steady. The data was sort of a mixed bag.

Median sales price is down $25,000 from $425,000 down to $400,000 this October. However, average sales price was up $16,068. The median sales price is down 5.9% over last year while the average sales price is up 3.0%.

We like to look at year over year data because there is some seasonality to our local SWFL home prices. The larger luxury homes tend to sell in season or just after. Luxury buyers tend to visit in season and put in offers in the first half of the year more so than the second half. Don’t mistake that you cannot sell a higher priced home in the second half, it’s just that there are more buyers here in the first half.

Uptick in Buyer Activity

Last week we wrote about how interest rates influence home sales and provided historical data. We are happy to report that recent mortgage rate decreases have led to some buyers getting off the fence. Rates trended down for 3 straight weeks before leveling off, and buyers took advantage. Total pending sales increased by 37 this past week, which is a good sign.

1 weeks’ worth of data doesn’t identify a trend, but it is something we will be watching. It is slightly significant because it reverses a trend of declining total pending sales.

Home Prices Down From Peak

Median home prices are down $70,000 from their peak in April 2022 when they were at $470,000. Average home prices are down $111,210 from their peak in May 2022. Keep in mind, both those peak months are seasonal closing months, so they are usually higher than the averages.

12-Month Housing Prices Hold Steady

Selling Your Home Today

If you are selling your home today, you need up to the minute home statistics to make the best choices in marketing your home. One of the best indicators around is the Ellis Team Current Market Index. We no longer publish this publicly but it is available for Ellis Team clients. We can say that the Current Market Index has been rising since April 25th of 2023. This past week was the fourth week we’ve seen it take a pause in rising, only to begin rising again in subsequent weeks.

Current Market Index

We will be watching the Current Market Index to determine if and when a new trend begins, or if we have a continuation of the old trend. This is important because it tells us where housing prices will go. Like I said, if you are a seller, you would most definitely want to know what the future holds. If you knew prices were heading down, you’d want to get ahead of the market.

Back in 2006-2009 Ellis Team clients benefited because we were able to tell them what the market would do ahead of the market. Many thanked us for saving them thousands of dollars.


Ellis Team buyers benefit from this data too. It helps knowing what to offer. If you are a buyer, we suggest checking out www.LeeCountyOnline.com and searching the MLS like a pro. We have some advanced search features you won’t find anywhere else. Our team of buyer agents can help you setup your searches with advanced fields you won’t see. They can also assist you with neighborhood market reports and more.


If you have a property to sell, you can check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com It’s a great place to start and will give you a home value for Free, instantly. Of course, you can always call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500 to talk about your home, your situation, and go over the latest statistics and see how they affect you moving forward. We’d love to talk to you, even if you aren’t ready yet to make a move. Preparation is key to making the best decisions.

12-Month Housing Prices Hold Steady

While median prices are down from the peak, they have held steady the past few months. Aerage prices increased slightly last month, so we are seeing 12-month housing prices hold steady for now. we’ll keep an eye out in future months to see if this holds true going forward.

Good luck and Happy Selling!