Florida Mortgage News

Has your FHA, VA, or Conventional loan been turned down? 

What do you do now? Should I give up on my dream of home ownership or try again with someone else?

There are many lenders out there. So, what are the differences? Why did your loan get turned down? Why should I try anyone else? I'm going to address these questions that you have been forced to ask yourself. 

There are many differences between lenders. That's why we have 17 lenders under our roof at Bliss Mortgage. Every lender has overlays whether they tell you or not. Without getting too technical, an overlay is a rule or condition that the lender may have in place in order to strengthen the loans they underwrite and service and to reduce the risk of default by their borrowers. Some lenders may want credit cards paid off and closed in certain situations. Some lenders may require certain judgments or derogatory accounts to be paid off. These items may be required by the lender, but may not be required by FHA or Fannie Mae are called overlays. Some lenders may require higher minimum credit scores. FHA guidelines state that in order to qualify for a 3.5% down payment for FHA, the minimum credit score is 580. Lenders will impose a 600, 620 or 640 minimum credit score in order to reduce the risk of a loan going into default. Credit score is not the only factor when underwriting a loan, but the less overlays you have, the better chance you have to close your loan and get the keys to your new home. According to investopedia.com, overlays prevent mortgages. Click here to read the article. These rules or conditions may cause your loan to be turned down-and at times, just a few days before closing. This can be devastating for someone who's already been emotionally attached or committed to purchasing a home and may feel that there's nowhere to turn to once they've received this news. 

Don't worry - there's still hope. What you need to do is find a lender who has no overlays. I mean absolutely NO OVERLAYS. A lender with no overlays will go by FHA, VA, or Fannie Mae underwriting guidelines only, and will not have added conditions for your loan. Luckily, you've come to the right place. We're experienced in closing loans others can't. We've helped many families reach their goals. 

If you or your buyer (if you're a realtor) have had an FHA, VA or Conventional loan turned down, contact us to get a second opinion. You may still be in the market of purchasing or refinancing your home. Don't let another lender kill your dream of home ownership. Let us help #FundYourBliss. 

Gerald Bliss

Posted by Gerald Bliss on July 31st, 2017 3:02 PM
Bliss Mortgage LLC is located at 17407 Bridge Hill Court Suite P, Tampa, Fl 33647. If you want to get a pre-approval in 30 minutes or less, please call Gerald Bliss at 813-966-1888 or Adam Markwardt at 813-808-1188. We are available when you need us. 

Although bankers hours are M-F 9-5, we are open when you are working. Call us any time and any day. We do what we do to serve you and to help you reach your goals of owning your own home, whether it's your primary residence, investment property or a second home. We will also lend on Manufactured Homes, Condos, and 1-4 Unit dwellings. Are you over the age of 62 and would like the equity in your home to work for you and stop the monthly mortgage payments? We are a HECM (Reverse Mortgage) Mortgage Brokerage company. You can use a Reverse Mortgage to refinance out of your traditional forward mortgage or you can even purchase a home using a Reverse Mortgage. Call for more information. 

Buying a home can be a stressful process, so let the Licensed Mortgage Loan Originators at Bliss Mortgage assist you and make this a pleasant experience. 

Thank you for visiting. Let us know if you have any questions. Bliss Mortgage LLC NMLS# 1564092. Equal Housing Opportunity. 

Posted by Gerald Bliss on January 11th, 2017 11:02 PM
Remember when sales was A B C? A Always B Be C Closing, Always Be Closing. The famous Alec Baldwin speech in Glenngary Glen Ross is one of my favorite movie business speeches. I also like the speech Ben Affleck gave to the new class of stock brokers in Boiler Room. There's only one problem. In the mortgage industry, you can't hard sell like that. Well, at least I don't. 

When making a 30 year commitment to purchase a house, do you get "sold" into buying a home? I hope not. I hope that you have saved up and have the capacity to repay your loan. I hope that you have money for a rainy day, or for emergencies. I hope that the mortgage payment is not a burden on your daily lives. When you purchase your home, it will be one of a possible four times you make that kind of purchase if your lifetime. Now, what would that do to you if it was "sold" to you like in Glenngary Glenn Ross or in Boiler Room? You may regret it. You may have buyers remorse. You may not feel that you owe the money because you were forced into a purchase that you didn't want. That's why when searching for the right Mortgage Broker, you should have someone on your side looking out for your best interest. That's why you should be able to call your Mortgage Broker on the weekend and be able to ask a question that you just thought of. That's why you should choose someone that looks at helping you reach a goal rather than selling  

I'm not Alec Baldwin or Ben Affleck. I am someone that you can call on Tuesday evening or Sunday afternoon and I will answer the question that you just thought of. I will help you with that hypothetical scenario about your brother and his wife. I will help you secure a home mortgage that fits your needs, and if I don't have a product that's best for you, I will tell you. I will not sell you. If you're working with a broker or banker now, I hope that he/she will answer your call after hours and doesn't look at M-F 9-5 as the acceptable time to pick up the phone. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Gerald Bliss, Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #989582 813-966-1888 

"The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra" -Jimmy Johnson

Posted by Gerald Bliss on January 22nd, 2016 2:26 PM
So you want to purchase a brand new home. The home you want is going to be built in a brand new subdivision. You sit down with the sales person and you go over the floor plans. He takes you and your fiance to see the model homes and you walk through the showroom. The room looks amazing and you are overwhelmed by the new home smell and the thought of you and your family having your very own new home. Now, it's time to discuss price. You have already done your homework and you've been pre-approved by your Mortgage Loan Originator. You already know what you are looking for. The sales person tells you that you're going to get $15,000.00 in upgrades for free or he tells you that you're going to get $8,000.00 towards your closing costs. You leave, you think about it, and you go over your finances. You and your significant other decide on it and go back to agree on the price and you now want to sign the contract and move forward, but when you go to sign, the sales person says "Oh, but that incentive is only if you use our preferred lender."

Now What?

There are two scenarios that come out from this situation and most of the time, the buyer caves in and just goes with the "preferred lender." What would you do if I told you that this is something the same thing as negotiating with a car salesman? Would you just use the in-house lender at the car dealership because the "sales price" is only available for customers who use their lender? No. That actually sounds ridiculous when you think about it. So why do buyers cave in when going to a builder? The other outcome is that you stick to your plan and negotiate the price, closing costs, and tell them that you're using your own lender. 

Recently, I have seen three builders and three different outcomes. I don't know if I should call out the builder, because we are actually doing business with them now. Here are the three different outcomes:

The Builder works with the lender without hesitation:
"ABC" Homes worked with my buyer without hesitation. The salesperson did offer their in-house lender, but when the buyer said that they have their own lender and that they are not going to use anyone else, she (the salesperson) did not give my buyer any grief and she still gave my buyer the entire $15,000.00 in upgrades. I commend this builder for their actions, because this is not typical. 

The Builder doesn't give the buyer an option:
One of my buyers went to a builder and wanted to use their own lender and they were told that they have to use their in-house lender or they will not get the $15,000.00 towards their closing costs. The buyer did not want to fight for their right to use their own lender. They basically took the builders word as gospel and went along with it. This seems to be the most common outcome and that's why the builders still use this approach with working with their customers.   

The Builder negotiate with the buyer:
I had a buyer go into "XYZ" Homes with a realtor and with my pre-approval letter to negotiate a new Town Home. The builder told the buyer that they would give her $8,000.00 towards closing costs and gave her a price on the home. This particular day, the buyer and the realtor had been home shopping that day and they saw several homes. The price and the closing costs were compared to the other homes they saw that day. She decided that the best value was to use the builder, but when they went back to sign the contract, the salesperson said "that's only if you use our lender." He did not disclose to the buyer that using the in-house lender was the reason for getting $8,000.00 in closing costs. The buyer was young, but not a pushover. Her, her Mom and the Realtor negotiated for several hours with this salesperson. He tried to strong-arm the buyer, but the final outcome was $3000.00 towards closing costs and several thousand dollars off the purchase price. Most buyers would've caved in and just used the in-house lender. 

The CFPB has cracked down on Mortgage Brokers, Processing companies and Realtors. I think the next wave of crack downs may be on Title Companies and the cozy relationships between Builders and "Preferred Lenders." The buying experience shouldn't be horrible for the buyer and they should be able to use the finance lender of their choice, just like when you go to the car dealership. 

Thank you for reading and tell me your experience with builders. 

Posted by Gerald Bliss on November 18th, 2015 11:29 PM

Florida Halloween Destinations

Howl-O-Scream - Tampa Busch Gardens - Sept 25th to Oct 31st - The streets of Busch Gardens will be swarming with roaming creatures, making escape nearly impossible. Watching chilling live shows, trying not to get caught by ghouls and a chance to challenge Florida's top thrill rides in the dark will surely keep the screams going all night long. http://seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-tampa/howloscream/ 

Halloween Horror Nights - Orlando Universal Studios - Sept 18 to Nov 1st - On select nights from September 18th through November 1st, 2015, the streets of Universal Studios Florida® theme park come alive with hordes of horrifying mutants, monsters and maniacs. With 25 years of experience to draw from, nobody creates a more nightmarish Halloween event filled with truly original scares and authentic horror movie moments. You can explore terrifying haunted houses, make your way through multiple scare zones where creatures lurk around every turn, enjoy outrageous live shows, and experience many of the park’s most exciting rides and attractions. www.halloweenhorrornights.com

Fantasy Fest - Key West - Oct 23rd to Nov 1st - They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but the same is true about Fantasy Fest in Key West. Fantasy Fest is like Mardi Gras for eight straight days. Enjoy the diverse, crazy and shocking people that visit Key West in a party of all parties. If you have never experienced Fantasy Fest, I recommend going at least once. www.fantasyfest.com 

These are the top destinations for Halloween in Florida. Please let me know if there are other Halloween destinations we should share. 

Posted by Gerald Bliss on October 14th, 2015 12:36 AM

Top 10 Reasons to Live in Florida

1. Florida has a great nightlife scene. There is Ybor City in Tampa, South Beach in Miami, Downtown Disney and Church Street in Orlando. 

2. Beaches. Florida has some of the best beaches in the world. Clearwater Beach, Miami Beach, Siesta Key and my favorite, Daytona Beach. 

3. Theme Parks. Orlando is the Mecca of theme parks with Disney World, Epcot and the other Disney parks, but don't forget Universal Studios and Busch Gardens. Legoland and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex are also parks to visit. 

4. Nature. Florida has a wide variety of destinations to see the beauty nature has to offer. There are natural springs, caves, coral reefs and the Everglades to visit.

5. No State Income Tax. Enough said. 

6. Home Prices. Between California, New York and Florida, where would you want to live? If price were the main compensating factor, here are the median value for homes in these states: $141,800 in Florda and $240,000 in New York and $376,000 in California. 

7. Weather. Florida is known as the Sunshine State. You will never have to call in sick to work because snow is blocking your car in. Just ask those who have moved from colder climates to Florida. 

8. Exercise. Just picture yourself running along any of Florida's beaches. Your feet sinking into the sand as you take your next step. That's what I like to do when I visit the beach. And if you're not an outdoors runner, then go to one of the many gyms in Florida. 

9. Vacation. Why would you want to travel far from home when you want to take a vacation? Key West is an 8 hour drive from Tampa. When you vaca in Key West, you still feel like your in another country because it is so beautiful and different. 

10. History. Ponce de Leon was the first to document records of Florida in 1513. Black Ceasar, a crewman of Blackbeard, raided shipping in the Keys in the 1700's. Jose Gaspar raided in Tampa in the 1800's. We celebrate these events in different ways. Florida is full of awesome history. 

If you are inspired to purchase a home in Florida, call me at 813-966-1888 or email gerald.bliss@gmail.com 
Posted by Gerald Bliss on October 7th, 2015 2:42 PM