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Rise in real estate sales draws mortgage broker to Lehigh
March 14, 2018

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American Bancshares Mortgage Banker will hold its grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration today at noon.

The Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce will be on hand for the March 14 event to welcome the new brick-n-mortgage lender into the community.

"We are a member of the local chamber and excited to get the word out that home lending is now available right here in Lehigh," said American Bancshares Branch Manager Nate Tasso.

American Bancshares, Mortgage Bankers is at 3507 Lee Blvd., suite 210. They are a direct lender, seller and servicer with various lending programs available and specialize in the Hispanic market.

The company was originally founded by Juan Cosculluela and formed as a regional mortgage lender in 1995. They are now licensed in 13 states, with more than 30 branches or more in these states.

According to Tasso, a growing population and a need for a specialized mortgage servicer is what brought them to the community.

"We are the only brick-n-mortar mortgage company in Lehigh Acres. We differ from banking institutions, because we focus strictly on mortgages, not checking or savings accounts," Tasso said.

American Bancshares also offers a variety of programs including: FHA/VA mortgages, USDA and conventional home loans.

"Our interest rates are highly competitive. We offer down payment assistance and construction to perm loans," said Tasso. "We even have a credit repair program in place."

Tasso has been in the mortgage banking industry since 2004. He is currently the production manager for two ABSM offices in SWFL. He also served as a commander while overseas in the Middle East during operation Iraqi Freedom.

"I owned my own mortgage company for nine years. Then in October 2017, I gained the exclusive rights from Bancshares for the Naples territory all the way to Sarasota. I'm full-time in Lehigh and want to bring my vast knowledge to the community," Tasso said.

Lehigh's real estate market has made a comeback within recent years, which is enticing more families and individuals to consider home ownership.

According to Fred Elliott, the broker-owner of Coldwell Banker Preferred Properties, five years ago the economy was still recovering, so Realtors were seeing more tenants than buyers.

"Now home ownership is becoming a reality again," said Elliott. "Plus, we are still seeing low interest rates which allows first time buyers to get into homes."

The other good news is Lehigh Acres is seeing a steady rise in valuations.

"Between January 2017 and January 2018, we saw about a 10 percent increase in the price of home sales, an average sales price of anywhere from $143,000 to $160,000. Currently home inventory is lower than normal with an average time on the market at about 45 days," Elliott said.

According to Elliott, the area is also seeing more home builders come back into the marketplace due to a surge in the population.

"They are building homes right now that start at about $160,000 to $180,000, which is still affordable for first-time buyers. Lehigh is growing fast and currently has a population of 112,279 as of Jan. 1, 2016 according to the US Census Bureau," according to Elliott.

Commercial building seems to be back on track as well.

"There's a renewed interest in commercial building again due to the economy," said Elliott. "Getting more commercial out here and jobs is key. It will help not only with the traffic congestion but the economy, too."

For more information on American Bancshares Lehigh Acres location visit lehighacresmortgage.com and for Coldwell Banker Preferred Properties Inc., call 239-369-6161.

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