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Making a pledge: Mortgage broker wants to give $500 for each closing to Make-A-Wish Foundation

April 23, 2014
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The owner of Keelan Mortgage is proud to announce the start-up of a new program to be introduced to the real estate community in Lehigh Acres.

Mike Keelan, owner and principal mortgage broker for Keelan Mortgage, today said he has pledged to donate $500 to the Make-A- Wish Foundation for every closing his firm is involved in.

Keelan is licensed through the National Mortgage Licenses System (NMLS) and want to get the word out to all local Realtors that he will used money from his own profits to give the gift to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Article Photos

Mike Keelan is shown here holding a Make-A-Wish pamphlet. As a mortgage broker in Lehigh, he has pledged to donate $500 to the foundation for each closing he completes, with the help of local Realtors.

Keelan Mortgage is a local Lehigh Acres mortgage company helping Lehigh Acres home buyers since 1997.

"We have helped hundreds of Lehigh homeowners over the years and we wanted to give back to the community that has supported us, Keelan said.

"All that is involved is that if a Realtor closes with me," I will make the gift. It won't cost the Realtor anything, but I think it will make them feel very good when you look at all the good things that the Make-A- Wish Foundation does," Keelan said.

Keelan said that when the mortgage meltdown peaked in 2007, property values plummeted here and everywhere else.

"But Lehigh was like Ground Zero. It was one of the worst of anywhere else in the country, but that has all changed today and I see real estate coming back with stability and it's is happening in Lehigh," he said.

As a result of the meltdown, he said foreclosures began dominating the real estate market and homeowners lost most if not all of their equity.

"Sales became stagnate. People were forced to walk away from their homes rather than sell at a loss.

Tighter financing rules were implemented and qualifying for a mortgage became much more difficult.

"Investors swooped in and purchased homes at below market prices, pushing values down even further, as banks began liquidating inventory.

Lehigh Acres and all of Southwest Florida homeowners were particularly hardest hit. But finally, our market appears to have stabilized," Keelan said.

In fact, Keelan believes in what he is doing so much that he has used the phrase "Helping Make Dreams Come True" on his new business cards for Keelan Mortgage.

The father of two grown children and five grandchildren, Keenan said he was touched when he was viewing a TV program about heroes who helped children.

"It really touched me when I saw that," he said.

"I thought that through my business, the community can help those children. There is a meaning to what I am doing," he continued.

"I guess you could say the spark lit my fire."

He contacted Taylor Marini, development coordinator for Make-A- Wish of Southern Florida in Bonita Springs and that is when the idea became a reality.

Keenan said he is associated with four of the top lenders in the United States and through them can offer the best mortgages for those who want to buy a home today.

"It's the best time because of lower mortgage rates are now available and again, I want to make that pledge to the Make-A-Wish Foundation that I will give them $500 from my own proceeds each time a Realtor goes to the closing table with me," he said.

He said it usually takes around $5,000 to make a wish come true for a youngster, who may be facing the end of his or her life.

"And with $500 payments, 10 of them will equal that amount, and all of Lehigh's Realtors will be part of a good thing," he said.

"If you do 10 a month, you've got enough for one kid to have his wish come true," Keelan said. "If we can do 10 closings a month, we can help many more children."

"And we would be able to select a local kid from Lehigh."

He noted that others, lots of large national firms, give to the Make-A- Wish Foundation and showed a booklet listing the contributors over the past year.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines gave $200,000 as a gift, he said.

"We can do this and nothing would make me happier than to see a child get his or her wish," Keelan said.

He can be reached at 239-369-9876 or on his cell phone at 239-250-2707. His email is:

Keelan is a veteran of real estate sales over the years. He has watched the market plummet and now says he believes with all his heart that the market is stabilizing in Lehigh and in other places, too.

"It's here in Lehigh that we want to make a difference, and I think we and the real estate agents can do it. I am sure of it. And what a feeling we all can have when we know we have helped a child," he said.



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