Know Your Lender – Mortgage Fraud is Out There

sharkWatch out for mortgage fraudsters that are lurking and ready to take advantage of unsuspecting borrowers.
The Good News:  You can beat them by knowing the red flags of mortgage–related fraud.

Rest assured that most mortgage lenders are legitimate. However, there are some fraudsters who pose as mortgage lenders with the intent of scamming borrowers out of their hard–earned money — especially in climates like today with upward pressure on mortgage rates and home prices in certain areas.  These fraudsters prey on unsuspecting or inattentive borrowers as they seek to close more transactions and pocket more money. Unfortunately, involvement with an illegitimate mortgage company can cost you thousands of dollars, negatively affect your credit, and cause emotional distress.

Fortunately, many types of mortgage fraud can be spotted by watching out for these red flags:

  • Demands from “specialists” for advanced fees to replace your current credit history and make you a stronger candidate for a new mortgage, purportedly through a higher credit score or a new credit reputation.

  • Pressure to “act fast” or sign any paperwork that you haven’t had a chance to read or don’t fully understand.

  • A company/person you don’t know asks you to release personal financial information online or over the phone.

  • Advertisements by phone, letter or door–to–door with phrases such as “guaranteed mortgage” and “no credit check.”

  • Loan officer changes at the last minute, replacing your existing relationship and contact with one you don’t know.

  • Changes in your personal information that appears in final documents, including income, employment and savings — as well as any changes to the type or term of the loan you applied for.

Identifying a legitimate mortgage lender is essential to your success as a borrower and a homeowner.  As with all companies requesting personal information — especially regarding your finances — you need to be cautious and do your homework. If something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

If you’re looking to get a new mortgage or refinance your existing loan, be sure to beware and stay aware. Visit My Home by Freddie Mac® for more information about renting, buying or owning a home.

Call Rick Cignoli @ 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my FREE Mortgage “Jump Start” Pre-Approval with Rate Assurance service. And be ready to make an offer







The Perfect Loan for the Almost-Perfect Home

203k 2Your Dream Home is Within Reach!

Did you know that when Purchasing or even Refinancing a home, buyers can include additional monies for renovations and repairs.
The FHA 203(k) Rehab Loan allows homeowners to purchase and/or renovate their home with just one loan…monies to purchase it and monies to renovate it.

Program Benefits:
Eligible for 1 -4 Unit Owner-Occupied Properties and Mixed Used Properties too.
♦ Mortgage Based on after-improved value
♦ One closing and then the repairs begin
♦ Perfect solution to problems with older homes
♦ Enables borrowers to buy short-sales and foreclosed property when they don’t have the cash to do the needed repairs

Eligible Repairs:
♦ Modernize Plumbing, Heating , Ac And Electrical Systemshome repair 2
♦ Roofing, Gutters and Downspouts
♦ Weatherization (Storm Windows, Doors and Insulation
♦ Interior or Exterior Painting and  Remodeling
♦ Update Appliances, Kitchens and Bathrooms
♦ Flooring, Tiling and Carpeting
♦ Handicap Accessibility
♦ Basement Remodeling and Water Proofing

Many of the homes on the market today are functionally obsolete because they are older and don’t have the amenities today’s buyers are looking for in a home.
The answer is this: You can get a mortgage to buy a house and fix it up at the same time using the same loan. Smart Home Buyers are buying properties in need of attention and turning them into their dream home with the help of the FHA 203(k) Rehab loan.

Reach out to Me @ 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my FREE Mortgage “Jump Start” Pre-Approval service.





Mortgage Recasting Can Lower Your Monthly Payments

Mortgage Recasting is an option for homeowners to lower their monthly mortgage castingpayments after the loan has closed. Mortgage Recasting applies only to Conventional  Loans.
Borrowers may make a large lump sum payment toward the principal of their conventional loan to secure lower monthly payments for the duration of the loan. All other loan terms including the interest rate of the original loan will remain the same.

You Might Want To Apply If …
♦  You received a large lump sum from the equity of the delayed sale of your prior home that occurs after the closing on the mortgage you are paying down.
♦  You receive a large inheritance and would like to apply those monies to lower your monthly payments.
♦  You would like lower monthly payments without the risk of refinancing which requires re-applying for a mortgage and incurring all the associated closing costs.

Benefits of Mortgage Recasting …
♦  Re-amortize your current loan after paying a lump sum toward the principle for a lower cost than refinancing.
♦  Lower your monthly payments while increasing the equity in your home.
♦  Retain the low interest rate of your current loan.
♦  Avoid closing costs and appraisal fees of a new loan.
♦  Avoid having to re-qualify for a new loan.

Reach out to Rick Cignoli @ 860.945.9284 to see if Mortgage Recasting is the right mortgage  option for your family.

Simple Strategies to Help Organize Your Finances

FHA MIWhether you are considering buying a home or not, having your finances organized is important. The ability to manage money well can help you afford a life that is a little more comfortable and a little less stressful. These tips will give you a jump start on being more in control of your money without the need of a finance degree.

Know What You Have:
The best place to start is to evaluate all of your accounts and know exactly how much money you have in each. This would include knowing the balance of your checking account, savings account, retirement fund, credit cards, loans, and any other investment. Writing down the actual balances will give you a clear starting point, even if the totals aren’t exactly what you want them to be.

Create Goals for Your Future:
This is where you can dream big, and also dream small. Once you’ve evaluated your accounts, think about what you want to accomplish financially. Do you want to save for a down payment on a home? Do you want to be free of your student loans in ten years? Do you want to save twenty extra dollars a month? Do you want to own a vacation home one day or travel the world? Big or small, your dreams are valid and writing them down is the first step in making them a reality.

Assess Your Payments:
Take a look at your income and expenses over the past 30 days. How much money do you bring in and how much money are you sending each month to pay expenses? Most people underestimate their monthly spending and don’t want to look closely at the small spending habits they have created. By assessing your cash flow, you will identify areas that need work, like if you are going out to eat more in a month than you should, for example.

Set Your Budget:
Take what you learn from analyzing your monthly spending habits and create a new budget for yourself. Create a list of rough estimates for things like groceries, gas, utilities, etc. This way you will know if you are spending more than you should month to month moving forward. There are budget templates you can find online, or you can create your own. Once you have an established budget, you’ll be much more aware of any excess spending.

Stay Focused:
Once you have your finances organized, it’s important to keep your eye on the goals you have set. You can use money management apps, hire a financial advisor, use mobile banking to see each transaction in real time. Checking in on how close you are to your goals, both big and small, every month will help you stay focused and eliminate some of the stress that comes with money

pre-approval-2Call Me at 860.945.9284 for all your home purchase needs and to to take advantage of my FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval  with Rate Assurance service Let’s talk about the right mortgage option for your family.

Solar Panels: Buy or Lease

solar panels 2Solar panels have increasingly become more popular over the past few years, and don’t show any signs of slowing down. Leasing options have contributed to this growing number, since some leasing programs require little to no money up-front. The deals can seem attractive, but a question for homeowners is, Should I  Lease or Buy Solar Panels?

Installing solar panels on a house to generate electricity often costs $20,000 or more. However, there will most likely be a certain percentage of federal tax credit that could bring down the cost right away. Not only will you be able to take advantage of tax breaks, you will also be able to start saving money on your utility bill each month, and take advantage of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, or SRECs.
Power companies that are required to get some of their electricity from renewable sources, buy these SRECs from homeowners. Currently the SRECs are worth about $200, but the prices fluctuate. Every time a homeowner accumulates 1,000 kilowatts hours of energy, they will be able to sell one certificate, which can generally add up to about seven certificates a year, depending on the system and location.
By purchasing a system outright, a homeowner will typically get the most savings, but there is a trade off. The customers are then responsible for maintaining the system. Installers say that the systems are generally reliable, but the panels are not guaranteed past 25 years or so, and the inverters, which converts the direct current to the alternating current that comes from a socket, only lasts about 10 years.

For most homeowners, paying upfront for solar panels is not an option. Leasing, on the other hand, gives more homeowners the opportunity to go solar. Just like a conventional mortgage or car loan, the real cost to customers varies depending on how much they are able to pay up front. The homeowner would also have to have good credit to be eligible to lease. The monthly cost to lease would typically replace your monthly electricity bill. While the lease payment stays consistent, the monthly power bill could potentially go up. Another benefit to leasing solar panels is that a homeowner would not have to figure the incentives and subsidies associated with buying. Beyond that, if a homeowner decided to buy the panels in the future, they could at a discounted price.

Customers should also be aware that there is no easy way out of the deal if they decided to sell their home. The solar system generally stays with the house and the homeowner could either decide to find a buyer who is willing to take over the contract, or prepay for the remaining electricity charges and include that into the purchase price of the panels 2

Call Me @ 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my FREE Mortgage “Jump Start” Pre-Approval with Rate Assurance service




Mortgage Incentives for Doctors and Physicians

Good News!

doctorsFreddie Mac Now Offers Special Mortgage Incentives for Doctors and Physicians

♦  Applies to a Borrower in, or who has recently completed a medical residency program and/or a medical clinical fellowship program.
♦ Borrower must have a social security number and be a permanent or Non/permanent resident alien
♦ Conventional Loan
♦ For Primary Residence only
♦ Purchase and Rate/Term Refinances only30 Year Term
♦ Fixed Rate and ARM Products available
♦ Min FICO 720
♦ Student loans payments deferred for more than a 12 months from note date, after closing may be excluded from DTI calculationpre-approval 2

Reach out to Rick Cignoli to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of his FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval Service
stethescope or Zillow. What’s the Difference?

You’ve probably done research online to buy your new home and you’ve probably used a popular website like or Zillow. While both these sites offer free real estate market data, and are very similar, they both have their differences.
Lets compare the strengths and weaknesses of these real estate websites, to see what each has to offer.
Searching: When it comes to searching “homes for sale” on the web, Zillow will zillowmost likely appear at the top of the search results, while might appear lower down on the page. This is due to the fact that Zillow maximizes their marketing efforts in order to appear higher in page rankings. This is why many people searching for homes will end up on the Zillow website over
Finding Homes: If you want to look at listings of homes for sale, you can do so on both Zillow and, they display featured homes along with more in depth information about the homes. However, when doing identical searches on both sites,realtor where price, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and location are all the same, displayed more houses. A study done by a competitor of Zillow discovered that out of 6,401 home listings in 33 zip codes from 11 metro areas, Zillow was missing about 20% of the listings. The study also found that Zillow tended to lag by about a week in displaying new listings, and about a third of the properties shown as active on Zillow, were no longer for sale.
Realtors: Zillow displays “featured” homes that are listed by agents who pay to have their listings appear at the top of the search results. Zillow also displays agent profiles alongside those of competing agents. just displays the listing agent for the house being displayed., however, is based off of the MLS listings and is operated by the National Association of Realtors, therefore, Realtors prefer to Zillow.
Estimate Property Value: There are many reasons to estimate a property’s value, but can you rely on these numbers to be accurate? and Zillow both display estimated property value, but both don’t take into consideration all the upgrades or changes an owner has made to the house. These estimates are good to get a ballpark idea of the value, but the appraisal value is what the lenders use, not the estimation on these websites. Both websites, however, make it easy to see comparable listings and recently sold homes near a property.
Bottom Line: . Both of these sites have strengths and weaknesses. If there is one unique aspect that is particularly important to you, it might make sense to favor one site over the other. Despite the information both sites offer, you may not want to use either site as your primary resource if you are actively searching for a home. Relying on your Realtor is always the best bet.

pre-approval-2Before you start your search, get an idea of how much you can spend on a home. Reach out to Rick Cignoli to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of his FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval Service