10 Signs That You Are Ready To Buy A Home

You’ve probably heard it time and time again, why you should consider buying a home instead of renting. Perhaps you’ve hit an age or professional milestone, or maybe you are tired of dealing with your landlord. Whatever the reason may be, here are 10 Signs That You Are Ready To Stop Renting, and Buy A Home:

1. You want to have the freedom to do what you want with your home, whether that is changing the paint color, installing solar panels, or getting a chicken coop!

2. You are tired of sporadic rent increases, and you want the peace of mind that your monthly payment will stay the same (with a fixed-rate mortgage).

3. You want to continue to build up your credit score, and paying for your mortgage on-time each month can help you accomplish this.

4. You want to save money, and you know that as a homeowner you can deduct the interest paid on your mortgage from your taxable income.

5. You are ready to be your own handyman or hire a contractor of your choosing for repairs, instead of waiting for your landlord to ‘stop by in a week’.

6. You want to adopt a rescue dog, and your new home can have a big yard for her to run and chase squirrels.

7. You are starting a polka band with your best friends, and you want your own living room to practice in – any time, day or night.

8. You are ready to have your own washer and dryer, and leave behind the surprise of finding someone else’s sock in your laundry!

9. You’ve taken up meal planning, and want all the space in your fridge to store your chicken, brocolli, and kale.

10. You are ready to build equity and invest in your own future!

If you or anyone you know think you are ready to become a homeowner,  reach out to Rick Cignoli to discuss your mortgage options and to take advantage of my FREE JumpStart Mortgage Pre-Approval with Rate Assurance service


4 Creative Ways to Come Up With a Down Payment

down paymentMany prospective Home Buyers face a big hurdle: the Down Payment. But coming up with that initial investment doesn’t have to be a roadblock even if saving is difficult. These four options could make home ownership a reality sooner rather than later:

  1. Pulling from an IRA: You, your spouse, parents or grandparents could withdraw up to $10,000 from a traditional IRA to put toward a home. Although it’s categorized as a first-time homebuyer exemption, anyone who hasn’t owned a principal residence in the past two years may qualify. Note: Some differences exist when withdrawing from a Roth IRA.
  2. Receiving a gift: If you have family members willing to help you out, you can get what’s called “gift money” for your down payment. The amount of gift money you can use depends on the loan type. And you’ll likely need signed documents stating that the money is indeed a gift, not a loan or anything earning interest.
  3. Co-Buying: Another option is to buy a home with a family member or friend. It’ll allow you to split the down payment and the mortgage payment. But co-buying does come with an important decision: how will the title to the property be held? Who owes the debt and who owns the property.
    Anyone on signing the mortgage obligation must have ownership interest in the home. However, any one ow thens property does not necessarily be obligated on the debt
  4. Renting to own: Leasing-to-own is another possible route to home ownership, one that typically requires a smaller down payment called option money. Additionally, a portion of your monthly rent payment can go toward your purchase of the property. Pay special attention to the written agreement. Reach out if you want to make sure your lease-to-own agreement is mortgage-ready.

There are also low down payment options like HomeReady, HomeOne, Home Possible and FHA loans. For those buying in certain select areas, the USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing Development loan is an excellent option.as well as down payment assistance programs and grants.

Want to learn more, or know someone who’s looking to buy a home? Reach out to Me to discuss your mortgage options and to take advantage of my FREE JumpStart Mortgage Pre-Approval service

Get in touch today.

Norcom Mortgage’s 203k Dream Home Loan™

Norcom Mortgage walks you through the steps of a 203K home renovation in this Dream Home Loan infomercial. Sometimes, you need money to both purchase and improve a property. Norcom’s Dream Home Loan™ provides you with cash to pay for upgrades, home improvements

Call Rick Cignoli @ 860.945.9284 for all your home purchase needs.  Let’s talk about the right mortgage option for your family and take advantage of my FREE Mortgage “Jump Start” Pre-Approval with Rate Assurance service

What Are Home Inspectors Looking For In a Home Inspection?

home inspection3Many home buyers will enlist the help of a professional Home Inspector prior to the closing of a sale. A Home Inspector can evaluate any issues that might be costly down the road and can analyze the condition of the home. While all houses, both old and new, have their issues, there are some key things a Home Inspector is looking for:

Structural Components – A Home Inspector will onto the roof, poke at the foundation, and crawl into attic space looking for water condensation or leaks. Walls are examined for leakage or mold. Floor cracks are noted, as is separation from the baseboards. The ceilings, especially around electrical fixtures, must not show signs of water leaks.
Roofing – Roofing is a major concern for the safety of the home. The Home Inspector will look for loose shingles and flashing. He will be concerned about tree limbs touching the house, loose gutters and gutter debris. A roofing inspector may be required to determine the remaining life of the loan.
Water Damage – Mold and mildew stains can be a big red flag during a home inspection as some mold can be toxic.Dampness in basements and crawlspaces are also sought out by home inspectors. Water in these areas can lead to deterioration of the foundation and can attract insects. Foundation problems are some of the most costly and can end your deal quickly.
Plumbing Issues – All piping is tested, including drains, vents and waste systems. An inspector will check the well and the water pressure of all faucets, toilets, and appliances that require water use. They will also look to see if there are any drainage issues with the septic.
Electrical Problems – All the electrical components are examined to ensure they fit and are operating safely. Especially with older homes, a Home Inspector will look to see that the electrical panel and circuit breaker are up to code. All receptacles will be tested to ensure the wiring has been done correctly. The location of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors also is noted in the inspection report. Replacing electrical work can be extremely costly but is imperative to the safety of a home.
Heating/Air Conditioning – The furnace and air conditioning system is tested to make sure it’s in working condition. Chimneys must be clear of bird nests, and the chimney frame, whether it’s brick or made of other components, is to be sound.
Exterior Faults – Close inspection of the exterior may reveal serious problems. Are there railings to all entrances to the home and all stairways inside the home? Broken seals on glass, deteriorating tread steps, decking and settlement cracks are a few of the items that require professional repair. Even the garage door is tested whether it’s electronic or manual.
Insulation/Ventilation – The Home Inspector will examine the attic, crawl spaces and under-floor insulation for deterioration and adequate insulation and vapor barriers.
Interiors/Appliances – The Home Inspector will examine all doors, floors, stairways, counters, cabinetry, He note any broken windows along with notes on any items that don’t function as they should. This also includes testing of all interior appliances that are built-in or included in the purchase contract.

A Home Inspector ‘shome repair 2 job is to examine the structural and mechanical condition of the house to ensure the safety of the home you are purchasing. His detailed report forms the basis for continuing with the purchase, renegotiating the sale price, allowing the seller to make repairs, or for pulling out of the sale. It’s better to know about any potential problems ahead of time so that they can be resolved before the closing.


Seal, Jann. “What Do Home Inspectors Look for in a House?” Home Guides | SF Gate, http://homeguides.sfgate.com/home-inspectors-look-house-36993.html. 18 July 2017.

How to Be A Smart Home Buyer

 The demand for quality homes and a shortage of listings are combining to give sellers a slight edge in the Connecticut real estate market.. It’s a seller’s market … So, you will want to create some advantage for yourself in purchasing your new home. Here are some tips on being a “Smart Home Buyer”:


pre-approval-2Get Mortgage Pre-Approval – This is an important first step in the home buying/financing process. By getting Mortgage Pre-Approval, before you start hose hunting, you will show sellers that you have a formal loan commitment in hand and are serious about buying a home.
Home Inspection – Have a home inspection done by a certified home inspector on home inspection3any house you plan to buy. This will help you see if you to see if there are any problems that cannot be seen by the naked eye. This small investment could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Documentation – Have all your recent financial documents at hand. (Paystubs, W-2s, bank statements, etc.) Respond quickly to requests for additional documentation as you move forward through the process.
Ask Questions – Develop a good working relationship with your loan officer and real estate agent. They are trained and puzzledcertified to educate and protect you throughout the process.
Talk candidly about your desires. Ask questions. Make they understand your needs and that they are communicating with you throughout the whole search process.  Also, having a sense of urgency to find the right home for you will open up options.


Don’t miss any payments of any type. Don’t incur any overdrafts in your checking account. Don’t stop making payments on your current mortgage until you are advised that it is paid-off.
Don’t max out your credit cards and don’t let any current accounts fall past due. Don’t open any new account, lease a car or co-sign for anyone. Don’t do anything that will originate an inquiry on your credit report.FHA MI
Don’t quit your job, switch jobs, become self-employed or unemployed. This could raise a red flag of income instability if done prior to closing on your new loan.
Don’t spend money you have set aside for your down payment and closing costs. Any extra monies in your accounts may be needed for the approval of your loan.
Don’t change bank accounts. Do not deposit any gift funds or make any other large deposits into any of your accounts without checking with your loan officer first.

Reach out to Rick Cignoli to discuss your mortgage options and to take advantage of my FREE JumpStart Mortgage Pre-Approval service

What Is PMI?

PMIPrivate mortgage insurance (PMI) is required by lenders when a homebuyer makes a down payment on their home of less than 20%. If the borrower is unable to, then lenders will typically look at the loan as a riskier investment and will require the borrower to take out PMI.
It is a type of insurance policy that protects the lender, not you, from losing any money if your home ends up in foreclosure. PMI is also required if you decide to refinance your home with less than 20% equity.
How do I pay for PMI?
There are several different ways to pay for PMI. Some lenders may offer more than one option, while other lenders do not. Before agreeing to a mortgage, ask lenders what choices they offer.
The PMI payment is usually paid monthly as part of the overall mortgage payment to the lender. Once the borrower has paid enough towards the principal amount of the loan (the equivalent of that 20% down payment), he or she can contact their lender and ask that the PMI payment be removed.
Borrower-paid PMI (BPMI) is when you have monthly PMI payments, you are required to continue paying PMI until your loan balance reaches 78% of the original value of your home. If you would like to cancel your PMI, you must obtain approval from your lender in doing so and your home must reach 20% of the purchase price or appraised value. It is also required to have adequate equity as well as a good payment history.
Single-premium PMI means that the premium is paid upfront in a single lump sum. This does not require any monthly payments and can be paid at full at closing or financed into the loan.
Lender-paid PMI (LPMI) is a permanent part of your loan. The cost of the PMI is included into the mortgage interest rate and allows for lower monthly mortgage payments. However, with this type, you will end up paying more interest in the life of the loan.
PMI payments on conventional loans are usually cancellable when the loan balance is 78% of the original appraised value of the property.
Payments for PMI can be avoided entirely if you originally make a down payment of 20% of the purchase price of your home.
There are two types of mortgage insurance to pay on FHA loans
Mortgage insurance is required when borrowers put down less than 20 percent. It insures the mortgage for the lender in case the borrower defaults. When the Loan-to-Value is less than 20%, All FHA loans require the borrower to pay two mortgage insurance premiums.
 ♠  Upfront premium (UFMIP): 1.75 percent of the loan amount, paid when the borrower gets the loan. The premium can be rolled into the financed loan amount.
Annual premium (MIP): 0.45 percent to 1.05 percent, depending on the loan term (15 years vs. 30 years), the loan amount and the initial loan-to-value ratio, or LTV. This premium amount is divided by 12 and paid monthly.
 ♠  Monthly Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) are not cancellable. The must be paid for the life of the loan regardless of LTV.
USDA Mortgage Insurance is mandatory on all USDA Loans regardless of your down payment amount. USDA mortgage insurance is made up of two parts; the Funding Fee (or Guarantee Fee) and a monthly Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP), The Guarantee Fee is added to the amount financed and the Monthly MIP becomes part

Call Me @ 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval service.
I am committed to helping your family live comfortably and financially secure in your new home with the Right Mortgage and the Right Rate!


Thinking of Buying a Home?

Thinking of Buying a Home.
Deciding to buy a new home is a big decision. Finding the right home and applying for the mortgage to buy it can become an overwhelming process. Here are some tips from Fannie Mae to help put the pieces of the puzzle together.
1. Find Out What You Can Afford.
Ask yourself not only the price of the new home, but also the mortgage payments you can afford to pay each month. What costs can you expect to pay like the mortgage payment, taxes, home owners insurance, mortgage insurance, and maintenance costs to name a few.
2. Check Your Credit Report.what-is-good-credit-score
Relax, you don’t need perfect credit to qualify for a mortgage. But knowing your score gives you a ballpark idea as to what type of mortgage you might qualify for.
3. Save for the Down Payment and Closing Costs
There are no hard and fast rules about how much to put down-some loans require as little a s 3%; others like USDA and VA can provide 100% financing. Your mortgage officer can help determine the right option for you.
4. Shop for a Lender You Trust and Get Pre-Approved
Pre-qualification only estimates how much you may be able to borrow and gives you an idea as to what loan options may suit your situation.
pre-approval 2Mortgage Pre-Approval is a formal loan commitment from an underwriter at your lender that they will lend a specific amount of money at specific terms when you find your new home.
By getting Pre-Approved for a mortgage before you start house hunting, you’ll show sellers that you are committed to buying their listing and can close quickly.
5. Shop for a Home home shopping
Know where you want to buy and what features you like. A local real estate agent can help you narrow your search, guide you through the home buying process and help negotiate your purchase contract.
6. Get Ready to Close
Work closely with you Mortgage Officer on the documents needed to support your application, prepare the funds you will need for the down payment and closing costs, and start practicing your signature.
7. Close Your Loan
Carefully review your loan documents and don’t hesitate to ask your loan officer orKeys to Your New Home your attorney any questions.
Do a final walkthrough of the property. Be on time for your closing appointment,
sign your documents, and get the keys.
Then sit back in your easy chair, click on the TV, look around and tell yourself, “This is my home.”

Call Me @ 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval service.
I am committed to helping your family live comfortably and financially secure in your new home with the Right Mortgage and the Right Rate!