Tips To Avoid Frozen Water Pipes

Winter has arrived with a vengeance and with it, the chance for frozen water pipes. When frozen pipe2uninsulated water-supply pipes are exposed to frigid air, the water inside can freeze, expand, and rip open the pipe. The resulting water damage can be extensive, depending on the pipe’s location and how long the problem goes unnoticed.

The following tips might help you Avoid Frozen Water Pipes; 
Insulate all exposed water-supply pipes—not just the hot-water pipes—in the basement, crawlspace, attic, and along outside walls.
o   Some experts seem to get good results with the thick foam-rubber type.
Open the closets. Water pipes may run in the wall behind a closet. A full or closed closet effectively blocks room heat from penetrating the wall and into the pipes.
Open cabinet doors. This lets warm air circulate to the water lines under the faucet.
Trickle the faucet. Because moving water is less likely to freeze, as a last resort, let the water run just a trickle overnight.
Identify the main water shut-off valve with a large tag.water valve
o   Be sure that each member of the household knows where the valve is located and how to shut it off in case of an emergency.
Shut off the water. If the heat goes out due to a power outage, shut off the main supply line.
o   FYI, a shut off is of no use if it can’t be turned, so test it before you need it.
Going on vacation? If you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time, turn off the main supply line or turn heat thermostat down to no lower than 55° F.
o   And ask a neighbor to check on the house every few days just to be sure the heat is on. Be sure they know where the shut off valve is and how to use it.

If a Pipe Should Freeze immediately shut off the main water valve to prevent any further damage.
Use the hair dryer. Frozen pipes can be warmed by moving a hair dryer across the pipe, but do not hold the nozzle in one place for long.
Never use a propane torch to try to thaw a frozen pipe. You might damage the pipe, or worse, start a fire.

 If The Worst Happens and a pipe does burst or joint seam fails, turn off your main water supply and contact a plumber…and your insurance agent.

52 Prospect St, Plymouth CT For Sale – Eligible for 100% USDA Financing

52 Prospect St TerryvilleAttention First Home Buyers! Price Reduced! You can move right in to this spacious,well cared for Ranch/Cape style home this winter.
It’s Eligible for up to 100% USDA Financing. Closing Costs can be included in loan amount. Low rates. Low MI. Beats FHA Any Day.

Call Rick Cignoli at 860.945.9284 for details on the USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing Development Loan and to take advantage of my FREE Mortgage Pre-Approval service.

Then Call Tim Clark or Bethany Lydem at  Stonecrest Realty 203-592-5201 to schedule a showing and be ready to make an offer

What’s Bad For Your 401k Is Good For Mortgage Rates

mortgage rates2

Fear is Back in the Market! That might be bad for your 401k; but it’s good for Mortgage Rates.
Fear of slow economic growth in China, a gloomy outlook for U.S corporate profits, global unrest, and an end to easy monetary policies caused a 318 point drop in the D.J.I.A. on Friday. Money flew from the stock market to the safety on bonds pushing prices up and yields down. Mortgage rates are at the lowest they’ve been this New Year and close to 2013 lows.
Purchase or Refinance…If either of these are among your New Year Resolutions, Now is the time to explore your options!

When Should You Fire Your Real Estate Agent?

 You're Fired“Not all Real Estate agents are created equal. In today’s tumultuous real estate market, clients need to partner with an agent who works tirelessly to get them the best deal. Here’s why a client might want to fire their agent.”
1.  He gives away too much information.
2. He doesn’t have time for you.
3. He’s too  pushy.
4. He insists that you use affiliates.
5. He’s a part-time agent.
6. He is unethical.
7. He doesn’t listen.
A final word of advice: Once you’ve decided to discontinue your relationship with your agent, make sure to get a dissolution notice in writing. This keeps the agent from doing any work on your behalf after you’ve moved on and charging you fees or commissions.

New Year Tips for Home Buyers

It’s the New Year! It’s time to say good bye to the past and resolve to improve your life style. If buying a New Home is at the top of your New Year’s resolution list, here are some Great Tips for Home Buyers:

Get Pre-Approved1. Get Pre-Approved for a loan. Getting pre-approved can keep your deal from going south. Find a mortgage broker that you trust and can communicate with on a one-to-one basis. Getting pre-approved also keeps you realistic about price, puts you more at ease during the process and gives you an edge over the other bidders.

2. Get the right Real Estate Agent. A good agent can relieve some of the stress ofBuyers and Sellers house hunting. Get recommendations from friends and co-workers in your area. Interview a couple of agents to find the right chemistry and the knowledge that you need to make a very important decision.

Shopping for a New Home3. Whatever you do, don’t look at too many houses all at once. It is so easy to get confused and overwhelmed. Make a “must-have” list for features that are non-negotiable versus just wants or wishes. Let your broker help you narrow it down.

4. Keep an open mind at all times. Sometimes you might fall in love with a home or a style that your broker has showed you that you would never have dreamed of considering.

5. When you find a home that you like, learn about the neighborhood. A large part of your satisfaction with daily life revolves around the amenities, schools and neighborhood at different times of the day and on the weekend.

Home Inspection6. Never buy without a home inspection. You can’t rely on what you see in a walk-through. Problems hide under carpeting and inside walls and attics. Hire a certified home inspector. Go over the report with them or your agent. Remember, inspectors are going to point out everything they find, that is their job. Let your agent help you determine what you need to ask the seller to fix, but the final decision is yours.

7. If you don’t understand something, speak up. Ideally, your agent and your mortgage broker Confusedwill have run through the process, but if you don’t understand any part of the paperwork, process or terminologies, Ask Questions.

8. Submit your best offer up front. In markets that are doing relatively well, prime properties often receive multiple offers. There’s no time to haggle.

Handshake 9. Be prepared to compromise. You don’t always get what you ask for, but if you keep communication open between the you and the seller, odds are good that you end up in a win-win situation.

10. Don’t get emotional. That’s hard to do. Listen to your mortgage broker. Be realistic with your price range and don’t overextend yourself. This purchase is something you have to live with for a long time. Go into your home purchase with the right mental state of mind. Your real estate agent is on your side too.. Let them help you with their knowledge and experience.

Buyers and SellersBuying a home should not be an ordeal. It should be exciting endeavor and one of the best experiences of your life.
Best Wishes for a Happy New Year in your New Home

Testimonials About Rick Cignoli

Testimonials About Rick Cignoli

“Thank you Rick for taking the time to sort out all the info we found on the internet. Your patience in helping us sort out the pieces of our puzzle got us into our First Home. We’re very happy. Count on us to refer you to our friends.” Mike and Beth. 7/29/2016

“Mr. Rick was very professional and helpful through the process of signing my mortgage. I recommended him as an excellent mortgage broker.” Nancy Salgado. Program Manager, Supportive Housing for Families. 1/16/2014

“I had a great experience with Rick on my last refinance. He knows his business, is very personable, and good followup. He explained everything up front so there were no surprises. I will definitely be using Rick again in the future!” Julie Vardal. PartyLite. 1/15/2014

 “I highly recommend using Rick Cignoli as your mortgage broker. Being a First Time Home Buyer I had no clue where to start. Rick took the time to explain to me everything I needed to know on numerous occasions. He got me a great interest rate and I plan on using him to buy my second home very soon. Thanks Rick for all your hard work and time explaining everything.” James C. Construction Supervisor. 1/14/2014

“Tenacious, hard working and courteous. But most of all friendly and respectful. Thanks Rick for helping us refinance our home and for helping Dad with the purchase of his retirement home.” Benjamin M. 1/5/2014

“Rick and I have been working together since 2006. I came to know Rick through the recruitment and eventual enrollment of his son. I continue to remain loyal to Rick because of his comprehensive knowledge of his business, his professionalism, and his rare ability to combine specific technical strategies with how they relate to my own personal situation.  He is a true “people person”, an excellent listener and an established practitioner in his field.  I trust him fully to provide sound, usable advice and to deliver these pertinent communications in a timely manner.” Matt McCaffrey, Dean of Admissions, Bryn Athyn College. 10/5/2013

I have known Rick, my husband, for close to 33 years. Today is our  31st wedding anniversary. I believe that living with someone that long really opens you eyes to see what type of person they are. I can tell you he is kind, considerate, trustworthy, knowledgeable, informative, understanding and patient. He is devoted to his family and his work. I know how hard he works, but I also know that he is willing to work harder to help you find the right mortgage that fits your needs.” Debbie Cignoli. 9/25/2013

“Good morning Rick.  I just wanted to say thank you for committing to a specified date that my loan will close.  You made that promise and you came through with it.  I am very happy with all of the hard work that you did for me.  If hear of anyone who is looking to purchase a home and needs a mortgage professional, you will be the one I tell them to use.” Sue-Ann Cimminello, Director of Operations, Kick Start to Learning, LLC. December 20, 2012

“I’ve known Rick for over 10 years as a business man and friend. He is an honest and pleasant professional who applies himself and his talents to help his clients better their position and make their life more pleasant.” Augustus “Gus” Hampson – Financial Advisor at Northwestern Mutual. May 2012

“I can recommend Rick Cignoli as a person with great skills and deep expertise of solutions. Rick Cignoli is an experienced, creative, wise and strong mortgage professional. His knowledge is vast and thorough. Thanks to interpersonal skills he has great relations with both company clients and potential customers.” Peter Andreotto – Asst. Vice President, Business Development Sales Manager at TD Bank (f/President, Elite Lending Services)February 2012

“As a mortgage professional, Rick was not simply looking for a commission. He took the time to learn and understand my objectives and develop the best possible plan to accomplish those objectives. Rick has gone above and beyond to assist me in what has been become a challenging refinace however his committment and support has never wavered. I recommend Rick to anyone that is looking for solutions to their current mortgage product(s).” Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, High Integrity. Rob Makowski,  Director of Relationship Management-Higher One. January  2012

“I recommend Rick as a very professional and knowledgeable Mortgage Officer. He knows the industry and will work hard to satisfy his clients’ mortgage needs.” Hector Avila , Mortgage Banker, Envoy Mortgage. December 2011.

“There are not many folks in the mortgage industry that has been in the business as long as I have. I started my career in 1979. Rick has been in the business longer than me. Longevity in this industry for these kinds of years is the exception rather than the rule. I can speak from experience, if you are not good at what your do, you won’t last. When I interviewed him, it was immediately clear the kind of individual he was. His commitment to helping his clients and impacting their lives in a positive manner was very clear. When I asked others about him, the same theme came through “true professional”. Welcome to Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. We are proud to have you part of the family.” Joe Petrowsky, Owner, Right Trac Financial Group.  July 2011

 “I have referred several of my real estate clients to Rick for their mortgage needs. Rick was very professional, honest and has many years experience in the business. Anytime I called him with any questions, he was readily available or returned my calls the same day, I never had to wait for a response. He also provided the time and attention to my clients and answered any questions they had. I will definitely use Rick in the future.” Christine Stewart, Realtor and Rental Specialist, William Raveis Real Estate. July 2011.

Hello Rick. Congratulations on your business move! I would be more than happy to provide buyers with your “new” contact information. I find your mannerism to be completely professional and am very happy to refer my clients to you for direction. Bethany Lydem. Owner/Broker. Stonecrest Realty.July 2011.

“Rick did a fantastic job handling the mortgage on my first home. He made me feel comfortable, kept me informed and was extremely personable. I’m glad I had him by my side the whole way. I’d recommend him highly.” Top Qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert. Rochelle Fainstein, Digital Marketing Manager, Writer. July 2011.

 “I hired Rick as our Mortgage Advisor back in 2009. Rick has extensive knowledge on the different types of mortgages available based on our credit scores. He met the tight turnaround times we needed in order to move into your new home on time. I recommend him highly.” Top qualities: Personable, Expert, On Time. Hope Sidote(client). June 2011

“It was a pleasure working with Rick Cignoli as a First Time Home Buyer back 2007. He was very knowledgeable and clearly explained the details of the entire home buying process and what should be expected since this was all new to me. I came to Rick prepared with several questions. He was patient as well as personable in addressing all of my mortgage concerns. I was pleased with the rate that I received and how seamless the entire process was. I would be happy to work with him again in the future when I am ready to purchase my next home.” Top qualities: Personable, Good Value, High Integrity. Natala Chambers. June 2011

“Rick Cignoli runs his Mortgage business the way I my real estate business, He stays on top of everything so I can better manage the real estate side of the transaction. With Rick, nothing falls through the cracks. We can look out for our client’s best interest. That’s why I recommend Rick Cignoli.” Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, On Time. Tim Clark, Realtor, Stonecrest Realty. June 2011.

 “I have known and worked personally with Rick on numerous real estate closings through Envoy Mortgage. I have always found Rick to be well informed as to mortgage matters and very professional as well as easy to work with. My real estate paralegal can always rely on Rick to help with any issues and to work closely with our clients to ensure that the closing process goes smoothly. I would recommend Rick to anyone seeking financing on real estate.”Joe Mazzaccarro, Attorney. Sheffy-Mazzaccaro, LLP. June 2011

 “Rick is an experienced and highly ethical businessman who enjoys an excellent reputation in the community he has served for many years. I endorse him wholeheartedly.” Gary OBrien, CPCU, Sales Director, O’Brien Russo Quint Insurance. June 2011. 

 “Rick and I are members of several organizations and cross path regarding business several times a month. I have found Rick to be very knowledgeable and professional in dealing with all his clients. He is a person who I have recommended many people his way because of the way he serves his clients and will continue to do so in the future. On a personal level, I find Rick a wealth of information and knowledge as well as a great person to speak with.” Kevin O’Driscoll, Owner and Business Coach, RIY Business Group. June 2011. 

Hi Judy; I just want to thank you and Achieve Credit Union again for referring us to Rick Cignoli about a year and a half ago. He was able to help us at that time and that allowed us to place ourselves in a better place financially. Things have been going well since then and now he has been able to help us by getting us an even lower interest rate. We are in the final stages of the refinancing. All that is left is to schedule a closing. Rick has been very helpful. Thanks again. Greg Falla. March, 2009.

Rick … Thank you so much for all your help closing my listing on Magnolia Street.YOU DID A GREAT JOB!!!! And, thank you so much for the First Home Buyer lead.I look forward to working with you more in the future. I will certainly tell other clients and agents know how great you and your programs are!!!!! Paula Basso, Realtor. Realty  Executives  Vision. April 2008.

Rick: It was my pleasure to work with you on Shirley’s refinance. Your discrete service and attention to detail is appreciated and respected. I have another client who is looking are looking for guidance with the refinance of the condo here in town.  I will give them your card and look forward to doing some more business together.  Attorney Kevin McSherry. 9/8/2008

77 Grove Street, Thomaston, CT For Sale- Eligible for 100% USDA Financing

 Open House. Sunday, January 19, 2014. 1:00 – 3:00 P.M.

First Home Buyers! Move right in to this 3BR Ranch with LL finished Family Room. Owner Motivated. Will Consider Offers!

77 Grove StreetAnd … It’s Eligible for Up to 100% Financing with a USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing Development Loan. Buyers have ability to roll the Closing Costs into Loan amount. Low Rates! Low Mortgage Insurance! Low Monthly Payments! Beats FHA any day.

Call Rick Cignoli at 860.945.9284 for details on the USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing Development Loan and to take advantage of my FREE Mortgage Pre-Approval service.

Then Call Margaret at Westview Properties (860)274-7838 to schedule a showing and be ready to make an offer.

Protect Your New Home with These January Home Maintnenance Tips

Here are some January Home Maintenance Tips you should consider:

I Know … It’s January, it’s cold and you’ve got the winter blahs. You’d like nothing better than to curl up in a warm blanket perhaps with some hot cocoa; watch a football game or read the good book you received for Christmas.
Sorry my friends… January is the month for the greatest vigilance in your Home Maintenance routine.

The most important January Home Maintenance Tip is to head off damage to your home from frozen and bursting water pipes:DIY
1. Particularly vulnerable pipes are those exposed to the cold including hose bibs, pipes in outside walls and pipes in unheated attics, basements and garages
• If practical, insulate any pipes exposed to the cold.
• Check out these State Farm Insurance Videos on how to insulate your pipes and shut off your water in case of an emergency
2. Seal any leaks that are letting cold air in, especially around dryer vents and pipes and where electrical wiring enters the house.
3. Search for uninsulated water supply lines in the attic, garage, basement and crawl spaces and in bathroom and kitchen cabinets adjacent to outside walls.
4. During a cold spell, open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathroom so the home’s heat can reach them.
• Reminder: Put harmful household cleaners out of the reach of children
• Keep garage and other outside doors shut tight during freezing weather.Water Shut-Off Valve
5. Locate your home’s water shut-off valve; learn how to turn off the water quickly in case a pipe bursts.
6. Keep temperatures inside the house at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or above, night and day, even when you’re gone.
7. Don’t close vents to crawl spaces. If you live where pipes can freeze and the floor becomes very cold, insulate pipes and under the floor. Vents play an important role in controlling condensation beneath a house.
8. Promise yourself that when the weather improves you will add to the installation in the basement or crawl space and attic.

It’s not over yet … You want to protect your investment don’t you? Here are some other January Home Maintenance Tips to work on:
1. Cold weather drives mice and chipmunks into the walls of your home, even those unheated parts of the house.
• Mice can get in through a dime-sized hole; so seal any cracks where these pests can enter.
• Empty compost and garbage frequently.
• Keep food covered and put away; keep counters clean.
• Check basement, attic, crawl spaces and the back of cupboards and cabinets for mice droppings or holes. If you find evidence, install traps immediately or call a pest-control service.
Keep going,  here’s a few more January Home Maintenance Tips to tackle:
2. Organize your home improvement files. Review product warranties and manuals. Check on recommended maintenance for furnaces, equipment, appliances and tools. Mark your calendar to track scheduled upkeep and service.
3. Inspect furniture, cabinets and vanities for loose knobs, pulls and hinges.
• Tighten or repair as necessary.
• Lubricate squeaky door hinges with lightweight machine oil.home contents
• Free sticky doors by trimming edges or shimming hinges with thin pieces of cardboard.
• Make a list repairs to tackle later.
4. Make a room-by-room inventory of everything in your house. In the event of fire, flood or other disaster, it will be important in filing an insurance claim.
• Save receipts for valuable home purchases and for work you have done to upgrade the   interior or exterior of your home.
• Back-up your inventory on a CD so you can get it even if your computer is destroyed. Photographs or video of your possessions can also be helpful.Electric Panel
5. Check the labels on the switches in your electrical circuit-breaker panel and make new labels if necessary.
6. Check your furnace filter monthly in the winter to see if it needs replacing.
7. Use a vacuum-cleaner tool or a long-handled brush to clean under and behind the refrigerator, including the coils.
8. Clean lint from under laundry appliances, especially the dryer, carefully work the cleaning tool down into the lint filter; outdoors, clean the dryer vent outlet, reaching as far as possible into the pipe.

OKAY … Now you’re done! Now you can relax knowing that you’ve done what you can to protect your home with these January Home Maintenance Tips.

Keys to Your New HomeOH, Just One More Thing! I rely on clients like you for your heartfelt  endorsements to family, friends, and those within your sphere of influence who will benefit from the same experience, service and advice I have extended to you.
So I ask . . . Please Don’t Keep me a Secret! Who do you know that could benefit from working with a Mortgage Professional like Me?

Let’s Make 2014 The Year Your Dream Comes True!

mortgage gameLike many other businesses, the mortgage industry faced many challenges in 2013. Already, the rules of the game have changed  the playing field for 2014.
But I’m, still in the game! Clients,like you, will need my support more than ever. So I ask … Do you want to join me on the field?
Purchase or Refinance … I’m here to help you make 2014 the Best Year Ever!