Tim Kongenske

Loan Originator | NMLS 288478
Phone | Fax:
6031 Connection Drive, Suite 700, Irving, TX 75039

I have been in the mortgage business since 1989. Helping buyers achieve their financial needs through homeownership is my passion.

Causes I Care About

Children's Advocacy

My Favorite Restaurant


My Ideal Vacation Spot

The Beach

My Favorite Pastime

Working Out

"Just Do It."

— Nike

Hot Off The Press


Check back to read more fresh content!

Make your mortgage more affordable the faster, simpler way.

What’s the fastest and simplest way to refinance your FHA mortgage? The answer is via our streamline FHA refinance program. If your mortgage is insured by the FHA and you’re looking to refinance to get better terms and lower your rate and/or payment, we’ve got a few things you might want to know.

What is streamline FHA refinance?

Here’s the rundown: for homeowners with FHA mortgages, there’s no better way to refinance. Streamline FHA refinance is a program designed by the Federal Housing Administration to help homeowners make their FHA mortgage more affordable without the burden of an extensive qualification process. It’s streamlined!

Loosened qualification means an easier, simpler process for you, the homeowner. Plus, it’s a win-win for the FHA: since they already insure your mortgage, they presume there’s a lower chance that you’ll default, and at the same time, they’re helping you get a better, more affordable loan.

It’s a great option if you’re a homeowner who currently has an FHA loan and your current mortgage rate is higher than today’s mortgage rates.

Let’s talk benefits

The FHA’s streamline refinance program is loaded with benefits for borrowers who qualify. Here’s a quick list to give you an idea:

  • Lower your rate and/or payment just like you would with a regular home loan refinance.
  • Offered as a five-year adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) or as a fixed-rate loan with a term of 15, 20, 25, or 30 years.
  • Lower credit requirements. We do streamline FHA refinances as either credit qualifying or non-credit qualifying transactions. This means that we process non-credit qualifying transactions with or without a credit score while the underwriting requirements stay the same. Non-credit qualifying streamlines with a credit score will have their interest rates determined according to the qualifying credit score.
  • Limited documentation. That includes no income requirements, no proof of employment, no coughing up bank statements or asset verification. This makes the process really fast.
  • No home equity? No problem. Unlimited LTV means you’re still eligible even if you have little or no equity in your home.
  • Save hundreds of dollars with no appraisal required.
  • Less-strict requirements to help you qualify.

No home equity? No problem. Streamline FHA refinance might just be the program for you.

Some restrictions apply

Of course, as with any money you borrow, some restrictions still apply. For starters, there has to be a demonstrated net tangible benefit in a streamline FHA refinance transaction. Net tangible benefit means you can only do a streamline FHA refinance if it benefits you. Would a streamline FHA refinance lower your interest rate? Would it convert your current mortgage from an ARM to a fixed-rate loan? Put simply, would it leave you in a better standing than before? Great! That’s the kind of borrower the FHA is looking to benefit with their streamline FHA refinance program.

You can’t increase your loan balance to cover refinancing costs and your new loan cannot exceed the initial mortgage amount. When you do a streamline FHA refinance, your new loan amount is limited to the current principal balance plus the upfront mortgage insurance premium. That means you’ll either have to pay closing costs out of pocket or get a “no-cost” loan. And really, “no-cost” should actually be called “no out-of-pocket costs” because it means your lender agrees to paying the closings costs if you agree to paying a higher interest rate.

Your mortgage must be current (not delinquent) when you apply for your streamline FHA refinance, and you’re only allowed to make one late payment on your current FHA mortgage in the past year. In addition, your mortgage payments for the last six months must have been made within 30 days of their due date. Since streamline FHA refinances require less verification, this kind of payment history will show your lender and the FHA that you’re responsible with paying off your current mortgage.

Then there’s seasoning requirements. You must have made at least six monthly payments on the mortgage being refinanced and the six most recent payments must have been made on time. In addition, at least six months must have passed since the first payment due and at least 210 days must have passed since the date you closed.

Unfortunately, unlike some refinance programs, streamline FHA refinance doesn’t let you take much cash out. You can’t get more than $500 cash back for minor adjustments in closing costs. Not a good option if you’re looking to get cash out for refinancing. (Read up on our cash-out refinance program.)

Finally, like an FHA loan, streamline FHA refinance requires you to pay mortgage insurance in both a one-time, upfront mortgage insurance premium which you pay at closing and a monthly mortgage insurance payment.

Streamline FHA refinance is a pretty great program if you ask us. And actually, you should ask us. Call Cardinal today and we can determine whether you’re eligible for a streamline FHA refinance!

If you learned something new from this blog post, show us some love on social media or subscribe to our newsletter to receive more great content!

A checklist with a challenge is our kind of checklist.

Emerge from winter’s icy grasp with arms (and windows) wide open. When you feel that first warm day, who doesn’t get bit by the cleaning bug? There are so many ways you can embrace the warmth of spring in your home when you use our spring cleaning checklist!


Day 1: Anti-stink the sink

Cleaning the sink sounds like an oxymoron, but believe it or not, the place where your dishes get clean gets dirty itself. Take an old toothbrush (or a new one designated for home cleaning), some baking soda, and a little bit of lemon juice and go to town on that sink—especially getting in the nooks and crannies of the drain opening/garbage disposal. Wipe down the faucet as well. Be sure to wipe the whole area dry so there’s no standing water.

Day 2: Reclaim your refrigerator

To deep clean your fridge, remove all food (it might be best to do this right before you go grocery shopping) and wipe down the inside with a good multipurpose spray. Then wipe it dry and put everything back neatly. Throw a box of fresh baking soda in there too to absorb the odors, but remember to replace it every 30 days. Don’t forget to wipe clean the outside of the fridge, including the handles.

Day 3: Home on the range (and oven)

Give your oven some lovin’. Clean off all that baked-on food that’s on the inside. Then, wipe down the stovetop (range). Also, wipe down the vent/hood and the area surrounding your stovetop because, though you might not notice it, oil splatters everywhere while you cook.

Day 4: Do the (micro)wave

For many families, the microwave is a major mess zone in the home. Spray the inside with a multipurpose spray or warm vinegar, let that sit for a few minutes, and wipe clean. Use a scrubby sponge on particularly tough baked-on stains. Remember to also wipe clean the microwave facing and handle too!

Day 5: Backsplash and baseboards

Think about it: every time you spill something, there’s a splash. If you spill something on the counter, your backsplash catches it. If it’s on the floor, it’s your baseboards that are in the splash zone. Give these a nice scrub and wipe dry. Your kitchen is going to sparkle!


Day 6: Air it out

Though you might want to do this throughout the whole house, airing out the bedrooms is especially important. Since the bedroom is where you sleep, it just feels like a groggy place. Get some fresh air in there and open up the windows!

Day 7: Don’t let the bed bugs bite

Most people recommend you wash and change your bedding once a week, but we all know it doesn’t happen that often. Now is a good time to wash the sheets that have probably been on your bed all winter and maybe swap them with some different, clean sheets. Try sheets that are made with more satin and less cotton to keep you cool in the warmer months.

Day 8: Bye-bye monsters

Oh yes. Don’t think you get to continue ignoring that mess under your bed. Now’s the time to pull everything out from under there, sort through it, put it where it belongs, and actually vacuum under your bed. Don’t put it off any longer. Remember, a clean home is a happy home!

Day 9: Giving back feels good

Go through your clothes and sell and/or donate what you haven’t worn in the past year. Donating helps clothe the needy while selling some clothing can give you a little spending money to update your wardrobe with a couple items.

Day 10: Give your clothes a 180

Rotate out your winter clothes and rotate in your summer clothes. When you store them away, make sure you’re using a tightly closed container so that bugs and moisture don’t creep in.


Day 11: Toilet time

Scrub the inside of the toilet bowl, wipe down the seat, and wipe down the seat lid and the tank lid. Get in the crevices around the hinges of the seat and lid too. Don’t forget to clean the outside of the bowl as well as around the base of the toilet. You’d be surprised how dirty the outside gets too!

Day 12: Give it a good spray

Clear off the counter around your bathroom sink and spray it down. Also use a glass cleaner (like good ol’ Windex) and spray down the mirror too for a squeaky-clean reflection. This area is prone to lots of water and toothpaste splatter.

Day 13: Scrub-a-dub the tub

The bathtub/shower is a big task. This one truly requires its own day. As you spray and scrub, pay attention to the shower head, faucet, and drain. Take that cleaning toothbrush we talked about and get into the cracks and grout where mold and soap scum love to hide. Re-caulk in the places that need it. When you’re done, wipe it dry. In fact, wiping your bath/shower dry after each use keeps it clean longer.

Day 14: Curtain call

One could argue that this should be part of day 13, but we’ve given the shower curtain its own day because it entails shopping. If you have a shower curtain, we have two tasks for you: 1. Buy a new shower curtain liner. They are incredibly cheap and easy to install. Truthfully, you should buy a new one at least once a month. As for your decorative shower curtain, throw it in the washing machine (read the tag first!) or, if it’s moldy beyond repair, go out and buy a new one! This is a simple way to give your bathroom a visual facelift.

Day 15: Show your towels some love

Washing your towels should be a routine, but now is a good time too. While you’re out there buying a new shower curtain, you may want to grab some matching towels, especially if yours have lost their softness.

All rooms

Day 16: Dust your little heart out

Some cleaning tasks can apply to all rooms: dusting is one of them. Dust your ceiling fan blades, window sills, walls and corners, trims and moldings, knick knacks, frames, bookcases and shelves—the works! Dusting is so easy; it just takes time. But afterward, your home will feel so fresh.

Day 17: Shake it off

Take your small rugs and shake them out outside. Let them sit for a couple of hours in the sun. You can do this with your curtains too. Sun-warmed, they come back in the house smelling like spring.

Day 18: Channel your inner Mrs. Doubtfire

Remember that scene with the broom? That’s what we’re talking about. Don’t be shy—have fun with it! Sweep and mop all hard-surface floors. Be sure to get in the corners where dirt and dust like to build up.

Day 19: Break out the Dust Buster

Vacuum all carpet (and bigger, vacuum-able rugs). Spring is as good a time as any to actually move your furniture and vacuum underneath the sofa, bed, dresser, etc. All year you vacuum around your furniture—make this the one time of the year you get every crumb underneath it!

Day 20: Get organized

Go to your local home goods or hardware store and buy some home organization tools. Now that everything in your home is nice and clean, it’s a good time to organize your things. Try buying some plastic totes, drawer and closet organizers, and hooks to start. Grab a permanent marker and some masking tape or sticky notes and label away! At this time you might want to create a system for keeping your home organized for months to come, but make sure it’s sustainable and practical for your family’s needs.


Day 21: How a-door-able

Let’s face it, your home’s entryways probably had the hardest winter. Wipe down both sides of the doors that lead out of your house, paying close attention to the kick plates and thresholds.

Day 22: Welcome to our home

Shake out your welcome mat or give it a good power spray with the hose. Your method might be different depending on the material your rug is made of. This could also be a good time to replace your welcome mat—get something fun and seasonal! Welcome mats take a beating in the winter (think about every time you stomp off the snow, salt, and slush).

Day 23: Wipe all over

Your entryway is dirtier than you think! Take a closer look and you’ll see this area tends to get a lot of splatter, like muddy water or salt residue. Wipe clean the surrounding floor, baseboards, and walls.

Day 24: Show your shoes some love

Clean your shoe rack. Whether that’s a tray, a box, or whatever else you may use to catch the dirt under your shoes, time to give it a proper cleaning. (You may even decide to replace it altogether.)

Day 25: So long, winter!

Say see you later to winter! Pack away all your cold weather gear. Boots, hats, scarves, gloves, winter coats, and the like can go into storage until next year. Time to break out the light jackets, sandals, and sun hats!


Day 26: Spruce it up

Pull weeds. Prune dead leaves. Plant new flowers. Decorate your outdoor space with some potted plants and decorative side tables. Make your outdoor space come alive! If you have kids, this can be a fun day to spend with them outside getting your hands dirty and breathing in some fresh air.

Day 27: I’ve got the power

Power wash your driveway, sidewalk, and walkway. You’ll be surprised how much dirt and grime you lift up. While you’re at it, you may want to power wash the sides of your house too. And for those pesky oil stains on the driveway, pour on some cola, scrub, and rinse—this trick works wonders!

Day 28: Gutters and shutters

Inspect your gutters, shutters, and other outdoor things that are easy to forget. Even if you cleaned your gutters in the fall, they might have caught some branches and other debris brought down by winter’s storms.

Day 29: The grass is greener where you water it

Mow the lawn and weed whack along the fence line just to tidy up the yard. Edging the driveway, walkway, and sidewalk is an extra step that makes your grass look clean and orderly too. And if you’re really in the spring cleaning spirit, water your lawn for a few minutes to make it extra green.

Day 30: Trim those trees

Now that it’s spring, you can clearly see which tree branches didn’t make it through winter. Trim any dead tree branches that didn’t bud to keep them growing healthy and strong (this goes for shrubs and bushes too). You’re going to have the handsomest home on the block!

Ready to take on Cardinal’s 30-Day Cleaning Challenge? Share photos of your progress with us on social media!

Add major equity to your property with these five home upgrades.

Home renovations are in. From the fun, DIY couples on TV to your next-door neighbors, it seems like everybody is getting in on home upgrades and the house flipping trend. House flipping has become a lucrative source of income for many people across the country, and while that may not be your thing, there are plenty of upgrades that you can make to your own home to make it more valuable when it comes time to sell.

1. minor bathroom remodel

When it comes to valuable home upgrades, the best pace to start is in the bathrooms. There’s no need to go all out here—minor bathroom upgrades can get you even more money back at resale than you spent to make the renovations without expansion or adjusting the layout. It’ll cost you around $10,500 to replace the tub, tile, floor, toilet, sink, vanity, and fixtures, but on average you’ll get back $10,700 upon resale, which is good for a 102% recoup rate. Tasks such as re-caulking a tub can be done yourself, and if your tub is too big to replace, you can simply re-glaze it to make it look brand new.

2. landscaping

Ever thought your home could use a little something extra? Well, landscaping is an excellent way to add curb appeal and resell value to your home. The average homeowner spends about $3,500 for landscaping services and around $1,500 on a designer. However, the average return at resale for these home upgrades is 100%! Not bad for a few extra plants out front. It’s a bit deeper than that, but many local garden centers offer free design services, so get with an expert and see what elements you can add to give your property some added flair. Focal points such as walkways and fountains have been known to add major value to homes as well, so bring out those gloves and get ready to work.

There are plenty of upgrades that you can make to your own home to make it more valuable when it comes time to sell!

3. minor kitchen remodel

When it comes to kitchens, in most cases it’s more efficient to skip the full-blown floor plan overhaul and just go with a minor remodel. This approach is much cheaper and on average will recoup about 98.5% of its $15,000 cost. Minor remodels are usually the better option when your kitchen is simply in need of a cosmetic update rather than a completely different floor plan. A $15,000 kitchen update usually will cover cabinet and drawer refacing, a new wall oven, cooktop, sink and fixtures, countertops, and flooring. Experts suggest you add new lighting and change the drapes and window molding to get the maximum value out of this home upgrade.

4. turn your attic into a bedroom

Looking to add some extra living space to your home? Turning your attic into a bedroom not only gives you an extra room to house guests or rent out, it also adds quite a bit of value to your home. The average attic bedroom in a two- or three-bedroom house costs around $39,000 and will return about $36,600 at resale, good for a recoup rate of 93.5%. That $39,000 price tag includes a 15 x 15 ft. bedroom, a 5 x 7 ft. bathroom with shower, a 15 ft. dormer, four windows, and a closet. Adding attic insulation will lower your utility bills and a solar-powered fan is another great way to keep energy costs down for the additional space.

5. Add a deck, patio, or porch

A standard-sized, pressure-treated wooden deck with a simple pattern costs about $11,000 and can add about $10,000 to the value of your home, a recoup rate of 90%. One of the main advantages of owning a home is having yard space, so it makes sense that a feature that takes advantage of that space would recoup well. Small improvements and eye appeal elements such as lighting, plantings, and railings can make a big impact when it comes time to close. Depending on the weather in your region, these outdoor elements are a welcome home upgrade that home buyers will surely pay for.

Do you have any advice to offer on home upgrades? Tell us all about it on social media!

Get In Touch


Send me a message and I will be in contact with you shortly!