Friday, February 23, 2018

Business spotlight First Portland Mortgage by Michelle Libby it comes to mortgages, having a professional who knows the ins and outs of the business can make all the difference. The mortgage professionals at First Portland Mortgage are specialists and can help with a home purchase, refinance, investment properties, government loans and construction loans. They’ve been doing mortgages, and mortgages only, for almost 30 years.

While their local physical presence is an office on Route 100 in Falmouth from which they serve the entire state of Maine, they also compete on line with a robust website and application platform called Blink, through which the entire process can be automated to the greatest extent possible. First Portland’s employees actually answer the phone and are available nights and weekends as well.  That’s not something you can expect from your bank or credit union!  

“We’ve been around so long because of the focus we’ve had from the beginning on low rates without diminution of services,” said Eduard van Loenen, who’s been the company’s president since founding the company so many years ago.

First Portland Mortgage provides residential mortgages for one to four family homes. Whether it’s a first home, an upsize or down size home, or an apartment building for up to four families, the professionals at First Portland Mortgage walk customers through the process and are advocates for the buyer in a transaction.

Besides the standard conventional loans, government loans, and jumbo loans, they also take on portfolio loans in house for those who might not meet the regular requirements for traditional loans. In addition, they provide creative construction and renovation loans to help finance their clients’ dreams.

“Because we only do mortgages, and specialize in them, we can be highly efficient and cost effective.  These benefits are then passed on to the customers in the form of lower rates”, said Kristeen Smith.

Rates can of course change from minute to minute, depending on market trading of mortgage backed securities, but First Portland always has the most current rates posted on their website.  Rates can also vary from client to client depending on credit scores. The minimum credit score for all programs is 560. The best rates for a conventional loan are for those with 740 or better and for government loans it’s 680.

First Portland is proud of being known for low rates and high service. After all these years of being in business, many of their clients today are children or even grandchildren or other relatives and friends of their many previously satisfied clients.  “There’s nothing we like better than to get a referral from a happy client”, said Smith, adding, “we are in the business of helping people qualify for a mortgage”.

Using First Portland’s online platform called Blink, customers can get pre-qualified online and work with this sophisticated tool throughout the process.  Folks are of course also invited to call, stop by, or do a combination of these to get the process started.  “We make it really easy to do business here. We don’t make promises we won’t deliver on,” said Smith.

While bank and credit union loan officers are not required to be licensed and maintain annual continuing education credits, First Portland’s mortgage specialists are all licensed after 20 hours of training, and then do continuing education every year in order to maintain that license.

Kristeen Smith has seen purchase deals fall through because the home buyers did not take the trouble to get pre-qualified before going house hunting.  This pre-qualification strengthens the buyer’s possible offer because sellers like to see that the buyer already has financing in place. Smith says, “we’re so easily accessible and make the pre-qualification process very quick and painless, so why wait doing that important step?”.

Refinancing loans for debt consolidation or to purchase another property?  First Portland Mortgage would love to help. They personalize the mortgage process to meet the needs of the client. They work anywhere in the State of Maine and are always available.
For more information, visit or find them on social media.

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