Q. How much can I borrow for my home?

The amount you can borrow will depend on your income and current debts as well as the value of the home you're purchasing, the amount of your downpayment and the current mortgage rates.

If you haven't yet selected the home you'd like to purchase, you can receive a free estimate of the maximum housing payment you may be able to afford by calling Seaport Mortgage at (508) 678-6700. With your estimate in hand, your real estate agent should be able to provide a reasonable price range for homes you can consider.

Generally, your monthly mortgage payment for principal, interest, taxes and insurance should not exceed 28 percent of your monthly pre-tax income. Monthly payments on other debts, such as car loans, school loans or credit card payments, should not exceed an additional 5 to 8 percent of your monthly income.

These percentages can be higher or lower depending on the type of loan you apply for, but they're a good place to start.

Loans obtained during times of high interest rates will have higher monthly payments. Consequently, the lower the interest rate at the time you get your mortgage, the lower your monthly payments and the more you may be eligible to borrow.

FHA and VA have different qualifying guidelines. Ask your Seaport Mortgage loan officer for details.

Q. Can my credit be pre-approved for a mortgage loan before I select my home?

Yes! And credit pre-approval will help you and your real estate agent a great deal during your search. Not only will it put your mind at ease that your credit has already been reviewed, but pre-approval also lets sellers know that you are a serious buyer and that a sale shouldn't be held up by mortgage problems down the line.

Naturally, final loan approval will be subject to a completed sales contract, a satisfactory appraisal of the property and any other commitment conditions of Seaport Mortgage related to your situation.

Q. How do I choose between fixed and adjustable rate loans?

The choice of fixed or adjustable rate loans depends on your personal preference. "Fixed" means that your loan is based on an interest rate that stays the same throughout the life of the loan. Most have monthly principal and interest payments that do not change, although there are types available that follow changing payment schedules. "Adjustable" mortgages usually have rates that are initially lower than fixed rates, but the rates, and the monthly payments, adjust up or down as the economic indicator on which the loan is based rises or falls.

Most lenders will require that an escrow account be established from which to pay taxes and insurance as these become due each year. Your escrow payments will change during the loan term regardless of which program you choose because the portion of your monthly payment that is set aside for escrow will fluctuate with local tax or insurance changes.

Many borrowers prefer the lower initial rates of adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) especially in times of high rates. ARMs may also allow some borrowers to qualify for a larger mortgage because of the reduced starting rate. They are also popular among homebuyers who don't expect to remain in their home very long or who anticipate that their income will increase soon.

On the other hand, fixed rate loans offer the security of knowing that the portion of the monthly payment for principal and interest wil not change. Many borrowers prefer this more predictable type of loan.

Q. How can I compare interest rates?

To determine your best finance options, compare not only the interest rates, but also other related charges. Lenders are required by the federal government to provide you with the annual percentage rate (APR) in order to help you make comparisons.

The APR is the cost of your credit expressed as a yearly rate, and is generally higher than the note rate. This is because the APR includes the interest rate on which your monthly payments will be based plus related costs such as points, fees for processing the loan and other pre-paid charges.

Points are also an impoartant part of your comparison. One point is usually equal to one percent of the mortgage amount. Points are a one-time cash payment usually made at settlement. Lenders charge points so they're able to offer lower rates while still receiving a fair return on their investment. With most loan types, borrowers can choose to pay fewer points if they are willing to accept a higher rate.

Remember, there are factors to consider when selecting your lender other than interest rates. It is true that a lower rate will give you a lower payment. But the stability of the lender, mortgage types and customer service are also important.

Q. How is applying on-line different from a regular application?

The only physical difference is that the information is taken electronically. This has an enormous advantage compared to a hand-written application. Namely it saves a lot of time and allows Seaport Mortgage Corporation to rapidly process your application. This is due to the elimination of transit time (i.e. sending the application via U.S. mail, etc) and the ability to instantaneously send your information to an appraisal company, credit bureau, and other parties that are involved with the approval process. It also eliminates the possibility of typographical errors, such as the interpretation of someone's hand-writing. Lastly, it allows the customer to apply at their leisure, in the comfort of their own home or office.

Q. After I apply for a loan, what should I expect?

You should expect to receive a ruling on your application within 3 to 5 business days, when applying electronically. However, depending of the type of loan (i.e. FHA or FreddieMac), results could be known in as soon as two business days.

Q. Who do I contact for information once my loan is in process?

After applying on-line, you will receive an e-mail immediately, confirming that your application was successfully transmitted and providing contact information (i.e. phone # and e-mail of processor).

Q. Who do I contact for general information and questions on using Seaport Mortgage's service?

You may contact our President, Andrew J. Primo. Our telephone number is (508) 678-6700, should you prefer to speak to Mr. Primo in person.

Q. Has Seaport Mortgage provided a secure environment for applying on-line?

Absolutely! Prior to filling out the online application, you will see a screen that states the following: "Seaport Mortgage Corporation employs the most advanced security available today for online transactions. Utilizing Secure Socket Layers (SSL), your information is 128 bit encrypted before being sent across the Internet." You can feel assured that your personal information is safe from unauthorized access and will not be used in an inappropriate manner. This is the standard in the U.S. and Canada for internet security.

Q. What documents will I need once my loan is in process?

We have put together a "Mortgage Checklist" specifically to help you through the process as easily as possible. You will find a link to the checklist on our main page as well.

Q. Does Seaport Mortgage share client information with other companies?

Rest assured, Seaport Mortgage will never share any of your personal information without your prior consent. This is true with ALL information we gather from our web site as well as through non-web site based business.

Q. Is Seaport Mortgage faster than other brokers?

Yes! Our experience and customer service are unmatched. Our clients and the realtors we service tell us daily that they have never worked with a company as professional, fast and efficient as Seaport Mortgage. Thanks for coming home!

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