We're looking to by our first house also. I received a list of lenders from a real estate agent and began calling around to find out who worked best for us. The one person who always answered my calls, communicated excellent via email, and went above and beyond explaining the lending process for me is Jesse Wien from Elite Mortgage. I believe he is located in the Fon du lac area but everything can be done through email and phone.
For down payment assistance, check into the USDA rural development loans. Only certain areas qualify for the assistance and there is an income limit. If the home you are looking to buy qualifies, you can buy it with no down payment and even roll your closing costs into the loan. There is only a certain amount of money allowed for the program so call the USDA office and they can tell you if loans are still available. Tons of info on their website http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rd_loans.html... more