I work consistently with three lenders, all of whom fit a different need and a different type of client. There are many considerations when determining the best loan product for you, so don't get hung up on interest rates alone. Besides, every lender will be in the same ball park on rates, it's the expenses and the services that will differentiate one from the other. Regardless of who you choose, you should select someone who has an intimate working relationship with your Realtor. These two parties will work hand in hand throughout the transaction, so the choices are very important. It is key to select a team of professionals who have a prior working relationship with one another and have a strong desire to perform well for one another, keeping in mind that they will be working again together in the future. In an arrangement like this, all parties will always go the extra mile because they are supporting one another in their overall business efforts. This will also apply to the inspectors, insurance agent, and tradesmen that you will want on your team throughout the transaction. I have a proven, dedicated and reliable team of professionals that I have used for years. When you are ready to start to seriously look, feel free to call me. You should plan on a 45-60 day window, PLUS the amount of time your spend actually looking at homes, from the beginning of your serach to the closing.
I would highly recommend River Community Bank in Cary. I would ask to speak with Todd Barbour and tell him you would like to get pre-approved.
I've attached a link below to an article I've published here on my Trulia Blog specifically for first time buyers for you. In addition I would suggest you look at my blog titled How to choose a Realtor also here on Trulia.
I specialize in Buyer side brokering and enjoy working with first time buyers like yourself, if you're interested in speaking with me please contact me directly through my profile here on Trulia.
Good Luck and Happy House Hunting.
Here is a link to some information that you will hopefully find helpful as a first time buyer.http://www.myraleighcaryhomes.com/buyerssellers/buyers/. If for some reason the link does not work, please go to MyRaleighCaryHomes.com and click on the buyer tab. One of the articles "Lets Talk About Money" tells you some of the information you need to get together for the lender.
There are several great lenders listed on the Resource page. I would suggest you give several of them a call to see what programs they can offer you, costs etc. There are programs for first time buyers specifically that may be perfect for you. It costs you nothing.
Once you have gotten pre-qualified, I would love to meet with you and give you a free copy of our Buyers Booklet and help guide you through the process. I look forward to hearing from you so don't hesitate to call. (919) 434 9395
Mary Margaret Tate, Broker Associate, RE/MAX United