I believe that your all-around best rate and service will be found dealing with a local financing source. There are several key variables to look at or consider when shopping for and comparing lenders to ensure that you are comparing "apples with apples." If you bank with a credit union, I suggest that you start there. Or, your traditional bank where you have your checking account is also a good place to start. Ask your close friends, family or trusted neighbors for a recommendation. Better yet, if you are working with a real estate professional, ask him or her for 3 referrals. Realtors work with a variety of lenders, attorneys and various service providers every day. We do not receive compensation for such referrals (it is unethical and, in most cases, would be illegal); however, what we do gain for our clients is confidence and trust that they will be well taken care of and given good service at a fair & reasonable price. My preferred industry partners know that if they do not perform to my expectations and those of my clients, they will hear about it from me and could potentially loose out on future referral business.
Best wishes with your home & lender search. - Ted Shoop