First-time Homebuyer 101: Mortgage Lenders

First-time Homebuyer 101: Mortgage Lenders

A mortgage is essential for any successful homebuyer, but not all lenders are created equal.

Your mortgage lender will be an essential part of your homebuying team. They will help you:

  • ✍️ Determine your budget
  • 🔎 Find the right mortgage product
  • 🧭 Navigate the financing process
  • 💰 Pay for your new house!

🧹 Housekeeping: Mortgages are a commodity (like ⛽ or 🥚). Regardless of who your lender is, the underlying home loan is essentially identical.

👉 You should primarily focus on cost when evaluating potential lenders.

How do I get the best deal on my first mortgage? Get quotes from three lenders and compare the APR (not the interest rate).

But wait! Price isn’t the only thing that matters. Find a loan officer (your main point of contact at the lender) that:

  • Treats you like a human, not a number – Do they take the time to answer all your questions or rush you off the phone?
  • Communicates early and often – How quickly and thoughtfully do they respond to you?
  • Maximizes your options – Can they help boost your credit or take advantage of special programs?
  • Focuses on first-time homebuyers – Do they have experience working with first-timers (and the patience)?
💡 You’ll have your mortgage for up to 30 years, but you will only work with a loan officer for a few months. Prioritize cost when picking a lender, but know that you don’t need to sacrifice service to get a great deal.

When should you get in touch with a lender? After you have your finances (savings, credit, debt, income) in order and about six months before your target move date.

How do I find the best lender for me? Let us help! Gravy only partners with the best lenders for first-time homebuyers (4.97/5.00 ⭐ average rating out of 50,000+ reviews on Zillow).

We do not make money when you get a mortgage, which means we aren’t biased – we’re here to help you save money and buy with confidence. 💯

Get started right from the Gravy app! Shop lenders and get pre-approved online in as little as three minutes (with no credit impact).

❤️ Gravy partner lenders exclusively redeem Gravy Rewards, which can save you up to 1.0% of your loan amount (e.g. $2,500 on a $250,000 mortgage). That means you get the best lender and the best deal. Win-win.

Check out our other first-time homebuyer guides:

Will Dunn
Will Dunn
Gravy Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer
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