Becoming a first-time homeowner is a dream come true for many people. In 2019 alone, 33% of homeowners in the US were purchasing homes for the first time. However, actualizing the dream to buy a home can reveal some realities you didn’t know existed. You will face things like creating a budget, working out what you can afford in the long-term, and taking a comprehensive look at your credit history.¹

However, if you can find a top mortgage lender, the process of buying your first home can be more manageable. But how do you choose the right lender?

How to Find a Top Morgage Lender for Your First Home

You need to Assess Your Full Financial Strength

This will enable you to have a clear picture of what you can afford to spend on a mortgage. The first step is to get your full credit report because your credit history determines your mortgage rates and interests. With a lower credit score, you are likely to pay higher monthly repayments and fees. 

Lenders will review your application and judge your ability to repay based on your income to debt ratio. Preparing and strengthening your credit history makes it easier for you during the actual mortgage application. 

Research on Local and State First-Time Home Owner Programs 

Being a first-time homeowner is not entirely challenging. Some lenders partner with the state and local authorities to offer homebuyer programs. A first-time homeowner could be eligible for grants, special interest rates, discounts, closing fees, and other financial benefits.²

Finding these lenders can make your overall lender search narrow drastically. This is because there are only select approved lenders, making it easier to choose the most suitable for you. The programs vary by state, lender, and property location. 

Check For Lenders Offering Government-Backed Loans

The government issues various mortgages for specific groups of people. The most popular is the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans issued to moderate and low-income earners to pay a lower mortgage deposit on purchase. Your credit score determines your actual subsidized amount. Government employees like the police, firefighters, first responders, and teachers have special government loans through approved lenders.

Don’t Forget to Compare Interest rates and Other Fees

Always compare interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) from each lender to get a clearer picture of what you’ll pay during the mortgage duration. In case of any alarming numbers or numbers that you don’t understand, seek clarifications. Top mortgage lenders are quick to clarify any issue you may have. Therefore, ensure you understand every detail in the offer to avoid frustrations in the future or after you commit.

Are You Ready to Pick a Top Mortgage Lender?

After shortlisting the lenders, choosing the most suitable one should just be out of comparison. Look at the APR and all fees and expenses incurred during the process. The less the closing costs, the better it is for you. Also, use your instinct from your customer experience with different lenders during your research. Ultimately, you should be comfortable with your lender.


“About Mountain West Financial and the CalPATH Home Loan Program

Mountain West Financial is the exclusive lender offering CalPATH, the #1 home loan program for Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters, and other public employees who serve our local California communities.

You may contact our CalPATH Hotline @ 800-310-7577, seven days a week from (8:30 am to 8:00 pm). A CalPATH advisor will be standing by to answer (any & all) questions you may have about the home buying or refinance process.

We look forward to working with you soon!


Joe Moore

Branch Manager”


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