Getting a Home Loan does not have to be stressful, scary, or hard.
However, going into it blindly can lead to a less than pleasant experience, not to mention possibly losing your earnest money, not getting the home you want, or worse. Believe me, we've seen a lot of things happen to uninformed, or ill informed buyers. We don't want to see that happen to you.
First, a few tidbits of advice.
Don't get too serious about shopping for a home until you know just what your borrowing limit is. You don't want to get excited about something you may not be able to have.
DON'T GET YOUR LOAN THROUGH AN ONLINE COMPANY! - We've seen too many horror stories about miscommunication, delay after delay after delay until the seller gets tired of waiting, etc. etc. Think about this scenario. You're planning to close on the 25th of the month, and move out before your lease is up at the end of the month. You've given notice, and new people are moving into your apartment/home, on the 1st. Your loan is delayed. You have no place to go. Yes, it happens!
DON'T GET YOUR LOAN THROUGH AN ONLINE COMPANY! - Or the time they told the borrower what their closing costs were going to be, but forgot to tell them about pre-paids and prorations. We don't like surprises, and I'm sure you don't either.
DON'T GET YOUR LOAN THROUGH AN ONLINE COMPANY!- Or the time we got right down to the day of closing, and the online loan company wouldn't bend on something because they do it differently in their State than we do in Washington. We almost didn't get that one through.
DON'T USE A NAME BRAND BANK OR CREDIT UNION. Use a mortgage broker. A bank, or credit union, typically is fairly narrow focused. If you don't meet their generally strict criteria, you won't get approved. A mortgage banker has access to lots of different sources of funds, and can find the best loan structure that meets your individual needs, and circumstances.
DO USE SOMEONE FOR YOUR LOAN WHO IS NOT ONLY EXPERIENCED, BUY HIGHLY REPUTABLE, HAS A TRACK RECORD OF SUCCESS, AND HAS BEEN REFERRED TO YOU BY SOMEONE WHO HAS HAD GREAT EXPERIENCE WITH THEM.