Once you have determined the loan characteristics most important to you, you will have to choose whether to use the services of a mortgage broker or go directly to a lender. Finding a good mortgage broker will save a large amount of time, enable you to leverage his knowledge so you’ll know the kind of loans you qualify for and the documentation required for each, and also expose you to lenders that work exclusively through mortgage brokers and don’t deal directly with investors. Dealing with a bad mortgage broker will often result in getting a loan not fitting your criteria, or paying way too much for the loan, or worst of all being strung along and losing the property under contract by not being able to perform.

You need to do due diligence on any mortgage broker or lender you are dealing with. Past references are best – check them out just as you would when hiring a nanny for your children or a contractor to improve your house. Also, having predetermined what is important to you in a loan – speed, low down payment, no credit check, or low interest rate/fees will enable you to concentrate on the lenders and brokers that deal in those types of loans.