While getting pre-approved by a lender is considered the first step towards getting your new home loan, it does not obligate you to work with that lender once you’re ready to purchase. In fact, it’s in your best interest to shop around and compare terms from several lenders. There are many types of mortgages with options that could lower your interest rate and save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. Maybe you could qualify for a mortgage with only 3% down and no MI, or maybe you are purchasing a rural property and could use a $0 down USDA loan. You may have a 20% down payment but are a Veteran and never thought of using your VA benefits since you started saving for a down payment. There are a variety of scenarios and not every lender offers the same programs. You want to search for the lender who not only offers a variety of programs but also one who understands those programs, offers top notch customer service, is available 7 days a week and who truly cares about your unique situation. Having a strong and trusting relationship with your lender is extremely important. You are trusting this person with the largest purchase you will ever make, one that has long term affects. Choose wisely, don’t let price be the only determining factor for this purchase. Service, expertise and getting to the closing table efficiently and on time are just as important, if not more so.