5 Tips for Choosing a Lender

How do Colorado home buyers choose the right lender? For first time home buyers, finding the perfect home is truly only one half of the journey. Shopping for a loan is equally time-consuming and important.

To help Colorado first time home buyers, we asked our network of more than 22,000 local brokers and REALTORS® throughout Colorado for advice on choosing a lender. Here’s the advice local real estate experts offer tips for home buyers choosing a lender.

Shop Lenders 

“First time buyers definitely need to shop lenders. There are many first time buyer programs available which not all lenders offer. Finding the right lender depends on the personal financial situation of the buyer.

Can the lender handle FHA, CHFA, bond programs? Can the lender help a first time buyer manage potential credit issues, or deal with self-employment income (which is becoming more common with Millennials)?

With rates at historical lows, it’s still critical to ensure the interest rates are optimal, especially compared to associated costs of the loan.”

Angela Alter

RE/MAX Alliance


Interview Lenders 

“Make sure the lender you pick knows about and has access to ALL the programs that can really help the first time buyer get a loan. I recently took a class about a new program that allows a buyer to use rental income from a roommate to qualify for a loan! That can up the purchase price significantly. But if the lender you pick doesn’t know about it, and neither does the agent you work with, you could be missing out on a fantastic program.

Interview several lenders before picking one. Don’t assume the one your agent typically works with knows about the best programs for 1st time buyers.”

Terrie Bednarcyk


Brokers Guild Cherry Creek


Go Local & Accessible

“In this competitive Denver market you need a lender who is at a local/regional bank/company. Someone who’s underwriter is in their physical office, ideally. And someone you have been referred to either by your Real Estate Broker or a friend or family member who has recently purchased a home in Denver. Also, they need to be reachable on cell, at night and on weekends. 100% accessibility is key.”

Tari Wilde



Make sure Lenders are Transparent about TOTAL Cost 

“Buying your first home can be both exciting and scary.  The lender you choose can help determine your first time home buying experience.  A great lender is one that listens to you in terms of your comfort with how much your monthly mortgage payment will be and your desired price range, while providing expertise with different types of loans so you can make the best decision for your situation.

The lender should be transparent with loan costs and provide you with knowledge regarding interest rates, mortgage insurance, and more – all necessary information so you can make an informed decision. Finally, ask friends, family and coworkers for lender referrals as they have your best interests at heart and will speak from experience.”

Kimberly Norman

SPX Realty, LLC


In the end, trust is the most important thing 

“Ask trusted sources about lenders they have used and why. Ask professionals within the real estate industry for their advice. Reliability and access to them I believe is crucial, also finding someone you feel comfortable with is important. Shop and make sure you are getting the best rates and programs that fit your particular needs.”

Thomas S. Churches

Colorado Home Finder Realty


Working with a lender can help you be ready to act fast in Colorado’s competitive housing market. First, connect with an experienced real estate professional. Your REALTOR can help you through the process and offer valuable advice for choosing a lender.

Visit the REcolorado Mortgage Resource Center to see how your financials stack up using our mortgage calculators.

Ready to start your home search? Search homes for sale in Colorado >>

Originally published April 28, 2016 — Updated April 5, 2018.