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  • Writer's pictureJenna King


Real estate can seem like an overwhelming process with all the paperwork to complete and decisions to be made. But when you have the right team on your side, shopping for your dream home can be a smooth and fun experience.

There are plenty of articles about choosing the perfect Realtor for you, but what about a mortgage lender? I’ve combined some of my own advice with experts in the field to provide tips on how to determine the mortgage lender for your home buying process.

Just like when you’re looking for a new babysitter or a restaurant to try out this weekend, ask those you trust if they have any recommendations. Your Realtor is an expert in the field who will have a list of mortgage lender referrals for you. Your financial advisor, lawyer, and accountant would also be able to help. If you have had any local family or friends who have recently been through the home buying process, you can ask for the names of the mortgage lenders that they choose to work with.

Sean Palmer, a mortgage loan officer with Idaho Central Credit Union, always suggests that people contact at least two to three loan officers before making a decision.

“How long have they been doing loans? How did their rates and fees look in comparison with one another?” Sean says. “It’s my opinion that you want your loan officer to be relatable, responsive, and have rates/fees that could generate savings compared to others. If you can find all those things you will be in good hands.”

You can request quotes from each of the lenders and then compare the annual percentage rate (APR) and origination fees of each.

Brandy Stemmler, a loan originator with Prime Lending, says that homebuyers want a mortgage lender who has access to the necessary resources: a service-oriented staff, a variety of loan options, effective loan officers and proven turn times.

“You want to choose a lender that is extremely knowledgeable about loan products and regulations,” Brandy says. “And, you also want to choose a lender that makes customer service a top priority – availability is key.”

If you still find yourself having a difficult time making a decision between mortgage lenders, then go with your gut. You’ll have had conversations with each of the lenders that you’ve interviewed. Which one was most enjoyable to chat with? Was one of them easier to get ahold of? Remember they are a huge component of the home buying process and you want the best “team” on your side.

“There are so many important variables but if I had to pick one it’d probably be the level of trust a client feels with their mortgage loan officer,” Sean says. “Buyers need to trust that their loan officer is in their corner throughout the entire home buying process and they can rely on that person. As we all know the home buying process is a stressful one and if the buyers don’t feel a sense of trust with their loan officer it only makes things more difficult.”

If you find yourself unsure of where to begin when searching for a mortgage lender, Sean Palmer and Brandy Stemmler are great places to start. They can be contacted here:

Sean Palmer, ICCU, #208-846-7109,

Brandy Stemmler, Prime Lending, #208-890-5757,

Send me an email or give me a call if you have any questions!

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