Most people are surprised to learn that the second largest energy consumer in the home, after space conditioning, is water heating. Water heating uses more than 15% of the average home's total energy use. Because it is an out-of-sight energy consuming system, most forget about this major contributor to the home's energy bill. For quick savings, this is a great place to start because some minor changes that are fairly easy to make can make a noticeable difference in your energy bills.
First, devise a checklist for the information from each lending institution. You should include the company’s name and basic information, the type of mortgage, minimum down payment required, interest rate and points, closing costs, loan processing time, and whether prepayment is allowed. Speak with companies by phone or in person. Be sure to call every lender on the list the same day, as interest rates can fluctuate daily. In addition to doing your own research, your real estate agent may have access to a database of lender and mortgage options. Though your agent may primarily be affiliated with a particular lending institution, he or she may also be able to suggest a variety of different lender options to you.