Rona reports:

I just spoke to Loren Shapiro at Asset Mortgage.  He’s an all-around good guy and trusty lender. He called his credit rep to fact-check on a question that frequently comes up:

Suppose I want to shop around for a lender. Does my credit get damaged by having multiple lenders making credit inquiries (checking my credit score)?

The answer is that you can shop around for a lender for a big purchase, like a house or a car, without having a significant impact on your credit score. Credit bureaus deduct a few points for the first inquiry, but do not penalize you for subsequent, similar inquiries that you make within the same 30 days. (After 30 days, a few more points get deducted.)

Inquiries for revolving credit, like credit cards, carry a higher deduction of your score. Each inquiry matters.

My advice is to shop around once, then choose the lender you think will be reliable. Go back to that lender when you find your house or condo.