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Our Story

The Beginning

City 1st Mortgage

was originally established in 1992 with $200 and an 8088 computer (for those of you who know what an 8088 processor is) by founding principal Gerret Van Wagoner. Mr. Van Wagoner, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management, with emphasis in Finance from Brigham Young University. He previously worked as controller for two companies and started his entrepreneurial endeavors in the building and construction industry; building multi-family units in the Western States and custom residential homes in Park City, Salt Lake City and other areas in Northern Utah.

Growth and Support

Headquartered in Bountiful, Utah, City 1st presently has full-service retail offices in Many States across the nation from Florida to Washington State. City 1st is focused on controlled growth and expansion and places a great deal of emphasis on selecting individuals for employment, and existing groups in the business, who are service-driven, and possess the desire and capability to be successful.

City 1st is committed to providing each of its loan professionals and branches with the support and tools necessary to facilitate their, and the company's success, including cutting-edge technologies such as automated underwriting systems, web-based application forms, and online streamed media training. City 1st prides itself on having created a culture and atmosphere that encourages people to utilize and expand all their professional skills and talents.

Mortgage Banking

As a mortgage banker, City 1st makes residential loans from its own funds on properties in many of the states across the country. City 1st works with licensed appraisers in each of those states in obtaining appraisals according to investor requirements. City 1st also works with licensed third-party escrow companies in each of those states in handling all reserve funds.

City 1st processes and underwrites its own loans, all loan processing policies and underwriting approvals being overseen by its Operations Department, and according to Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac/Government guidelines. Audit procedures are controlled and carried-out by third-party quality control service providers, the policies of which are documented in "City First Mortgage Services, L.L.C., Loan Origination Quality Control Policy."


City 1st has been in the business of residential and construction lending since its establishment in 1992. Its principal and staff are well-versed in all aspects of the residential and construction loan industry including draws, inspections, underwriting, mortgage and contract law, etc., and hold multiple bachelor's and master's degrees in their respective areas of expertise. Each of the company's senior officers have long established careers in mortgage banking, real estate and venture projects, and understand the complexity of the industry.

Business Activities

City 1st business activities include: originating and funding residential mortgage loans, soliciting, placing/negotiating residential mortgage loans with other lenders, and rendering services related to origination and funding residential mortgage loans such as— telemarketing, underwriting, taking applications, obtaining verifications and appraisals, and communicating with the borrower.


City 1st is a growing mortgage company that is small enough to appreciate each individual borrower, employee, and client, but large enough to provide strength, stability, and an expansive array of loan programs meeting the wide range of borrower needs.

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