So I've been doing my research on investing out of state and I'm very new to all this. Across all the information out there about out of state investing, an important thing is to find a good lender and was wondering what types of lenders tend to work best for people. I tried searching on here but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for at least not with the keywords I was searching. I know a lot of this depends on the individual lender themselves but I want to get maybe just some general overviews.

Obviously, there's the big banks out there though, from what I can tell, you won't necessarily get the best rates with them and their main advantage seeming to be that their size means they're everywhere. I'd like to know about the alternatives. Specifically, I'd like to know what types of lenders you've used for out of state investing, both good and bad experiences. How have local banks or credit unions been? Hard money isn't something I would necessarily want to use, but how has that been for people? Was it your only option? Did it just make more sense for that deal? If you did use one of the big banks, how did that go? Would you have preferred a more local lender? 

For any example, I'd like to know what kind of real estate you were buying, your strategy for it, how many lenders you contacted (can just say "a lot" or "a few" if that makes it easier), what type of lender you ended up going with and why, and your experience using them. But any sort of general information would be helpful!