Refinancing our home. WHo do we go to?

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We are going to refinance our home. The home is worth 500,000. There is only a 50,000 first mortgage on the home. We want to refinance for 175,000, paying off the first mortgage. My questions are.
1. Who do we approach first. Is it better to go to a mortgage broker, or our bank.
2. What things do we need to look out for. We want a 30 year fixed (we think). We plan on staying here.
3. Do all loans allow you to pay extra principle payments without penalties.
4. What about, and all those other advertisers.

We bank with washington mutual.

Thanks in advance. We have never done this and are freaked out.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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