Look beyond interest rates
Don't focus solely on getting the lowest rate. Evaluate your overall budget, monthly payments and fees.
"A home loan is not just about getting the best deal -- it's about getting the right mortgage with no surprises so you can be a successful homeowner," Dal Porto says.
"Everyone should calculate their own debt-to-income ratio, look at the full cost of homeownership and determine how much they can comfortably afford to spend each month."
Tessier recommends borrowers do their homework, comparing good faith estimates and making sure they won't have to pay a prepayment penalty if they decide to refinance in the future.
"Don't just focus on the interest rate," Tessier says. "Look at the discount points, origination fees, underwriting fees and document preparation fees when comparing loans. You also need to understand how your loan works, especially if it has an adjustable rate."