Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

With housing prices still affordable, is now the time to apply for your first mortgage? I’m Lisa Weinberger with the Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

Applying for your first mortgage doesn’t have to be stressful. With the following four steps, you can get yourself prepared for a smooth process.

Know your limit. Find a mortgage broker who can tell you the max amount of money you can borrow for your future home purchase.

Beef up your down payment. Though there are programs which allow a 3.5% down payment, to be on the safer side, the larger the down payment, the less you need to borrow.

Know your ratios. Find out your debt to income ratio. Your house payment shouldn’t be more than 28% of your income.

Know your closing costs. Besides the monthly payment, the total expenses of getting a first mortgage need to be included like an appraisal and home inspection.

Learn more about applying for your first mortgage and what your mortgage payment could be. To find out more about mortgages, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Lisa Weinberger.