Buying a home? Here's a list of 6 things you should keep in mind during the process

Are you getting ready to buy a home? Whether it’s your first experience with the process or not, it can be daunting and is a huge commitment.
Below are some things to keep in mind:

1. Must haves

List your needs, your non-negotiables and nice-to-haves. Know what you absolutely need in a home to help you narrow down your property.

2. Decide how much you can afford

Figure out how much you can safely spend on a house before starting to shop. NerdWallet has a home affordability calculator that can help you set a price range based on your income, debt, down payment, credit score and where you plan to live. And don’t forget to budget for closing and moving in costs.

3. Compare your loans

There are a variety of loan options to choose from, including fixed rate, adjustable-rate and government-insured mortgages. Find the one that best meets your future plans and financial situation. Request multiple Loan Estimates from different lenders so you can compare and choose the loan that's right for you.

4. Check interest rates

Compare mortgage lending rates against historical trends to see how favorable your home loan conditions are. Click here for a list from LendingTree.

5. Look for home-buyer assistance programs

Your state may be able to help you financially when it comes to buying your first home. Click here for resources for tri-state homeowners.

6. Get ready to close

Once you've chosen a mortgage loan, it’s time to focus on the closing process. There will be lots of paperwork to submit and things to keep track of. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has step by step tips on this process.