Alot of good advice here. Have you decided what kind of a loan program you will be using to purchase your home?
One of the more popular ones being used alot today is the "interest only" one. These loans aren't for everyone though. But they can work to your advantage. Especially if you are savy in the financial realms. Some people, instead of investing the difference in their payment amount....will, instead add the difference to their principle each month. So instead of paying almost all interest, like you do in the beginning years of a mortgage, they are paying down the principle at a much faster rate then they would normally. So, say for example you took out a 3 year interest only. Before the end of the 3 years was up and the loan started to amortize for the remaining years......you would lock the loan in on a conventional loan and still might end up with lower payments even if the interest rate is higher in 3 years....because you would have paid the principle down to a more manageable amount.
Also......shop around for rates. If you tell the bank you do not want to pay points....you will end up paying a slightly higher interest rate instead. So get your calculator out and figure out which saves you the most money.
Today....in Ohio.....par rate is at 4.75% on a 15 (conventional) with a 30 day lock. Last week it was as low as 4.250. So, right now rates are bouncing. Which is very typical this time of the year. So keep an eye on rates when you do find a home you wish to purchase. A matter of just a few days can make a big difference in your lock rate.
There are many variables and not everyone's situation is the same.
Also......don't let them screw you on your good faith estimate. Most of the time there are hidden charges that the average consumer does not know how to spot.
Anyways.....good luck! Happy house hunting!!
PS- I work with more construction and commercial loans.....but if you need any advice at all as you go along....please feel free to pm me