3 ON YOUR SIDE (3TV) - Super-low mortgage rates are bringing some apartment renters into the housing market.

So, if you're shopping for your first home, here are some tips to help make the process go smoother.

[WATCH: Preapproval is key]

Get your mortgage preapproved. That's the first thing recommended by real estate pros. That preapproval will help you zero in on the price range for a house you can afford. And, it tells sellers that you're serious and ready to buy.

[RELATED: More millennials delaying home buying]

And, even though you can act quickly with the preapproval, be prepared for a process to take a while.

You may find your dream house, but your offer may not be accepted.

[RELATED: Phoenix area real estate: Now is the time to sell, experts say]

And, brace yourself for the closing process. It can be both costly and longer than you'd like.

Be prepared for all the costs that go with the closing. Costs like fees, insurance and other expenses really add up.

[RELATED: Are You Financially Ready to Purchase a Home?]

You'll want to budget as much as 5% of the overall cost of the home to cover all your closing costs.

Gary Harper's 3 On Your Side reports air weeknights on 3TV News at 9.


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