Getting a Mortgage in 2010: 10 Things to Know

More than three years into a painful housing crash, the real estate market has sent recent -- albeit tentative -- signs of stabilization. Home sales have increased, inventory levels are down, and price declines have become less precipitous.

Along with more affordable home prices and a tax perk from Uncle Sam, attractive mortgage rates -- which have remained near 5 percent -- have been a driving force behind this development.

More From U.S. News
+ America's Best Places to Live
+ 10 Things to Know About Real Estate for 2010
+ Find Your Best Place to Live

The availability of low mortgage rates will play a decisive role in the performance of the 2010 housing market as well. To help consumers better understand the requirements and costs they will face as they shop for a home loan next year, U.S. News spoke with a handful of housing market experts and compiled a list of 10 things to know about getting a mortgage in 2010.

%Gallery-80362%