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When it comes to making the largest purchase of their lives, most homebuyers would prefer to play it safe in choosing a loan.

That’s why fixed-rate mortgages, the gold standard of home loans, have long been the most popular. These 15-, 20-, and 30-year mortgages aren’t exciting. But what they lack in style, they make up for in stability.

Borrowers can lock in the amount of their monthly mortgage payments (minus taxes, insurance, and homeowners association fees) for the duration of their loans. Then they can sleep soundly knowing their housing bills won’t just shoot up at some future date. They’re all set.

However, with the troubling combo of high mortgage interest rates and expensive home prices, many first-time and other buyers are learning they can no longer afford to become homeowners with a fixed-rate mortgage. So they’re looking into other options. And there are plenty out there: adjustable-rate mortgages, interest-only mortgages, 2-1 buydowns.

Some of these loans and programs start off with a few years of cheaper monthly mortgage payments, which can help cash-strapped buyers become homeowners. But borrowers should proceed with caution—and fully understand the fine print. The monthly payments on these loans typically rise, sometimes substantially, over time.

If mortgage rates fall, borrowers can refinance into new loans with lower monthly payments. But if rates stay elevated, or worse, rise, buyers could be saddled with higher payments that may be tough to afford.

Those still scarred from the Great Recession will remember watching in horror as millions of homeowners lost their properties to foreclosures and short sales after their mortgage payments suddenly spiked. Those bad mortgages set off the years-long, global downturn—making the boring, fixed-rate mortgages look pretty good.

These days, though, those predatory, subprime mortgages have largely been eliminated. Many loans have caps on how high a borrower’s future payments can rise. And if mortgage interest rates fall, as expected over the next few years, borrowers could wind up saving money by choosing one of these loans.

So what do today’s homebuyers need to know when choosing a mortgage?

Shop around for a mortgage

Shop around for a mortgage! Your persistence could save you thousands of dollars a year. There are fewer buyers out there hunting for homes because they can’t afford the higher mortgage rates. So lenders are hurting for business. That can work to your advantage.