In order to help consumers make wise home buying decisions and save the housing market from collapse, the Federal Reserve Board released its “5 Tips for Shopping for a Mortgage.” On Wednesday. It’s kind of like installing the fire extinguisher when your house is a smoldering pile of rubble. And, yes, the pun is intended. So without further ado, the Five Tips for Shopping for a Mortgage We All Should Have Paid Attention To A Few Years Ago. One: Know what you can afford. What? You mean I can’t afford a $500,000 town home on a waiter’s salary? Two: Shop Around – Compare Loans from Lenders and Brokers. The tip reads, “Neither lenders nor brokers have to find the best loan for you.” Three: Understand Loan Prices and Fees. Or, you can just sign your name. No one can make out all the fine print anyway. Four: Know the Risks and Benefits of Loan Options. You mean I'm going to have to pay HOW much? Five: Get Advice from Trusted Sources. Like your friendly, neighborhood Federal Reserve. Next week: 5 Tips on How to Run a Car Company.