Homebuyers in 2014 will face sweeping new changes when it comes to obtaining a mortgage. The National Association of Mortgage Professionals has listed some of the top changes for buyers.

Lenders will now be scrutinizing buyers more carefully in order to ensure they are qualified to take out a loan. Buyers will now be required to undergo an Ability to Repay Mandate, which amounts to a new set of guidelines concerning assets, income and other financial obligations in order to obtain what is known as a qualified mortgage.

Those who were previously concerned about origination fees could possibly breathe a little easier in 2014. New laws dictate that mortgage origination fees may not exceed 3% of the loan’s value. This rule only applies to those who are taking out a “qualified mortgage,” so those who apply for other types of loans could nonetheless pay higher origination fees.

One of the biggest mortgage changes to know in 2014 involves FHA loans. Previously, borrowers could apply for FHA loans of up to $729,750, but the cap in 2014 will be limited to $625,000. This change is unlikely to affect people in most parts of the country, as the average home price is already much lower than that figure. Even so, homebuyers in areas that have a high cost of living could find themselves having difficulty obtaining FHA loans as a result.

Self-employed individuals will also have a harder time obtaining a mortgage loan in 2014. That’s because the new rules will make it more difficult for those without a W-2 form to prove their income and asset-to-debt ratio. As a result, a number of self-employed individuals might find they are unqualified for a mortgage, even if their credit score is well above average.

The goal of these new changes is to ensure that faulty lending practices do not result in another housing market crash, as the economy is still recovering from the bubble that burst a few years ago. Only time will tell whether the laws will be effective at doing so, or whether they will only make it more difficult for the average person to become a homeowner.