A house is not a home until the personal touches are added. That wallpaper gets taken down and fresh paint is applied. Windows washed, flooring addressed either with new carpeting, shampooing the old owners out or maybe refinishing hardwood.
First time home buyers need to allow for necessary items to make that house a home, some of which can get overlooked quickly and start to run up some heavy dollars real quick. The enthusiasm to have a new home and manageable monthly payments as low as possible, have buyers making large down payments. Before you make that big commitment, make a checklist of what you have to take in, and what will be needed.
There is always the furniture to consider, unless a family member is making a gift of the not completely useless living room set. Appliances also need to be considered. Usually the kitchen will be acceptable as it is a necessity to getting the mortgage, but how good is that stove or refrigerator, and are you going to make weekly runs to the Laundromat?
All the door locks need to be changed and lets not forget the simple basics like window coverings. Want to put up sheets to keep the privacy? Homebuyers are very obvious at Wal-Mart, or Target, or whatever super store with the home furnishings in their shopping cart, all of which could run into hundreds of dollars.
Take a walk through the kitchen and make the list of items that need to be gotten just to cook that first meal. After all, eating out can get expensive. Remember how nice and clean the yard looked each time you drove by or came back for another showing? Well now it's your turn to get out the mower when the grass gets too tall.
For buyers of new construction, it can get even more interesting. The builder isn't going to put up the mailbox, nor would there be the shower curtains. A garage door opener isn't considered a home essential, but it certainly is nice when coming in on a rainy night and you forgot your raincoat.
Make the list of what you currently have. Then make a conservative list of what you might need keeping to the essentials. The home you might be leaving was not put together in 2 weeks, but took years of creation. Given what needs to be done to make a house a home, at least make sure there's enough money to get started. If you were thinking of putting down $10,000 maybe back of to $8,000. The monthly difference in the mortgage might only be $20, but that's still a lot better than running up the charge cards.