A financial checklist for first-time buyers

Buying your first home is a super exciting new chapter in your life, but that’s not to say it isn’t without some added stress. First-time homebuyers, remember, there’s a lot more to buying a home than meets the eye. Be sure to factor in these costs before signing on the dotted line.

Earnest Money

Earnest money is what you put down before closing on a house to show that you’re serious about buying. When a buyer and seller enter into a purchase agreement, the seller takes the home off the market while the transaction moves through the entire process to closing.

Closing Costs

It takes a village to help buyers find the perfect home. Instead of paying each of the individual service providers, closing costs allow you to pay in a single bill. Closing costs include things like attorney fees, survey fees and document preparation fees. 

Down Payment

Closing costs aren’t the only thing you’re expected to pay at closing. If obtaining a mortgage, you also have to pay your down payment on the home. Down payments are effectively the difference between the mortgage amount and your purchase price for the property.

Inspection Costs

Inspections are an important part of the initial contract period. Inspections may include a general home inspection, a Four-point inspection (for insurance purposes), a wind mitigation report (roof inspection for insurance purposes), a pool inspection, and many others. 


Homeowners’ insurance policies are required when you purchase a new home. They generally cover any destruction and damage to a home’s interior or exterior, the loss or theft of possessions, and personal liability for any harm to others. Depending on your loan program and down payment amount, you may also pay mortgage insurance. 

Furniture and Appliances

Does your new home come with a stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, etc.? Do you need to purchase a new washer and dryer? How about the living room – does your old sofa take up too much or too little space? When budgeting for your new home, remember to set money aside for any appliances or furniture needs you may have. You won’t want to move in and have nowhere to sit, store your food or wash your clothes. 


Be sure to put money aside to cover your maintenance expenses like purchasing a lawn mower, tools and general upkeep items like air conditioner filters, extra light bulbs, and general plumbing items like a plunger. 

Do you feel prepped and ready to close on the home you’ve been waiting for? If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Sarasota, give me a call at 941-225-1500 or email me at AmyChapman@michaelsaunders.com. I am happy to help you start your journey.