The seller can not give you anything directly at closing, as mentioned below they can pay for closing cost and prepaid items. The number you tossed out of 10k sounds like it will cover those items and have maybe $4,000 or $5,000 left over. If you use an FHA 203b the lender is allowed to escrow up to $5,000 for repairs and that can come from the seller. The improvements need to be listed in the appraisal with a dollar amount assigned to each. I looked up the FHA loan limits for your area and it looks like most of the area is above $400,000 so that should work also. On this loan you do not need 5% for down payment, can be as low as 3.5%. good luck, hope this helps.