There are many surprises for first-time buyers. Most of which are not surprises to Full Time Professional REALTORS.
There are surprises with your mortgage, with your closing costs, with which homes you should see, with the condition of homes (in every price range - you just have to expect to see all sorts of conditions), negotiations are often a surprise, closing costs and downpayments are some of the things that confuse any home buyer. plus there are inspections, renegotiations, termite inspections, along with processors and underwriters.
My best advice is to find yourself a Buyers Agent (someone that is working for you specifically) As a Realtor we do this everyday all day long and know how explain the process as to you step by step as well as be there to guide you through and protect you in the transaction.
If you are in the Richmond or Hampton Roads Real Estate Market - feel free to call me anytime Heather O'Sullivan Long & Foster Strawberry Street 804 514 3197