GIFTS: many lenders allow gift funds for part of the down payment and/or closing cost. A "Gift Letter" stating that this is a gift that does not have to be repaid is required.
Closing Cost: some sellers on certain terms may agree to pay all or part of your closing cost. This is achieved through negotiation with the seller and may not be something the Seller agrees to do. This is an area where you should seek advice from your real estate agent.
There are special loan programs available designed to help first-time Homebuyers. These programs have special guidelines so check with the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency to see if there is a program that helps you or talk to your real estate agent.