We just bought a new home last year. Brand new homes are going very cheap where we leave (near Texas Motor Speedway). We got an almost brand new (built 2004) 3700 sq. ft. home on 1/3 of an acre for only $164K. It's a beautiful house. We got a great deal on this one as the poor guy was about to go into foreclosure. We got our mortgage at Hall of Fame Mortgage which I highly recommend. Most mortgage companies are the same, but my husband liked them because we got an autographed football from 4 Cowboys Hall of Famers, and he's a big autograph enthusiast. He gets invitations from them too for meet and greets with the players. Big selling point for him. HAHA. We had all kinds of mishaps go wrong in purchasing (and selling our old home), but they were the only ones who really seemed on top of everything. They really did a great job. We met with them before we even put our house on the market to get an estimate of what we could afford based on what we wanted to pay each month. They ran every scenario possible with down payments and no down payments and gave us estimates of what our closing cost would be. We ended up financing 100% with an 80/20 loan. The first loan is at just under 6% and is $1220 a month. This includes our taxes and insurance. THe second is at 7.5% and is $300. Our goal had been no more than $1500 a month which we would have met, but because we ended up moving to Denton County from Tarrant County, our homeowners insurance went up a bit from the estimate. But on the flip side, apparently car insurance is less out here, so that made up for the extra $20 we didn't expect.
As for other expenses, our water / sewage bill is $75-80 a month and our electric is anywhere from $250 at the lowest and $350 at the highest (we have no gas bill). Oddly, this is actually cheaper than our 1300 sq. ft. house electric bill was. 3 x's the house, less electric . . . go figure. We do have HOA dues. We pay $73 every 3 months, so roughly $25 a month. That includes a neighborhood pool which we were thrilled about. Didn't have that in our old neighborhood. We have gone to Home Depot quite a bit, but we've saved a bundle doing all the work ourselves. It seemed a bit overwhelming at first, but I actually managed to paint the entire inside in about a month (and that was with 2 kids at home). I find it a lot more satisfying to do it myself rather than hire someone. I find labor costs ridiculous. My husband enjoys doing yardwork. We had an a/c issue when we first moved in, but you should get a warranty that the person you buy from pays for. So, even though it was a pretty expensive issue, it only cost us a small copay.
Thinking back to when we bought our first home in 1999, I remember our biggest expenses from moving from apt. to house was a refrigerator and a lawn mower, so if you don't already own those, those are things you can't go without too long. As for moving expenses, we did most of it ourselves. We paid someone to move just our large furniture and appliances (about 20 pieces), and rented a U-Haul and did the rest ourselves with the help of our siblings and their spouses while grandma and grandpa kept the kids and dogs for the weekend. Plus, we had the carpets professionally steamed before we moved anything in since it was a pre-owned house. I believe all that cost us $1000 out of pocket. We also paid our closing costs rather than roll them into the loan. I think those were about $4000-4500. Those can be rolled into the loan. We did that at our old house. THe only other big expense I remember was the inspection on the house. That was $400 I believe. You don't have to do this, but I'd definitely recommend it. YOu want to know what your getting your self into. They spotted everything, even small insignificant things! For example, on the house we were selling, one thing one of the buyers listed as their reason for backing out was the lack of door stops. Our dog had eaten them as a puppy, so we pulled them out years ago. I never even thought of that being an issue. They walked on something that cost us $10 to fix. Ridiculous. Some people. Anyway, I digress. The inspection is definitely worth the money!
Good luck with your new home purchase! It's a pretty exciting moment! I loved buying the house and moving. I really found it to be fun! It's selling your house that is incredibly stressful and miserable. We had showings just about every day where we had to leave the house - no small feat with a 5 year old and 2 year old. It always seemed to be during nap time and never when we actually had somewhere to be. We had 5 offers over 5 months before one finally came through. What a nightmare. That I don't care to ever do again!!!!!