1. Speak to a lender to see what you qualify for loan-wise, what monthly payments you are comfortable with, how much house you can afford, etc. 2. New homes need less repair and maintenance. Old homes usually have more charm, and urban areas are usually full of older homes, if you desire to live closer to the action. If you don't have the stomach for potential issues that could be revealed during an inspection (unsafe or older wiring, deteriorating plumbing, wood rot, etc), you may want to lean towards a new home. 3. Regarding minimum payment, speak with a lender. Avoid PMI if possible, but depending on the type of loan you may qualify for, this might not be an issue. 4. Expenses may include loan closing fees, origination fee, points (if desired), credit report fee, appraisal fee, survey (if required), underwriter fee (junk), document preparation fee (junk), flood certificate (if required), up-front PMI premium (if required), mortgagee's title insurance, escrow fee, recording fee, state mortgage tax, broker's commission (junk if buyer), inspections (whole home, wood-destroying insects, chimney, sewer, radon, etc), homes association transfer fee (if required), home warranty (if desired), among others. A lot of these are lumped into "bank processing charges" as you call it, and a lot of them can be rolled into the loan principal.
Your questions are very general. I think you will find a lot of good information if you just search for something like "How does buying a home work?"
It is better to speak to a mortgage broker or a lender in this regard. You may even take a look at the given page to know about the different types of mortgage loans available in the market: http://www.mortgagefit.com/loan-programs.html
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