Big, colorful ads that promote mortgage payments for just $800 month are enticing, especially for first-time buyers. After all, that's probably less than many people are paying in rent. But as anyone who's bought a home knows, that $800 payment is probably just principal and interest. In other words, it's only a portion of what you'll pay every month. So how much does it cost to buy a house, anyway? Best advice is to do your "due diligence" and call you lender and ask! ask for the payment WITH taxes and insurance escrowed into the surprises.