Renting, I think, is a good idea. Plus I think it best to use an agent as their contracts SHOULD hold some legal validity.
The fees should be as follows. 1 months rent in advance, maximum of 2 months (although most people ask for 1) rent as a deposit. The agents fees ARE MOST DEFINITELY ONLY 1 MONTHS RENT.
All utility bills such as water, electric, community fees (if renting a property in a community). Some owners will ask you to pay the charge for the bins, the cost will depend on where you will be living.
If you rent a property in the country with pool and gardens you will be responsible for the maintenance of the entire plot.
Hope this has helped a little.