When the inspection is done --follow him along when he inspects -- do not just get the verbal or wait for written--- i always ask for a copy of a old report he has done before i hire , i do this so that i can understand what he will do and not do
+1000000. I walked through a house we were interested in with the engineer. He basically didn't find any significant problems, but I thought it was invaluable (besides the peace of mind as to the condition of the house) because he explained all sorts of things about the house, where everything is, what everything does, etc. Unfortunately, the seller ended up balking during contract negotiations, so it's on to the next house for us.
Shopping for a mortgage: Do the math.
Compare both percentage and monthly payments for 15 year, 20,30. Don't just notice that the monthly payment is lower with a longer term.
also 'points'. If you plan on staying in the house longer than a few years it often pays to 'buy down' the rate by paying up front 'points'. If you have the money available. But leave enough cash for renovations you may want.
These are all very good points, but very often the statement I bolded is the primary consideration. You either need the money if we're talking about points, or the steady income if we're talking about the term of the mortgage. If you can't comfortably cover the monthly payment for a 15 or 20 year mortgage within the context of the rest of your budget then you're going to go with 30, period.