Q: We’re buying a home (new construction) and are scheduled to close 12/10/01. Should we lock into an interest rate now or hang on a little while to see if the 30 yr. fixed will go down again?

Do you think we should hire a home inspector (our builder is Concord Homes)? Also, do we need to hire a closing attorney?

A: Wait to lock until the last possible minute. And, be sure to consider a 5/1 ARM instead of just a 30-year FRM. They’re much cheaper and you probably won’t keep the loan for more than 5 years.

Also, you should absolutely hire an inspector (you could have hired one to look at your new home throughout the building phase. If the drywall isn’t up yet, I’d cut a deal with an inspector to look at your home now — before the walls go on — and then after the home is completed.

Finally, an attorney is recommended. You should have hired one when negotiating the contract, but you’ll absolutely need one for the closing.