Put a large mulched circle over the roots of new trees and shrubs, but do not mound bark mulch up around the trunk. Trees and shrubs grown under mulch develop stronger roots and are healthier. Be aware that mulch should be no more than 2-3 inches total or plant health can suffer.
A 15-year loan is usually made at a lower interest rate. Equity is built faster because early payments pay more principal. In a 30-year loan, more interest is paid off than principal for the first 23 years, meaning larger tax deductions. As inflation and costs of living increase, mortgage payments become a smaller part of overall expenses.