Termites and other pest can cause expensive damage. Here's what to look for: sawdust-like accumulations of frass indicate the presence of termites. An exterminator can spray or set traps to eliminate the infestation. A clean hole without cobwebs or leaves indicates an access hole for rodents. An exterminator can set a trap for them, too.
If you’re just starting out, three power tools for general woodworking that are worth spending more money on include a good tablesaw, router and drill press. With these three, plus some hand tools, you will be able to build many of the projects in how-to magazines. Which tool you buy first can depend on the projects you are planning, but a good saw usually gets priority.