So my advice, which probably contradicts a lot of people on here, for the inexperienced sailor, is to just buy something inexpensive that seems basically acceptable, and get sailing as fast as you can. Don't worry too much about making mistakes. (But if it's expensive, get a survey!)
Well, if it were just myself, I would do what you did. The potential boat owner wanted a boat he could possibly make some money on so I said start with really upscale that needed cosmetic work. I would pull the chain plates to have a look and carefully inspect the standing rigging on any boat more than 15 years old. I would also look at any stainless steel keel bolts and replace with silicon bronze on any bolts I pulled.
Also, here is a quote from the following thread about an Ericson 27: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/newrep...reply&p=717122
"But if "great sailing" means an ability to carry on in pretty rough weather at a reasonable pace, we think you proved that with your boat. So did Vito Bialla in the first Singlehanded Farallones Race, when he sailed his Ericson 27 over most of the course in 45 knots and more of wind, a race in which a number of boats were dismasted and at least one multihull was flipped. We had a small interest in an Ericson as our first boat, and thought it looked nice, sailed reasonably well, and had quite a bit of interior space"