If you have someone with a lot of Newmar RV experience that you can take with you to really look it over, take them. I missed a lot of stuff when I looked by myself because I had no RV experience.
Plan on changing all fluids and filters, flush the radiator and replace the 2 thermostats, check tire date codes and battery dates and condition.
Plan on doing a full service on the genny to include belt and thermostat.
Check that the jacks work in both auto and manual.
Plan on replacing any '97 era electronics and figure out how you'll be mounting new TVs and such.
Not sure what options the MA came with in that year - our '97 London Aire has them all - so more things to check to see if they are working. Spend some time looking through the owners guide (I'm sure 007 will be around soon to give you a link to one) before you do your final look - this way you'll know what to look for. Here is a link to Newmars archive - http://www.newmarcorp.com/resources/brochures-archive/
If you have the VIN call Newmar and ask them for a build sheet on the coach.
Plan on using a can of lube to lube anything that moves. Have silicone, pb blaster and some lube that stays around a while.
Check all the awnings, plan on replacing straps at a minimum.
Plan on replacing the running lights at the top of the cap, especially if they are original, like mine were. They are a potential source of water intrusion.
Plan total service on the AC units to include replacing the shrouds if they are original. Take off the shrouds, open up the front and clean the entire unit thoroughly to include vacuuming, blowing out fins and washing with wet rag where needed. Don't forget to clean out the water drain pan and drain runs out of the the unit. There is a chance the control for the AC units won't work properly. You probably have the 4 button control (like me). To switch zones you press the top 2 buttons at the same time and release to change among the 2 zones. Make sure both AC are working. If you can't switch among the zones (like I can't) there is an easy fix if it's just the switch contacts that need to be reformed.
Check that all the appliances work.
Check that the fantastic vents work.
That's a start.