If you think you stick with it (have the time and desire) I would look into getting a sim. You will need it for more than just getting in the air. They are great when you haven't flown for a while and for learning new maneuvers. Make sure you can repeat a maneuver several times in a row b4 trying it for real. The workload is much greater with the real thing in the beginning. Why risk the model when its much easier to hit the space button I flew all winter on a sim before flying the model the first time in the Spring.
I have never flown before so this will be my first time. I have been playing around on the sims at a friends house because I don't own one myself.
Don't just have it looked at before flying. Have someone with experience fly it for you and be there the first time you try to fly the heli. Setup is critical with helis. It can only be checked by flying the model.
BTW I learned to fly with a R30 (os 32) and still love flying it.