On the drive space side of things, SSD makes a big difference in speed, but is expensive to buy if it’s inside the MacBook Pro. But, external SSD is more affordable.
I have a couple of these (mine are 500 GB and 2 TB):
In Pounds the 500 GB is clearly a lot better value than the 250 GB, and the 1 TB is the same value as the 500 GB, just twice the cost for twice the space.
One way to go would be to get a MacBook Pro that has a pitiful internal drive space, to the point the owner is embarrassed about charging so much. But, it’s plenty for running the system. Your Photos library and SketchUp work could be on the external SSD, loading a lot faster than the internal hard drive.
So, throw as much money as possible towards the Pro, i7, GHz, RAM side of things, and get a smaller internal HD, plus the external SSD, to get good file performance.