You’re left with just one question: When does someone come to clean the gutters and cut the lawn?
I’ve got bad news: There are no first-time home buyer fairies that cut the lawn and clean the gutters. When your furnace breaks, it’s on you to get it fixed.
I’ll say it – this part of homeownership isn’t so great. If, like me, you have a crippling inability or incredible distaste for manual labor, this could come as quite a blow.
All hope isn’t lost as long as you know what to expect. There’s even a way to sit there watching Netflix and eating Cheetos while someone cleans your windows.
Shock and Awe
It’s unpleasant, but there are a variety of things your landlord may have been responsible for that you now have to take care of on your own. You’ve got to do your own lawn maintenance or snow removal, or pay someone to do it. Your landlord most likely took care of things when they broke depending on how your tenant rights were structured.
You may also be seeing some new bills for the first time if utilities like electric, water and Internet/cable were included with your rent.
The first big thing you might need to tackle is lawn maintenance. Beyond having a mower, edger and weed whacker, you also need a strategy for picking up the leaves in the fall, making sure the lawn is fertilized, and so on.
If you enjoy pushing the mower around, you can kill two birds with one stone by running your mower over the leaves. Doing this will turn the leaves into a nutrient-rich fine mix that your grass eventually absorbs and uses as food.
If you want to clear the leaves from your yard and have a great prop for next Halloween, check out Leaf Claws. Otherwise, you could totally take the Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor approach and use an ultra-strength gas-powered blower to clear the yard of leaves in 10 seconds flat. Just make sure to wait until at least noon to rev that up on a Saturday.
If you’re like me and would prefer not to touch the lawn at all, you have a couple of options. They have robotic lawnmowers that are programmed to the layout of your yard. These are way cool but pricey. It could be cheaper to hire a lawn service.
When Things Break
As a first-time homeowner, you probably won’t be familiar with all the little maintenance tasks that come up. It will help to have a checklist of home items around the house that need your attention.
When approaching any project, the first thing to do is assess your comfort level with the work that needs to be done. Personally, my body is just an uncoordinated thin stick my head sits on, so I’d prefer to call in help on just about any project. Others are more confident with DIY.
Whatever your skill level, it can be helpful to have an app that helps you keep track of your home maintenance tasks. That way, you have an idea when certain items were last completed and when it might be time to take a look at them again.
If there’s a task you don’t feel comfortable with, how do you find someone to help you with it? This is where you can really get a little help from technology.
Thumbtack is a website and iPhone app that lets people connect with others that have skills in various fields. You can use this for your home maintenance and home-improvement tasks.
Let’s say I’m having a problem with my furnace. The site asks me all sorts of questions the professional would need to give an accurate quote. Once the brief is completed, it’s sent out to various experts to give their bid.
There are various sites like this and there may even be some that cater to your local area.
It’s definitely a balance, because it can be expensive to hire a professional for everything, but it could be helpful for projects that are a little more hairy.
Were there any home maintenance items you dreaded when you bought your first home? How did you handle them? Share with us in the comments.
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