Phew.

Except, now you are the only one responsible for not only making the payments on it, but for keeping it up! And we’re not talking about sweeping the kitchen floor.  We’re talking water heater, boiler, roof flashing, gutter cleaning, pest prevention, and landscape maintenance just for starters.

Whether your ex used to handle everything, or you did most of it anyhow, this is your asset now, so its crucial not to let it slide. And, when it comes to home repairs, you already know what they say, girlfriend;  sun block now saves you a facelift later!

We had just moved in when my husband moved out. It was suddenly up to me, not just to keep up the house maintenance chores but also to figure out what they were. I wasn’t exactly, Zsa Zsa Gabor on Green Acres,  but I did grow up a city girl.  Dumping the garbage meant tossing little bags down the chute at the end of the hall and anything beyond changing a light bulb was the purview of the Super.

I’ve come to embrace some of those super jobs- box breakdown, garbage hauling, even minor dishwasher repair, but I am still  afraid of the basement.  I’d rather encounter an aged Bette Davis as Baby Jane with runny mascara and a knife than actually have to examine the boiler (which one is the boiler, again?)   I’m getting  help for this.   And if any of this is a problem for you, I recommend you do the same. So, here, I exhort you to tackle those aversions and get on it with the following:

1.  Get your tools in order- Make sure you have a ladder, at least one flashlight and a full box of tools, including a drill with bits.

2.  Find a contractor you trust and get him or her over to give your house an all over checkup.  Get their help in putting together a house manual with all of the appliance info, paint color info, plumbing details, HVAC info etc. AND a calendar on which you can mark when you need to change air filters, water filters, smoke detector batteries, clean gutters, storm windows etc.   For things like air and water filters, make sure you have extras.   If necessary, shoot some video of the contractor demonstrating how to change water filters, smoke detector batteries, turn off water and gas, check boiler, replace fuses.

3.  Hire a Handy Man.  Ask your neighbors or your contractor to help you find a reliable, reasonable, handy person.  Maybe there is someone who works in the neighborhood who needs extra hours on evenings or weekends.  Of course there is!  You just have to connect. Local bulletin boards can be a good source, even local shopkeepers