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Homeowner Maintenance Roulette

Joined: 11/9/2011
Posts: 23
Owning a home is the American Dream. Or I should say owning a home you can afford is the American Dream. But it also comes with a lot of upkeep. Fortunately, I moved from a 1970’s-issue home into a new-build. Like many people, I thought that it would stay clean and perfect forever—new appliances, furnace, floor coverings, etc. Pretty and shiny! Not so much. After almost eight years, things are starting to let me down.


Now I’ve had a home so I know that the minute you sign that paperwork, you need to buy something you never thought of – immediately. When you move from an apartment, you don’t think that you’ll need a 220-foot hose for your new yard or an extension ladder. You’ve had “people” do that stuff for you. Trust me, if you’re buying your first home, you better cozy up to Mr. Home Big Box Store because he’ll become your new best friend.

But since I’ve owned homes for over 20 years, I know the spending never stops. Caulk, for example. I know what its use is, but I really begrudge spending my somewhat discretionary money on it. How about weed-killer? It’s wrong on so many levels. Probably pollutes and harms my little animal pals even though Ms. Garden Store assures me that it won’t. But you buy this stuff so your home is your comfortable, safe nest.

Surprise Maintenance Attacks

So far this winter my furnace has needed repair, my ice-maker’s broken and quite a few other things are showing their age and infirmity. The furnace wasn’t a surprise. Evidently there’s water in propane that rusts out the burners in my furnace. Wouldn’t you think the manufacturer might have thought of that? The ice-maker outage is mostly just annoying. Call me lazy, but I like it when the fridge makes its perfect little crescent shapes rather than me having to fill an old plastic ice tray.

I’ve started playing what I call “Homeowner Roulette.” You play it by deciding which budget-killing repair is a priority. The furnace was, but the icemaker can wait. What about gravel for my driveway? Even in a pickup, I know I’ll get stuck in a deep snow with no traction under me. I learned that I’ll need 19 tons of gravel. Gosh, I was thinking one or two would do it. Oh, and it’s going to be $400. Mr. Gravel did suggest he deliver a couple tons to get me by and I could move it around myself in a wheelbarrow. Don’t think so.

But take heart, newbie homeowners. The joys of having your own home do outweigh the downsides. You just have to pick your project/expenditures. And be really nice to Mr. Home Big Box store. I bet he’s never had your brownies…
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Comment by mcoly618

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
I wanted to let you know that we featured your essay on the Stage of Life Facebook page today. If you would like to check it, out go to Feel free to share the news with your friends and family. You're famous! :)
Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012 2:16:52 PM
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Comment by WriterchickNancy

Joined: 10/16/2009
Posts: 6
Thanks, Megan for the shout out!
Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012 2:28:28 PM
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Homeowners blog on StageofLife.comAbout Us is a blogging community for homeowners.  It allows people who own their home to share stories about the adventure of home ownership in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Read the blogs and stories about home ownership, or check out the writing contest for homeowners, quotes about owning a home, home etiquette, videos about owning a home, discounts for homeowners, and other resources for having a baby on  Register to start your free profile, share an essay about your home, and pass along your wisdom to help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a college professor, teacher or educator - review our literacy, blogging and writing resources

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