Below are some tips from a friend who has been there:
1. Find a good general fix it man that you pay by the hour. Keep a list of everything that is broken, when the list gets long give him a call and tell him what is on the list and get it done in one day.
2. Get plumbing (including broken sprinklers) and electrical done right away. You can run up your water bill and burn your house down if you don't get those things fixed.
3. A friends husband will usually give you a price break, but ask up front what everything is going to cost.
4. "Angie's List" (on-line) is a good source of reliable help.
5. Always get the repairman to explain exactly what he did and write it down--maybe you can fix it yourself next time!
6. Doors and windows that stick can become endearing after you have lived with them a few years.
7. You can probably find an electric mower second hand somewhere for about $20. With a long extension cord it can do a small yard, and it is really easy to push. Mine lasted for 10 years, and then I passed it on.
8. Toilets are easy to repair. Just get an instruction book, go on-line for instructions, or go to a really expensive plumbing store and ask questions until they explain to you what needs to be done.
9. Each thing you learn to repair yourself is an accomplishment, and will make you feel really good about yourself.