Here are some quick tips to think about, make you stay calm and sort through the information and issues that come with that key to the house...
1. THE HOUSE ISN'T PERFECT.
That's a good thing. There will be repairs. Just make notes on the ones you can do your self and the ones that most definitely will require an expert.
2. IT CAN'T BE DONE IN ONE DAY.
I wish that I could have moved in and worked around the boxes and furniture to get it perfect all in one weekend. There will be projects. There will be priorities. There will be husbands that need to paint every surface of the house, including all the trim. (Nope, that's just me)
3. PACE YOURSELF.
Pick a room or a task to do per day. It is pretty rewarding to meet your goals day after day. It's gonna take time, and it'll certainly take love and patience and it'll show in the end. One day, you'll look up from the tool box and sea of sponges and sprays and see all the work you have done is finally paying off.
4. IT'S GONNA COST MONEY.
With the intitation of both homes I have owned (and still own - eesh), I am always surprised where the money goes. If you have never bought a home and you're scared of the down payment, don't be. Sometimes you need very little or nothing at all. The government is all about programs.
What will cost you is the upstart and service of all these new and wonderful things you have. The gas company will cost you to come out to set up the service, the locksmith will set you back $200.00 to change your locks, which I recommend doing. The list goes on. Don't panic.
5. TRY IT!
To save money, you may want to give some home projects a try before hiring a professional. I have found that half of the repairs that needed to be done, I could do. First, read through the directions. If you don't have a tool required, or especially if you have ever heard of it, don't try it your self. I am in the process of changing out the guts of a toilet tank, and it's not that hard. I also install lighting. If you know me, this should scare you.
6. MAKE YOUR INSPECTION FILE YOUR LONG TERM "TO-DO" LIST.
Take your inspection report and make it a to- do list. Trust me, when you first read one, it'll scare the living crap out of you. You WILL be sure that the house will collapse in less than a week. It won't. Well, it probably won't. Just simply make a copy and go through it and cross out all of the items that do not need any attention. Take the remaining items and decide what you can do, and what needs to be done by a pro.
7. DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK.
The first example I can think of is, when the gas guys came by to connect the stove, I asked them to look at a room that has no heat or air. The man was nice enough to go into the attic and check it out. He said it may be just a damper that's closed. This, at least gives me an idea where to start. It was free.
You may also have handy friends. I have very handy and strong friends, thankfully! Ask for help or opinions. The worst thing you can do is decide to self diagnose. Have you ever tried to do that on WebMD? It'll be about the same outcome. The world is ending.
8. IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED...
I am speaking about personal choices here. If it turns out your concept isn't as lustrous as you thought, change it. If that paint isn't quite right, change it. If that picture is just too low, move it up. If there is something in the scheme that bothers you, figure it out and revise it. It's that simple.
9. IT COULD BE WORSE.
Just remember that. Just believe that everything can be fixed. ...and also remember this photo. Be thankful that you weren't there.
I hope this list can be helpful to you and your well being. A home is a project. If you love it, it'll love you. Chances are, you aren't the first person that has encountered such issues with a home. You are not alone here. Breathe deep and keep smiling!