Today I had the alarm company come out because the keypad that we use 99% of the time to turn the alarm on and off was getting really difficult to press. Our system dates back to when the company was still Brinks. Now it's ADT and I understand the company was just acquired by another alarm company, so we'll see where that all ends up.
The upshot of my conversation with the service guy is that our system is ancient (we had it put in around 1997) and there are no replacement keypads to be had. Because we had another rarely-used keypad in a different part of the house, he recommended that we just swap them. He also offered to clean out the bad one as much as possible to make it more functional.
That all worked out pretty well and now we have an almost-new keypad in the kitchen (seriously, it still has the plastic film over the display after all these years) and a better-than-it-was version upstairs. Best of all, the service call was free.
Once that remedy exhausts itself, it'll be time to have a new alarm system installed.
Because we've lived in this house for almost 21 years, I'm finding more and more things like that keypad that either need to be fixed now or will soon.
The hot water heater is a shining example. I'm pretty sure we bought it a year or two before the alarm system, which makes it super old for a hot water heater. I'm sure it's part of the reason all our faucet aerators are choked with tiny mineral pebbles. Yet, it still heats the water and sends it to the sinks and shower in a reasonable amount of time, so I'm not going to get ahead of myself.
Then there's the washing machine. I've been threatening to replace it for years because it not only deposits clumps of lint randomly all over our clean clothes, but it's now rusting inside, which means it will leave rust spots on light-colored clothing unless you remove the loads immediately after the last spin cycle concludes.
I'm not completely neglectful of our home maintenance. We just had the guttering on the back of the house replaced and the downspouts relocated to where they won't send water directly into the garage and basement every time it rains. That's been a problem for years and I'm almost looking forward to our next rainstorm to see if it did the trick.
My first priority in the next six years or so is to get the house paid off. Without a mortgage payment, I'll be able to afford lots of different home repairs and improvements. In the meantime, the to-do list can just keep growing.