As a beginner in the real estate investment world and brand new landlord, it’s not a situation of “if” but “when” your tenants get you on your mobile to tell you that garbage disposal/shower leak/noisy refrigerator needs some attention. These property repairs best left to otherscalls can come at any time and some are obviously more urgent than others. From your perspective anyway.

If you have more than one property in your portfolio you should contact a property management firm to help with maintenance calls as they occur. Or you can make the fixes on your own.

If you consider yourself truly “handy around the house” then simple repairs will come easy for you and save you some money at the same time. What are some of the easy fixes you can make that won’t always require hiring a contractor?

A common tenant call comes when the garbage disposal no longer works. When you get that call, first ask the tenants to check the reset button located on the bottom or side of the disposal. Many times, all that is needed to get a disposal working again is pressing that red reset button. If that doesn’t work, changing out a garbage disposal is relatively easy for anyone handy with plumbing tools.

And speaking of plumbing tools, changing out an old style toilet with a new low-capacity model is also a relatively easy fix. It can get a bit dirty when changing out the wax ring and one piece models are harder to place than a two piece due to the weight difference, but replacing a toilet really means removing the old, cleaning the floor of any residue, resetting the new toilet over the flange and securing it to the floor. You’ll need a level for most installations to make sure it flushes correctly but a toilet replacement can easily save you $150 or more in labor.

The drip, drip, drip from a leaky faucet usually only needs a replacement valve or O-rings located in the sink handles. Most handles today are universal and by taking out the old and a trip to the hardware store is as easy as using a small crescent wrench.

And while you’re at the hardware store, remember that the sales people there can answer most any question you have, can provide you with training videos to show you how certain repairs are made and give you an idea on how much you can save if you do it yourself instead of hiring it out. If you mess up and find out your project is a little over your head, your contractor is just a phone call away to pick up where you left off.