Essential items new homeowners should have
Buying a home is a major purchase; however, there are a number of other things you should budget for when buying a new house. The following are six essential items every new homeowner should purchase.
- New locks. As homeowners, we give copies of our keys to neighbors, family members, house sitters, contractors, and more. As a new buyer, one of the first things you’ll want to do is change the locks on your new home. Instead of purchasing all new locks – which can get pricey – take them to a local hardware store to have them rekeyed. Another option that is surprisingly affordable is calling a locksmith to change the locks for you. Once you have your new keys in hand, make sure to decide on a place to put a spare to avoid being locked out yourself.
- Garden supplies. If you’re in transition from an apartment or condo to a home, garden supplies are a necessity. A quality lawn mower, garden hose, weed-whacker, trowel, shovel, and rake are important to keeping the outside of your new home looking beautiful. A push broom for sweeping the driveway or garage, wheelbarrow for moving dirt or mulch, and watering can are other handy outdoor supplies to have on hand.
- Now that you’re the one responsible for maintenance, it is important to have a well-stocked toolbox. A good home toolbox include:
- Ball and claw hammer
- Flathead and Phillips head screwdrivers in assorted sizes
- Plumber’s and basin wrenches
- Small drill and set of drill bits
- Tape measure
- Stud finder
- Fire extinguisher. In addition to making sure there is a functional smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector on every level of your new home, invest in a fire extinguisher. Keep one under the sink for kitchen fires, another near any fireplaces, as well as one in or near sleeping areas.
- Invest in one – or more! – quality ladders to help with jobs around your new house. A small step ladder is easily maneuverable and perfect for hanging pictures, changing light bulbs, or reaching high shelves. An extension ladder is better suited for helping you reach the roof, hanging outdoor lights, or clean rooms with a vaulted ceiling. The Red Cross also recommends purchasing an emergency escape ladder for homes with a second story.
- Window coverings. Curtains and blinds are an essential part of controlling the temperature, blocking light flow, and keeping nosy neighbors from peering into your new home. There are seemingly endless options for window coverings including blinds, curtains, drapes, Roman shades, scarves, honeycombs, sheers, shutters, or valences. Budget too tight? Look for self-adhesive paper blinds with clips. At around $5 per set, they are a budget-friendly, short-term solution until permanent window coverings can be purchased.