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A first-time homebuyer has a lot to worry about.  They have likely just spent every last waking moment of the past few months worrying about mortgage lenders, title companies, inspections, down payments and closing costs.  Many times, it is not until papers are signed and you’re physically moving into your new home that you start to realize there are many items you need—and probably wish you had on hand.  While going through the process of buying your home, think about acquiring the items listed below and consider yourself prepared!

If you’re lucky, maybe family and friends might choose any of the below as “practical” housewarming gifts!


When purchasing a ladder, consider how tall you need it.  Is your new home two stories or just one level?  If you need to get on the roof for repairs, will you be doing it or hiring someone?  If you’re doing it yourself, be sure your ladder is tall enough and sturdy enough to do it safely.

Extension Cords/Cord organizer or holder

Be sure to purchase both indoor and outdoor extension cords, and make sure you invest in an extra-long cord to have on hand.  Also, in order to keep them from becoming tangled (or lost) invest in a cord organizer or make an organizer with simple pegs or hooks to keep them hung up neatly.

Wet-Dry Vac

A Wet-Dry vac is an invaluable piece of equipment.  Whether you need to clean up large spills, a box of spilled screws, or you find out the hard way that your basement floods, the wet-dry vac is well worth the investment.

Toolbox stocked with the essentials

You probably have many of these tools on-hand already, but they are certainly worth mentioning:

  • Hammer
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Screwdrivers (Phillips and flathead)
  • Hacksaw
  • Stud finder
  • Tape measurer
  • Level
  • Screws/nails/hangers for pictures, etc
  • Pliers and wrenches

Paint and painting supplies

While you might not know what paint colors are needed right away, do not overlook the importance of stocking up on the essentials for those never-ending touch ups.

  • Paint brushes
  • Putty knife
  • Spackle (because there are ALWAYS spots to fix)
  • Tarp to cover furniture or floors
  • Paint trays and liners

Lawn and Garden Tools

If you have a lawn to tend to, you will need to make the decision on whether you’ll be caring for it yourself or hiring someone.  If you are planning to care for it yourself, you will need to consider a lawnmower as well as all of the below.

  • Garden hose
  • Sprinkler
  • Weed whacker
  • Rakes/shovels
  • Wheelbarrow

Snow Removal

Much like lawn care, you need to determine whether or not you’ll be taking care of your snow removal or if you’ll be hiring someone to do it for you.  Remember, if you going to hire someone to plow your driveway for you, do so before the snow starts to fall so you can negotiate a price and possibly sign a contract.  You want to be sure someone is lined up for the job so you’re not scrambling at the last minute, and possibly paying double the amount for a last-minute hire.

If you plan on doing it yourself, you’ll need the below items, as well as a snow blower or plow.

  • Snow Shovel
  • Salt for your walkways and stairs
  • De-Icers
  • Roof Rake to be remove snow before damage can occur


Have more than one bathroom?  Buy more than one plunger.


Do not underestimate your need for flashlights.  Whether you have a power outage or you lost something under your furniture, you can never have enough flashlights in your home.


Stock up and consistently replenish your batteries.  All sizes.   They will be needed for everything from your smoke detectors and flashlights to your remote controls.

New locks and Keys

Your home might be new to you, but if it is not new construction, then remember someone lived there prior to you.  For your safety, be sure to change the locks yourself or hire someone to do so before you get settled into your new home.

While many of the above items might seem obvious, they are often overlooked during the hustle and bustle of moving into a new home.   Since you will likely not be in a position to hire a handy man for every repair or “incident” that comes up, keeping your tool shed and closets well stocked will prepare you to handle whatever homeownership throws at you.