Things to Buy for Your First Home: A Checklist
You need a first home checklist of essentials because owning a home is not the same as renting. Sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget all the things you’ll need! You get a whole host of new responsibilities you need to handle, and there are a lot of things you need to buy for your new home. So, to help you be as prepared as possible, we have compiled a timeline of financial responsibilities along with a checklist of things new homeowners need to buy when moving into their first homes.
Days Before Moving Day
- Set up utilities such as gas, water, electricity, and internet days before you move. This includes transferring utilities and other services over to your name.
- Purchase essentials for moving as well as for your health, hygiene, and home safety including boxes, tape, labels, permanent markers, trash bags, toilet paper, a box cutter, basic tools, smoke detector batteries, and garbage cans. Pack all your items in clearly labeled boxes so that you can easily access anything you want when unpacking.
- Buy new locks for your new home because you don’t know whether the old owner or a neighbor has a copy of the keys. Make sure you change your locks on moving day for these security purposes. Another security precaution is to buy a security safe where you will keep all your most valuable items on moving day and beyond.
It’s okay! Everyone panics on moving day, but all you really need to do is get your boxes and convince a relative or friend to come and help. Then fetch your keys from the real estate agent and inspect your new home to ensure that the previous owner hasn’t forgotten or swapped anything. If something that should be in your new home is missing, document it and inform your real estate agent.
Find out where the shutoff valves to the house are located and check whether the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
If your new home is bigger than your old rental, you may need to get extra seating on moving day. Some additional things new homeowners need to buy on moving day include the following home, electronics, and hardware store necessities.
- Secure cleaning supplies such as paper towels, rags, glass cleaner, surface cleaner, oven cleaner, rubber gloves, a broom, a dust pan, and a vacuum cleaner.
- Ensure you have a ladder or two so you can safely reach different heights in and around your home (think roof and gutters as well as ceilings, lights, and fans).
- Pick up some extension cords and surge protectors as your new home's outlets may be fewer and farther between.
- Buy a modem, a router, ethernet cables, and any other components needed to get your home technology suite up and running effectively.
New Responsibilities for New Homeowners
Since you now live at a new address, you have to change your address at all your financial institutions including banks and insurance companies.
You also take on the responsibility of fixing any issue in your home, and you are in charge of maintenance. Depending on your new neighborhood, you will be expected to maintain your yard, sidewalks, or garden, especially so if your property is part of an HOA that doesn't take care of the landscaping or snow removal. So, make sure you have the equipment you need to take good care of your lawn, trees, outdoor plants, and pathways.
- Buy outdoor home maintenance equipment such as a lawnmower, weedwhacker, hedge trimmer, small spade, rake, and snow shovel or blower (if necessary).
- Install home security items such as surveillance cameras, smart locks and lights, and window coverings to help maintain your privacy. Security is another crucial responsibility you'll have as a new homeowner. But, by addressing these security concerns first, you can move on to the fun stuff (like making decorating decisions).
- Purchase extras to personalize your space by changing paint colors, installing new home entertainment systems, buying more/new furniture, and basically adding your unique style throughout your new home.
While this is not a complete first home checklist of essentials, it should help you get started in your new home with minimal issues. If you are thinking of buying a home, consider hiring a real estate agent found through the Homes & Land website to help you find and purchase your dream home. If you are still in the market for a new home, browse our home buying for beginners article.