12 Things You Need When You're Buying Your First Home
You bought your first home! Congratulations! But we know you weren’t planning on living in an empty house. So what should you focus on buying first?
You might have been sleeping on a futon or your childhood bed in your apartment. But now that you’re a homeowner, it’s time to upgrade to a grown-up bed. Don’t forget to ditch the Star Wars sheets while you’re at it! (Or, you know, keep them, because there's nothing wrong with being a fan of Star Wars as an adult. Just keep it classy.) Check out this article on HuffPo to learn more about how, and when, to buy a mattress.
2. Cleaning supplies
Even if you weren’t particularly picky about cleaning in your apartment, your home is your investment. Make sure you have the essentials:
- all purpose cleaner, preferably a yummy-smelling one
- a vacuum
- a broom and dustpan
- a mop and mop bucket
- carpet cleaner, if applicable
Pay special attention to what cleaning products are safe for certain surfaces, like hardwood floors and granite countertops, both of which can last a long time if properly cared for -- but are expensive to replace!
3. Fire extinguisher
Safety first. Get a few extinguishers to put around the house. Just in case. And make sure you know how to use them.
4. Tool set
*Sigh* It sure was nice being able to call your landlord when something needed to be fixed. Now that you’re a homeowner you’re responsible. But don’t worry, a lot of minor repairs are pretty easy. Have an emergency savings account to cover anything you can’t fix yourself.
5. Furniture for guest rooms
You probably have more than one room in your new house. Don’t forget you’re going to need to put something in there. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a bed--although it’ll come in handy when you do actually have guests. Your guest room can be an office, a craft room, whatever you want (it’s your house after all).
Don't forget local second hand stores. Some "antiques" might be less expensive than you think, and you'll know they're built to last! That futon you were sleeping on in your old apartment? It makes a perfect fold out couch for guests. But if you can feel the slats through the mattress, it might be time for a replacement.
6. Bathroom essentials for guest bathrooms
You don’t want to wait until you have guests to invest in a shower curtain and bath mat for the guest room. It doesn’t have to be the nicest one in the world, just enough to protect your floors from water damage. And, no one likes to talk about it, but get a plunger and toilet brush for the guest bath, too -- so no one has to talk about it.
Read more → 10 Tools Every Home Owner Needs
7. Lawn mower
Having a yard to hang out in is great. Mowing a yard is not. But you gotta do it. If you’re lucky, your homeowners association might take care of your front yard. Even if they do, they’ll most likely get on your case about the backyard. An untended lawn can invite all kinds of creepy critters, so keep it clean.
8. Window coverings
Thumbtacks and sheets (you know who you are) absolutely do not count. Go out and get some real curtains or blinds. It’ll protect your privacy and look nice. Plus your home will stay cooler in the summer.
9. Home security system
This one is completely optional. But having one will help protect your investment and yourself. Not to mention, it’ll save you some money on your homeowners insurance. You can even go hi-tech and invest in a smart home system.
If your new home did not come equipped with common appliances, you may need these as well...
10. Washer and dryer
No more communal laundry room for you. It’s a great feeling to know you can leave your clothes in the washer for weeks if you want and no one will mess with them (but seriously, don’t do that). When is the best time of year to buy a washer dryer? LendEDU can help you figure it out.
You could definitely get away washing your dishes in the sink for awhile. But you’re probably going to want the convenience of a dishwasher eventually. Much like the dryer, you can probably get away with leaving the clean dishes in there for a while (but don't).
You’re going to be eating a lot more leftovers now you have a home to take care of. So a decent fridge is a necessity. If your new home didn't come with one, spring for an energy efficient version and save some extra money on your utility bill.
Owning a home is exciting. You can paint the walls whatever color you want, then make holes in them to hang your favorite art to your heart's content. But being a homeowner also means being responsible. And, hey, you qualified for the mortgage, so you must have done pretty well so far!