Gifts for First-Time Home Owners

It's easy to cheer your friend on through the homebuying process, but when it comes time to buy something for the housewarming party, your mind goes blank. Don't worry. We've got you covered. 

If this is literally their first home 

The average age for first-time home buyers is in their early thirties, so most people have lived on their own in rental properties up until they bought their home. But there are plenty of places in the country were homes and rent are expensive and many young people live with their parents until they're able to save enough for their down payment. So, what do you do for the new home owner who has nothing to put in their new home?

  • Kitchen supplies: If your friend doesn't even have a pot to boil water in, they're probably going to waste a lot of money on eating out. Go for some of the essentials--and be sure to pick something that's nice enough that your friend won't be ashamed to pull it out at a dinner party. 
  • Gift cards. A lot of people say that gift cards are impersonal, but this option really gives your friend the flexibility to buy whatever she wants or needs. It's tempting to be able to admire the candlesticks you bought every time you come over, but your friend might have very specific ideas on what her priorities are for furnishing her home--and candlesticks might not be on the list. 
  • Cash. If you think people have something to say about gift cards, don't even get them started on cash. But to us, cash is even better than a gift card for the home owner who has nothing. Why? One word: flexibility. Cash gives your friend or loved on the flexibility to buy whatever he or she wants. If he wants to use it to pay for part of his new couch, good for him. If he wants to use it toward his first mortgage payment or to rebuild his savings account, then more power to him. 

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If they already have everything

These types of gifts work well if the home owner is someone you know well. Since they already have everything they need, you can spring for a thoughtful gift that will be a sweet reminder of you every time they look at it. 

  • Art: This can be a tricky gift since everyone's tastes are a little different. But if you know the new home owner well, you should be able to choose something you think they'd really like. Spring for an original from that local artist that she loves or go for a framed print of a classic piece that reminds you of her. 
  • A unique plant: Plants make a home feel cozier, they clean the air, and they can look downright cool. Choose something unique, like an air plant, or something that's impossible to kill, like a pathos. And don't forget the decorative planter!
  • Wine: Or chocolate or fancy cheese. Whatever says "I'm going to celebrate and indulge" to your friend. Double points if it's a subscription service to said indulgence. 

If they're a neat freak

  1. A really nice vacuum: If you've ever vacuumed your home with a new vacuum, you know what we mean. There's nothing more satisfying (and maybe a little horrifying) than seeing all of the dust and hair that your new vacuum picks up even if you just cleaned the floors yesterday. 
  2. A subscription box: There's a subscription box for just about everything these days. Look for one that really speaks to your friend's interests, like a green cleaning box or a box that sends organizational tools once a month. 
  3. A cleaning service: You can be a neat freak, but not actually like cleaning. If that sounds like your friend, then go for a gift card to a maid service that they can use on a regular schedule or during weeks that they just don't have time to do a deep cleaning. 

If they love the outdoors 

There's nothing better than sitting in your own backyard on a beautiful day. Help your friend outfit it as the perfect outdoor oasis. 

  • Patio furniture: There's not much you can do with an empty deck. Try giving your friend a simple bistro table and chairs so they can enjoy an early morning coffee outside while they listen to the birds or they can read a book while they bask in the sun. 
  • A firepit: Who says you have to go in when the sun goes down. A firepit is great to pull out for parties, to roast marshmallows, or just to enjoy on a quiet date night at home. 
  • A hammock: Who needs a tropical vacation when you can post up in your own backyard hammock, drink in hand, breeze blowing. Such a simple gift can bring great joy for your outdoors-loving friend. 

Buying a home can be a stressful process. So, be sure to take time to celebrate it with your friend!