Robin Tanner's Blog
Purchasing your first home will be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling parts of your life. It’s an important milestone on the way to financial independence and to starting a family for millions of Americans.
It also comes with a lot of responsibilities and unforeseen expenses.
A Reddit user asked the online community what items ended up being useful to them that they didn’t think about beforehand. The result was a ton of great advice for new or soon-to-be homeowners.
In today’s post, I’ve broken down the most useful items from all of their responses. So, if you’re going to be a
1. Information about past purchases
One user found that the most useful thing the previous owner left behind were a number of receipts for appliances that would be left in the house. In addition, they also left a list of model numbers for important parts like faucets, and list of all of the paint colors used in the house.
In addition, the previous homeowners even left a binder full of menus for local restaurants. While the seller of your next home might not think to leave behind all of this useful info for you, it doesn’t hurt to ask in case they have some of that information saved that they’ll no longer need.
2. Ten thousand dollars
While this comment may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, it does illustrate an important fact for new homeowners: expect to spend some money. As the poster pointed out, there isn’t necessarily one thing that you’ll need. More likely, you’ll find yourself running to the hardware store often for a number of small purchases.
Setting aside some money for these initial expenses is a good idea so that you can get the most out of your home in the first few months living in it without worrying about how or when you’re going to replace some of the many small, but annoying, fixes you’ll experience in your new house.
3. A steel hand cart
From day one and onward, you’ll be moving a lot of things around your home. Heavy objects like dressers, drawers, refrigerators, and other furniture and appliances will often require two people to move. Well, if you live alone or you and your spouse work different hours, it isn’t always possible to have two people around to help lift and move something. To save time and prevent injury, having a dolly (A.K.A. a steel hard cart) on hand will make things easier.
4. Check your cell phone signal before moving day
In spite of the claims of the major cellular carriers, there are still many areas of the U.S. that have little or no reception. This can come as a shock on moving day if you haven’t planned ahead.
Fortunately, you can purchase a device called a microcell to boost the cellular signal in your home, preventing dropped calls.
5. A Carbon monoxide and smoke detector, and fresh batteries
As much as you may trust the previous owners, there’s no way to be certain that there aren’t any fire or CO hazards in the home that you’re unaware of. Getting new detectors, batteries, and installing them immediately will help you rest easy on your first night.
- A step stool and a ladder You'll use both of these quite often, especially when you're moving. In my house there are a few top kitchen cabinets that are just out of reach, so I'm constantly pulling out the step stool. However, they're also useful around the house like in closets or reaching high spots while cleaning and painting. Equally important is a ladder. You won't want to mess around climbing on unsteady chairs for changing lightbulbs or smoke detector batteries. Plus you'll need one for access to the roof of your shed or house.
- A whole-house fan or air conditioner When you move into a house, especially in the summer months, you're going to want to stay cool while setting up and cleaning your new home. A great way to bring lots of fresh air into the house is to use a whole house fan which draws air into the attic and therefore causing air from outside to flow into your open windows. Window fans are a suitable substitute, so long as they have an exchange mode to bring air in and out.
- A bucket and a wheel barrow Both of these items are easily overlooked but will be invaluable when it comes to cleaning your house and maintaining your yard. Reddit user shuggins points out some of the myriad uses for a bucket: mopping the floor, pulling weeds, watering plants, washing the car, washing the dog, and even turn it upside down for a stool when you need a break from all those chores. And in the unfortunate event that someone is sick and queasy, a bucket can be a lifesaver.
- Drain stops and screens It won't take long for your drain pipes to get clogged up with food in the kitchen and hair in the bathroom without drain screens. Plus, having a drain stop for your sink will turn it into--you guessed it--a bucket! Buckets are the best.
- New locks Who knows who has copies of the keys in and around your home. It's important to change all the locks, including padlocks to your shed. There are many horror stories of new homeowners getting all settled in only to be burgled soon after.
- Batteries all sizes Reddit user typhoidmarry accurately describes the necessity for extra batteries when they write, "Your smoke detectors battery WILL die at 2am. It will." Play it safe and get extra batteries for your all of your electronics to avoid frustration and rage when you can't watch Netflix because your remote battery died.