Robin Tanner | Benicia Real Estate, Vallejo Real Estate, Napa Real Estate, Fairfield Real Estate

Buying a new home comes with a lot of new responsibilities that may have been previously taken care of by your landlords or parents. When you're out shopping for things like tools and cleaning supplies for your new home it's mostly guesswork as to which items you really need. Couple that with the fact that department stores are now filled with endless selections and it becomes almost impossible not to waste money or miss an important item for your home. Users on the popular online forum Reddit were recently asked what the most useful item for their house turned out to be that they didn't think of beforehand. Their answers, which we'll go through below, serve as great advice. If you're a new homeowner or will be soon, read on for these important household buys:
  • 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.

The house is perfect. Size, location and design of the home fits your personality and your lifestyle to a tee. As if to crown all of the advantages associated with the house, the neighbors are friendly, responsible and fun.

When staying away from owning a new house may be best

Each time you've stopped by the house, at least two neighbors spoke and waved a heartwarming "Hello". Not a single neighbor was guarded when you asked them about schools, shopping, social events, community organizations and worship centers in the area.

Property taxes in the new neighborhood are also good, lower or not much more than what they are where you currently live. Yet, as perfect as it seems, buying a house now is a bad choice. In fact,  it may be best to postpone buying a new house if you meet one or more of the below criteria:

  • You just filed bankruptcy and your disposable income is too tight for you to take on the responsibility of owning a used car or a new furniture set. If you can't keep up with payments on these smaller items, it's highly likely that you can't afford to buy a new house.
  • Houses where you currently live are selling slowly. You'd take a loss of several thousand dollars, perhaps more than $25,000, if you sold your current house now.
  • Interest rates are rising two to three times a year. Your credit would make it hard to secure a fixed interest mortgage. You could save $100 or more a month if you wait until interest rates lower or your credit score improves.
  • In a few years, your household size will change. For example, adult children may leave home for college or may be in the process of saving enough money to buy their own house. Once your adult children move out, you'll need a smaller house.
  • The environment as your job is shifting. You're not certain that you will still be with your current employer in a few weeks or months when you suspect that your current employer will do a layoff.
  • Although you're going through marriage counseling, your relationship is experiencing deep challenges. You're not sure that your marriage will survive the challenges. Buy a house now and you may have one other piece of property or equity to let attorneys help split between you and your former spouse, should your relationship dissolve.
  • Recent investment that you've made have squeezed your finances. For example, if you started a new business, it could take two or more years to generate enough income from your business to take on a mortgage.

A well built house last for decades. This gives you time to sharpen your financial portfolio before you buy the house that you love. As tempted as you are to punch the button and take on a hefty mortgage just so you can live in a house you want,if you buy the house before you're financially ready, you could regret the decision for years.