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11 things first-time homeowners need ASAP

Photos of various things first-time homeowners need, like new locks and batteries

Did you just close on your first house? Congratulations on your new home! Being a first-time homeowner probably has you feeling pretty good, so keep the excitement going by getting started on the right foot: Here are 12 things to add to your shopping list that can help you start the homeownership journey fully prepped and ready.

1. Bathroom necessities

When we became first-time homeowners, we had some wall painting to do before moving all our stuff in. We brought all the paint supplies we’d need and promptly forgot that we’re human and would need to use the bathroom between hours of painting. These bathroom necessities would have been VERY helpful to us, and will be for you: Toilet paper, hand soap, a plunger, a shower curtain (and rod if needed), and floor mats for safety.

Hands screw in a lightbulb

2. Batteries and bulbs

You never know when you’ll need batteries, so you may as well have them handy. Lightbulbs, on the other hand, are an absolute must: You’re bound to find a closet or a darker room without a working bulb to turn on, and it’s a whole lot easier to move in when you can see where you’re putting stuff.

3. Cleaning supplies

Moving can be a messy business, especially if the weather doesn’t cooperate on moving day. Get ahead of the dirt getting tromped through your new home with these essentials: A broom and dustpan, a vacuum, disposable towels and cleaning spray, a mop and bucket, and cleaning solution.

4. Emergency kit

You could probably navigate your old place blindfolded, but a new home means new edges and objects to trip you up—and moving day comes with its own heavy lifting hazards. Prepare for all possibilities with a DIY emergency kit, including things like first aid items, a multipurpose tool, and contact information for local contractors, services, physicians, etc.

A red fire extinguisher

5. Fire extinguisher

It’s a new place, with all new possibilities of fire hazards. Stay prepared with at least one fire extinguisher on every floor of your home.

6. Flashlights/headlamp

Ceiling lights and table lamps are all well and good—until you need to mess with connections or assemble some shelving in a dark corner. A headlamp allows you to remain hands-free for these tasks. Having a few good, sturdy flashlights is always helpful, too, especially if the power goes out (or someone trips the breaker accidentally).

7. Kitchen necessities

If you have family or friends helping you move, you also have folks to feed and some cleanup to do afterward. Get your kitchen ready for the “I’m hungry!” onslaught with garbage cans and liners, a sponge and dish soap, and a can opener. Why a can opener? Like the Boy Scout motto, always being prepared helps prevent those ‘hangry homeowner’ moments.

8. Ladder/step stool

Whether you’re installing lightbulbs or climbing up to the attic, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to gain some extra height at some point. Invest in the best tools for the job with the appropriate ladder(s) and a sturdy step stool.

Side view of a door handle

9. New door locks

You have no idea how many extra keys were made or handed out by the previous tenants, so it’s smart to get the locks changed out as soon as possible. Even if the place is brand-new, any number of contractors or technicians could have needed access during the build and may still have keys. Play it safe and change out those locks as soon as you can.

10. Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors

One study found that three out of every five home fire deaths happen in homes with either no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Help yourself and your family sleep safely at night with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home: Install one on every floor, plus additional units wherever fires are more likely to happen (in the kitchen, for example).

Various tools typically found in a tool kit

11. Tool kit

Even if you’ve got a whole apartment of previously assembled furniture, there’s a good chance you’ll still need a basic tool kit—you may need to disassemble some of it to fit through the doors! Besides, tools come in handy surprisingly often, so investing in a tool kit now could save you some frustration down the road. We recommend one with a good drill and drill bits, a stud finder, and a selection of screws (for hanging all those wall decorations).

Now that you’ve got the basic necessities, here are some home system and appliance warning signs to keep an eye out for in your new home. Do you have a home warranty in case of a breakdown? Discover what America’s Preferred Home Warranty (APHW) offers in coverage, or give us a call at 888.351.3681 for more information—we’re here for you 24/7/365, and ready to help.

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