15 Things New Homeowners Totally Need (and Some They Actually Want)

moving boxes in an empty living room along with a lamp and other furniture

Reading time: 5 minutes

Housewarming gifts help a new house feel like a home. This is especially important when it comes to a first home, but what do your friends or family actually need? Sure, a candle or a bottle wine is a great gift, but is it something that they’ll use to maintain or improve the home?

Check out this list of the practical gifts for new homeowners with things they totally need (and a few they actually want).

Must have tools for new homeowners

pliers, hammer, tape measure, and a screwdriver on a deck
Help your friends complete their DIY projects.

Whether hanging a painting or fixing a broken drawer, new homeowners need a set of tools to complete improvement projects around the house. There’s quite a few items that should be in their toolbox, including but not limited to:

  • Hammers (a variety of sizes).
  • A wrench set.
  • A screwdriver set, including a Philips head driver.
  • Locking pliers.
  • A tape measure.
  • Hex keys (for almost every DIY piece of furniture).
  • A stud finder.
  • And a scraper or putty knife.

If you know your friends don’t have a toolbox, buy a starter kit with a brand-new set of tools. If you’re feeling really generous, pitch for a few power tools.

The perfect welcome mat

black and orange welcome mat that says hello and good-bye
Put your best foot forward.

One of the most thoughtful gifts for new homeowners, a welcome mat sets the tone for the entire house. It greets guests before they even set a foot inside and shows off the occupants love of dogs or their eccentric side, if the mat has a unique phrase. (We recommend this friendly greeting.) Plus, a welcome mat also keeps the entrance clean by giving guests a place to wipe their feet before they enter. Score!

Safety gear for project protection

The bare minimum of safety gear is super important for almost every home improvement project – gloves, googles, and dust mask. If your friends have a leaf blower or a ride-on mower, you might even want to chip in for a set of heavy-duty headphones. (New homeowner tip: Leaf blowers can also double as snow blowers for trace amounts of snow.)

A non-slip step stool

a barefoot homeowner on two-step stool in a kitchen
Step safely.

Sure, this might not be a glitz and glam gift for the new homeowners in your life, but it is one of the most practical gifts for new homeowners. For those hard-to-reach shelves or just hanging the TV, a step stool gives a boost when needed. Just remind the receiver to be super careful when using one, which is why we recommend the “non-slip” kind!

A complete grilling tool set

New homeowners need the tools of the trade to make the most mouthwatering recipes on the block. Gift a complete set of grill tools, including a grill cleaning brush with a scraper. After all, a dirty grill can create hazardous conditions, including bacteria, mold, rodents, and even fires.

The ultimate bathroom accessory – a plunger

Again, this may not be a staple at housewarming parties, but when you need a plunger – you absolutely, positively need a plunger. In fact, new homeowners need more than one plunger – one for each bathroom and one for the kitchen sink. Sure, you might feel a bit uncomfortable walking into a party with a bow and a plunger, but it is one of the ultimate practical gifts for new homeowners.

Handheld power – batteries

a person is loading a 9-volt battery into a smoke detector
You can never have too many batteries.

Batteries are lifesavers. Literally. From the smoke detector to the flashlight to the TV remote (Hey, Outlander is on!) – a new homeowner needs a lot of batteries when getting their new home up and running. And if children are moving in, batteries are essential to prevent toys from giving out on that first night.

More space – organizers

Give the gift every homeowner needs more of – space. Organizers help new homeowners to tackle their kitchen with places to hold pots, pans, bakeware, or even canned cranberry sauce. They can help take control of the closets with bucket or clear hanging options. Even tiny houses can seem huge with the right storage and organizational accoutrements. Learn more about organizing your home with our recent episode of the vipHome Podcast with NEAT Method.

“Clean and dirty” dishwasher magnets

There’s (almost) nothing more frustrating than coming home and finding the dishes in the dishwasher not cleaned. That’s why some of the best cheap gifts for new homeowners are the “clean” and “dirty” magnets. By slapping on the “dirty” magnet, homeowners can let their partners or roommates know it’s time to run the dishwasher…or not. If one had the time to slap on the “dirty” magnet, one might have had time to run the dishwasher. (We still think they’re cool.)

A wet/dry shop vac

a green and black shop vac on a gray carpet
The answer to the “just in case” situation.

A heavy-duty wet/dry shop vac is the product every homeowner may never want but needs to have for those “just in case” situations. Whether a sump pump decides to give out at the most inopportune time – like in the middle of a hurricane – or the home has a pool, a shop vac is one of the best practical gifts for new homeowners.

Recycling bin bags

One container is never enough. With glass, cans, paper, plastic, and even a fancy-schmancy “donation” bins – you can always be ready on recycling day with your items already sorted and ready for pick-up. And on those days you receive clothing requests from charities, you’re all ready to go with a separate bag.

Home emergency and preparation equipment

Make the new home a safe one with emergency safeguards, including a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector, a few flashlights, portable cell phone chargers, and if you’re the homeowner’s best friend – a portable generator. Also, don’t forget to remind new homeowners to make an evacuation plan and to practice it once or twice a month!

Furniture for the great outdoors

a man and a woman sitting in lawn chairs in a backyard
Give the gift of relaxation.

New homes require a lot of furniture – from the living room to the bedroom to the downstairs workstation – but don’t neglect the patio or porch. Consider gifting that area with outdoor furniture, such as lawn chairs, a coffee table, perhaps a wicker bar with a counter, perfect for an after-work drink. If you have a fire pit, don’t forget the fire extinguisher!

Alright, we give – a scented candle

There’s no place like home, and a scented candle with essential oils is one of the quickest ways to make a new house feel like a home. With the new homeowners’ favorite scent permeating the space, they can relax in utter bliss. Of course, it may take a little spy work to find out the homeowners’ favorite scent, but we recommend lily and coconut milk, or lavender and eucalyptus.

A digital home management app

Pictures of the home dashboard and home profile in the vipHomeLink app

Owning a home is hard. In fact, 63 percent of millennial homeowners regret buying their home. A quarter of those surveyed equated it to maintenance and the amount it takes to upkeep. That’s why there’s the vipHomeLink app, which provides tailored recommendations for home improvement and personalized reminders for home maintenance. One of the best practical gifts for new homeowners, our app can save new homeowners time and money by helping them to know what to do and when to do it. Plus, you can save all your home documents in one convenient place. Give a house a home with vipHomeLink!

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