Stocking the Home for First-Time Home Buyers

In addition to a budget for buying a house, you may also need to create a budget for things to buy for your new house. Many first-time home buyers,after weeks of waiting for mortgage approval and then signing piles and piles of documents that nobody reads — because if you don’t sign, you don’t get the loan — might think a major hurdle has passed when closing finally happens. However, that stuff is only the calm before the storm.

This is what really happens. With keys in your hot little hands, you open the front door to your marvelous new home. You’re both so excited. However, this is where you might stop dead in your tracks to ask: “Why does the house look so bare?” Because that’s when it may hit you that you have a lot of shopping to do.

Things to Buy After Buying a Home

You probably have not thought about all the items you will need to buy for a new house that you did not need in an apartment. This news comes as a shock to many first-time home buyers. So, if you’ve scraped together your last two nickels to pay closing costs, here are ways you can save a little on some of your new purchases:

  • Keys & LocksThe first thing you should do is re-key or change your door locks. If the previous sellers were like most people, the neighbors, friends and coworkers all might have a set of keys to your house. Even new home builders give out keys to contractors. It’s smart to change the locks and / or install deadbolts.

    The easiest solution is to remove the locks from your doors and take them to your local hardware store to re-key. You can buy all new locks, but that’s expensive. Or, you can call a locksmith to change the locks for you, which is cheaper than you may think. Then, think about a place to hide a key so you won’t get locked out of your house.

  • LawnmowerUnless you plan to hire a gardener or your yard is filled with rocks or drought resistant vegetation, you will need to buy a lawnmower. Not surprisingly, many new homes in California have no lawns. The back yards are dirt, which means new homeowners here are forking out cash to lay sod or growing their own grass from seed.

    Consumer Reports publishes reviews that are extremely helpful when comparing brands and will suggest a “Best Buy” in lawnmowers for you. You can also search on Craigslist or in your local newspaper for used lawnmowers.

  • Garden SuppliesEvery home needs a garden hose. You can buy those at a low price, plus find adjustable sprayer heads or lawn sprinklers at Target or in the gardening department at Loews. Don’t forget about weed-whackers, trowels, shovels, rakes or hoes. A push broom comes in handy for sweeping your garage floor, plus the handle unscrews so you can use it as an extension pole with a wall sander. Consider a watering can, and wheelbarrow or wagon.​

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