Moving From an Apartment to a House – What Will You Need?

For many new homeowners the ecstasy they experience on closing day comes to a screeching halt when they discover how much more “stuff” they’re going to need for the transition from an apartment to a home. If you have been scrimping and saving for a down payment, make sure to set aside a separate budget for the essential items you’ll need when you become a proud homeowner. Otherwise you could end up like this writer and her husband. Many years ago, when we bought our first house, we were dumbstruck as the moving van pulled away and we realized we didn’t own a single bed for our new 4-bedroom house! Prevent that from happening to you, by having a look at this list of suggested items.

Appliances- Most new homes are completely outfitted with appliances. If you bought an older home, you may need to update or replace a few. In that case, you can start with the basics like the stove, fridge, washer, and dryer. You can save up for the rest, shop sales, and find used ones that are often in excellent condition on Craigslist and at the Habitat for Humanity Home Store.

Window Treatments- Your new home is likely going to have many more windows in need of shades, curtains, and draperies. If this was not part of your original budget, don’t worry! They are a number of attractive and affordable alternatives to pricey window treatments at many major retail stores and online.

Doormats, Bathroom, and Area Rugs- It should not be difficult to find reasonably priced doormats and rugs. A few of these can wait, but a front door mat and bathroom rugs for the master bath and guest powder room should be at the top of the list.

Linens, Kitchen, and Bath Towels- Although you may have several sets of sheets and towels from your apartment days, chances are you’ll want something fresh that matches your new color scheme!

Home and Garden Equipment- Even if you plan on hiring a maid or lawn service, you are going to want to be able to take care of the basics when it comes to home, lawn and garden care. A few must haves are rakes, pruning shears, tree saw, leaf and/or snow blower, push broom, lawn mower, and a ladder. For general home maintenance and repair you’ll need a sturdy toolbox outfitted with these must haves: hammer, screwdriver set, wire cutter, pliers, needle nose pliers, and a tape measure. With tools, you get what you pay for, so invest in the best that you can afford.

Cleaning Supplies- if you are not bringing a broom, mop, dust pan and vacuum along from your apartment days, add those to the list! Also include a bucket, sponges, and your favorite (green) cleaning products.

Locks and Deadbolts- If you are moving into a new house, there’s no guarantee that the builder did not share the house keys with the contractor who may have given them to a sub-contractor…get the picture? Another scenario is that several friends, neighbors, relatives, and maybe even the pet sitter of the former owners still have a key to the home. Aside from installing all new locks, which is quite costly, your best bet is to remove them and have them all rekeyed at a hardware store. Calling in a locksmith to install new deadbolts is another solution.

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