One of the greatest joys of being a first-time home buyer is knowing that the ground beneath your feet is actually your own. What’s easy to forget, however, is that your property will require some serious maintenance, and unless you plan to hire a landscaper, you may need some dedicated equipment on hand to get the job done.
So what exactly do you need? To help, we’ve reached out to real estate agents, home experts, and first-time home buyers alike to learn which items are must-haves. If you’ve just bought a home or plan to soon, keep this shopping list ready for the day you move in.
1. Long garden hose
Caroline Kalpinski, a real estate agent with Sotheby’s International in Asheville, NC, recommends a garden hose, “especially if you’re moving in the summer.” And a long reach is key so you can reach all the new plantings you’ve installed in both the back and front yards.
This garden hose is lightweight and flexible, meaning even your teenager can move it around the lawn and water for you ($40, Amazon).
2. Plumbing filters
If you have an HVAC system to cool and heat your home, then it’s time to get some filters pronto.
“These should be replaced every three months, but most homeowners never do,” says Donald Olhausen, a real estate agent in San Diego. “Be sure to change yours out on day one.”
HVAC filters are inexpensive, easy to get before you move, and designed to collect lint and dust before they reach the air in your home ($12, Lowe’s).
3. Wet/dry shop vacuum cleaner
There will be waste. David Gu from Los Angeles knows this well and is a staunch advocate of the wet/dry vacuum for sprucing up the garage or car upholstery.
“Look for one that can clean everything from paint to nails and small rocks,” he recommends.
The DeWalt brand is solid, and this powerful suction cup is ready for almost any task with its 12-gallon capacity and built-in blower capability to remove leaves and other debris from the driveway ($169, Amazon).
See: Homeowners, Are These 8 Essential Tools in Your Toolbox?
Even before you move into your new home, it is wise to ask around about the frequency of outages. The reason? If almost every house on the street has generators because a mild gust knocks out the power, you don’t want to be left in the dark.
This portable number can easily be wheeled wherever you go, and packed with 5,000 watts, it will power most of your house during seasonal storms. You’ll also appreciate that the tank can run up to 15 hours on a half load, meaning you’ll need to fill it up less often ($749, Lowe’s).
5. Cordless drill
Shelves. Tromsø bunk beds from Ikea. The baby’s changing table. You’re crazy if you think you can skip a drill and just use a regular screwdriver or other tool to make holes and build furniture.
Erik Jeanettea DIY expert and homeowner in Freehold, NJ, encourages first-time homebuyers to arrive on day one with an exercise like this.
With 30 pieces plus an ergonomic, easy-grip handle, this cordless drill is a joy to hold—and the zippered orange color makes it fun to use ($52, Amazon).
6. Retractable ladder
No – you don’t want to be standing on a wobbly chair to adjust that AC valve or trying to hang a massive piece of glass-framed art. Be smart and get an adjustable, extendable ladder. Grabbing branches from the roof and cleaning gutters is also made possible (and safe) with this sturdy item.
This ladder converts to multiple forms, such as an A-frame, extension option, and bend-and-plank, so every job you have around your new home is easy to handle ($295, Amazon).
Nothing will annoy your new neighbors more than your excessively long grass ruining the look of the block. Don’t let your lawn get out of control because you waited to pick up a mower. Even if you plan to hire a local service or teenager to mow your lawn, arranging this can take time.
With special technology that promises a faster mowing job and an attached bag that holds more grass than ever before, this mower can be the envy of your street and invite you to all the fun barbecues ($479, The Home Depot).
8. Snow thrower
Moving north? Check the average snowfall in your new area, then carefully consider a snow flurry. You might think you just want to use a shovel to clear snow around your new house, but this is only possible if your driveway is small.
A snow thrower is expensive, but this model throws the white stuff 40 feet away and clears to a depth of 20 inches, creating a path to your car and allowing the kids to walk downstairs to wait for the bus ($799, The Home Depot ).