8 Home Maintenance Essentials Every First-Time Homebuyer Needs, Bad

8 Home Maintenance Essentials Every First-Time Homebuyer Needs, Bad

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One of the greatest joys of being a first-time homebuyer is to know that the land beneath your feet is actually your own. What’s easy to forget, though, is that your property will require some serious maintenance, and unless you plan to hire a landscaper, you may need to have some dedicated equipment handy to get the job done.

So what, exactly, do you need? To help, we’ve reached out to real estate agents, home experts, and newbie homebuyers alike to learn which items are a must. If you’ve just bought a home or plan to soon, keep this shopping list handy for the day you move in.

1. Long garden hose

This pick is no-kink and made of strong fabric.


Caroline Kalpinski, a real estate broker at Sotheby’s International in Asheville, NC, recommends a garden hose, “especially if you’re moving in the summer.” And a lengthy option is key so you can reach all of the new plantings you installed in both the back and front yards.

This garden hose is lightweight and flexible, which means even your teen can move it around the lawn and do the watering for you ($40, Amazon).

2. HVAC filters

Help your AC run smoothly with new 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 it,” says Donald Olhausen, a real estate agent in San Diego. “Be sure to switch yours out on Day One.”

HVAC filters are inexpensive, easy to get before you move, and designed to pick up lint and dust before they reach the air in your home ($12, Lowe’s).

3. Wet/dry shop vac

The extra long cord lets you reach every mess.


There will be spills. David Gu of Los Angeles knows this well and is a staunch advocate of the wet/dry shop vac to neaten the garage or car upholstery.

“Look for one that can clean up anything from paint to nails and small stones,” he recommends.

The DeWalt brand is a solid one, and this powerful sucker is ready for nearly all tasks with its 12-gallon capacity and built-in blower option to clear away leaves and other debris from the driveway ($169, Amazon).


Watch: Homeowners, Are These 8 Essential Tools in Your Toolbox?


4. Generator

Don’t get caught without AC or lights!


Even before you move into your new home, it’s wise to ask around about the frequency of outages. The reason? If nearly all the homes on the street have generators because a mild gust of wind knocks out power, you don’t want to be, um, left in the dark.

This portable number is easily wheeled wherever you go and, packed with 5,000 watts, it’ll 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, which means you’ll refuel it less frequently ($749, Lowe’s).

5. Cordless drill

Nuts and screws are no match for this drill.


Shelves. Tromso bunk beds from Ikea. The baby’s changing table. You’re crazy if you think you can skip a power drill and simply use a regular screwdriver or other tool to make holes and build furniture.

Eric Jeanette, a DIY expert and homeowner in Freehold, NJ, urges first-time homebuyers to arrive on Day One with a drill like this one.

With 30 pieces plus an ergonomic easy-grip handle, this cordless drill is a pleasure to hold—and the zippy orange color makes it fun to use ($52, Amazon).

6. Extendable ladder

Think you’re tall? Guess again.


No—you’re not going to stand on a wobbly chair to adjust that AC vent or try to hang a massive, glass-framed piece of art. Be smart and get an adjustable, extendable ladder. Grabbing branches from the roof and cleaning out gutters are also made possible (and safe) with this sturdy item.

This ladder converts to multiple shapes, such as an A-frame, extension option, and trestle-and-plank, so every job you have around your new home is easily handled ($295, Amazon).

7. Lawn mower

A self-propelled mower makes cutting grass easy.

The Home Depot

Nothing will irk your new neighbors more than your too-long grass marring the block’s look. 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 teen to cut your grass, this can take time to arrange.

With special technology that promises a faster cutting job and an attached bag that holds more grass than ever, this mower might become the envy of your street and get you invited to all the fun barbecues ($479, The Home Depot).

8. Snow blower

Clear your front walk and driveway in mere minutes.

The Home Depot

Moving north? Check the average snowfalls in your new area and then carefully consider a snow blower. You may think you’ll use just a shovel to remove snow around your new house, but this is possible only if your driveway is tiny.

A snow blower is pricey, but this model tosses the white stuff 40 feet away and clears at a depth of 20 inches, creating a path for your car and allowing the kids to walk down to wait for the bus ($799, The Home Depot).

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