The Best Housewarming Gifts to Bring a First-Time Homeowner
When you first buy your own home, it’s an exciting and anxiety-inducing process. Everything from finding a realtor you trust to picking out the best dining room furniture involves a lot of choices and unsolicited opinions from everyone you know and love. The feeling when you’re finally able to sit back and enjoy your own home is indescribable.
If you have a friend who recently went through this process themselves, they’ll probably want to celebrate as soon as it’s over. One of the best ways that you can help to celebrate their success and achievement is to bring them a personalized housewarming gift. It doesn’t need to be expensive — just something to show that you’ve been thinking about them and want to join in the celebration of their success.
Bottle of wine
As one of the most typical housewarming gifts, it’s hard to go wrong with a good bottle of wine. Even if the homeowner isn’t a wine drinker, it’s nice to have something around for when their parents come to visit, or they have out-of-town guests who like a tipple. Just make sure the bottle is higher-quality than their usual grocery store variety — and bonus points if it’s something that can be laid down for several years to age into perfection.
Bottle of high-quality olive oil
This is a great gift to buy for someone that you know isn’t a drinker, or someone who loves to cook. A bottle of special olive oil isn’t necessarily something that someone would buy for themselves — especially after dropping thousands of dollars on a down payment — but it will elevate any dish and bring out the flavors of even the simplest ingredients.
If you don’t know which bottle to choose, there are tons of sites out there like bestoliveoils.com that aggregates reviews for every bottle entered into the World Olive Oil Competition.
While buying someone a piece of home décor is always risky especially if you don’t know their style very well, a well-made blanket will always find a place in someone’s home. Blankets and other room accessories are generally the last things purchased, so if you’re visiting someone right after they’ve moved, they probably don’t have many yet. Plus, you can never have too many blankets!
Just make sure that it’s a neutral color and texture, rather than something over the top that may not fit in with their existing furniture.
Another great gift that’s perfect for anyone with a kitchen (regardless of how much they use it) is a cutting board. Sure, you could pick up just any cutting board you find at World Market or Target, or you could commission an artist on Etsy to make them a personalized cutting board that’s monogrammed with their initials. Whichever style of cutting board you choose, people will love it because a cutting board can be used by even the most infrequent, inept home cook.
Another great option is buying a cheese board, so they can lay out elegant spreads for their friends and family.
One of the benefits of buying a house is that you can finally have a permanent address. Celebrate this milestone by buying your new homeowner friend a magazine subscription. Even though some magazines have been transitioning towards more online content, there’s still something special about getting expertly curated reading material every month.
If you aren’t sure of their interests, stick with a general interest publication like The New Yorker, Vogue, Men’s Health, or National Geographic. If you’re more familiar with their hobbies or career, find a unique magazine that speaks to their interests, like Monocle, Kinfolk, or Another Escape.
One of the best ways to help bring color and life into a new home is to gift someone a potted plant. One of the most popular house plants out there is lucky bamboo, a tropical plant that’s actually more closely related to the lily than it is to actual bamboo.
These plants are typical gifts in Chinese culture and are often gifted in specific amounts to express a particular sentiment. In fact, two stalks represent love and affection, while seven bamboo stalks are thought to help encourage positive energy and good health. These plants are easy to care for and can be purchased at garden centers or Chinese grocery stores.
Set of dishtowels
People who have recently moved into their own home will tell you that one thing that you can never have enough of are dishtowels. Having a lot of dishtowels helps you cut down on your use of disposable paper towels, which is beneficial to the environment. If you’re gifting a set of dishtowels to a new homeowner, make sure they’re high-quality, absorbent cotton or linen.
Another gift that you can purchase alongside a set of nicer dishtowels is a package of cheaper cotton kitchen towels. These blue or red striped towels are common in restaurant kitchens and can be used to mop up even the greasiest, messiest spills that would otherwise ruin their nicer towels.
Essential oil diffuser
Another useful gift for a new homeowner is an essential oil diffuser. These machines hold a small quantity of water and essential oil and disperse it over a period of hours as vapor, making the house smell amazing. If you know they already have essential oils, you can just upgrade their existing diffuser with a larger model to cover the larger area of their new home, or you can also throw in a set of basic essential oils.
Some useful oils are lavender, peppermint, orange, lemon, and tea tree. These can then be combined into endless different scents that will complement any occasion.
Basic tool kit
One of the most challenging aspects of being a first-time homeowner is dealing with all the day-to-day repairs on your home now that you’re the one responsible for upkeep and maintenance. This makes a gift like a basic tool kit both thoughtful and practical.
The Wirecutter recently named the WORKPRO Kitchen Drawer Tool Kit as one of their top picks for the best homeowner’s tool kit. It comes with a huge assortment of steel-forged hand tools in a slick, zippered carrying case. Plus, at only $27.99 on Amazon, it’s a great deal!
To help them break in their new kitchen, a cookbook is a great gift. Even if they’re already an accomplished chef, a new cookbook will bring in new ideas and techniques that may not be part of their usual repertoire.
If they’re a less confident chef, a great basic cookbook like Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything or the classic Joy of Cooking will help explain even the most complicated recipes in simple, easy-to-understand language.
With the joys of new homeownership come the responsibilities of being the head of your own household. This means that occasionally, you’ll need to invest in necessities like insurance that protect you against accidents or other unforeseen circumstances. One thing that everyone homeowner should have is a working fire extinguisher. It may not be the flashiest gift to buy someone, but it could help save their life.
The Fire Alert PRO5 weighs less than 10 pounds, and can be tucked into a kitchen cupboard out of sight when not in use.
Another gift that can be both thoughtful, practical, and elegant is a set of matching coasters. Anyone who is moving into a new place and buying brand-new furniture will want to protect their investment, and coasters are the best way to ensure that your wooden and marble tabletops are protected from unsightly water rings. There are so many options to choose from on sites like Amazon and Etsy, you can buy them a different set for every room of the house.
Another gift that will help encourage a new homeowner to put down roots (literally) is a tree. The size and location of their outdoor space will determine which tree you can purchase, but if you have a general sense of what they’re working with, head to the garden center and ask the staff there for assistance. You can also give your friend a gift certificate to the garden center and let them pick a tree out for themselves.