20 things you’ll need for your first home

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Now that you’ve signed on the dotted line, it’s time to get ready for the big move. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you might be surprised at all the things you need that don’t come with your new house.

To make sure you’re not caught unaware, we’ve put together this guide of all the things to buy for a new house. These essential household items will help you enjoy every minute of your new place.

1. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Along with home ownership comes the responsibility of keeping everyone inside safe. One of the first things you should do is make sure you’re prepared in the event of a fire and have operational smoke detectors in all the right places.

But don’t stop there, carbon monoxide can be an even more prevalent threat to your well-being, so be sure you invest in a CO detector as well. There are even two-in-one detectors that can detect both threats.

Google Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Smoke and CO alarm
Nest Protect

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Google Nest Protect two-in-one smoke and CO detector uses smart technology to keep your family safe. Because it uses Wi-Fi, you can control this alarm and receive alerts from any mobile device, no matter where you are. This one does seem a bit trickier to self-install though, and some users struggle to properly set up the Wi-Fi connections—I struggled to get it to speak English.

2. Home security system

Keep your awesome new digs safe from intruders with a home security system. With the variety of options out there, you’ll be able to find a security system that can keep you and your home safe at a price you can afford.

Best DIY home security alarm system: Eufy

DIY home security alarm

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If you’re itching to get your DIY on, this budget-friendly 5-in-1 kit from Eufy is the perfect place to start.

The pack includes the Eufy HomeBase, keypad, motion sensor, and two entry sensors, all of which can be easily installed in minutes. Plus, there are no monthly fees, since the system is self-managed.

Best DIY home security camera system: Eufy

DIY home security cameras

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Want to have eyes all over your property for the ultimate protection? This Eufy wireless home security camera system boasts 2K resolution, built-in spotlights, 180-day battery life, IP67 waterproofing, two-way audio, night vision, and is compatible with Apple HomeKit.

Plus, your data is kept private with military-grade encryption and local storage to keep your footage out of the cloud.

3. Curtains or blinds

To make sure your first impression on the neighbours isn’t an awkward sighting of you in your birthday suit, invest in window coverings for your new home. 

Anjee thermal insulated blackout curtains

Blackout curtains

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

When you’re looking for more than privacy, Anjee's heavy-duty curtains will block out light and help with energy efficiency. You can choose between four colours and three lengths.

These blinds also help reduce noise, which is ideal if your new neighbours aren't the quietest.

4. New door lock

Chances are you’re not the first person to call your house home. The safest way to ensure random keys to your front door aren’t floating around in the world is to swap out your current door lock for a new one.

You can make a straight trade for a standard lock, add a new deadbolt, or upgrade to an electronic keyless lock. Smart locks get rid of lost keys altogether.

Kwikset 660 Deadbolt


Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

This deadbolt is easy to install, which means you don’t have to be a home-improvement superstar to add extra security to your new front door. The Kwikset 660 deadbolt fits your door’s pre-drilled holes and features an adjustable latch that should fit just about every door. Plus, should you ever need to rekey your door, you can do it yourself in seconds without needing a locksmith thanks to Kwikset's SmartKey technology.

Eufy Security Smart Lock Touch with Wi-Fi

Smart lock

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

With the Eufy Security Smart Lock Touch, you can use the app, a code, or your fingerprint instead of a key for easy entry. It also provides extra security when you need to let in a neighbour to water the plants or give the kiddos entry after school.

If privacy is a concern, you'll be please to know this smart lock has all the bases covered, storing your biometric data locally instead of in the cloud.

5. Fire extinguisher

Smoke alarms aren’t the beginning and end of fire safety—you also need to be sure your new home is equipped with a fire extinguisher. It’s not just the professionals who need these potentially life-saving devices.

Conduct a home safety and security assessment

Print out our handy checklist to bring with you from room to room:

The Complete Home Safety and Security Checklist

6. Smart doorbell

Now that you’re in charge of your castle, you can benefit from knowing who’s at the door—even when you’re not home. A Wi-Fi enabled smart doorbell lets you see when that important package is delivered, when the kids get home from school, and who dares knock during the dinner hour.

Ring Video Doorbell

Smart doorbell
Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen)

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Ring Video Doorbell lets you see and speak to visitors whether you’re upstairs or holidaying in a different state. It starts at under $150 and is easy to install on your own. The motion detector has had some glitches, so be aware that it may capture people as they walk away (instead of as they approach your door).

Ring actually sells quite a few doorbell cameras (like the Ring Video Doorbell Plus), but this is their most budget-friendly option. Its perfect for those wanting to dip their feet in the smart home pool.

Coolqiya Wireless Doorbell

Wireless doorbell

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If security isn’t your main concern, you might like the Coolqiya wireless doorbell that has over 50 customisable ringtones. It also comes with two receivers that you can place anywhere within about 400 metres of the door so you never miss a visitor. Its easy to install, and has a weatherproof rating of IP55, so you don't have to worry about it getting wet. 

7. Security cameras

Keeping an eye on your home—and your loved ones or pets—is more important once you’re a homeowner. Security cameras can provide extra comfort, especially when you’re getting used to a new neighbourhood and routine.

TP-Link Tapo

Affordable security camera

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

This little camera is so affordable that you can outfit your entire house with video surveillance. The TP-Link Tapo Pan/Tilt Camera features two-way talk, night vision, and a 360-degree horizontal range and 114-degree verticle range. Best of all, there’s no required subscription—the app is free.

8. Tool kit

In order to fix things around the house, you need the necessary tools at your fingertips. It’s just not practical to borrow a tool from your neighbor every time something needs fixing. (Plus, you don’t want to become the Homer Simpson of the neighborhood.)

Aerostralia Home Tool Kit

Tool kit

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Up your homeowner skills with this oh-so-practical 79-piece kit. Whether it’s a hammer, a screwdriver, or a measuring tape, this kit is the perfect starting place for your future tool shed. It's also pretty compact, so it won't take up much room at all.

Black+Decker 18V Drill Driver Kit

Cordless drill

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If you feel a little more advanced, consider picking up a cordless drill. The light, compact design is perfect for putting together furniture, making small repairs, and hanging up those beloved family photos. This one won’t cut it for bigger jobs, though, so if you’re planning on a lot of drilling, you might need to look for something else.

9. Torch

Now that you’re a homeowner, you’re also a handyman, plumber, and the person who has to investigate weird noises in the garage or under the house. It’s smart to get a couple of heavy-duty torches and keep them somewhere handy so you can find them when you need them. 

Stanley rechargeable torch

Rechargeable torch

​Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

This behemoth from Shadowhawk can run up to twelve hours on low power. It’s a great tool for illuminating workspace and car repairs, but the sturdy design comes with a few drawbacks.

This rechargeable torch is a hefty unit and can become heavy if you need to hold it for a long period of time.

BYB LED Mini Flashlights

(3 pack)

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

These small torches come in a pack of three and provide a powerful spotlight for home repairs and finding your way in the dark. The three-pack helps you affordably outfit all the crucial spots in your home, and though they may be small, they're incredibly bright.

10. Lockbox or safe

It’s smart to purchase a lockbox to hold important documents and other valuables. Make sure you choose one that is both water and fireproof. Depending on what you need to keep safe, you can find a box or safe starting at around $100 to safeguard crucial documents like birth certificates, banking records, and other sensitive information.

SentrySafe Lockbox

Fireproof lockbox

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Outfitted with a privacy key lock and fireproofing, this home safe offers protection for sensitive documents and valuables. It can withstand heat and fire up to around 800°C for 30 minutes and water for up to 72 hours.

11. Welcome mat

Find a front door mat that shows off your personality and keeps mud and other detritus from crossing the threshold.

Have fun picking out a doormat for your new home, but don’t forget about safety. Make sure the welcome mat (and any other area rug) doesn’t turn into a tripping hazard. Secure rugs with rug pads or grippers.

PLUS Haven Pure Coco Coir Doormat


Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

This natural fibre doormat comes in two designs and has built-in nonslip backing to keep your porch safe for all visitors. Best of all, coconut coir is naturally resistant to fungi and bacteria, so feel free to roll out this mat in all weather and even humid conditions.

Other items you'll want on moving day

You might already have these things on hand from your days as a renter. But if you borrowed them from roommates, it's time to get your own.

family with mom, dad, baby in window

12. Cleaning supplies

From a broom and dustpan to sponges and toilet bowl cleaner, you want to stock up on everything you’ll need to keep your new abode spick and span, including hand soap, dishwashing detergent, multi-purpose cleaner and plenty of reusable cloths.

13. Shower curtain

We’re back to getting caught in a state of undress—don’t do it. In order to take a shower with privacy, and without flooding the bathroom, you need to remember to pick up a shower curtain (unless you're lucky enough not to need one). And the bonus is that this can be a fun purchase; there are so many decorative shower curtains to choose from.

14. Plunger

While you’re thinking about the bathroom, you may as well add a plunger to your shopping list. Believe us, you don’t want to discover you’re missing one when the need arises. Save yourself future stress and make sure you have one handy in a bathroom emergency.

15. Can opener

A can opener is just one of many often overlooked necessities that you won’t know you’re missing until you can’t open up that can of baked beans. Nothing’s worse than being set on a meal and being unable to open it properly.

16. Bins and liners

That cute little bin you’ve had next to your bed for the past five years won’t cut it now that you have a whole house. You’ll want one in each bathroom, the kitchen, the garage, and possibly the laundry as well. You can probably get away with smaller bins in most rooms, but be sure to get a larger bin for the kitchen, and don’t forget to buy liners in the same size.

17. Batteries

It might seem obvious, but batteries are a must-have for every home. Get the big ones for your torches and stock up on AA and AAA batteries for all the remotes and other gadgets that make modern life so convenient. Everything from remote controls to LED lights rely on fresh batteries, and no one wants to be caught unprepared when the batteries run out.

18. Light bulbs

Even if there are already bulbs in your home’s fixtures, you need backups for when those lights start burning out—and they always seem to do it at the same time. Stock up on energy-efficient bulbs.

Or take it one step further with smart lightbulbs that you can set to turn on and off at designated times and control remotely through your computer or smartphone. Smart lighting increases convenience and security, uses less energy, and saves money on monthly power bills and replacement bulbs.

Philips Hue White Starter Kit

Smart lightbulbs

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If you’re ready to upgrade to smart lightbulbs, this starter kit is the perfect place to start. It comes with two smart bulbs and a hub that can wirelessly connect to as many as fifty lights. It is pricey to get started, but this can be your first step toward making your whole house a smart home. Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit & Google Assistant for voice control.

19. Clothes hangers

All that new closet space is like a dream come true, but you need the right supplies to make your dream function properly. Be sure to stock up on clothes hangers—basic plastic ones come in a variety of colours, or you can upgrade to wooden or bamboo hangers.

20. Iron and ironing board

In order to stay presentable at work and keep tablecloths in their best condition, don't forget a good-quality iron and an ironing board.

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time of publish and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer’s website at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise Australia utilises paid affiliate links.
Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards

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