Buying your first home is a very interesting time. Buying a gift for a first-time homebuyer can be a great opportunity to give them something more than a welcome mat or a coffee mug (both of which can be very nice, mind you). As someone who just went through the process, here is a list of slightly alternative ideas that can come in very useful!
- Custom moving announcements are a great gift for the friend who just moved into their first home. Unless your friend is like my friends Dan and Jon, who exercise pinpoint etiquette and flex their design skills by sending out gorgeous handmade notifications of their relocation right after they move, they're likely not to have gotten around to sending out their new address. There are some beautifully designed notices out there, like these ones by Gabrielle Kearney on Etsy, that make for a great gift!
- Many folks don't already own a first aid kit outside of the dinky one with a tiny bandaid and alcohol swab. Finding a stylish and extremely handy kit like this one from Radius can make for a very useful housewarming gift. A bit unorthodox as a gift, it is complemented nicely by a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers! It can also come in very valuable with their long list of home improvement projects...
- A custom painting or photograph of your friend's new home. Artwork is difficult to choose for someone else, but give them a discreetly sized painting or photograph of their home, and you'll know, at least, that they like the subject matter. If they bought a fixer-upper, perhaps a more abstract piece of art would work... This watercolor by Jane101580 on Etsy is a great example, but take a gander at all of the great styles offered by artists on the handmade marketplace.
- Give your friend a subscription to their favorite magazine! Most of the mail they'll receive at first will be coupons from home improvement stores and junk mail about refinancing. Give them something fun that will arrive in their new mailbox every month. Unless they're not into print, in which case move on to number five. (Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Galindez, via the Creative Commons on Flickr.
- A custom return address stamp with the homeowner's new address is probably something your friend hasn't had a chance to buy, but that will come in infinitely handy! This example, by Primele on Etsy, is a classic typeset version that spans many different aesthetic preferences.
- As one of the foremost authorities on organization and the home, Real Simple published a book about just that. "The Organized Home" will help your friend set up shop "the right way" from scratch. At very least it's inspiring and will give them something to aspire to! (I try and try, but my closet still doesn't look like that one...)
- A ladder. If you rent, you most likely don't own one. If you own a home, you'll most likely need one. With all of the expenses of owning your first home, most people won't expect ladders to cost as much as they do, nor will they think of buying one until the first time they really need one! It's a little bit of a strange gift, but they'll thank you every time they need to change that lightbulb in the hall or get on the roof. Home Depot is a natural source for this sort of thing.
- Alright. This one might weird some of you lovely readers out there. I'm going to suggest buying a suite of cleaning supplies for your friend. I know. Toilet cleaner? Weird gift! But when I moved into my new home, my mother took me to Target and loaded me up with everything I would need to clean my house. From the bucket to the Murphy's Oil soap, she set me up properly. And, I was able to indulge myself in my love for Method cleaning products to a larger degree than ever before. (I moved from across the country, so I didn't have the opportunity to bring anything with me!) A couple of ladies at the store commented on our shopping cart, saying, sarcastically, that we looked like we were in for a fun evening, but truth be told, it was so nice to be set up for every cleaning challenge that was presented to me!
What other helpful and alternative gifts have you received or purchased?
Images: As linked above.