5 Things I’ll Never Regret Buying for My First House

published Jul 11, 2023
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Anyone who has ever purchased a home knows that it can be a pricey time. Not only is a house the most expensive purchase many people will ever make, but there are also a lot of little costs that add up (like when you have to continue paying on your old lease, rent a moving truck, and even pay for all those activation fees for your utilities) that make even a small purchase feel like a big splurge. 

When I bought my first house back in 2005 I made several of those “big splurges” in the first few weeks after getting settled. Here are the five I’ll never forget (and the one housewarming present that I’ll buy for myself the next time I move).

A New Broom

Sometime before I signed the closing papers on my home I’d read that bringing your old broom into your new home was bad luck. Being a young homeowner and not wanting to tempt fate, I’d tossed the broom I used at my apartment and sprung for a cheap new version from Target. 

While I can’t say whether the new broom brought me any luck — the subprime crash began a little more than a year after I moved in, taking the inflated value of my home down with it — I never regretted the choice.

An O-Cedar Mop

Another cleaning tool that was high on my list was a new mop. I also picked it up from Target during that first shopping run after closing. I’d used different brands of mops before, but an O-Cedar mop quickly became my favorite and I turn back to the brand anytime I need a new one.

Yankee Candles 

I purchased my house from a pair of heavy smokers, and that smell — along with their own individual smells that were left behind when they moved — lingered. I tried a number of different items to help combat the odor and establish my own scent within the house before finally splurging on some Yankee candles. 

They masked the smell of smoke until I was able to repaint all the walls and remove most of the carpet. As an added benefit, anytime I get a whiff of the clean cotton scent I’m instantly transported back to those exciting early first weeks as a homeowner. 

New Carpeting

I’m not being dramatic when I say the smell of smoke was strong in my house. While I didn’t have the money or resources to tackle a complete home renovation before I moved in, I still made redoing my bedroom a priority. I repainted every surface of the room, replaced all the window treatments, and had a brand-new carpet installed. If nothing else, it was nice to sleep (and keep my clothes) in a room that was free from the smell of smoke. 

New Hangers

I’d purchased my first home after a little more than a year of apartment living. Before that I’d lived at home with my parents, and all of my hangers were actually their hangers. After getting settled I decided to splurge on a matching set of blue plastic hangers (to match my bedroom) and return my wire hangers back to my parents’ laundry room. 

A New Toilet Seat

This one wasn’t a purchase of my own, but instead a gift from my parents. My mom came to my house that first day after the settlement — when all of my family had gathered to help me wash windows, scrub the tub, and install new cabinet liners — holding a brand-new toilet seat and cover

We laughed at the time about how funny of a housewarming present it was, but I appreciated the gesture and the idea that I wouldn’t be sharing such an intimate part of my home with the strangers who lived there before me. Oddly enough, the new addition helped make my home feel more like my home.