39 Things New Yorkers Didn’t Realize They Would Have to Buy When They Bought a House

published Mar 15, 2021
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Old new england colonial home dating from 1735 in Concord, Massachusetts, USA
Credit: Christian Delbert | Shutterstock

There are a lot of perks to leaving behind the hustle and bustle of city living in favor of the quieter sprawl of the suburbs. Most people can expect to pay less for everything from housing to car insurance by changing their zip code, but that doesn’t mean that trading a fourth-floor walk-up for a colonial house with a yard is cheap to do. For lifelong New Yorkers, who have never lived in a single-family home, moving to the ‘burbs can be quite expensive thanks to some surprise essentials for suburban living. 

A member of the Facebook group Into the Unknown, which provides support for New Yorkers decamping to more rural areas, recently asked what NYC apartment transplants needed for their new homes that didn’t occur to them until after they moved in. The responses poured in (as did some horror stories — window treatments are expensive), unintentionally creating the perfect shopping list for anyone getting ready to make a move. 

Check out what unexpected purchases you could expect to make if you move.

  • A shovel 
  • Garbage cans for all bathrooms and utility areas
  • Outdoor recycling bins
  • A mailbox
  • Snow blower
  • Ladder
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Lawn mower
  • Leaf blower
  • A rake
  • Outdoor garbage cans (if your township doesn’t provide them)
  • A saw for trimming fallen branches
  • Sidewalk salt/de-icer
  • Mulch
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Ring doorbell
  • Outdoor furniture 
  • Grill
  • Bird feeders 
  • A birdhouse 
  • A water softener system 
  • Window treatments
  • Welcome mats
  • Garden clippers
  • Gardening gloves
  • Mouse traps
  • Hornet spray
  • Outdoor umbrella
  • Shelving for the attic and shed
  • Basement dehumidifier
  • Caulk gun
  • A generator
  • Tools like hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches (plus a toolbox to store them all in)
  • Home security system 
  • Extension cords 
  • Wheelbarrow 
  • Mud-safe boots
  • Zip ties
  • Tape measure

Before you hit “add to cart” on any of these items, one commenter pointed out that one of the perks of suburban living is yard sales, which will allow you to pick up a lot of these essentials at a fraction of the cost.