15 Surprising Things Many First-Time Homeowners Don’t Know

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Buying a house is one of life’s biggest moments, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a little scary.A recent Reddit chat asked first-time homeowners to reveal the one item that ended up being super useful to them in their new abode, and the answers were incredibly helpful.

1. Break out the tool kit. “Cordless drill, step-stool and a free-standing ladder. I had no idea I would use those three items so much.”

2. Caulk. “Caulk covers all manner of evils, such as gaps in frames and baseboards. A single little crack can really throw off the finished look of a door or window.”

3. Find a good way to cool down your house. “My first house had a ‘whole house fan.’ It’s pretty much a giant fan in the center of the house that exhausts into the attic. When you turn it on, it draws air in through every open window in the house. Cooled the house down in minutes.”

4. Get an insurance quote before you buy.

5. A wheelbarrow. “I could write a short love story about my wheelbarrow,” said a first-time homeowner.

6. Look to see what was left behind.

7. Curtains. “It only takes a day for you to realize how important curtains are.”

8. Have a flashlight and batteries at the ready. 

9. A new shower head.

10. Always keep a step stool nearby.

11. A dolly or hand truck. 

12 A bucket. “Pulling weeds in the yard? Bucket. Watering plants? Bucket. Moping the floor? Bucket. Washing the car? Bucket. Need a stool to sit or reach something? Mix a little cement? Put out fireworks? Washing the dog? Carrying a little dirt? Bucket!”

13. A stud finder—and a backup plan. After one commenter praised his stud finder, many users chimed in to say theirs could not find a single stud in the wall. If you have this problem, the commenters suggested using a small magnet instead.

14. Change the locks.

15. Make sure you’re able to make phone calls. “Check your mobile reception and download speeds when you’re house-hunting. A place loses a lot of its appeal if you can only make a call from one corner of the living room.”

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