Practical Holiday Gift Ideas for New Homeowners

The holiday season is here! Struggling to think of gift ideas for your loved ones? You’re not alone. And if you’re a last-minute shopper, you’re also in good company—according to the National Retail Federation, 53 percent of consumers planned to do their shopping on the last Saturday before Christmas in 2017. That number is likely even higher this year.

You probably know someone who recently became a homeowner. Maybe they’re on your holiday shopping list this year. Chances are, the new homeowners are probably still unpacking boxes and stocking their new place, whether they moved in six weeks or six months ago. The holiday season is the perfect time to help them get settled.

We’ve put together a list of gift ideas to make their new house feel like a home—practical items every homeowner can put to good use. Let’s dive in!

Quality Kitchen Supplies

Pots and pans. Serving utensils. Food storage containers. All homeowners know these items are kitchen essentials—their friends and family purchase fun kitchen accessories to include in housewarming baskets alongside bottles of wine and serving trays. However, quality kitchen tools go a long way. New homeowners will truly appreciate the high-quality tools made to withstand family dinners and evenings spent entertaining guests—in the new home and in future homes for years to come.


Local Business to Visit: Akar Design (downtown Iowa City)

Fire Extinguisher

This isn’t an item many homeowners put a lot of thought behind, but it’s important nonetheless. In 2018, more than 2,000 fires were reported in residential buildings in the U.S. Fire extinguishers are a homeowner’s first line of defense against devastating fires that can wipe out everything they’ve worked for in a matter of minutes.


If fire extinguisher red doesn’t exactly fit their decorating style, you can find many customized, designer fire extinguishers to make safety fun.  

Tool Kit

Whether it’s for assembling new furniture, tightening a loose screw, or hanging picture frames, a tool kit will come in handy. Essential tools like screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, pliers, and measuring tape ensure that when a household project arises (which it inevitably will), the new homeowner on your list will have the right tools for the job.

Avoid the value set if you can, and spend your money on a name brand like Snap-on or Milwaukee. The recipient might only use them a few times a year, but when they do, it will be worth the investment.

If you want to save some cash, visit a secondhand store and find an old, used set. The tools might not look pretty, but they’ll last forever. If you’re lucky, a family member with an extensive collection might let you rummage through their tools and find something dependable and free.


Local Business to Visit: Lenoch & Cilek Ace Hardware (Iowa City)


Nothing is worse than the dreaded ring on the coffee table, aside from figuring out which of your guests is responsible for the party foul. Protect the homeowners’ new furniture from drips and spills with a set of decorative coasters. While there are many types of drink coasters on the market, stone-based coasters like sandstone, ceramic, and slate are the most absorbent options. Cork, bamboo, and metal coasters are also popular.


Local Businesses to Visit: RAYGUN (downtown Iowa City)

USB-Friendly Wall Outlets

We’ve all been in a situation where our device’s battery is running on empty, and when we go to charge it, the outlet is full. Wall outlets with USB charging ports are one of the most useful inventions for the tech-connected homeowner. They can plug their phone or tablet directly into the wall, avoiding the power cord shuffle of trying to determine which connected electrical appliance will get the boot. Plus, there are many options out there that are easy and safe to install, even if you’re not an electrician.


Cleaning Supplies

For brand new homeowners especially, cleaning items are typically not a priority until they’re needed. And let’s face it, receiving a mop as a housewarming gift isn’t nearly as fun as receiving wall art or a welcome mat with a clever message. But when the new homeowner does reach for the carpet cleaner, a toilet brush, or a duster, they’ll appreciate the thought you put into equipping their home with the supplies to keep it looking tidy.


Local Businesses to Visit: Moss/Whoa Nelli sustainable cleaning products (downtown Iowa City)

Hardware Store Gift Card

Almost every homeowner has made multiple trips to the hardware store in the same day. There’s a good chance the home improvement store will become one of their favorite destinations when they want to go on a shopping spree. A hardware store gift card is not only incredibly useful for those smaller, essential purchases (think shower curtain rods), but it’s also handy when planning and budgeting for the larger projects homeowners tackle after they get settled in their new home.


Hopefully this list sparks an idea or two so you can cross a few more names off your holiday shopping list!

Dreaming of owning your own home in 2019? Read our recent blog post on How to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage, or reach out with any questions you have about starting your home search. We’re here to help.

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