As temperatures start to rise, the housing market is heating up, too. And after long last, younger buyers are finally making up a larger portion of today’s buyers. A recent report from the National Association of REALTORS® shows that 35 percent of today’s buyers are under age 35. These young buyers are often buying for the first time, and they may benefit from housewarming gifts that will ease the transition.
Here are some thoughtful and easy gift ideas for you to consider if you know young or first-time homebuyers purchasing in Minnesota or western Wisconsin. Or, maybe you are one and could benefit from some gift ideas to share with generous friends and relatives.
1. Moving day pizza or local restaurant gift cards
Whether you’ll be helping on moving day or not, consider sending a pizza delivery to the new abode on the night the buyers will be moving in. While a surprise would be fun, it’s best to let them know in advance so they can plan for it. If you’re delivering pizza or dinner in person, bring a set of paper plates, napkins and a chilled bottle of champagne so they create a memory they’ll never forget.
An alternative to this plan is to give a gift card to a new local restaurant they can try out in their first few days or weeks in their new area. Check out reviews in advance so you know you’re sending them somewhere great — Yelp has reviews for any area, and Heavy Table is a fantastic resource if the homebuyers are moving into the Twin Cities metro area.
2. Hardware store gift cards
Even the most perfect new house will have a few idiosyncrasies, and you can ease a homebuyer’s burden by giving them a credit to a local hardware store. Big-box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot are perfect for handy homeowners who have big projects they want to complete
For those who may need a bit more guidance and who will be tackling smaller projects, a local hardware store gift card works well. If they need a photo-hanging kit, the section at their local Ace Hardware may be less intimidating than the full aisle of options at a larger hardware store.
3. Coupons and discounts
If you’re a coupon enthusiast, this is a great time to share your wisdom — and your hard earned clippings! Stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond and Kohl’s are notorious for offering long-term discounts for one item or an entire purchase. Save up coupons you think the homeowners may want to use, and organize them by type (food, gas, bedding/home goods, hardware and home improvement, etc.) Be sure not to give coupons that expire within a week of their moving day. The goal is to minimize their stress and spending, not to make them worry about getting to the store before they’ve had a chance to unpack.
4. Address label changes
Buyers often overlook the need for new address labels or an address stamp so this is a great idea they won’t be expecting. Online sites like Zazzle and Shutterfly have dozens of affordable designs available.
Most homeowners have plenty of picture frames from their previous residence, but they may not have indoor plants to jazz up the décor. Consider the size of their new home and their style as you select planters and plants.
6. Extra furniture
Depending on how much bigger their new residence is, the homebuyers may need a lot of new furniture. If you have extra furniture you’re not using, you can offer it to them. Make sure you reinforce that there is no obligation for them to accept it, but that you’d be happy for your extra furniture to be put to good use.
Remember that we live in a culture of upcycling, so it’s possible the buyer may paint, strip or otherwise change the furniture once you give it to them. That’s within their right so don’t ask questions after you part with your armoire or old twin bed frame.
7. Sheets, linens and towels
Most likely, the homeowner will be moving into a larger home than their past residence. Linens of all kinds — bed sheets, pillow cases, comforters or quilts — will be appreciated for their extra bedrooms. Extra towels, whether for the bathroom or kitchen, are also a great gift. Consider giving a gift receipt so they can exchange for the colors or types they prefer.
8. Homeowner essentials
When you’ve lived in an 800-square-foot apartment, extension cords may seem like a laughable item. Homeowners, on the other hand, will know that items like extension cords, power strips, extra light bulbs, cleaning solutions and even duct tape are must-have homeowner essentials. Deliver a small package of these items within one week of their move.
9. How-to tips
The days of calling a landlord are long over, and some homebuyers may need help with basic tasks like turning off the water, changing a furnace or HVAC filter or tripping the fuse breaker. YouTube to the rescue! We’ve created this handy playlist you can share with young or first-time buyers who may need a little help in the home maintenance area.
Need help buying a new home?
If you know homebuyers who are about to enter the market, we can help! Edina Realty has more than 2,300 Realtors across every neighborhood in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Call, email or chat today to get in touch with a local market specialist.