You want to give the new homeowner on your list a beautiful gift that expresses your happiness for them, but you kind of forgot about it until the last minute so now there's no time for the awesome monogrammed doormat or engraved silver key-chains you had in mind. Not to worry, we have some great gift ideas for the new homeowner that you can pick up on the way to their house. And you won't have to take out a second mortgage to buy them.
Classic and Classy
There's no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to housewarming gifts. A good bottle of wine or sparkling juice if your friends don't drink alcohol and a lovely set of stemware is always welcome. Add a set of wine-glass charms, a cork screw and a fancy stopper to make the gift complete. If your budget allows for a splurge, include a cheese board and cheese knife, a wedge of gourmet brie and a selection of tart and crispy apples. No, you don't have to shop all over town, all of these items are usually available in larger supermarkets.
Now that your friends have a house payment to make they'll probably be limiting their nights out. Help them enjoy their time as homebodies by creating a "movie night at home" gift basket from items you can find at the grocery store. Fill a basket with a variety of flavors of microwave popcorn, gourmet chocolates, nuts or other snacks they might enjoy then select a movie or two from the bargain bin. Go for something kitschy and old that they've probably seen before but would enjoy seeing over and over again. A classic holiday move such as White Christmas is an excellent choice.
A Book of Basics
Unless you friend is Bob Villa, as a first-time homeowner they're probably going to need a little help learning how to take care of basic home maintenance and repairs. There are many excellent homeowner's manuals on the market. A quick stop at the bookstore or home center and your shopping is done! Choose a DIY book that best corresponds with your friend's level of expertise. For example, some are extremely basic with lots of photos, some are written especially for women and some are more advanced and written with the expectation that the user owns a variety of power tools and knows how to use them.
The Mother of All Gifts
Gift cards. They are the ultimate last minute purchase, but let's face it, we worry they tell the recipient "Here, go shop for yourself, I didn't have time." However, new homeowners frequently go through a spending freeze as they adjust to all the extra expenses a new home can bring. A gift card from a hardware store or home furnishing store will be greatly appreciated.