Tools for First Time Home Buyers

tools for first time home buyers

First time home buyers often purchase homes that are not new and will likely need some repairs or light remodeling. In many instances, first time home buyers also may not have the tools needed to make the necessary repairs the moment the move into their new home. There are some basic tools that every first time home buyer should own.

There are some basic tools for first time home buyers that every new home owner should have. These tools will enable you to make the majority of the basic repairs that can be performed without hiring a professional, and will likely save thousands of dollars over time.

List of Tools for First Time Home Buyers

These are our list of must have tools for first time home buyers and why we think they are important. We will also take it one step farther and will do the research to determine which tools we recommend based upon price, quality and reliability.

Cordless drill/driver – This is the number one tool that every homeowner will need. This is also going to be the most expensive of all items on our list below. You will find that you will use this more than any other tool on this list over the course of time. You will likely use this to install or remove screws more than you will use it for drilling. This is our recommended first time home buyer drill/driver on Amazon. It is an excellent tool that performs like a tool an experienced DIY person would own, but is priced like an entry level drill drive. It also comes with a charger and an extra battery. cordless drill

Drill Bits – Drill bits and also screw head bits will be needed for first time home buyers. There are many cheap sets that you can purchase at your local home improvement store. However, there is a difference between cheap versus reasonably prices bits that can last a while. There is nothing worse than finding out that your drill bits are dull the second time that you use them. This is our recommended first time home buyer drill bit set on Amazon and it also includes the screw head bits.

drill bits

Socket Set – A socket set is another must have tool for first time home buyers. There will be countless times over the next decade where you will need to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts. The alternative will be to hand turn them with a wrench. That is okay to do that once, but if you are making quite a few repairs, you will need a socket set. This is recommended first time home buyer socket set.

socket set

Utility Knife – A utility blade will be a tool used as often as a screw driver. Even if you rent an apartment, this tool will be extremely useful. You cannot live without a utility blade simply because you will likely receive boxes on occasion that need to be opened. This is a two pack available on Amazon because you will likely lose one!

utility knife

Hammer – The basic hammer is the most obvious tool that needs to be in every home. The only advice to offer here is to get one that has enough weight behind it so you can easily drive nails in. A hammer that is too light will not get the job done and may also result in more bent nails. This is our recommended first time home buyer hammer. We suggest getting the 20 ounce option.


Screw Driver Set – We just recommended a cordless drill/driver above, so why would first time home buyers also need manual screw drivers? Answer – there are many jobs where the cordless driver is the wrong choice. Especially when it comes to flat head screws. The power version will likely frustrate you more than it will help you. This is our recommended first time home buyer screw driver set.  It is a craftsman which is known for their quality. This will likely be the last screw driver set that you will ever need. 

screw driver set

Adjustable Wrench– Homeowners need wrenches for light plumbing tasks and also to hold the back and of bolts while using a socket wrench. We are recommending just one adjustable wrench. This is all you will need.

adjustable wrench

Pliers Set – Pliers are another must have tool set for every homeowner. Just a handful of pliers including needle nose will suffice. This recommended set of pliers for first time home buyers will be with  you for a long time.

pliers set

Level – If you plan to hang a picture in your new home, then you will need a level. Then, you do not have to rely upon someone’s eye as to whether “that looks good”. Of course, the level will be useful when you take on additional remodeling projects. This is our recommended level. This one is perfect for first time home buyers. If you find yourself doing some major construction, then you can get a longer level at some point.

inexpensive level

Wire Strippers – Many homeowners will eventually change light switches, outlets and other electrical fixtures. If that is the plan, then you will need basic wire strippers. These are our recommended wire strippers. Perfect for those individuals who are on a budget and it has a spot for every gauge wire that you may find in your new home.

wire strippers

Pry Bar – If you are going to remove and or replace some of the trim or molding in your home, then you will need the right tool for that. A pry bar will also tackle tougher projects where you are trying to separate larger pieces of wood and need some serious leverage. This is our recommended pry bar. It is simple and inexpensive. It is a piece of iron that will get the job done.

cheap pry barPaint Roller and Brushes – This one is obvious and often over looked as a tool. You would be surprised at how many people purchase the wrong roller and brushes for the job they are about to take on. A bad paint job will make a room look equally bad. There really is a difference in the quality of the various rollers and brushes. This is the one area where it is important to purchase quality. This is our recommended roller and recommended paint brush. The brand we like is Purdy and the brush in the link is angled for trim. If you need a brush for something other than trim, then select one with a straight edge.

starter roller and brush

Total cost for this list of tools for first time home buyers is estimated to be just under $250.  With these tools, you should be able to tackle any project inside of the home. Every first time home buyer may not have the budget to make all of the purchases above. If we could rank them, it would be the cordless driver/drill, screw drivers, pliers, drill bits, socket set, and rollers & brushes.

Are Tool Bundles Worth It? tools for first time home buyers

You may see various tool bundles offered online and in many of your local home improvement stores. For example, you may get a cordless screwdriver, an impact driver, and a small cordless saw. It may look like a value when you price the three tools individually.

One of the problems with tool bundles is you often get a tool in the package that you will rarely use. In addition, tool manufacturers sometimes produce special tools that are made specifically for the bundle that may be of lower quality than the similar models that are sold individually.

Therefore, just make sure you fully research what you are getting in the bundle and determine whether it makes sense for you. Our preference is to select the tools that you really need and create your own bundle at the best price possible.

Should I Pay for an Extended Warranty?

There are some warranties that make sense and some that don’t. If the tool has a motor, then you can consider it. However, you should never pay more than 10% of the original purchase price and that warranty had better cover you for many years.

Tools that have no motor (hand tools) often do not have a warranty and if they did, I would not recommend that you pay for it. Craftsman used to offer a lifetime warranty on their hand tools. It was free of charge because they were standing behind the quality of their tools. However, that offer no longer exists.

Tools as House Warming Gifts for First Time Home Buyers

If you are looking to purchase a house warming gift for someone who is buying their first home, then purchasing tools may be a practical option. We often get gifts from people that are never used and sometimes thrown away soon after. How many scented candles do first time home buyers need?

We recommend putting together a first time home buyer tool gift bundle. This may work be a fit for you whether you are a realtor saying “Thank You” or you are trying to help a close friend get a head start with their exciting new home purchase. Maybe one a couple of the items listed above based upon what you know about the first time home buyers. 


The list of tools for first time home buyers above is everything that you need to begin your journey with your new home. You will likely save thousands of dollars doing many of the projects yourself. If you plan to tackle repairs or remodeling that involves electrical, make sure that you do your research and take the various precautions needed to keep you and your home safe.

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