If you’ve recently tied the knot or are getting ready to exchange vows, there are many things to prepare for to ensure you have a bright future together. One essential part of the newlywed life is making sure that you have a well-prepared home that you both love. From financing and budget to essentials like appliances and furniture, it’s important to have a new homeowner checklist to ensure you have what you need. Being prepared now will make living together later even sweeter. This guide is here to help you create a comfortable and functional living space together so that you’re ready for a wonderful life not just as newlyweds but also long into the future.
Table of Contents
- Newlywed home basics
- Furnishing and equipping your new home
- Protecting your investment
- Adding personal touches and decor
- Moving in together
- Final thoughts
Newlywed home basics
Before you pick out paint colors and wall art, there are some basics that you’ll want to tackle first, like finding the right home to share. Make sure you choose a home in a location you love that’s close to schools, shopping, and your place of employment. Look at several factors, including how large of a home you want, how old it is, and what makes it a must-have for you and your other half.
Finding the right home
Everyone’s journey to find the right home is different. Still, there are some basic tips that every couple should incorporate into the process:
- Set a budget: Determine how much home you can afford and how much your monthly payments can (and should) be. Start saving for a down payment now to have better rates and terms when you finally apply for a mortgage. Remember to research interest rates and come up with the monthly mortgage you can pay once you find the perfect home. This crucial step will make the home-buying process much easier when it’s time to shop.
- Research: Before you start shopping for a new home, research the market in your area. Look at the average price of houses, which neighborhoods you like best, and what else is trending based on your location. Make a list of must-haves for your new home that you won’t compromise on, and make a separate list of the things you don’t want. Doing some homework in advance will make the house-hunting process much easier when you’re ready to buy.
- Find an agent: Look for a reputable, reliable, and local real estate agent near you who can help you find your new home together. Qualified agents are well-versed in the real estate market and your local housing market. They can help you negotiate with sellers and work with you through everything from the house-shopping portion all the way to closing.
- Get financing: Research several mortgage lenders to determine which one you want to apply with. You can also use a mortgage broker to help you find the best rates and terms. Once you apply and are pre-approved, you can start making offers on your beautiful new home.
Making a home essentials checklist
Part of a happy marriage includes ensuring both of you have what you need. Every couple should make a home essentials list that includes important things like what type of furniture and appliances you’ll need, how you plan to decorate the home, and information about professional repair services near you, including a trusted plumber and electrician. Sit down together and make a list of all your home needs. When you brainstorm together, you’ll develop a comprehensive checklist of everything that will make your home happy and safe.
One way to get the things you need is to make sure you set up a wedding registry and tell all of your wedding guests where you’re registered before the big day. Be sure to include important home items like cookware, dishes, special decor, furniture, and anything else to make your house a home. Having a registry makes moving in together easier for newlyweds. You won’t have to spend as much of your money on essentials, and you’ll likely get a few items that you both really want before you move into the new space.
Furnishing and equipping your new home
From furniture to home appliances, here are some items to add to your newlywed checklist to ensure you have the essentials ready.
Even if your home has existing appliances, they might not be up to par, especially if they’re older. Always ensure that the appliances in your home can serve your needs. For example, if you already have children, you may need a larger capacity washer and dryer to handle big loads of laundry. Couples who love to cook might prefer a more high-end oven and refrigerator. Go over all of the appliances you need and plan to use, then make sure you either upgrade existing ones or determine the best ways to utilize the ones you have. This is also a good time to look at other things like the size and shape of your kitchen sink and layout, just in case you plan to do some remodeling. Don’t forget to include cleaning appliances like a vacuum cleaner, mop, and broom.
Before you move into your new home as newlyweds, here are some of the most important pieces of furniture to include:
- A bed for each bedroom
- Mattresses and box springs for each bed
- Dressers and nightstands
- Sofa or sectional
- Coffee table
- Dining room and/or kitchen table and dining chairs
- Accent chairs or a recliner for the living room
- TV stand or entertainment center
- Bookcases or shelving
- Desk and office chair if you have a separate work area or home office
Once you know what type of appliances and furniture you’ll need, add these important basic items to your list that all newlyweds should remember:
- Pots and pans for cooking
- Cooking utensils and silverware
- Plates and glasses
- Food storage items for the pantry
- Bedding (sheets, pillowcases, blankets)
- Towels and washcloths
- Bathroom essentials like toiletries and cosmetics
- Cleaning supplies
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Smaller appliances like a microwave, coffee pot, blender, etc.
- Ironing board and iron
Protecting your investment
Your newlywed home checklist is ready to go, and you’ve found the perfect home. But what about protecting your hard-earned investment if something goes wrong? Aside from having a quality home insurance plan, getting a home warranty is also a good idea. These warranties pay for repairing or replacing major home appliances and systems like plumbing and electrical. Enrolling in a whole home warranty will help you save quite a lot of money in the long run. These warranties take care of repairs or replacing something if it breaks, saving you a lot of headaches, money, and time.
Adding personal touches and decor
Another part of a happy home is finding a style you enjoy together. Think about your unique individual design preferences and how you can combine them to showcase your personalities. Remember that part of a healthy marriage includes learning how to compromise. You might not get that awesome floral wallpaper you’ve been eyeing, but maybe you can agree on a paint color that both of you love. Go over each room and determine how you want to decorate it. Perhaps you can add personal touches to the living room, and your spouse can add their touches to a man cave or office so you both have elements of your style in the home.
Here are some more tips to help you determine how you’ll add some personal touches and decor to your new home:
- Are you going to combine old and new furniture, or do you prefer to purchase all-new furniture to have a cohesive look in the home?
- Determine which interior design style suits you and your spouse the best, then write down a list of the things you like most about each.
- Allot a specific amount of money in your budget to buy new items for the home, like area rugs, paint, and decorative items, now so you don’t overspend.
- Consider having a yard sale to sell your old, unwanted household items, so you have extra cash to buy new ones.
- Remember that compromise is key. Agree to make certain changes your spouse likes as long as they agree to let you do the same in each room.
Moving in together
Living together as newlyweds is exciting, but as time goes on, you’ll need to stay on the same page regarding important matters like household chores and finances. Come up with some “house rules” now so that you both agree on a strategy. Developing a financial plan, a budget, and a good financial strategy now will set you both up for a successful future later. Here are some tips to help you create a comprehensive list of rules you can abide by.
- Divide household chores based on which tasks you can handle and when. Use a chalkboard or a corkboard that lists all of the chores you need to do, who will do them, and when they should be done.
- If your spouse is overwhelmed or busy, there may be times when you need to compromise and agree to take on a heavier load of chores.
- Sit down and create a chores list before settling into your new home. This will help ensure you enjoy a smooth, happy, and healthy home environment.
- If you have children, don’t hesitate to delegate some chores and tasks to them as they age.
- Depending on your lifestyle and schedule, you may consider hiring a house cleaning service to help you with chores.
- Create a budget that combines your income and bills, so you know how much you spend each month versus how much you bring in.
- Agree on a savings plan so that you’re putting money away for the future, whether it’s through investments, a 401(k) plan, or a savings account.
- Prioritize your spending on essentials like mortgage and car payments, groceries, and utilities. You can use any money left over for things like entertainment, or you can put it into savings.
- Look for a financial advisor you trust so that you have someone to talk to about your financial plan as a newlywed couple.
- Determine whether you plan to combine some or all of your finances. You can set up a joint checking account or allot some money into a joint account while keeping the rest separate.
Having a well-organized home checklist is a smart way to ensure that you have a wonderful home and a wonderful life together as newlyweds. Remember to embrace this exciting time in your lives and enjoy the journey of creating a home together. Don’t forget to include key items like important appliances, furniture, and basics when you make your list, and don’t forget crucial things like chores and budgeting. Make sure you set up a wedding registry so that you can have some help kickstarting your new life.