It can be a bit of a shock to go from calling your landlord to fix something to realizing you’re responsible for doing it yourself. Luckily, a lot of the supplies any new homeowner needs for home maintenance are readily available at stores like Home Depot.

By Megan Johnson | July 2, 2021

I asked Meredith Kiep, a senior sales associate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Warren Residential, and Kate Ziegler, a Realtor with Arborview Realty in Boston and with Coldwell Banker Lifestyles in New London, New Hampshire, to tell me the items they advise new homeowners to buy as they move into their new digs. Here are their suggestions.

A Fire Extinguisher
“You should have one! As part of the sale, sellers will have ensured smoke and carbon monoxide detectors meet current code in your municipality, but those are not the only safety measures you should have in place to protect your new investment and yourself,” Ziegler says. “Select something that is rated both for grease and electrical fire applications. Usually you can find one that fits under the kitchen sink.”

Locking Pliers
“I grew up working alongside my dad, a carpenter, and the tool I’ve had in my belt from day one is a ‘vise grip’ or ‘locking’ pliers,” Ziegler says. “They’re size adjustable and useful in a wide variety of ways, especially as an early tool if you’re just starting to build your home maintenance arsenal.”

A Brush Comb
“Your landlord isn’t repainting for you any longer, and the task will be easier (and have better results) if you buy high-quality brushes and take care of them. A brush comb helps make cleaning paint brushes less of a chore, so you won’t be as tempted to buy the cheap ones and treat them as single use; they realign bristles and prevent paint buildup at the core, and it’s small money to help your tools last,” Ziegler says. “As a bonus, store brushes in the cardboard packaging they were sold in to help them keep their shape as they dry. There’s a reason those packages have velcro, not tape.”

Continue to Apartment Therapy for the full list, and find Kate’s personal go-to products on her Home Depot favorites list.