Moving into First Home - What Would You Recommend Buying for It?

Hi all. I hope you're well.

My partner and I just bought our first home. Very exciting!

Am just after a list of things you recommend we buy - ie smart products, speakers, security etc. We have cameras that will be coming to our new house so that's all fine, but more looking at smart products and just cool handy products that make your life much better.

For example am thinking of getting Google Nest Hub/mesh Wi-Fi for the house. Also looking at OLED TV when they drop a bit in price. Would love some great speakers that hook up together in different rooms and outside for example.

I very much look forward to your recommendations.

Cheers in advance


  • +1

    Plenty of toilet paper in case of another lockdown.

  • +1

    Do you have an outdoor area? BBQ and an outdoor setting.

  • +1

    change all the locks

  • +2

    A subscription for OzBargain, and a bot to get all the stuff you want but don’t need.
    In all seriousness, thank you for posting this. We are in the middle of building now. Some great suggestions, particularly list by @pgtpgt.

  • +23

    “Live, Laugh, Love” wall decal for the the living room.

    • +2

      Limited Edition OzB Doormat

  • +12

    Solar panels to run it all

    • +2

      I second that and with the money you save you can buy some other things

      • +1

        You won't "save" any money initially. It'll be quite a few years before you break even.

        • +2

          In about 3 years or so you will break even then it's profit from there

          • @Mosher: This summer has been pretty cloudy (Sydney) and I've almost had my solar panels for a year. At the current rates I'll be paid off in 3.5 years… So I agree that it's not an instant profit, but it won't take too long.

  • +2

    they help you get inside and outside the house.
    when you leave you can also lock the door with the key for a little added protection.

  • +1


    sort the rest out later, you're going to be there for a decade or five.

  • +12

    First things I would be doing prior to moving in. Cat6 cabling all rooms. getting any additional power outlets done. Wifi and mesh etc are all great but nothing beats the reliability of cabling, especially for TV's etc.

    • Yep I second this i just did a house build 2 story and I ran cat 6 everywhere before walls were up. As nOted especially for TV's wifi fails especially when you 4k

  • +13

    DON"T but any gizmos until you've lived in the house for a little while. Otherwise you'll end up buying a lot of 'crap' the internet thinks you need or even you think you need. After living in the place for a while, it will become far clearer what the house and your lifestyle require. Thank me later.

    • +14

      Yep, don't fill your house with junk you won't use. Live in it a while and buy what you need when it comes up on ozbargain.

      What you should do immediately is change carpets/floors, paint, and new curtains/blinds. If you plan on doing it in the next 5 yrs do it now, much easier now than later. Also an attic ladder is useful if you plan on using the attic for storage. If your roof is iffy, get up in your ceiling after the first rain and silicon up anywhere water is getting in

      Also restumping, if you think it might need it. Don't get a restumper out, get a builder out for something unrelated and ask their opinion. A restumper will always say it needs doing, a builder will be more pragmatic.

      Edit - if needed rekey the doors so one key opens everything. I would also put in a smart lock because I don't like carrying keys (and I don't drive to work so no car keys either)

      Edit 2 - I have an older house so much of my comments are from this lens. You should consider whether the house has appropriate insulation, and servicing any ac/heaters (even DIY and clean a filter).

  • +6

    A decent set of knives if you don't already have them. (Chef's Knife, Paring Knife & Bread Knife)

    • Recommendations?

      • There's a lot of personal preference involved.

        Victorinox fibrox are great value but don't look very impressive, Global look nice and are light weight but not everyone likes the grip, Wusthof are heavy and a touch harder so might hold an edge longer. You don't need a 9 piece set, only ~3 of them will be used (I don't even have a paring knife!).

        There's a bunch more exotic brands but any one of those three will serve you well. Keep them sharp, use a wooden or plastic chopping board, hand wash and dry after use.

  • +7

    In the process of building a new home, this thread has some great ideas. Some thoughts that i may add to this thread:

    . One thing i need to get is a stud finder, if you plan on hanging art work.

    . Robovacuum - be careful if you have pets that might shit on the floor, robovacuum will drag that all over the house

    . Am very interested in wireless cctv for both internal and external, however am extremely cautious when it comes to who can access the data. Not to be racist, but i dont trust chinese companies like dahua in regards to what they do with the stream, who else can access it etc especially if you have internal cameras

    . Home and contents insurance, ive even been advised to get it even if the house is under construction, as the builders insurance may not actually cover all of the property

    . Blinds - get internal diagrams and show these to your blinds person now, so they can measure and quote, ready to install when the house is ready. Last thing you want is to move into a new home and then spend the first few weeks with windows that cant be covered, especially if your a light sleeper like me

    . Utilities connections - try and organise these before you move in, as sometimes newly titled homes can take a while to connect elec, gas, nbn etc

    . Home builders grant (if applicable) - cut off date to apply is 14th of this month, be quick!

    • +6

      Don't cheap out on the stud finder I bought a cheap stanley one and it was crap took it back and bought a Franklin pro senser like this one

      Also a good cast iron frypan because once you go cast iron you wont use any other type

      • Awesome thanks!

        Im hoping to move in around mid year, so i should be able to cash in on the myer end of financial year sales for pots and pans :D

      • Thanks for this stud finder recommendation.

      • Any tips on figuring out where the electricity cables and gas pipes are?

        A lot of the cheap stud finders claim to have metal and electricity search modes but I don't have much confidence in them.

  • +1

    First thing we got was a Eufy smart door lock with fingerprint. Never lock yourself out again and never know who else might still have a cut of your keys, so worth changing anyway

  • +6

    Decent blackout blinds that don't leak light, automated to open in the morning and closing at night. I'm very proud of the DIY I did with the blinds. Not perfect, though… The fact that the developers delivered the project with a few Somfy motors installed restricted my choices. Choose a system that works for you before investing your money…

  • +7

    Get a new shower head if the one you have is crap. We didn't think of it for 3 years and now I kick myself every day that we didn't do it sooner. It turned a water wasting thing that felt more like a house into a nice, water saving spray

    • +1

      Any suggestions?

  • +1

    nice collection of sex toys

  • +8

    Dot waste too much money buying stuff to fill up your house.

    Junk and stuff is expensive. Buy once, buy right.

    Go second hand on stuff as well.
    Glasses, cutlery etc.

    Do you really need a wine decanter?
    Do you really need 16 throw pillows or trinkets. Etc.

    Budget and stick to it.

    Congratulations on your new house!!!

  • +4

    Upgrade all lights to LED if not already installed.

  • +7

    Don't know how old or new the house is but fix everything first before moving your stuff in.
    Example are the carpets ok,
    do they need to be replaced?
    Is there a chance mould will build up in the bathroom walls and ceiling?
    Do you need to install exhaust fan in the toilet.
    Do you want to install a electric bidet ( like a Japanese toilet)?
    How about bathroom heat lamps?
    Paint the garage floor for extra protection.
    All the stuff you mentioned you can get later. The stuff above is better to decide first.

  • +1

    Go to Kmart/Target/Myer/David Jones (depending on your budget) and just fill up a trolley with homewares you'll need. That's what we did when we bought our first home.

  • +10

    Some of the below ideas from our place

    1. a retractable flyscreen for living room sidlng door
      Check out the video
      It's expensive but it looks amazing and tucks away neatly which allows full opening of your doors.

    2. I have gradually installed Panasonic Split system ACs in rooms and installed the wifi controller to all of them. Can control from my phone from anywhere with internet

    3. Fridge with plumbed water connection

    4. CAT6 data connection to Living and all bedrooms. Zero wifi dropouts and super reliable internet (with NBN FTTC)

    5. The latest and greatest TV you can afford at the time of purchase. You're gonna keep the TV for a good 7-10 years. Get the best model you can afford, perhaps blow the budget a little (within your limits). It needs to get through the whole decade and be relevant.

    6. Front garden LED lights on on a time clock. I have a long driveway and it's very dark.

    7. Lavender to the garden bed outside our bedroom window. Keeps the mosquitos away.

    8. We waited for Boxing Day sale and got a really nice mattress from Myer. Still one of the best purchases. Slept well everynight. Look after yourself.

    Somebody suggested futoon lights, it looks amazing but I can imagine so much birds sitting on it pooing everywhere

    I don't have Google Nest yet, I haven't yet found any benefit from it.

    I also spent a bit on plants, seedlings, veggie garden, organic soils etc and nowadays it's all dead and not cared for..
    It's quite a bit of work maintaining it to get good produce, and the white flies kept destroying it. I got over it and just bought veggies from the market.
    I reckon I spent about $300-500 on it, in hindsight that money better spent on indoor plants or something else.

    Buy essentials one at a time. There no need to fill up the house. Have fun

    • Fantastic, thank you

    • a retractable flyscreen for living room sidlng door. Check out the video, it's expensive but it looks amazing

      Oh this would suit our new place! Can you share any more details about this? How expensive are we talking?

      • +1

        I paid $1700 for approx. 3.5m long
        It's is expensive, but we couldn't stand the flies coming in the house and having to squat it dead all the time.

  • The biggest and best TV you can afford, along with at least hifi quality soundbar or stereo speakers. TV and internet should be the number one priority in any new home.

  • +2

    Don't buy the tv yet, live in the house for a few months as you may decide to move the tv position which may open more options such as a nicer tv cabinet, better home theatre system or even a projector. If you rush to buy the best, you may regret later

  • +1

    A rescue dog and/or a rescue kitty.

    • I'm not planning on falling off the roof, but if I do, how exactly is the rescue kitty helping beside sitting on my face as I lay dying on the ground?

      • +1

        they'll call 000 and use cpr

  • +3

    I regret about not doing epoxy floor in the garage when it was empty. Now with all that stuff there - to much hassle, not going to bother.

    • Can you enlighten me with the benefits of eproxy flooring for the garage? What does it prevent?

      • prevents the frustration of looking at concrete floor with stains from oil spills and etc?
        I'd just do it for looks tbh.

  • +1

    It really depends what you want to do with the house dude. If you're going to spend the first couple of months renovating and painting, maybe supplies for that stuff would be the best bet. Otherwise just live in the space for a while and you'll figure out what's missing/what needs to change.

    That said, some pretty good fixes for a new house can include:

    • routing Ethernet cables where you want them
    • changing all power points to 4 pluggers
    • adding more power points
    • downlights throughout house if it's not done already
    • removing old/redundant heating and cooling systems
  • +2


    If you are into smart home products, buy things that are user replaceable and not hard wired. Will save you installation cost when upgrading / replacing.
    Try to find smart home products from single brand. it will make things easier.

    • I would highly recommend getting a few ethernet hardwire points put in for Cameras/APs if they're able to, before moving in. Wired APS > Mesh, everytime.

  • +2

    Already mentioned some but IMHO the essentials are (after I moved exactly 2 years ago to my first house):

    • Biggest and better TV you could afford. Make a list with the ones within your budget. Go see them in person, scratch all and buy an OLED. ;)
    • 5.1 (or more) sound system. Do not go for a soundbar, they are terrible compared to a nice little receiver plus second hand speakers. If you could, install the back or surround speaker's wires before moving in. There are nice faceplates for 2 or more speakers available. Things like Spotify connect devices are a must for me as I listen a lot of music and it's so easy to use. I personally went from 2.0 to 2.1 to sound bar and back to 5.1 with a Yamaha kit (rx485 plus ns333 and the likes) which I got second hand and couldn't be happier (well maybe I could, but I need more budget ;) )
    • buy the best router you could afford, do not attempt to use extenders and clunky stuff. Cat6 (arguably 5e too) minimum to living, office, garage (future inverter location) and main bed. Think about mesh with ethernet backbone (Asus in my case works perfectly fine, but others might disagree)
    • a few motion sensor night lights. One in the kitchen (I hate turning on the big lights just for a glass of water at 2am), one on each bathroom, main entrance and any other dark area which you'd transit over night (buy one or two and move them until you decide). There is one Xiaomi model which is good (3xAA or 240v).
    • smart heater whether is ducted or standard portable one. It's so nice to be able to program min temp before you arrive home!
    • robobvac. Deebot 920 or Xiaomi or the likes with mop and map function, this is great to keep your tiles free of dust for longer.
    • dimmable lights. Not necessarily smart, I've found I almost never use the smart bit, as my phone is usually away but on wall dimmers are great too for visitors.
    • think about guests! I hate going to other people's houses and not being able to turn on a light or things that are only controlled by the app.
    • +3

      Just to offer a differing opinion these.

      5.1 (or more) sound system. Do not go for a soundbar, they are terrible compared to a nice little receiver plus second hand speakers.

      Disagree on this one, I had a 5.1 setup and whilst I thought the sound was good while watching a movie it was just impractical. I switched to a Yamaha soundbar + sub and honestly couldn't be happier, sound is quite good considering it's all coming from the same location and it looks way neater / super clean. Sure if you are an audiophile or maybe have a dedicated movie room then sure go for a proper setup, but if it's just in your living room then probably not worth it in my opinion.

      buy the best router you could afford, do not attempt to use extenders and clunky stuff. Cat6 (arguably 5e too) minimum to living, office, garage (future inverter location) and main bed. Think about mesh with ethernet backbone (Asus in my case works perfectly fine, but others might disagree)

      While having the house wired throughout is ideal, mesh systems are quite good now. Was tossing up wiring up several rooms last year but then opted to go for a mesh system (TP-Link M9) and it solved almost all my problems, one reason I decided not to go for wiring most rooms was because what if I re-arranged the room and the port was then in the wrong spot? Also frankly other than 1 desktop PC, everything else is wireless and these tp link m9 nodes have ports on them so I can easily add more if a physical network port is required required.

      • +3

        Sure, I understand why soundbars could be appealing to some people who prefer aesthetics to quality, I had that mindset before, now I just enjoy more my movies and music, and I also love how the speakers look in the room.

        There are also VERY good soundbars which could be arguably better than entry level 5.1 systems, so there's a quota of research and budget into the decision too.

        I just mentioned my opinion and a topic which I reckon is quite important as I use the sound system daily, even more than anything else in the house probably… Except for the routers!

        On the routers, what I tried to say is that mesh is good actually, just use wired backbone (each router connected with cat6) to improve reliability on the system overall. But yeah, 99% of the things are wifi now, don't go cheap on the routers!

        Thanks for the opinion, nothing like a healthy discussion.

  • +1

    I can't speak highly enough of my OLED TV. LCDs just don't compare. The new range that's been announced is dropping in price a fair bit too so you should be able to get a brand new model at a reasonable price, or buy a cx when they drop.

  • -2

    What is your point? What are you trying to say? Are you looking at security? Are you looking at entertainment? Cooking? Exercise? What exactly are you hoping to achieve?

    • +4

      He just bought a new house. He wants to know what things you like about your house so that he finds some interesting ideas of what we appreciate and he can consider buying them. It’s not that hard mate.

      Name your picks on all of your above categories, some he might not suit him and his partner and others he might say “oh that sounds awesome. Everyone seems to pick that. Maybe I should consider it”

  • +5

    Congratulations, OP!

    We bought our place 3 years ago and I definitely nod the suggestion to do any repairs right before or as soon as you move in. Also to live in it for a couple of months and then get an electrician to install more power-points or remove old electrical things that don’t work or aren’t needed.

    The things we got that have absolutely love were:

    • Very comfortable bed
    • Dishwasher
    • Fridge with plenty of storage
    • Toy room: our kids share a room and we turned the other one into a “toy room” and it’s great. Toys (usually) stay in the one room which you can lock away instead of being all over the place. The clean up after themselves and it’s worth it. By that same token, magnatiles have the best toys. Easy to clean up, very versatile and tough.
    • Good kitchen knives: in order of preference, I recommend Shun, Global and Victorinox. Fuji pro are a great affordable option as well. We got the Fuji pro on sale for about $80 for a set of 4, then Shun for one chefs knife and Victorinox for steak knives.
    • Smart lock: we picked up a $200 one from Bunnings which is still going strong 3 years later. It’s so convenient.
    • Sensor lights: the cheap $10 nightlights from the ozbargain deals are great. I have one in the bathroom, 2 in the kitchen and 2 in the hallways going to the bathroom. Then more powerful sensor lights in the backyard and out the front. No more messing around trying to find a light switch in the dark when you’re carrying a big bag of trash or storage.
    • Rain showerhead: quite cheap off Amazon and it makes a huge difference
    • Oxo pop containers: having an organised labelled pantry means that the place stays tidy and clean a lot easier. Same with adding $6 lazy Susan’s from Kmart to the fridge and pantry.
    • Kitchenaid mini food processor (and mixer if you’re into baking) is great. It lives on the bench with minimal space and we use it all the time.
    • Jaffle Maker
    • Nintendo switch: I use this a lot more than I first thought. It’s really good.
    • Philips light strips: I have just the one in our bedroom and love it. It wakes me off with a soft light and turns itself off. And I can turn it on and off with my phone. I wouldn’t recommend the lightbulbs because it’s a very expensive slippery slope. Plus it gets really annoying to have the partner and kids turn it off manually and then they’re not responding to the phone.
    • +1

      Thank you so much :)

    • Just curious, how many people use food processors all the time? I feel like its annoying to clean and someone with quick knife skills can cut things up faster than using a food processor.

      • +1

        How many people? I have no idea. I’d say it’s all about the usual meals/recipes they cook. I know we (and my immediate family) use ours a lot.

        But your points are why I recommended the mini version. It’s a lot easier to clean (stick in the dishwasher), light and doesn’t take up much room. I do also have a bigger one but I don’t use it nearly as often.

        The mini one I use for:
        - really fine mincing which is annoying by hand (to trick kids into eating vegetables). I.e nearly liquefying onions to be undetectable
        - homemade hot sauce (at least 1 per month)
        - salsa
        - hummus
        - pesto
        - sofrito (make this weekly)
        - Guacamole
        - Bread crumbs if I forgot to buy some

        The large one I use for:
        - larger portions of the above (if I’m hosting family/friends or making bulk meals)
        - the shredder/slicer attachments for large quantities of sliced onions/potatoes or to shred cheese
        - pastry

        • +1

          Just the kind of answer I was actually looking for. I have a tiny one attached to the end of a stick blender and a larger one, but I've never really used either. Maybe when I have to cook for little ones I'll know. Until then, I prefer the coarse texture of food rather than a paste haha.

          • @ATangk: Haha for sure. I prefer the coarse texture too. And I agree that if you’re fast with a knife, using a food processor to dice onions in nonsensical.

            I grew up making my own sofrito as a seasoning though, and a food processor is a lot easier than a mortar and pestle. Try making your own hot sauce though. It’s amazing!

  • I would recommend smart lights in at least the master bedroom unless there is a light switch right next to the bed, very handy to be able to turn off the lights from the bed.

  • +2

    i suggest buying some power tools if u are going try fix/diy to save getting tradie in to fix whatever crap…

  • +2

    So heres a question, whats a 'good' kitchen rubbish bin?

    Ive always cheaped out and just got something from the $2 shop/kmart, however there must be fancy, high quality rubbish bins out there?!

    • This goes beyond “good” and into “ridiculous”, but this is my dream bin (yes, I’m aware that it’s weird to have a dream bin).

      simplehuman 58 Liter / 15 Gallon Dual Compartment Recycling Step Rubbish Bin with Liner Pocket, Black Stainless Steel

      • That is a very fancy bin indeed. The storage space doesnt seem that large however? I also like to see things in person, but i dont think any physical stores sell that product…

    • We have this one with an sensor operated lid, find it pretty good.

    • +1

      Yeah. I scoured the market for a simplehuman alternative, and (once I came to terms with the fact that a decent free-standing stainless steel bin seems to cost at least hundreds of dollars) decided on the EKO brand.

      We ended up buying an EKO E-Cube Step Can Recycling 28L+18L from Kitchen Warehouse. Had it for a year, and still very happy.

      The most comparable item currently in stock @ KW seems to be

      I do get that even this one is $$$. But if your kitchen doesn't have a built-in bin, this is effectively a piece of "furniture" that you're gonna use every day — and much of the time, when you're hungry or tired (or both). You might as well have a bin that doesn't suck, and that you might even appreciate using…

      • -1

        300 for a bin is like buying a gold toilet roll holder.

    • I'm a big fan of the ones that pull out from one of the kitchen cabinets. I just like how it's out of the way.

  • How about a Kombi Bunk bed ? cheaper then the vehicle ?

  • +1

    And reject shop is your best friend then the 2 dollar shops then Aldi

    • +1

      Daiso too if there's one close!

  • By rechargeable tools, screw drivers, drills etc. My favourite is an ozito battery powered blower, use it almost daily to clean drive ways pavements etc. Battery is compatible with other ozito garden tools.

  • +1

    Pest control, before you move in, call a pro or do it yourself

  • +2

    If the house is older get a new toilet seat, seriously, check the hole spacing and then get a decent soft close replacement from Bunnings, they are simple to replace generally.

    • Was going to suggest the same

    • Lol literally the #1 thing to do.. after ethernet and roborock.

  • +1

    Was in the same boat last year. Then my partner became pregnant….

    • Gg

  • an exceptional native garden

  • How big's the place? Any pets? House age?

  • +1

    Congrats! Don’t forget to let everyone (credit card companies, service NSW, ATO, shopping sites that save your address) know that you’ve changed your address 🙂

  • Bidet. I have a WhaleSpout, good shit.
    Rice cooker.
    Expresso Machine.
    NAS & UPS.
    TV that is too big for your living room.

  • +2

    Fire extinguisher, even if you dont need it. It's nice to have in case of a fire. I never had a fire in the house before but sometimes when you do have one. It's nice to know you got back up. How many houses do you know even have one? It's like insurance, has anything ever happened to the house? no? but its good to have.

    • +1

      Fire blanket at minimum in kitchen.

  • Tennis balls. House comes with a tennis court right?

  • +1

    C63 AMG

  • +1

    indoor plants. gives your space a good vibe.

  • Don't buy jack, just put it all into the mortgage until you feel better about the amount of debt owed.

    Except solar as it's a good investment.

    • -1

      For the electricity company sure.

      • +1

        Just wish the battery prices would come down to a price that makes them worth it

        Dam power company's secretly conspiring to keep them expensive so they can pay us 20 cents feed in and then charging us about double forwhat they paid

        • They're watching the forum it seems.. bring on the negs

  • Xiaomi roborock. Thank me years to come

  • A decent set of pots and pans, as well as a good knife set (even if it's just 2 good knives).

  • I bought painters tape to mark out the dimensions of furniture I wanted to buy and where to hang the tv

  • +4

    First thing should be to secure the property/your family:
    * Take out appropriate level of home and contents insurance
    * Change the locks
    * Install security screens onto front door plus any other doors you will ever leave open for a breeze
    * Installing visible security cameras (whether fake or real is up to you and your wallet) as a deterrent

    Next is to save money:
    * Installing solar panels to slash power costs over the next decade

    From there think of quality of life items that will see high usage eg:
    * Additional AC if required
    * Quality beds and couches
    * Large quality TV's
    * High-speed internet connection and good AC/AX routers
    * Dishwasher and Dryer if you don't already have one
    * Second fridge/freezer for additional storage
    * Smart Retic system
    * Dimmable LED's to rooms used at night
    * Upgrading the outdoor entertaining area (built in BBQ, Spa/pool, Deck, ceiling fans and/or heaters, TV, speakers etc).
    * Also don't neglect addressing any general maintenance issues with the house.

    IMO whilst a lot of the new "smart" devices are definitely cool, the improvement they have on your life is often trivial at this early stage in their development. Focus on the basics first.

      • Installing visible security cameras (whether fake or real is up to you and your wallet) as a deterrent


  • +1

    Over the years I had a lot of equity in my property. I made the mistake of merging car loans and paying off credit cards and merging them into my mortgage. Everyone always says to do that cause the interest rate is lower. Well the Darwin market crashed. So for quiet a few years I've had the value of my property much less than my loan amount. I've been unable to refinance the loan with another bank due to the mismatch of the loan amount and the actual value. My suggestion is to just pay your car off as a normal car loan in the 5 years or so. Not over the course of your 30 year home loan. Don't merge anything into your mortgage. If the credit card repayments are getting too much cut the card up! I read the Barefoot Investor and got rid of the credit cards. It's been ten years now and the Darwin market is starting to slowly turn around. I have to say in my younger days this was my biggest mistake.

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