Dave Baker's Home Fix-It Tips: Replacing Your Thermostat Batteries

7 affordable must-haves for the first-time homeowner

Congratulations, you're a homeowner. 

You've signed all of your documents and you've got your keys in hand. For first time home buyers, the next steps in the process can be a bit overwhelming. What will you need in your new space? What should you buy first?

»RELATED: 6 awesome smart home devices for under $100

Here's a quick rundown of a few items you might need as you settle into your abode.

The Schlage Sense Smart Door Lock can be paired with your smart home devise for easy locking and unlocking options.
Photo: HomeDepot.com/For the AJC

1. New locks

When moving into a new home, it's recommended that you start off by changing the locks right away. Before you purchase a new lock, you may want to think about whether you want to go with a standard deadbolt, or if maybe you'd like to get an electronic or smart lock. For example, Schlage makes a smart door lock that can be controlled through a special smart hub using Amazon Alexa, Apple Home Kit or Google Assistant. The best option might come down to either price or your level of comfort with technology.

2. Cleaning supplies

When looking at an empty home, it's easy to overlook all of the cleaning that is required before you bring in your own items. A simple Target run should cover your basic disinfectant cleaners, but the most work will likely involve your carpets. If you're not interested in spending a few hundred dollars on a Hoover with carpet cleaning capabilities, you're in luck. Home Depot will let you rent a Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaner at most locations for a reasonable price. Just call your local store or check online for availability first.

When transitioning into home ownership, a toolkit will come in handy when you're ready to tackle your first projects around the house.
Photo: Lowes.com/For the AJC

3. A toolkit

You may just have to become a Mr. or Mrs. Fix It when various house repairs come up. A toolkit can be your first line of defense for almost all of your decorating or setup needs. A well-stocked toolkit can help you do anything from hanging a photo to assembling furniture. Depending on your skill level, your kit can be as big as you think you'll need. For new homeowners, it could be worth it to buy one you can grow into as you start to tackle new issues around the house. It might also be a good idea to pick up a first aid kit – just in case.

»RELATED: House-hunting for first-time metro Atlanta buyers is best off-season

Energy-saving home upgrades can help you start off on the right foot to keep your efficiency high and your energy bills low.
Photo: Amazon.com/For the AJC

4. Energy-efficient upgrades

Once you've covered the basics, it's probably a good time to start making some upgrades to make sure you're using energy efficiently. For example, Georgia Power sells a variety of smart thermostats to its customers at a discounted rate to encourage them to conserve energy while heating and cooling. In addition, you can also purchase a motion sensor light switch to make sure your lights aren't burning when nobody is using them.

Getting used to living in a larger space can be a little intimidating. Ring video doorbells are one option to help you monitor your front door. You can also connect a list of other Ring devices to add security throughout the rest of your home.
Photo: BestBuy.com/For the AJC

5. Video doorbell and home surveillance

Safety is always first in mind when it comes to living on your own in a new home. A video doorbell could be useful in helping you feel safe and secure in your larger space. One of the most popular options, made by Ring, allows you to monitor your front door and install a suite of related devices for added home surveillance and security.

Professional repair service man or diy home owner removing a dirty air filter on a house air conditioner so he can replace it with a new clean one.
Photo: mokee81/Getty Images/iStockphoto

6. Replacements (filters, batteries, etc.)

Without fail, your remotes will need batteries and your light bulbs will eventually blow. In the moment, it can be a pain to check these items to make sure you know exactly which replacement items you'll need to get everything back up and running. Early on, it's a good idea to go ahead and do a walk through to find out exactly which batteries your household items use and exactly which light bulbs work with your lighting fixtures. If possible, you can go ahead and buy these items in bulk at Costco or Sam's Club. Another item you'll want to keep an eye on is the filter in your heating and cooling unit. Replacement filters can usually be found at places like Lowe's.

Something as simple as a flashlight can save the day if the power goes out and you need light to navigate your new digs. A rechargeable option is helpful to avoid having purchasing replacement batteries.
Photo: Amazon.com/For the AJC

7. A flashlight

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to find that the electricity has gone out in your new home. If your smart phone is dead, a well-placed flashlight can make all the difference while you're trying to figure things out. Even better, if you choose a rechargeable flashlight, you won't even have to worry about replacing the batteries every so often.

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