Welcome! | Housewarming Gift Ideas in a Hot Housing Market

In today’s sizzling housing market where home buyers face fierce bidding competitions and surging home prices, housewarming gifts take on special significance. They not only congratulate and welcome new homeowners but deliver much-needed TLC after navigating a hot housing market. Housewarming gifts convey well wishes and fete new beginnings, and the best marry the personal with the practical, the stylish with the useful. Whether you know the new homeowners well or are just meeting them, housewarming gifts help make their house a cozy home.

The term” housewarming” dates to 16th-century Europe and the tradition of warming a newly built house. The homeowner typically hosted a celebratory “thank you” meal for neighbors who helped raise the house. Guests brought gifts of firewood and laid fires in the hearths to heat the home and jettison any evil spirits.

Many early housewarming gifts served as talismans protecting the new home and its residents with salutary blessings. Gifts of bread carried the hope that the owner would never know hunger; salt signaled the wish for flavor to leaven life; olive oil represented the blessing of health and well-being; candles embodied good tidings for light and happiness; honey depicted the blessing of sweetness in life; and wine symbolized the wish that the owner would prosper and never thirst.

Hosting housewarming parties is still a venerated tradition around the world. After unpacking and decorating, most new homeowners—and college students moving into a dorm room or retirees downsizing into a condo—are excited to share their new digs with family and friends. An intimate gathering over drinks and appetizers, a potluck dinner, or an informal “open house” are perfect occasions to unveil your new abode. Throw your housewarming party within six months to a year of your move-in date, so your celebration is a christening of your home.

Great housewarming gift ideas embrace practicality and style. Your relationship with a new homeowner is unique, so personalize your gift accordingly. Whenever possible, buy locally to support neighboring businesses and introduce relocating homeowners to favorite shopping spots. Depending upon your budget, these eye-catching yet useful housewarming gift ideas will delight new homeowners.

For the kitchen and bar
Kitchen gifts endear the chefs and bakers in a household. Consider affordable kitchen staples like colorful matching potholders, dish cloths and dish towels; sturdy stainless steel or bistro-style ceramic measuring cups and spoons; an artfully designed stoneware pitcher that doubles as a flower vase; and whimsical animalshaped salt and pepper shakers. Coveted culinary gifts for close friends and family include a state-of-the-art blender, a nest of high-end pots and pans, and a smart coffeemaker with a set of customized coffee mugs. A Bose clock radio will keep the kitchen humming while a potted plant adds a dash of fresh greenery.

Entertaining and bar gifts are housewarming host favorites. A knife set with a cheese or charcuterie board— monogrammed with the homeowner’s name and move-in date, state-shaped to show local pride, pineapple-shaped to depict gracious hospitality, or simply a handsomely shaped block of wood—is perfect for the housewarming party and the hosts’ future entertaining needs. Gifts of monogrammed wine glasses, cocktail tumblers, and coasters will impress your host while a bar toolset or mounted wall wine rack will thrill the bartender in the house.

For living areas and baths
Customized line-drawn and watercolor framed portraits are ideal to display in living rooms, family rooms and bedrooms. Upload a photo of the new house, a family member, or a pet to an online digital arts vendor (Minted, for example) who creates the line drawing or watercolor, formats the portrait on paper of your choosing, and custom frames it. Apply the same portrait to stationery, calendars or napkins for a distinctive personal gift. A custom return address stamp makes handwriting notes a breeze.

Cozy fleece throws, comfortable sofa pillows, unique occasional bowls, and gold-rimmed frames create a relaxing yet elegant ambiance. Perfect for display, a handsome coffee table book is not only a thoughtful personal gift, but a beautiful accent piece.

For the guest bathroom, plushy monogrammed washcloths and towels and scented soap help exude spalike luxuriance. Aromatic diffusers and candles, soothing bath bombs, colorful soap rocks, hand and body lotions, and hand towels are affordable and attractive bathroom gifts.

For the outdoors
Consider a gift of a monogrammed doormat to welcome guests to the new home. Foster adventurous forays into outdoor entertaining and gardening with a barbecue toolset, a gardening caddy toolset, and gloves. Wind chimes, bird feeders, bird baths and garden statuary will enchant the new homeowners as they enjoy their outdoor space.

Homemade/locally made gifts
Early housewarming gifts— whether bread, honey, candles or firewood—were homemade. Today, gift baskets of homemade and locally baked items still represent a cornucopia of heartfelt well-wishes. Cheese straws, muffins, bread, honey, and vinaigrette are great candidates for a gift basket bestowing the blessing that the new home owners will thrive in their new home.

Whether locally purchased or homemade, a housewarming gift extends a genuine gesture of friendship and serves as a refreshing tonic to the stress of snatching a home in a smoking-hot seller’s market.


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