Housewarming gifts can be tricky because there are few popular guidelines for it. We will help you navigate the do’s and don’t’s, whether you have a friend or family moving into a new apartment or a house. Then we will conclude with 10 solid housewarming gift ideas and others to avoid.

Do I even need to bring a housewarming gift?

The most common situation for bringing a housewarming gift is a housewarming party of course—regardless of whether the host mentioned gifts or not (most will not). Traditionally, a housewarming party was something for new/first-time home-owners, and this is still true for the most part. But that said, people always want to invite over guests anytime they move into a new place, whether it is the first time or the 10th time, and whether it is an apartment or a home. Even an apartment rental can warrant a small gift like a glass of wine.

Housewarming gifts are especially common when you are close friends with the person who invited you to their new place. In general though, the gift never never needs to be much outside of a first-time new house purchase. And it’s good rule to always get something for a close friend or family member who hasn’t moved in years when you check out their new place for the first time (party or not). Basically just treat a housewarming like any party you go to where you seldom want to show up empty-handed. The only difference is that what you bring is ideally some useful or cool home stuff.

Oversized LED inflatable Dragon pool raft
This gift just missed our top 10 but we love the creativity and usefulness for anyone with a pool in their new home. It’s an oversized, LED-lit, inflatable Dragon Pool Raft.

How much should I spend on a housewarming gift?

Aside from your family that might spend up and treat your first home purchase like a big event, most housewarming gifts can range from $25 to $75. Again, family and very close friends with the means can spend much more. Brilliant Gifts claims that 50% of all housewarming gifts purchased in 2020 have been in the $25 to $49 range, and that  22% of people spent between $50 and $99. At the extrems, 20% spent less than $25 and 12% spend more than $100. But then again, that was largely during COVID-19 when pockets were especially tight. You can also split a larger gift with other family or friends if aiming for a bigger gesture or your are cash low.

What housewarming gift should i get (what is expected)?

There’s no slam dunk answer for the one perfect house gift or apartment gift. The best gifts tend to come from those who know the happy new home owners (or renters) very well and know exactly what they want or need. Otherwise, you want to shoot for something that is practical that you know they will use. But if it is something creative and cool at the same time that’s all the better! Furthermore, you can score bonus points if the gifts are monogrammed/personalized to the new home dweller(s).

10 Perfect Housewarming Gift Ideas/Categories:

  • Kitchen staples like cutting boards, magnetic serving trays or any cool kitchen gadgets that are useful. Again, personalized items are great. Or you can go with a magnetic board knife holder or the Ninja Bullet Blender.
  • Items that are useful but not used as often are good too, such as bread makers and ice cream makers and soda makers. People can use these and enjoy them, but typically they have too much more pressing stuff to buy and haven’t gotten around to these. A great idea in this category is this Air Fryer.
  • Quality wine openers, or better yet, a wine pourer without needing to uncork the bottle
  • A teak bath mat is an interesting a solid housewarming gift idea.
  • Decorative photo frames are good. Monogrammed/personalized picture frames are even better. 
  • Mainstream hardware sets like power screwdrivers/drills etc.
  • High quality coffee table books matching the very special interests of the hosts.
  • Help make any new home smell wonderful while providing health benefits with this Herbal Infuser.
  • Personalized glasses and luxury glassware sets
  • If you have the means and want to really crush it, all new homes would love a Dyson vacuum!
wine opener without removing cork
Coravin Wine System: Pour wine without uncorking

You can find many great housewarming gift ideas here.

Housewarming gifts to avoid

You want to be sure to avoid decorative housewarming gifts that assume someone’s taste such as art and home décor and plants. They are likely excited to set up their new place and will be very picky, and the last thing they need is someone forcing their own style on them. Gag gifts and funny signs should be avoided for the same reason. Wine is not great for housewarming either as it doesn’t last and doesn’t stand out from a regular typical party gift. Finally, nothing comes across as more impersonal and less thought out than gift cards. Those make the event seem less special and should be avoided.