Centex Offers Advice on Making Your First House a Home

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Top Items First-time Homebuyers Purchase After Buying a Home

“My biggest piece of advice for new homebuyers is to be creative and tackle this room by room,” said Janice Jones, national vice president of merchandising for Centex.

After getting the keys to their new homes, many first-time homebuyers are excited about finally having the opportunity to personalize and furnish their new house. From coffee tables to lamps to lawnmowers, many previous renters leap into homeownership quickly realizing they need to do a lot of shopping to truly make their house a home.

“Whether you’ve been living in an apartment with roommates or at your parents’ house, many first-time homebuyers do not think about all the items they need - and want - when moving into a house,” said Janice Jones, national vice president of merchandising for Centex. “With a little advance planning and budgeting, you won’t break the bank to make your new home a reflection of your personal style and showcase your pride of homeownership.”

A typical homebuyer spends an average $7,400 on their home, with more than half of that spent in the first year after purchase, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

While many first-time homebuyers may not have accounted for this level of spending, Jones offers advice on what types of items to purchase to not only properly maintain and live in the home, but also more importantly, items that help new homeowners feel like their house is a place to call home.

Furnishings
Many first-time homebuyers no longer want their parents’ hand-me downs of the 1980s couch or their childhood bedroom set. From sofas to dining room sets to mattresses, many first-time homebuyers take the opportunity to upgrade their furniture when moving into their new home. According to an NAHB study, furnishings take the biggest chunk of the budget, with homebuyers spending about $5,300 on furnishings during the first year after buying a home. The biggest ticket item for all households is bedroom furnishings, including mattresses, followed by sofas.

Window Coverings and Linens
The median square footage of homes bought by first-time buyers is 1,500. So, you can only imagine the number of windows that need to be covered to ensure privacy and security in a home. According to Jones, many homebuyers don’t account for this in their budget. Additionally, with the ability to now paint and decorate each room, new homeowners find that they want to purchase new bedroom and bathroom linens.

Garden Tools
Since a first-time homebuyer’s likely to move from an apartment, unless you plan on hiring a gardener, you’ll need to purchase a few basic gardening tools, including a lawnmower, garden hose, sprinkler and a shovel (for winter weather).

Flat Screen TV
Let’s face it: many homebuyers shop a new home, taking into a consideration how a new, large, flat-screen television set will be situated in their new living space. So, it’s not a surprise that a hot item on the list is purchasing an entertainment system.

However, you’ll also need the basic appliances in your new home: a refrigerator, stove, and a washer/dryer. While all Centex homes come with these features and many existing homes usually come with appliances, a homebuyer needs to take inventory whether or not they will need to purchase these big ticket items before they purchase the new bedroom set.

Basic tool kit
Every home needs a well-stocked tool box. Many home improvement stores have sets you can purchase, but make sure it includes a hammer, screw drivers, pliers, wrenches, a tape measure, and a staple gun.

“My biggest piece of advice for new homebuyers is to be creative and tackle this room by room,” said Jones. “For example, after outfitting your home with the necessary items—like appliances and window coverings—move on to the kitchen and family room spaces. This area is the heart of your home where everyone gathers.

“Look for great values on the items you need that will be utilized most. Take your time and get the feel of how you want to use each space for both function and enjoyment. This strategy allows homeowners to stage their purchases and add new furnishings as the budget allows. Decorating your new home should be fun and a reflection of your personal style.”

About Centex
Reliably built, smartly designed and affordable, Centex homes bring the pride of homeownership to value-conscious buyers in 22 states. As the leading brand for first-time homebuyers looking for just the right home, Centex balances affordability with unique form and function leading to better living and supports new homeowners throughout the buying process. First-time homebuyers put themselves in a better place by choosing Centex. For more information about Centex, visit http://www.centex.com.

About PulteGroup
PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM) based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is America’s premier home building company with operations in 67 markets, 29 states and the District of Columbia. Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2010, the Company has an unmatched capacity to meet the needs of all buyer segments through its brand portfolio that includes Pulte Homes, Centex Homes and Del Webb. In 2009, PulteGroup brands received more top rankings than any other homebuilder in the annual J.D. Power and Associates 2009 New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Studysm.

For more information about PulteGroup, Inc. and PulteGroup brands, see http://www.pultegroup.com; http://www.pulte.com; http://www.centex.com; http://www.delwebb.com

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Valerie Dolenga

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