Homeowner Advice: Housewarming Party Etiquette

Written by Carla L. Davis

Buying a home can be the single largest purchase of a lifetime. And in our society, celebrating that purchase is a common and happy occurrence.

But questions arise as to what are the proper procedures and etiquette regarding a housewarming party. Can you throw the party yourself? Are gifts mandatory? When should the party happen? And can renters throw a housewarming party? These are a few of the questions that we’ll cover in this article.

The first tip from the experts is to wait to have your party until you are actually settled into the house. Sometimes new homeowners are so excited to share their new life that they jump the gun. You don’t want to be searching for a serving spoon or a mixing bowl when your guests are arriving. And you also don’t want them walking a maze around boxes and disorganized furniture.

The next consideration is who plays host and organizes the party? You should feel completely comfortable in hosting your own housewarming party, if done with the right intentions. Housewarming parties shouldn’t be done with the intention of getting gifts, just as a wedding shouldn’t take place in order to get presents. If there are items you’d like to have, you could consider registering for gifts. Gifts, however, should probably not be requested or suggested as mandatory. And registry information should not be included on the invitation. There will be guests who will bring offerings, regardless if you register, request, or not.

Along those same lines, if you have a good friend or family member that has settled into a new home, you may consider stepping up to the opportunity to play host. This should be considered an honor. Whoever plays host will send out invitations, or e-vites, and plan the festivities, including cocktail menu and food. A low key affair can be just as fun as something more involved. Consider throwing a fair weather barbecue as one option.

Should a renter have a housewarming party? Sometimes buying just isn’t in the cards. In this instance, it may be better to throw a simple party, without the pretenses of it being a housewarming party. Your friends and family can still bring gifts if they want, but without feeling the obligation of buying a present for a landmark experience.

What make a good housewarming present? This can be tough, especially if the host hasn’t registered for gifts or if you don’t know the host’s taste. Some great gifts that have a hard time going wrong are: candles, wine or champagne, potting sets (seeds, trowel, and pot), or even gift cards to local home stores and home improvement stores.

As a guest to a housewarming party, it would be good manners to gift the new homeowner. Even a simple gift like those outlined above would be perfectly suitable. If you can’t afford a gift at this time, consider writing a handwritten note congratulating the new homeowner.

A housewarming party is a great time to celebrate one of life’s greatest joys, owning a home

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