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Home ownership is a topic we frequently write about on ValueChampion. In Singapore, it’s common knowledge that the first milestone for newly engaged couples is bidding for an HDB flat or, if they can afford it, buying a condo. In fact, Singapore’s public housing policy has resulted in one of the highest home ownership rates in the world. According to Trading Economics global macro models, the Singapore Home Ownership Rate is expected to reach 91.70 percent in 2020. So, as you enter your late twenties and early thirties, you’ll find yourself and your friends buying flats and attending housewarming parties. As your friends settle down in their very first nest, here are some practical gifts you can think about getting them for their housewarming.
1. Steam Mop
For friends with enviable hardwood or tiled floors, a steam mop can be a useful and affordable gift. Unlike a regular mop, which requires a large bucket of water and cleaning agents, a steam mop only needs a small amount of heated water to mop up floors, carpets and kill bacteria and dust mites. Not only does this one piece of equipment serve many purposes, but it also saves water, space and money one would otherwise spend on detergent.
Friends with bigger homes would appreciate the multi-functional steam mops which come with a range of accessories for versatile cleaning. For friends with smaller minimalist apartments, cheaper basic steam mops which only serves the function of mopping the floor would suffice. A multi-function steam mop costs an average of S$100, while a basic steam mop averages to about at least S$70 on Amazon.
2. Cordless Vacuum
If you have a larger gift budget, you can consider getting your friends a cordless vacuum. Since we all know how troublesome it is to plug and unplug the cord when vacuuming from one corner of the flat to another, say hello to the cordless vacuum, which solves this problem. Besides the ease of movement around the flat, cordless vacuums take up less storage space, and most importantly won't be a tripping hazard.
The cost of cordless vacuums range from as low as S$90 to upwards of S$800. Besides the well-known but pricey high-end Dyson vacuums, there are cheaper alternatives such as the cordless Airbot Supersonics Fluffy, retailing at only S$96 on Lazada. Alternatively, you can consider gifting super busy friends a robot vacuum, which can be programmed to clean floors while your friends are working. These vacuums come in a variety of models, from self-emptying makes to Wi-Fi and smartphone controlled ones. Plus, their compact size gives them the ability to clean underneath most sofas and beds—areas where cleaning is often overlooked.
3. Food Processor/Blender
A food processor and/or blender is one of the basic essentials one should have in the kitchen. While many of the functions of both appliances overlap, there are slight differences in price and function. For instance, blenders are generally cheaper than food processors and can be a better option if you are on a tight budget. One thing to note is that a blender is better for making soups, purees and smoothies, while a food processor is better for mixing dough, slicing vegetables and making nut butters. You can pick the one that’s suitable for your friends depending on their lifestyle and needs.
4. Instant Pot
Most busy working adults don’t have time to cook after work unless they do meal prep on the weekend and eat the same meals for the week ahead. As a food obsessed nation, many Singaporeans would balk at the thought of that. For those who enjoy cooking, an Instant Pot would be a wonderful gift as it’s a multi-purpose, multi-functional high pressure cooker that significantly reduces cooking time of one-pot meals that would otherwise be cooked on the stovetop. With just the push of a button, you can leave the ingredients in the pot, walk away, and come back to it when it’s ready to be served.
Instead of having to spend money on a slow cooker, the Instant Pot can also be used for slow cooking (if your friends want to chuck ingredients in the pot and come home from work 10 hours later to a ready-made meal) as long as you get a tempered glass lid for it. The Instant Pot is available on Q100 for S$288, so it would be a better gift if your budget is on the higher end.
With streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, many people watch series and movies from their laptops rather than buying a TV. A projector makes a great gift for homeowners who don’t have a TV as they can turn their living room into a home theatre. A mini projector is more affordable and compact than a standard one, but it comes with inferior specifications and doesn't project as clear of a display. However, the price difference between the two is significant, with a quality home theatre projector costing about S$500 on Amazon, while a mini projector can be purchased for as low as S$85.
You Don’t Have To Buy The Most Expensive Option
To save on your friends’ gifts, look out for sales and discounts online and in brick & mortar stores, and pay with credit cards that give you cashback or rewards.
If something is out of your budget, go for the cheaper option. Either way, you’re gifting something your friends will have a use for. Think of it this way: they can upgrade to a higher end version of any household appliance gifted to them when they feel the need to. Getting a replacement is inevitable as appliances are bound to break down over the years. For first-time homeowners who lack even the simplest of household equipment, the basics will suffice to gear them up for the next chapter in life.