Over the years I have done work for many first time home owners or renters. The one main thing that sticks out in my mind as a common similarity between a lot of these people is the lack of some basic tools for minor everyday home repairs or projects. I would refer to this as your "D.I.Y. toolbox".
Now just because I referred to it as a 'toolbox' does not mean it must be in a toolbox but I do recommend that the basics should be all together whether it's in a toolbox, toolbag, plastic tote or plastic bucket, just keep it together in one place where you can always find it. I have compiled a list of some of the basic things to have on hand and approximately what they may cost as well I will list some 'luxury' tools that will mostly be power or battery type tools that can sure speed up some jobs and make them easier once you have learned to use them safely and properly.
The basic toolbox items are perfect for doing minor things like hanging all those pictures, spackling some wall imperfections, adjusting a door etc. I would say you could purchase this whole list for $100-$150. I would not suggest going to you nearest discount store to buy the cheapest of everything, but let's face it you do not need the top of the line either, so go for decent quality. The prices I have shown should get you items that are decent quality. And before you go out to get everything, check with family and friends to see what they may have spares of and maybe you can shorten your shopping list and save a few bucks.
D.I.Y. Toolbox Contents
The luxury tools as I referred to before are the pricier tools but they can really make things quicker and easier. If you want to build that shed or fence in the back yard or cut and install new trim in the house, these are the items that you pretty much should not do without. I think that buying and sharing some of these tools with friends or family not only helps out with the reducing the cost to each person, but also can provide you with some much needed helping hands on each others projects. I would say that you can likely purchase this whole list for about $750-$1000. Again just like the basic toolbox items, don't buy the cheapest tools you can find, and also there are sometimes good deals on used tools out there that people are selling because they are upgrading to higher end tools. Also it may cheaper to rent certain tools that you may not use again, this also may give you the chance to use a much higher quality tool than you would have bought.
I do believe that there are so many D.I.Y. projects out there that a lot of people can do themselves, but you need the tools and some helpful instructions to get you started. You have seen my tool suggestions and you can read my D.I.Y. articles on this web site. These put together should get you on your way with your next project.