Record Keeping for Homeowners

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Record keeping is an important but often overlooked task for homeowners. By keeping good records of your home, you can stay organized, save money, and make informed decisions about your property.

What records should homeowners keep?

The types of records you should keep will vary depending on your individual needs and circumstances. However, some general categories include:

  • Financial records: This includes receipts for home improvement projects, property taxes, and insurance premiums.
  • Insurance records: Keep copies of your homeowner’s insurance policy, as well as any claims you have filed.
  • Legal records: This includes your home’s title deed, mortgage documents, and any other legal documents related to your property.
  • Warranties and contracts: Keep copies of all warranties for appliances, fixtures, and other items in your home. Also, keep copies of any contracts you have signed with contractors or other professionals who have worked on your home.
  • Home maintenance records: This includes records of when you have performed routine maintenance tasks, such as changing the furnace filter or cleaning the gutters. You may also want to keep records of any repairs or replacements that have been made to your home.

How to organize your records

There are a number of ways to organize your home records. One popular method is to use a filing cabinet with labeled folders. You can also use a binder system or a digital record-keeping system.

No matter which method you choose, it is important to have a system that is easy to use and maintain. Make sure to label all of your records clearly and keep them in a safe, dry place.

How long to keep your records

The length of time you should keep your records will vary depending on the type of record. For example, you should keep your financial records for at least seven years, in case you are audited by the IRS. You should also keep your insurance records for at least seven years, or for as long as you have the policy.

For other types of records, such as warranties and contracts, you may want to keep them for the duration of the warranty or contract period. For home maintenance records, you may want to keep them for as long as you own the home.

Tips for keeping good records

Here are a few tips for keeping good records:

  • Set up a system and stick to it. Choose a method for organizing your records that works for you and make sure to be consistent.
  • File your records promptly. Don’t let a pile of papers build up on your desk or counter. File them as soon as you receive them.
  • Review your records regularly. Take some time each year to review your records and make sure you are keeping everything you need.
  • Back up your records. If you are keeping digital records, make sure to back them up regularly. You may also want to keep a paper copy of important documents.

By following these tips, you can keep good records of your home and make your life easier in the long run.