A Home Inspector’s Weblog by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck

exploring homes and the lives in them around Houston

Delving into Paperwork (Part 6)- The End of the Papers

You have finally closed on your home, and you take the paperwork that has built up to put in the bottom of the desk drawer, because you will not need them again. You have made a mistake. If you are like me, you will find that in the first year or so after moving into your house that you will need to go back to these documents a few times to deal with something that has surfaced. At times, I felt like I had a second job dealing with insurers and lenders.

Your first step should be to take some time to review the papers to see if there is anything that you missed. You do not have to review them immediately, or all at once, but you should become familiar with them. When reading them, place a note pad nearby to write down important information. Type this up to be a cover sheet for those documents. This is a good way for you to understand what you have read. You may also want to create a contact sheet for the different firms involved with the papers. List the firm, a contact person’s name, account number, phone number, address, and what the firm does. Keep this in a safe, but accessible place. Find a location for all of the papers dealing with the house. This would include the documents that I have been discussing, but also such things as manuals for the alarm system or invoices for products or work done on the house. By keeping this all together, you will have one file to go to concerning your home, so information will be easy to locate. You will never know which document will become the most important one to have, until you have the need for it, and unlike renting, you are now responsible for everything.

Once I have more tips, or if I receive tips, I will post them under this heading, but I think you should now have a starting point. Stay calm, none of these documents are that intimidating, and you can get through them.

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