What Documents Should an Owner Keep for Future Home Inspections?

Most home buyers are urged to keep all of the transaction documents from when they purchase a home until a few years after they sell sometime in the future. If and when you do eventually become a seller, you are not required to provide any documentation to the home inspector (who is most often hired by the buyer), but it can help to have major maintenance records on hand.

Some of the paperwork from when you purchased the house may help assist the home inspector, and even your listing agent, when you later decided to sell your home.

It can be handy to keep any original request for repairs from when you purchased the house as historical maintenance and repair records.  A repair addendum specifies the particular type of work to be completed by the seller you purchased the house from, and could spell out whether the work may require a permit or to be performed by a licensed contractor.

Having the original seller disclosures may be helpful as well.  This disclosure includes material facts, lead-based paint disclosures, and other warranties, guarantees or disclosures the seller provides.

Your buyer home inspection report, can be helpful, along with contractor invoices and permits for work that was performed.

Beyond the documentation from when you purchased the house, you will want to keep a file containing documentation of ongoing maintenance and repairs you performed.  This is even more necessary for large repairs, such as roof or foundation repairs. If you also had annual home maintenance inspections performed, include copies of those reports as well.

If you filed an insurance claim for any of the repairs, keep copies of those records as well.

The major reason this documentation can be so helpful is that if the buyer’s home inspection finds, for example, a discoloration on the ceiling, you can show records that any leak was already repaired.  For major repairs, such as roofing and foundation, it can help not only with the home inspection, but even when listing the property for sale to include in the description when a new roof, new HVAC system, or other major repairs were performed.  Since most of these major systems have a usual life span, it will help when buyers know this type of work was recently completed and the same repairs most likely will not be needed for several more years.

If any repairs are covered under a warranty that can be transferred to the next owners, you will want to have this documentation to provide the new owners as well.

It’s rare that you will ever have too much documentation, so always err on the side of caution and keep everything that you think might possibly be useful in the future.

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