Real Estate document organization tips

We all struggle with document organization, either our electronic or hardcopy files.  I hope this information helps in your next Anna Maria Island real estate transaction or for that matter any real estate transaction.  Having real estate documents handy for insurance, income taxes, property taxes and many other requirements makes life easier.  After all seems like Murphy’s law always takes effect.  Someone needs information as an emergency and taking an hour or two finding proper documents is time you just dont have at the moment.

Tip #1)  I find that real estate surveys, elevation certificates, insurance and banking paperwork are the most used files after the purchase of a property.  Create three folders; A) Surveys & Elevation, B) Insurance C) Banking Information.Anna Maria Island property
Tip #2)  At the very least scan your survey, elevation certificates, banking information and all insurance declaration pages associated with the property.  Be sure the information is electronically stored outside the home in the case of a fire or 50 year weather event.  If you can scan in the entire closing package that is the best yet.
Tip #3) The rest of the documents can go in one folder.  Warranty, deed, title insurance, etc can all be placed in one folder labeled as such.  I find the rest of the real property documents are rarely pulled out for later reference.
Tip #4) If you rent the property create two folders each  year.  {Year} Income and {Year} Expenses.  If you are lucky enough to have a property manager send you montly statements create a third folder, {Year} Statements.

When you sell that Anna Maria Island property for a nice profit don’t pitch those real property documents too soon.  Document organization records must be maintained for three years after selling the home.  More specifically, three years from the filing date or the date the income taxes were due.  Be careful, if you use your property for business income and you self employ yourself to manage the property all information as it relates to the real property should be maintained for six years.  This can be tricky and I would always suggest you consult your CPA or the Internal Revenue Service if you believe you may fall into this category.  Of course most suggest you hold on to your tax returns indefinitely.

I hope my document organization tips help for your next real property purchase.

Larry Chatt

Larry Chatt