Do You Know Where Your Mortgage Is? Deed? Insurance?
You never know when you’re going to need an essential homeowner document, but chances are you wouldn’t be able to go find it at this very moment if you needed to. Are we right? If so, there is no time like the present to devise a plan to get those docs in order.
“It doesn’t need to be perfect,” says Stephanie D’Angelo, Esq. of D’Angelo Law Associates PC in Uniondale. “It just needs to be comprehensive.” Here’s D’Angelo’s tips for where to start:
- Your Original Deed
You are entitled to have an original deed in your possession. If you don’t, call your attorney or go to your county clerk and get a new one.
- A Copy of Your Mortgage
If you have one then you should always have a copy as a reference.
- A Copy of Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
We have insurance policies for when times are tough. Insurance companies aren’t known for being understanding and, needless to say, they don’t necessarily make it easy to recover. You need to know what your policy covers.
Pro Tip: People often assume jewelry is covered under their homeowner’s insurance, but that insurance usually only covers somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000.00. If your jewelry is more valuable, then you should review your policy and possibly consider additional coverage.
- A Copy of Your Title Insurance
This is very different from your homeowner’s insurance policy! Title insurance covers ownership of your land. You don’t want to have to search for it when your neighbor starts telling you that your fence is on their property.
Do you have central air? Did you recently purchase a new boiler? How old is your refrigerator? What about solar panels? Often these larger ticket items come with warranties, and you should keep all your warranties in one place so you don’t have to go searching for them when that expensive item malfunctions.
Pro Tip: Binders and labels make everything easier. Keep your warranties in one binder (per house!). I put a post-it on the front of the warranty that states the appliance, date of purchase, where it was purchased (store), and how long the warranty lasts. I find this cuts the time it takes me to determine whether I should call the factory, my regular handy person, or maybe get a new appliance. Also, I only purchase those kinds of items with my trusted credit card because it often has some sort of additional insurance policy.
- Satisfactions/ Certificates of Occupancy/Permits/Etc.
You’d be surprised how often this is an issue when buying or selling a home. Sometimes they’re not filed with the town, so if you have it then we don’t have to hire an expeditor to complete the job. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by just keeping proper records.
- Last Word
Finally, keep everything in a fireproof and waterproof lock box—just don’t forget the code or lose the key.