Documents to keep after house closing
A guide to the closing documents and other important household documents you should keep after you buy your house — and what you can consider getting rid of.
Navigating the paperwork and process when buying a home can be overwhelming. There are several documents needed for a mortgage application, such as pay stubs and tax returns. Once everything is settled, it is important to save certain documents related to your house closing. Here are a few tips on what you should retain and for how long.
Keep for one year
- Utility bills: At the end of the calendar year and once you've matched actual expenses to those that appear on your bank or credit card statements, you can toss utility bills.
- Change of address confirmation: When you purchase a house, you usually need to update your address with USPS to have your mail sent to your new house. You can shred the confirmation after you begin receiving the forwarded mail at your new address.
- Home improvement purchases and receipts: You may not intend on selling your home anytime soon, but keep proof of purchases and upgrades you make, like adding new appliances or fresh drywall. They're helpful to demonstrate appreciated value to future buyers.
- Insurance policies: Store these vital documents in a safe spot so you can access account numbers and coverage limits, as well as agent contacts, at any time.
- Mortgage documents: Keep any mortgage paperwork you get when purchasing your home. Even if you pay off your mortgage, you'll receive a release or certificate of satisfaction; keep that, too.
- Home inventory: A home inventory can be done once you move in and is especially helpful if you have any homeowners or property insurance claims. Be sure to keep it up to date on a regular basis.
Keep until you sell your home
- Closing documents: Retain a copy of any document signed during your home's closing as a backup. Some experts advise keeping this collection of forms for several years after you eventually sell the home, too. A list of closing mortgage documents include:
- Purchase agreement
- Disclosures and repair requests
- Escrow information, inspection reports
- Closing statement, among other things
- Abstract, title, appraisals and deed: Retain your own record, which outlines things such as legal boundaries and the history of your home.
Keep until it expires
- Home warranties: Again, store in a protected location that you'll remember so you have access to coverage and limitations.
Remember to keep all important documents in a dry, safe place. Many homeowners choose to keep them in a fire-safe box in their home or in a safety deposit box. Knowing what to keep is easier when you know what to save or shred.