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How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-10-2006, 11:32 PM   #1
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How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

I'm still hanging onto all the paperwork, that was given to me when I purchased homes in 1970's and again in 1980's. All the properties have been sold.

Is there any reason, to keep this paperwork on hand. Or, can I just chuck it I'm talking about purchase contracts, deeds to property, sales contracts, etc.?

I need space for my socks and underwear and don't see that I need to keep saving and protecting all this paper,----If I don't need it!
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-11-2006, 02:37 AM   #2
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

if you are canadian, i don't think so. If US, don't ask me.
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-11-2006, 07:54 AM   #3
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

Contracts of home purchased in the 70's and 80's can be chucked.

Hang onto deeds, they dont take up much room. Hang onto the settlement statement in case tax questions arise for stuff after 1990 that you have already sold.

Hang on to paper work of stuff you still have, especially deeds and title policies. Anything already sold, just the settlement statements hang on to.

If you recently sold something, hang onto settlement statements and purchase evidence in case of tax questions.


After about 10 years, in cases of bought and sold stuff, get rid of everything save for settlement papers.
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-11-2006, 09:49 AM   #4
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

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After about 10 years, in cases of bought and sold stuff, get rid of everything save for settlement papers.
If you want to impress the next few generations, consider hanging on to some of the paperwork.

My FIL enjoys being able to produce a 40-year-old mortgage document. Of course having to store & track this stuff drives my MIL crazy. The cockroaches appreciate the well-aged paper too-- full-bodied, robust impact with a hint of impertinence in the aftertaste.
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-11-2006, 10:36 AM   #5
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

I put the whole mess from each house in a paper bag, wrap it in a green plastic garbage bag and toss it into the attic. Takes up no space, not too much trouble to retrieve when you move. I dont think its worth keeping past the point in time where you can be sued or audited though.
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-11-2006, 01:28 PM   #6
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

You do not NEED to keep any of the documents no matter what... almost anything of importance someone else will have... it just might be hard to get.

BUT, i would keep the paperwork showing that you sold the two houses... not the stuff showing you bought them..
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-12-2006, 09:55 AM   #7
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

I think I still have the papers on every house I have ever bought and sold over the past 32 years. I guess once you past the IRS audit window you really don't need all the documentation to back up the sale. The next consideration might then be the Title history but that is what Title insurance is for so what other reason would exist to keep these papers longer than the IRS audit window?

I really need to clean out that file someday; especially since I still have not only my houses but those bought and sold by my second wife and now my current wife. That is a lot of paper to hang onto.

My pack rat tendencies seem to be very strong in this area. I finally shredded cancelled personal checks I had written from 1970 up to 1990 a couple of years ago. I still have the ones from 1990 to present (duplicate check register). I guess I am on a 20 year shred cycle. Looks like a nice ER project.
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-12-2006, 10:01 AM   #8
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

One reason for hanging onto the paperwork:

When my parents sold the house I grew up in, a lien against the house showed up from 20 years before.* They had refinanced the mortgage, and the bank never filed the paperwork to show that the old mortgage was closed out.* And then the bank was gobbled up in a merger, never to really exit again.* My parents had the paperwork showing the previous loan was paid.* Made a huge difference that helped them to close on time...

I'd keep the stuff - you never know WHAT you'll need in the future, and it doesn't take up much space.
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-12-2006, 10:31 AM   #9
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

How about this one...I had to pump my septic tank this week, and remembered seeing a copy of the pump out receipt from when I bought the house. When I checked that one, it was cheap and from a tiny little local company I hadnt gotten a quote from. When I called them, bingo...$300 vs 525.

Not sure how useful that would have been 10 years from now instead of 3, but there ya go.
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-12-2006, 10:56 AM   #10
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

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...I had to pump my septic tank this week...
(), I know California has what some might consider "unusual" laws and certainly can't be accused of being restrictive when it comes to interpretations of what is acceptable sexual behavior. And I put myself in the "who cares if it's between consenting adults" camp. But for the life of me I don't understand this one. Disgusting. You're one sick puppy. :P
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-12-2006, 11:34 AM   #11
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

Yeah well try this one on for size...its a CONCRETE tank with a 14" opening!

Now, if it was fiberglass with a 12" cap, it wouldnt be quite so horrifying, I know.
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-12-2006, 11:38 AM   #12
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

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Yeah well try this one on for size...its a CONCRETE tank with a 14" opening!

Now, if it was fiberglass with a 12" cap, it wouldnt be quite so horrifying, I know.
A 32" monitor, a 14" opening on your septic tank, a 9 square yard tomato plant, an IQ 7 standard deviations from the norm? What's next, you're gonna tell us you have a 40-inch yardstick?
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-12-2006, 11:50 AM   #13
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

No, but I do use a meterstick. So yeah, my 'stick' is almost 40 inches long

Dont get hung up on that meaningless IQ either. I've seen some studies that claim that high IQ's might be a lot more common than is thought. The mainstream folks think someone in the 170 range might be 1 in 160-170,000...others have done some interesting analysis to show that it might be as low as 1 in 5000-6000.

Never stopped me from doing a great number of very stupid things.
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-12-2006, 12:00 PM   #14
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

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Originally Posted by ()
No, but I do use a meterstick. So yeah, my 'stick' is almost 40 inches long

Dont get hung up on that meaningless IQ either. I've seen some studies that claim that high IQ's might be a lot more common than is thought. The mainstream folks think someone in the 170 range might be 1 in 160-170,000...others have done some interesting analysis to show that it might be as low as 1 in 5000-6000.

Never stopped me from doing a great number of very stupid things.
So you're just part of what may be the IQ distribution's "fat tail"? Must be humbling...
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-12-2006, 12:03 PM   #15
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

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How about this one...I had to pump my septic tank this week, and remembered seeing a copy of the pump out receipt from when I bought the house.
We make sure that we have the company name on every Quicken entry as well as a few choice words describing the purchase.

It pays off when you're trying to repair or replace something 10 years later...
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents
Old 01-13-2006, 12:06 PM   #16
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Re: How long, to hang onto home purchase documents

I try to keep old hazard insurance policies for 7 years.

Title insurance policies I keep forever.

I think that house basis information (purchase records, improvement records) should be kept as long as you own the home and for as long after the sale as the IRS/state may audit your sale. I have kept for all our homes and apartments records at work. I have a big office. When I quit for good, I'll have to see about weeding some of this out.

My thought is that purchase agreements and addenda (both on sellers and buyers end) should be kept for at least as long as the length of the statute of limitations on claims arising out of those agreements. I have kept all of those.

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