When you purchase a home in Silicon Valley, you’ll find yourself signing an enormous pile of mortgage and closing documents. Each document can total hundreds of pages or more, creating a dilemma: what should you do with all this paperwork? While it may be tempting to throw it all away or store it in a remote corner of your house, it’s important to keep these documents on hand for future reference. You never know when you might need them, whether it’s for filing a claim or preparing to sell your home. In this article, we’ll explore the real estate documents you should keep filed in a safe and accessible place in Silicon Valley.
1. Real Estate Purchase Agreement
The real estate purchase agreement is a legally binding contract signed by both the buyer and seller. It sets forth all the terms and conditions for the home purchase, including the purchase price, closing date, essential rights and conditions, and other terms agreed upon by both parties. This document is crucial as it outlines the obligations and responsibilities of both the buyer and seller. Failing to fulfill the duties indicated in the agreement can have legal ramifications. In Silicon Valley, where real estate transactions can be complex and competitive, keeping a copy of the real estate purchase agreement is essential.
2. Addendums and Amendments
Addendums and amendments are documents that alter or amend the terms of your signed purchase contract. These documents are often related to home inspections or appraisals. They can clarify any issues that may arise in the future or correct any clerical mistakes related to the seller’s or buyer’s name. In Silicon Valley, where home prices are high and negotiations can be intense, these addendums and amendments can play a significant role in ensuring a smooth transaction. It’s important to keep these documents handy for reference.
3. Buyer’s Representation Agreement
When you hire a real estate agent to represent you in your home purchase, you sign a buyer’s representation agreement. This agreement is between you and the brokerage and outlines the terms of the relationship with your agent. It details the services your agent agreed to provide and the terms of terminating the agreement. The contract also specifies who pays for the commission, which is typically handled by the seller. Keeping a copy of this document is crucial in case you encounter any issues with your real estate agent, even after the transaction has closed.
4. Seller’s Disclosures
Sellers in Silicon Valley are required by law to disclose certain issues with the home to potential buyers. These disclosures vary by state and may include information about asbestos, lead-based paint, pest manifestations, mold, and repairs done without a permit. Failure to disclose these issues can result in future lawsuits against the seller. It’s important to keep these disclosures to hold the seller accountable if major problems arise with your home after you move in.
5. Home Inspection Report
The home inspection report is a detailed document produced by your home inspector. It shows the condition of the home and its potential problems. The report includes an itemized list of the inspector’s findings, highlighting areas that are in good condition and those in need of repair or replacement. It may also include photos of the property’s problem areas. Storing this report will help you plan for future repairs. Consider making a digital copy and storing it in cloud-based storage for easy access and backup.
6. Closing Disclosure
The closing disclosure is provided by the mortgage lender to the borrower at least three business days before settlement. It includes all the information related to your mortgage loan, such as the loan term, loan type, interest rates, and estimated costs associated with closing and your mortgage. This document is essential for filing your taxes and obtaining deductions for things like mortgage points. In Silicon Valley, where homeownership comes with significant financial considerations, keeping a copy of the closing disclosure is crucial.
7. Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Your homeowner’s insurance policy contains all the terms, conditions, premium notices, and policy number for your insurance coverage. It’s important to keep these documents on hand and update them regularly to ensure you have the right policy types and appropriate coverage in case of natural disasters like fire, hurricanes, floods, or earthquakes. In Silicon Valley, where the risk of wildfires and earthquakes is a concern, having a comprehensive homeowner’s insurance policy is crucial.
8. Owner’s Title Insurance Policy
Title insurance offers protection against any defects with the title, legal ownership status, or competing claims to a home. Your owner’s title insurance policy will cover any financial loss in case someone tries to claim the property or if there are existing property liens for delinquent taxes and other debts incurred by the former homeowners. Keeping a copy of your owner’s title insurance policy is essential in Silicon Valley, where property values are high, and disputes over ownership can occur.
9. Property Deed
The property deed is a legal document that confirms your ownership rights to the home. It serves as proof that you hold the title and legally own the property. In Silicon Valley, where property values are skyrocketing, securing the physical copy of your property deed is crucial. While the mortgage lender or title company may keep a copy of the deed, it’s important to have your own copy for reference and peace of mind.
10. Other Relevant Documents
In addition to the aforementioned documents, there may be other real estate documents specific to your situation that you should keep after closing in Silicon Valley. These may include:
- Home warranty documents: If you purchased a home warranty, keep the documents for reference in case you need to make a claim.
- Renovation or repair records: Keep records of any renovations or repairs done on the property, as they can add value and provide documentation for potential buyers in the future.
- HOA documents: If you live in a community with a homeowner’s association, keep any relevant documents, including rules and regulations, meeting minutes, and financial statements.
By keeping these real estate documents organized and accessible, you’ll be better prepared for any future needs or potential disputes related to your home purchase in Silicon Valley.