Ever wonder what to do with those horribly thick piles of papers you get when you buy a house? Or when you refinance the mortgage? Well, here are the things to keep track of:
First a description of the necessities:
The purchase escrow settlement statement usually has columns of numbers showing the price of the house and the various fees for the privilege of buying said property. The whole document is usually 2-3 legal sized pages.
The loan agreement describes the terms of the loan – the amount borrowed, the interest rate, amount of each monthly principal & interest payment, whether it’s a fixed or variable loan and the name of the lender. Sometimes the lender will also provide an amortization table that shows the enormous cost of paying for the house.
- All the FINAL documents they give you at close of escrow for purchasing the house. This includes your FINAL escrow settlement statement, loan agreement with the lender(s), a variety of reports, disclosures, etc. You will keep these documents until 4 years after you sell the property.
- For the most current refinance of the mortgage keep the FINAL escrow settlement statement and a copy of the loan agreement and all the accompanying documents provided at the disbursement of funds.
- If you’ve had multiple refi’s be sure to keep the escrow settlement statements and loan agreements for each and every one of them. Keep these until the last mortgage paid and you have a bonfire celebrating the now free-and-clear house.
Each time you refi your property you can get rid all EXCEPT the docs listed in #3 above and refer to item #2 above for the new mortgage.
In all instances you can discard the documents identified as temporary. The words “Good Faith Estimate”, “Estimated”, “Preliminary” or “Non-Final” are what’s typically used specify that the papers are not the real deal. Keep only the FINAL statement.