Take Good Notes Now to Save Headaches Later

Three days after returning home from the hospital, I walked into the kids bathroom and discovered the tub spout was lying in the tub and not on the wall where it belonged. Long story short, we had a plumber go through the wall from my sons’ room to repair the pipe so the spout could be replaced.

This same day, I was sending the Sellers Property Disclosure Statement for one of my listings under contract to the buyers agent. Which got me thinking, should I ever decide to sell this house and move (an unlikely proposition given me love for the logistics of moving), am I going to remember this repair?

We own a house that, for the Phoenix area, is considered old – it was built in 1989. The most notable item I remember from the sellers disclosures when we bought the home is it was a victim of the 1996 storm that tore roofs from homes across Glendale; the ceiling and roof on the east side of the house dates back to that storm when the shingles were ripped clear off.

Since we moved in, we’ve had the air conditioner tweaked two or three times (for all I know, it’s held together with the same bailing wire holding my sternum in place right now), the dishwasher motor has been replaced, we’ve gone through two disposals, had both showers worked on, changed out the bathroom fixtures and replaced the water heater.

Hey, maybe my memory’s better than I thought it was.

My own mental capacity aside, these are all items that will need to appear on our Sellers Property Disclosure Statement if and when we ever sell. Forgetting any of these things could, at worst, be considered a failure to disclose material facts about the property … not that a new garbage disposal likely will be the kind of thing that causes a buyer to sue later, but still.

Overall, though, you don’t necessarily want to leave these details to your memory. Keep a file with receipts and/or notes for all the repairs you have done, all the major changes that take place on your property. A little bit of effort now almost certain will save you some headaches later.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.