A Home Inventory

A Home Inventory

Back in October of 2012 we all anticipated the arrival of Hurricane Sandy but no one could have foreseen the devastation it would cause.  So many homes were damaged or lost. 

Would you be able to list all the possessions you have collected over the years if they were destroyed?  Most likely you would forget a lot of things, especially during such an emotional time.  This is why it’s important to create or have an up-to-date home inventory.  Having one will help you purchase the correct amount of insurance, verify losses for your income tax return and get your insurance claim settled faster in the event of a disaster or if you home were burglarized. 

It is not that difficult to create a home inventory, it is basically a list of all the items in your house, however, it is time consuming and will take several days to complete.  If you are about to stage your home for sale or if you are getting ready to move, this is the perfect time to begin one.  

There are several ways to get started, you can catalogue your personal affects in a notebook, create one on your computer, download an app on your smartphone, or use an online website.  If you are using a notebook, I recommend making several copies saving it in a fire-proof box or safe or in a safe deposit box at the bank.  You can also leave a copy with a family member or friend.  If you are using a computer, which may get damaged, I recommend saving it to the cloud or something like Google Drive.

Check out Know Your Stuff an online home inventory and smartphone app from Insurance Information Institute.  To register click on the link: https://www.knowyourstuff.org/iii/login.html

How to create a home inventory.

Group your possessions into categories.  First by room and then by item type, for example: furniture, electronics, dishes and flatware, clothing, and jewelry…  Don’t forget items less used like collectables, books, holiday decorations, sports equipment, tools…etc.  Include the model and serial numbers and if you have saved receipts and/or have appraisal documents, attach original copies to your inventory or keep in a safe place.  As you are listing the item, carefully photograph it (you may want to include smaller items in a group, for example, board games or the tools in your toolbox can be laid out and take one picture of them all) and include a brief description, such as the age, purchase price and estimated current value.  Also, take pictures of your home, inside and out.  Finally, whenever you make a new purchase, add it to your inventory as soon as possible.

You might think a home inventory is a silly thing to create, as if it was conjured up by some anal retentive housewife or Martha Stewart to keep themselves or you busy.  The truth of the matter is, we never think tragedy can happen to us until it does.  So wouldn’t you rather be prepared to submit a complete list of your cherished items to claim to your insurance company and have them reimburse you promptly?  So don’t get discouraged, it will take longer than you think but you will feel better once it’s done.

(picture source: myhome.ie

Dennis DelBene Headshot
Phone: 914-907-7538
Dated: August 1st 2014
Views: 5,071
About Dennis: Prior to obtaining my real estate license, I worked many years in the finance office for a multi-mil...

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