Everyone has different levels of comfort in organizing their lives and each person has special tricks they use to keep themselves organized.  I get to experience all the unique ways people  “organize” their real estate files when they give me the opportunity to do their loans.  Most mortgage brokers are thrilled at the thought of doing loans for people who own a number of properties and I am one of those mortgage brokers.  I also however, quiver at the thought of organizing all the information that goes along with doing just one of their loans.  Why?  Most lenders will want detailed information on all of the other properties that the individual owns.  Some companies want huds on all of the properties the borrower has owned for less than 12 months and any verifications of mortgage that are not showing up on the credit report. (They do public record searches to make sure that you included all properties on the application).  They may ask to see the insurance declaration page on all rental properties to prove a 6 month rent loss clause and they will ask to see all the leases whether or not they are loaning money on them.  Are you starting to understand my in trepidation?

Since Larry and I have been buying and selling 5-15 houses per month, we have found ourselves in a quandary as to how to keep up with all that is going out and coming in.  Just the other day Larry was speaking with a real estate agent and making an offer on a house and he mentioned to Larry that he already had a $1000.00 deposit from us on another property that we didn’t get a couple months back.  That prompted us to tighten up our tracking system on deposits.  I also thought this was a great opportunity to share with others a good way of organizing your files.

In our office, we have one file that we keep all of our offers in.  An offer consists of the tax sheet that was downloaded off the Internet, any little notes we may have jotted down and each offer is stapled to one sheet of paper that is dedicated to that particular offer.  The paper has two columns; one for notes and the other for the date the note was inserted.  As soon as the offer is accepted, the offer graduates to its own file and the sheet for dates and notes is now stapled to the inside front cover of the file.  Once we close on the house, we keep the following information in the file.

  1. On the note page we write dates batteries were changed in smoke and carbon alarm
  2. All copies of the contract or offer to purchase including any changes
  3. HUD, Promissory Note, Good Faith and Truth in Lending
  4. Insurance Dec Page
  5. Lease
  6. Tax Bill
  7. Original list of repairs
  8. Repair invoices (each year we clip any new invoices together to give them to the accountant for tax purposes and return them after taxes are completed)
  9. A copy of our monthly statements
  10. A copy of our cancelled check
  11. Copy of tenant checks, deposit slips for those deposits
  12. Any correspondence

These are the things that you, your accountant and your mortgage broker should have at their fingertips.  It will make your life much easier and no matter how many properties you own, you will find that this system works.  Just try it and tailor it to your needs.