Organizing property paperwork

9 Replies

Hello! I’m trying to help my husband organize his 5 properties so we have a system when we buy/sell. I’m thinking about organizing by property and having all the paperwork in that folder but what folder titles should I have within each property? Any other tips on organizing paperwork to be successful in the future. Thank you in advance

@Kelcee Lucero

In our property folders, I retain:

1) Title Insurance / Deed

2) Lease / Estoppels

3) Repair invoices / Rehab contracts

4) Payoff letters / Current note

5) Insurance declaration pages / Property Tax Cards

6) Photos of property

I'm never prepared for an internal audit, but the above is my goal.

Hi Kelcee,

I start off just like you and have a folder for each property.  From there I only have a few folders like photos, previous tenants, and current leases.  I also have a general folder with my blank leases, applications, checklists, etc.  

Also, I am trying to be as paperless as possible.  I love Evernote, it is an app and a program where you can store lots of documents, photos, etc for free.  It is like a digital file cabinet and once you figure out how to customize it, it works really well. 

Originally posted by @Kelcee Lucero :

Hello! I’m trying to help my husband organize his 5 properties so we have a system when we buy/sell. I’m thinking about organizing by property and having all the paperwork in that folder but what folder titles should I have within each property? Any other tips on organizing paperwork to be successful in the future. Thank you in advance

 Hi Kelcee,

I like green pressboard classification folders.

You can get them with different amounts of tabs.

Then label the tabs however it works best for you, and however you keep records.

Such as if the property is in a high wind area with frequent shingle damage, you could have a tab just for roof repair receipts, or if not just have a tab for all repairs.

The tab names you choose should be chosen to make your life easier vs. just throwing everything into a shoebox, and having to sort through everything later to find what you need.

Good Luck!


One thing to add is applications.  I find that keeping applications are VERY important and help if you ever need to collect money or file for evictions.  

@Kelcee Lucero

Are you looking at paper or electronic?  For electronic, I found replicating a paper system is inefficient for access.  You just wind up clicking through a bunch of folders.  However, if thats the only way you think about it...

I do a mix of folders by transaction or time. For example, the purchase of a property is one folder. I'll some subfolders with various transaction stuff (e.g. inspections, attorney review, etc.). Here I use the sorting capability of the computer and use naming conventions. For example, all attorney review letters start with "AR ltr" followed by the date in reverse international format so that it sorts in order (e.g. 2020 11 16 or 20201116 if you can read it all mashed together). Spaces aren't really a problem nowadays so an extra punctuation just gets in my way. I definitely have a separate folder which I call "closing" which has the "important" documents such as Title, Title Insurance, closing statement, etc. Its just a handful of docs in one location that you know I'll need in the future. For electronic storage, its inefficient to have a folder name "Title Insurance Policy" which has a single file "Title Insurance Policy property address."

Other major folders might be mortgages and receipts.  For receipts, I store them by time.  I just keep scanning them into a single pdf file.  But, for other activities I'd scan them into a single folder for a year and use the above naming convention, eg. Home Depot 2020 11 16.pdf.  I personally see the need to do it by year for both organization and also the main reason to ever go back to them is for tax/auditing purposes.  I hear of some people having a folder for each company/store.  I find that to be a pain since usually I just need to see what's going in during one tax year..

Does this make sense?  Remember, in design "form follows function."  Good luck.

I do mine much like @Todd Rasmussen but use folders in a plastic case for each property. Also, I put only copies of leases, deeds, and title insurance in cases as I put originals in waterproof, fireproof safe.