The details of your home repair, maintenance, renovation and overall improvement are important to keep track of for tax purposes, for resale listings and for your own personal history of your home. When the sawdust settles on your latest project, it’s important to have accurate records of receipts, materials used and other important pieces of your home puzzle (like who actually did the work). Your free Porch Home Report includes home improvement project history, the cost and details of remodels and projects, background information for professionals that have previously worked on the home and neighborhood, and vital neighborhood statistics, such as how long neighbors have lived in their homes and the size, age, and cost of comparable neighborhood homes. It gives you greater insight into your home and serves as a timeline of events for your home. Keeping this timeline up-to-date can help you with the following:

Keep track of what work was done and when (even DIY projects)

The overall job, like installing a new roof, may be easy to remember ten years from now. But what about all of those detailed decisions that needed to be made during the project? In addition to your roof, perhaps other important changes were made to the underlayment or the gutters; you’ll want to record all of these details. Even keeping track of particular people involved or the order in which things were done may help you later on. When you do your own projects around the home it’s even easier to forget what, exactly, you did – mostly because you probably aren’t writing anything down. It’s important that you take photos (before and after photos are the best) of work that was done in addition to details like costs, timeline and materials.

The home report is also where you can keep track of regular service visits, which will help you plan for future inspections and maintenance. Having the chimney cleaned, the roof de-mossed, or the heater inspected are generally done on a regular basis but it may be challenging to remember when they were actually done. Remembering the last time an important part of your home was inspected or repaired will make your life a lot easier for future appointments and scheduling.

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 8.29.03 AM

Both DIY projects and jobs done by professionals can be saved.

Remember what materials were used

If you’ve hired a general contractor, architect or interior designer to perform many tasks (like home additions or remodeling), they may supply you with a written summary of paint chips, swatch numbers or specific materials used. This is great to hold on to in case you need to replace anything in the future. But very often our home improvement projects are small and occasionally a combination of the homeowner sourcing some materials and the pro sourcing others.  The Porch home report can help you keep track of specific materials used so that you don’t have to hunt down the correct paint can in your garage.

Track home improvement costs and expenses

Unless you are consistent with managing your home improvement expenses, it can be difficult to remember how much money you have spent improving your home. It’s easy to remember large investments, like a new deck or a home addition, but smaller improvements like new countertops, new blinds or landscape additions can be challenging. Add to that the regular servicing and maintenance (such as lawn care or housecleaning) and you might not have a clear understanding of how much money you are putting into your home each year. The Porch home report can help you track home improvement and maintenance expenses, both large and small, so you can clearly see your investment.

Keep track of conversations had with your professionals

In my experience, even the simplest service visit can drum up a lot of questions and concerns. Very often a home professional is giving a lot of very useful (but easily forgettable) details and information that may be difficult to remember. Things like tips for your heater when the weather turns cold, or which washing machine part might have to be fixed next year.  When a professional visits your home to repair, fix or maintain something, use your home report to keep track of important details.

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 8.29.40 AM

It’s important to keep track of small jobs as well as larger improvements.

Potential buyers want to see your home improvements

When it’s time to put your home on the market, you’ll probably invest additional time and money fixing, repairing or upgrading to make your home competitive. Obviously you want prospective buyers to see a well-cared for home, and your real estate agent will promote upgrades or significant investments. But more and more prospective buyers are also downloading the free Porch home report when looking at a home. These reports are only made public when a home is listed for sale, and it can give much greater insight as to the regular maintenance and minor upgrades done to the home. Although these smaller projects are very important, they may not be obvious during the open house walk-through.

In addition to seeing the types of projects done on a home, the new homeowner may want to know who did the work as well as materials used and other details. Buying a home and trying to figure out what was done to it is a bit like an archeological project. It is very helpful for the new homeowner to see who did previous work – they may need that professional to come back to do upgrades or help the new homeowners do other work. Since the Porch home report was introduced in March of 2014, 6 million home reports have been requested to date by prospective homeowners, to help them understand their favorite houses more.

How Porch works with the real estate community

When potential buyers download a home’s free Porch home report, they are seeing beyond the obvious: they can actually understand the types of projects done on a home and learn more about the investments made to the home. Porch CEO Matt Ehrlichman says, “Home improvement history is information everyone should have when researching a home.” Porch is proud to announce partnerships with some of the most innovative and leading real estate companies, who help people find the homes of their dreams. When searching for potential homes on these real estate sites, prospective buyers can download the free Porch home report to make their search experience even better. “Our strategy compliments the real estate industry perfectly – we don’t want to compete or be the place homeowners go to buy a home, but to simply provide the Porch home report to a network of real estate partners to make their experience better,” says Matt. Over 25,000 real estate website and brokerage firms now offer the Porch home report, making the home search experience even better.

Want to learn more about the Porch home report and our real estate partnerships? Click here to read our recent press release.

View your free home report here.