The Washington Post has a good article for our clients and a reminder for us of the paperwork involved in closing a real estate transaction. It discusses what documentation should be kept and why along with some good pointers. It reminds us that the key documents are the HUD-1 settlement statement, the promissory note, the deed of trust (mortgage), the truth-in-lending disclosure and the deed. It highly recommends an Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance, and suggests that you should also keep copies of all paid invoices for all major repairs, improvements and additions that affect your cost basis in the home. I.e. capital improvements, that include the following: building an addition, replacing the roof, paving a driveway, installing central air conditioning, and rewiring. IRS Publication 551 , available at, provides detailed information for determining increases and decreases to your home’s cost basis.