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Are You Overlooking This Critical Task?

4 minute read

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As a homeowner, it's easy to overlook the importance of meticulously documenting your home inventory and appliances. However, this simple task can have a significant impact on your finances, insurance coverage, and even the overall value of your home. In this article, we'll explore the critical reasons why every homeowner should prioritize this often-overlooked practice.

Unexpected Cost Avoidance

Appliances and home systems are an integral part of our daily lives, but they are also prone to unexpected breakdowns and malfunctions. According to a study by the National Association of Home Builders, the average lifespan of major home appliances ranges from 9 to 15 years, with refrigerators lasting around 13 years, dishwashers around 9 years, and washing machines around 10 years.

When these essential appliances and systems fail, the costs can quickly add up. A report by Home Advisor found that the average cost to repair a refrigerator is $200 to $400, while the average cost to replace a refrigerator is $500 to $2,000. Similarly, the average cost to repair a dishwasher ranges from $150 to $400, and the average cost to replace a dishwasher is $400 to $800.

By maintaining a detailed inventory of your home's appliances and systems, including their age, make, model, and maintenance history, you can better anticipate and plan for these inevitable replacement and repair costs. This information can help you budget accordingly and avoid unexpected financial burdens.

Insurance Purposes

In the event of a disaster, such as a fire, flood, or theft, having a comprehensive home inventory can be invaluable for insurance claims. According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners who have a detailed home inventory are able to file claims 30-50% faster than those who do not.

A detailed home inventory, complete with photographic or video evidence, can help you accurately document the value of your possessions and ensure that you receive the appropriate compensation from your insurance provider. This can be especially crucial for high-value items, such as electronics, jewelry, or art, which may be subject to coverage limits or require additional documentation.

Increased Home Value

Maintaining a well-documented home inventory can also contribute to the overall value of your property. Potential buyers are often attracted to homes with well-maintained appliances and systems, as this can indicate that the property has been well-cared for and is less likely to require immediate, costly repairs.

By providing a comprehensive record of your home's appliances and systems, including their age, condition, and any recent upgrades or repairs, you can demonstrate to potential buyers that your home is a sound investment. This can give you an edge in the real estate market and potentially increase the selling price of your home.

Getting Started

To begin documenting your home inventory and appliances, 

  • Start by creating a detailed list of all the items in your home, including their make, model, serial number, and purchase date. 
  • Be sure to include photographs or videos of each item, as well as any relevant documentation, such as warranties or instruction manuals.
  • For your critical appliances and home systems, such as your refrigerator, HVAC, dishwasher, washer, and dryer, be sure to also record the maintenance history, including any repairs or replacements. This information can be invaluable in the event of a breakdown or when it's time to replace the appliance.

By taking the time to document your home inventory and appliances, you can protect yourself from unexpected costs, ensure proper insurance coverage, and potentially increase the value of your home. It's a simple yet powerful step that every homeowner should consider.


National Association of Home Builders. (2007). Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components.

HomeAdvisor. (2023). Refrigerator Repair Cost.

HomeAdvisor. (2023). Dishwasher Repair Cost.

Insurance Information Institute. (2023). Homeowners Insurance.





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