Home inventory helps you know what you own
December 10, 2014
If you're like most of us, and you are, you don't know what you own, and you should.
Carrie Mitchell and her daughter volunteered to help with the Waldo Canyon fire cleanup. Amid all the devastation and heartbreak, they noticed that most fire victims had no idea what they owned.
Mitchell looked around and didn't see anyone else doing home inventory, so she launched Together We Stand Home Inventory, "professional and confidential home inventory services."
Why home inventory?
“A complete home inventory may be your only proof of valuable possessions in case of loss.”
Owner of Together We Stand Home Inventory
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Some homes are victimized by disasters and accidents, some by divorce battles, and others by burglary. In fact, one in 36 homes will be burglarized this year, Mitchell said.
In November and December, 400,000 homes will be burglarized, and fewer than 15 percent will be solved, says FBI data.
One of her clients had a copper sculpture outside. They were not home when someone cut it from the mounts and stole it.
"Thieves want to get in and out quickly, so they hit the master bedroom/closet first, the office and garage," Mitchell said.
Their favorite targets are electronics, jewelry, guns, coins, silver, furs, rare art and collectibles, tools, sporting equipment and money — things they can easily sell.
"Most items are sold (fenced) at pawn shops, Craigslist, etc.," Mitchell said, adding that the typical homeowner insurance covers 60-70 percent of purchase price for contents.
Besides dealing with insurance companies, you can claim a tax write-off for the uninsured property after a complete loss — but only if you have a detailed home inventory and can prove you owned that stuff, Mitchell said.
Relying solely on your memory will be an expensive mistake.
"A complete home inventory may be your only proof of valuable possessions in case of loss," Mitchell said.
You may have 30 pairs of slacks worth $80 each, guns and musical instruments all worth $500 each or more, and all kinds of jewelry. But you'll never remember that when you're dealing with a disaster. You also won't remember it when you're dealing with a divorce.
"When a disaster strikes, you are not in the proper state of mind to recreate all of your possessions," Mitchell said.
What's a home inventory?
A home inventory is a detailed list of the personal property and assets located in your home. Mitchell has been flown all over the country to make inventories of people's worldly goods. She's methodical, going from room to room using video instead of still pictures, and she accounts for everything — not just high-value items. She makes records of everything — serial numbers, model numbers, measurements and identifying characteristics.
And yes, you could do it yourself, but it's time consuming.
"How valuable is your time?" Mitchell asked. "One missed item can more than offset the cost of the inventory."
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.