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Do-it-yourself Real Estate Due Diligence: the best websites!

Written by Posted On Monday, 02 September 2019 05:01
New York Chelsea apartment New York Chelsea apartment NestApple

Do-it-yourself Real Estate Due Diligence: the best websites!

Through this article, I will list some key websites so you can do your legal due diligence (almost), as well as an attorney, would do it! Since we started our adventure with NestApple we had to do a lot of work ourselves!


When you are buying property, it can feel like so much is happening all at once. Within a very short period of time, the deal is finalized, the contract drafted and negotiated, and various “due diligence” materials are being provided by the building’s board and/or management. There is a wealth of publicly available information that can assist clients and brokers in being as educated as possible throughout this process. We have gathered some go-to resources that we often use during the process. If you have any questions regarding how to utilize these resources, please feel free to call our office for additional assistance.

Property Tax Bills

New York City real estate tax bills are now available to view and download online, which can be helpful for confirming a Seller’s representations as to the annual taxes due and assessing if the property is in arrears. Use the following portal to view and download bills and confirm the payment history for any New York City property:http://nycprop.nyc.gov/nycproperty/nynav/jsp/selectbbl.jsp

Property Tax Benefit Information 

The New York City Department of Finance provides property owners and real estate professionals with information regarding property tax abatements and exemptions. Use the following portal to view which abatements or exemptions are currently being applied to a property and for how long, in addition to how those same abatements and exemptions are calculated: https://a836-propertyportal.nyc.gov/

Department of Buildings

The New York City Department of Buildings (“DOB”) tracks a variety of property information, including but not limited to complaints, violations, construction/plumbing applications and permits, and inspections. They also track and publish current Certificates of Occupancy and Temporary Certificates of Occupancy of record. Use their website to confirm if there are open violations or permits against a unit or building and see if their Certificate of Occupancy is still current: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/index.page  


ACRIS (the “Automated City Register Information System”) hosts the accepted land records of the New York, Kings, Queens, and Bronx County Clerks and can provide real estate professionals with access to most of the records filed against New York City properties in those counties (note well that there is some inconsistency in the availability of documents that are greater than 15 years old). As of May of 2013, ACRIS even has the ability to search for land records against cooperative apartments, which can be helpful in confirming early if there are any outstanding liens against a unit. Use ACRIS to determine a property’s tax block and lot, find property deeds, mortgages and UCC financing statements, and identify easements or restrictions on the use of a property: http://a836-acris.nyc.gov/CP/

Offering Plan & Amendments

The Real Estate Finance Bureau of the Office of the Attorney General hosts a helpful look up tool that can confirm if the Attorney General’s Office approved an Offering Plan and any amendments thereto; for older buildings and coops, it can eliminate the guesswork of trying to determine how many amendments have been filed and provide the most recent count. Use the Real Estate Finance Bureau’s look up tool here:https://offeringplandatasearch.ag.ny.gov/REF/welcome.jsp

Department of State, Division of Corporations

The Corporation and Business Entity Database includes business and not for profit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships, as well as other miscellaneous businesses. As such, you can confirm the actual name and status of cooperative corporations; be sure to be on the lookout for any alternate or assumed names for the corporation, and be sure the status is always active! The Division of Corporations database can be accessed here:https://appext20.dos.ny.gov/corp_public/CORPSEARCH.ENTITY_SEARCH_ENTRY

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