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Useful Real Estate Websites for NYC

We’ve collected and summarized the most useful real estate estate websites for home buyers, sellers and real estate professionals in New York City. You’ll find below some really useful real estate websites that will help you look up a property’s real estate tax bills, certificates of occupancy, tax abatements, permits, ownership information and other public records. Best of all, these really useful real estate websites are completely free to use and focused on NYC!

Property Tax Bills – You can view the New York City real estate tax bills for any property online. This is useful for buyers who want to verify the amount of monthly taxes that sellers claim that they pay. It can also be helpful to determine whether a seller is in arrears on their property taxes. This is also useful for sellers who wish to view their property taxes online, especially if they’ve lost the paper tax bill they received by mail from the Department of Finance.

You can use the following website to view and download property tax bills and confirm the payment history for any New York City property.

Property Tax Abatement and Benefit Information – Buyers can confirm what property tax abatements, exemptions or benefits a target listing is receiving directly with the New York City Department of Finance. Sellers can double check online to confirm that they are indeed receiving the abatements, exemptions or benefits they are expecting to receive.

Buyers and sellers in New York City can use the following website 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 being calculated.

The Department of Buildings – Also known as the DOB, New York City’s Department of Buildings publishes online a wide variety of information about buildings such as complaints, violations, construction applications and permits, plumbing applications and permits and inspections. The DOB also tracks and publishes Current or Temporary Certificates of Occupancy.

Buyers and sellers can check online to see if a building has any open violations or permits against a unit or building. Buyers and sellers can also double check to see if a building still has a current Certificate of Occupancy. If it has a temporary Certificate of Occupancy, it may be wise to confirm with the building’s board what their plan of action is to get a permanent Certificate of Occupancy.

ACRIS – ACRIS stands for the “Automated City Register Information System” which hosts online the publicly recorded and documented land records of the New York, Kings, Queens and Bronx County Clerks. This is the public record of ownership, title and claims for NYC’s real estate. You can access ACRIS directly or you can see it’s data on third party websites such as StreetEasy which automatically pull data from ACRIS.

ACRIS is a great resource for buyers, sellers and real estate professionals alike when it comes to accessing records filed against New York City properties in those counties. Please note that ACRIS only has documents going back to 1966, and older documents may not be consistently available in general. You will still have to make a trip to the county clerk’s office to peruse records older than 1966.

In May 2013, ACRIS acquired the capability to search for land records against cooperative apartments as well. This can be quite helpful in confirming early on if there are any outstanding liens against a cooperative apartment. You can 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.

Offering Plan & Amendments – This little known website is hosted by The Real Estate Finance Bureau of the Office of the Attorney General and helps lawyers, buyers, sellers and other real estate professionals confirm whether the Attorney General’s Office has approved an Offering Plan and any amendments or not.

Additionally, it is a helpful website for lawyers to determine how many amendments have been filed and to determine the most recent count. This is especially useful for re-sale transactions in older buildings and cooperative buildings.

Department of State, Division of Corporations – The Department of State (“DOS”) maintains The Corporation and Business Entity Database which includes easily searchable information on for profit as well as non profit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships and other miscellaneous business entity types.

This website will be useful to buyers who want to learn more about the identities of property owners who are cloaked behind corporate entities, typically a LLC. This website can also be helpful for confirming the actual name and status of cooperative corporations. You can also see whether the legal entity has any assumed or “doing business as” names. Lastly, you can confirm whether the entity is still active, or whether it is now defunct.

Does buying property in a LLC make sense for the average home owner or investor? Read our latest blog article to learn more!

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Disclosure: Hauseit and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.