Monday, February 4, 2019

Some helpful links for all things New York City real estate


When you are buying or selling 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:
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:
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 web site to confirm if there are open violations or permits against a unit or building and see if their Certificate of Occupancy is still current:  
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:
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:
Foreign Buyers: Tax Treaty and Tax Liability
Buying property in the United States can sometimes be a taxing experience for foreign buyers. Foreign buyers should be aware of the tax implications related to acquiring property within the United States. The Federal Government has many treaties with numerous foreign countries. These treaties could grant foreign residents reductions and even exemptions from the federal estate, income and gift taxes (depending on the provisions of the treaty). All tax treaties are available to the public on the IRS website:
New York City Government Website: Private Homeowner Resources
New York City has an exclusive website for private homeowners. This website contains links for paying for New York City services and making a coop or condominium complaint, including reporting bright lights from parking lots, reporting noise from air conditioner or ventilation equipment, and even reporting a noisy neighbor. The website also contains links to the websites for Property Value Assessments, ACRIS, and the New York City Office of the Taxpayer Advocate:

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