When I research houses and areas to invest in I typically will check out the city's department of buildings website to see if there are any violations/issues with the property to avoid wasting my time and finding out later on into the process. In the past, looking in NYC was no issue as they have an extremely helpful and detailed DOB website that lists any complaints, violations, Certificates of Occupany, etc. on every single property in the city.
Now I am expanding my options to outside New York City to include parts of New Jersey. Specifically Jersey City, Hoboken, Newark and nearby surrounding areas. After spending about an hour searching I have come up empty handed to find this building information online as a research properties. I only come across links from the nj.gov website that direct me to the DOB physical address. No online system that can be searched. I would REALLY prefer not to have to head down to their office and research building records manually but feel I may be spoiled by the great NYC DOB website.
Do any NJ investors have any insight here on if I'm simply (and hopefully!) looking in the wrong place or does such a website not exist for NJ?
Thanks guys! :)
The info you are looking for is available on a municipal level and most municipalities will not have this info on line. In fact I do not know any that do. However, You can fill out an OPRA (Open Public Records Act) request and have them send you the info. It's a part of the due diligence process for every property we buy.
I'm curious though as to why you would disqualify a property simply because it has violations?
For example, in NYC there was a property that I was very interested in but after looking up the info on the NYC DOB there was a full vacate order on file as the building was deemed structurally unsound and has multiple violations of unsafe fire escape, leaning x degrees in some cases, etc. Fixing a structural issue is a much bigger problem than some more menial violations.
So I guess I am spoiled than with NYC as they have this information online for free and instantly accessible. :(
That's NJ for you.
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