Real Estate Attorney & CPA

2 Replies

I am looking for a good attorney and CPA who has great experience in Lower Westchester for buy and holds of 3-4 unit houses. 

Any suggestions? 

What should I look for when choosing either one of these 2 professionals

Hi @Shanel Wiggins ,

Let me provide a disclaimer by first telling you that I'm a real estate attorney, and my firm does a lot of work in both residential and commercial, as well as for both owners and investors. That being said, I think there are a few things you should look out for when picking an attorney (I don't know so much about CPAs, but I'm assuming you'd want similar qualities).

1a. Regular and thorough communication. No matter how good of a lawyer someone is, no matter what results they can get for you, if they don't provide good communication, you're going to constantly be worried about your deal. Is it going well? Is it going poorly? Why isn't my attorney responding to my calls/emails? Regular communication, to me, is the most important quality (along with 1b) a good attorney can provide.

1b. Honesty. A lot of an attorney's job involves aspects that require the utmost level of honesty. Whether it's handling your personal/business bank account information, having access to your funds, knowing your social security number, or just having to deliver bad news, you want someone to be honest.  I think this is actually tied with number 1, which is why I marked it 1b.

2. Personal relationship. As I mentioned above, your attorney has a lot of personal access, and it's someone you need to be able to trust. There's a reason we're called counselors, and it's because our job is to provide counsel. It's helpful to look for an attorney who has a high level of empathy, who can put themselves in your shoes, knows exactly what you're going to be worried about before you're worried about it, and counsels you on how to proceed. This ties into good communication.

3. Experience. You want someone who's done this before. In every transaction, there's always something that comes up that's slightly different than the last. So when I say experience, I don't necessarily mean someone who's done your exact deal before, I mean someone who's experienced in dealing with those wrinkles that inevitably pop up. You also want someone who knows what they don't know, but can find the answer thoroughly and efficiently. 

4. Price. I put price last because (again, I'm biased) I think that whatever extra you pay a good, highly reputable attorney is going to be worthwhile in the end. Sure, you could hire a cheap attorney who graduated last in their class (still called lawyer!), but you're going to get what you pay for. 

If you have any questions or anything I can help you with, please don't hesitate to reach out!

In addition, I've been looking at 3-4 unit investments in the Lower Westchester area for a few months now. My wife grew up in Westchester, and we plan to move there in the next few years. Which areas are you looking at specifically? My search usually includes Yonkers, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, and White Plains. I've put in a few offers, but so far nothing's panned out. It'll happen. 

Hi, @Shanel Wiggins !

I know I'm a little late to the party, but as a CPA from Rockland and potential REI in Westchester (mostly all of my family is from Westchester), I'd be happy to chat with you. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or just want to talk about the local real estate market.

Hope to speak to you soon!

Nicholas Aiola, CPA in New York (#119518)

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