Nosy Neighbors Rejoice: Real Estate Spying Easier Than Ever

spys Nosy Neighbors Rejoice: Real Estate Spying Easier Than Ever

What's going on inside? (Tony Fischer Photography, flickr)

StreetEasy, the go-to sales and listings database for the buyers, renters and the real estate obsessed has just made it easier to snoop on the buildings that you love and the apartments that you covet.

Also, you can now figure out if any of your neighbor are planning a massive renovation or if your co-op board is actually following through on repairs.

Besides building pages, StreetEasy is rolling out pages on each unit that include not only past and current sales, rental listings and recorded sales, but also personal property documents and building permits filed with the city. (A good way to find out if hammers will be ringing and power tools buzzing next door.)

Renters and buyers can keep track of apartments whether they’re on the market or not, see how long before a building’s tax abatement expires and see other public documents, mortgages, deeds, etc., that don’t often leave the dark corners of city property database ACRIS.

And maybe the best part—the site makes it easy to check out Department of Buildings permits and complaints with links to the original document page on the DOB site. Residents can track work being done on the building, see if any of your neighbors have had tax liens placed on their condos, or figure out if the place is a miserable slum that tenants are fleeing in droves.

“You really get a full picture of what’s going on in an apartment beyond just the listing” said StreetEasy manager Jared Kleinstein.

Being naturally and professionally nosy, The Observer was delighted, but we know from experience that uptight buildings and residents aren’t always happy when others avail themselves of public records.

Mr. Kleinstein said he wasn’t worried.

“We believe in transparency and giving people a batter understanding of a building and a unit,” he said. “And the city’s had it up online forever.”

kvelsey@observer.com

Article continues below
More from Politics
STAR OF DAVID OR 'PLAIN STAR'?   If you thought "CP Time" was impolitic, on July 2 Donald Trump posted a picture on Twitter of a Star of David on top of a pile of cash next to Hillary Clinton's face. You'd think after the aforementioned crime stats incident (or after engaging a user called "@WhiteGenocideTM," or blasting out a quote from Benito Mussolini, or...) Trump would have learned to wait a full 15 seconds before hitting the "Tweet" button. But not only was the gaffe itself bad, the attempts at damage control made the BP oil spill response look a virtuoso performance.  About two hours after the image went up on Trump's account, somebody took it down and replaced it with a similar picture that swapped the hexagram with a circle (bearing the same legend "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"!). Believe it or not, it actually got worse from there. As reports arose that the first image had originated on a white supremacist message board, Trump insisted that the shape was a "sheriff's star," or "plain star," not a Star of David. And he continued to sulk about the coverage online and in public for days afterward, even when the media was clearly ready to move on. This refusal to just let some bad press go would haunt him later on.
Donald Trump More Or Less Says He’ll Keep On Tweeting as President