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