If you’ve ever purchased a co-op or condo apartment, you probably know that one of the quickest ways to get a true picture of the deal is by studying the offering plan. These public documents identify the sponsor/developer, all facets of unit ownership, the details of each unit, the number of units in the building, and the owner of the property if different than the sponsor.
Generally, there have been two ways to get your hands on these valuable resources. First, you could pay for photocopying an offering plan that can often run more than 500 pages. Or, you could pay a visit to the New York Attorney General’s Office, where you’d request the plan you’re interested in, and read it there. Board members who wanted to research buildings with stats similar to their own did not generally have hours to spend in the Attorney General’s archives.
Historically, this data hasn’t been easily accessible or searchable, according to Daniel Price, CEO of OneTitle. Price has now set his sights on democratizing data critical to apartment buyers and boards alike. Anyone can visit the OneTitle Offering Plan Library to find the offering plan of a specific building, or compare multiple plans to see how a building stacks up against the competition.
OneTitle is not the first to offer a collection of online offering plans. TitleVest has digitized some 6,000 plans and made them available for free, while printed copies cost $150. The Offering Planet, founded by attorney Philip Lavender, also offers digitized plans at no charge.
OneTitle gets offering plans from attorneys, boards, and clients. The documents are then scanned and digitized, utilizing optical character recognition. Saved as PDFs, the documents are actual images of their paper counterparts but boast full search capability.
The biggest users of the service so far, according to Price, have been buyers’ attorneys, developers researching new projects, journalists, and condo and co-op boards. Price says that OneTitle’s rapidly growing library will eventually cover all of New York State.