The Real Deal
Offering plans go digital
One title insurance company is building a digital library of thousands of condominium and co-op offering plans and amendments and putting them free online for anyone to access. According to the New York Times, TitleVest Agency's database, which debuted in October and already has more than 2,000 entries, is helping buyers to navigate their way through hundred-plus-page documents that were previously only available in hard copy, usually by request from the building's developer or managing agent, who would in turn have to pony up the printing costs. To speed up the skimming process, documents are searchable by keyword. For example, "tax abatement." Or, "paint." That one might have helped the unhappy Centurion buyer who recently moved into his $3.5 million apartment to find unpainted walls but later realized that the developer promised only primed walls in the offering plan. "I was stuck having to hire a painter to paint a brand-new 1,300-square-foot apartment," said buyer Richard Rothman. "I don't think anybody in the United States reads that document, and I don't think lawyers read it either."