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  • 1. REAL PROPERTY WEBSITES – AND THEN SOME Michael S. Klein Ira J. Waldman ©2012I. Bookmarks A. Title Insurance Companies 1. http://www.vuwriter.com/ - Stewart Title Underwriting Manual 2. https://www.agentxtra.net/extranet/SingleSource/NavMaster.asp? TopicArea=Main+Menu – Land America Single Source 3. https://passport.fntic.com/ - Fidelity Title Passport 4. http://ul.firstam.com/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fDefault.aspx – First American Underwriting Library 5. http://www.netronline.com/ - NETR Online Property Data Store 6. http://westregion.com/ - West Region Title Insurance Center – unofficial site with links to underwriting manuals, forms, closing practices, etc. – author of site does suggest your own verification. B. Forms 1. http://cori.missouri.edu/pages/ksearch.htm - CORI Knowledge Database including Forms. 2. http://www.freddiemac.com/ - Freddie Mac home page, a good source for current multifamily forms, adaptable for many property types. 3. http://www.onecle.com/ - collection of business contracts used in actual deals. Similar to CORI in some ways. 4. http://www.lawsmart.com/ - various basic free legal forms 5. http://www.rocketlawyer.com/ - some free legal forms and some for members 5. http://www.lectlaw.com/forma.htm - some free legal forms and other forms for purchase. 6. http://legaldocs.com/ - similar178174110633v2
  • 2. 7. http://www.kaktus.com/index.html - similar 8. http://www.alberty.com/ - Oregon based site with forms for purchase 9. http://www.airea.com – site of the American Industrial Real Estate Association, proprietors of the widely used AIR lease forms. C. Federal Government 1. http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php# - Thomas Library of Congress 2. http://www.foreclosurelaw.org/ - United States Foreclosure Laws 3. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqscanv/ - USGS – California and Nevada Earthquakes 4. http://www.epa.gov/epahome/whereyoulive.htm - EPA Website 5. http://uscode.house.gov/ - the United States Code, official version, searchable and can be downloaded 6. www.irs.gov/ - The IRS website has significant resources on tax issues, including forms and publications. D. Local Government General 1. http://www.amlegal.com/library/ca/losangeles.shtml - Access to Los Angeles City Code 2. http://www.city-data.com/ - City-Data – Everything you want to know about a U.S. City 3. http://www.municode.com/ - Access to Municipal Codes nationwide 4. http://www.generalcode.com/webcode2.html - E-Codes - Municipal Codes Los Angeles 5. http://zimas.lacity.org/ - Zimas (Zone Information and Map Access System for Los Angeles 6. http://assessor.lacounty.gov/extranet/default.aspx - Los Angeles County Assessor Bay Area178174110633v2 2
  • 3. 7. http://www.sf-planning.org/index.aspx?page=2205- San Francisco Zoning Information and Maps 8. http://sfassessor.org/index.aspx?page=80 – San Francisco County Assessor 9. http://gismaps.oaklandnet.com/cedap/ Oakland Zoning Information and Maps 10. http://www.acgov.org/MS/prop/index.aspx - Alameda County Assessor San Diego 11. http://www.sandiego.gov/development-services/zoning/zoning.shtml - San Diego Zoning Information and Maps 12. http://arcc.co.san-diego.ca.us/services/assessor_maps_links.aspx - - San Diego County Assessor E. State Government 1. http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/table_property - State Property Statures from Cornell 2. http://www.boe.ca.gov/ - California State Board of Equalization 3. http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/ - California Secretary of State Business Portal – excellent for checking entity status 4. http://senate.ca.gov/ - California bills and statutes (can subscribe to bills) 5. http://www.corp.ca.gov/FSD/licensees/default.asp - California Department of Corporations, Financial Services Division – the place to check for active finance lender licenses 6. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/ - California legislative information and statutes (and see new beta site - http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/ ) 7. http://www.ftb.ca.gov/index.shtml?disabled=true – California Franchise Tax Board – the place to go for tax forms and information on California withholding requirements in connection with real property sales 8. http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS – Laws of New York – valuable with the number of financings selecting New York law to govern 9. http://www.law.upenn.edu/bll/archives/ulc/ulc.htm - the location of drafts and final adoption of Uniform Laws by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (the Uniform Law Commission) –178174110633v2 3
  • 4. very valuable for statutory history for Uniform Laws enacted in a particular state 10. http://www.calgold.ca.gov/ - stands for “California government on-line to desktops,” is a service of the State designed to direct persons to agencies 11. http://www.conservation.ca.gov/ - The Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology contains a wealth of information about and maps of California seismic hazard zones, sensitive watershed areas, earthquake fault zones and landslides—all useful information under laws requiring disclosure F. Libraries 1. http://www.plol.org/Pages/Search.aspx - The (free) Public Library of Law – free resources with a tie in to fast case (see below) 2. http://www.fastcase.com/ - Fast Case – next generation legal research for a relatively inexpensive price 3. http://www.lawriter.net/ - Casemaker from Lawriter – free with membership to many bar organizations; alas, not California 4. https://members.lalawlibrary.org/members/about.html - Los Angeles County Law Library Members Portal/Remote Databases – significant service at low cost 5. http://www.law.cornell.edu/ - Cornell’s LII (Legal Information Institute) – extensive collection available free to the public G. Commercial Databases 1. www.costar.com – Commercial Real Estate Information Company 2. http://loopnet.com/ - Commercial Real Estate Information Company H. Residential Databases 1. http://www.realtor.com/ - Realtor.com – data and listings 2. http://www.zillow.com/ - Zillow - homes for sale, homes for rent and home values 3. http://www.latimes.com/classified/realestate/ - LA Times residential database 4. www.ziprealty.com/Real_Estate_Listings - San Francisco residential database – also has other cities now178174110633v2 4
  • 5. 5. www.rent.com - Rent.com used to be largely Southern California based, but now has nationwide data on apartments for rent. 6. http://www.forrent.com/ - A competitor to rent.com. 7. www.lendingtree.com - One of the big, heavily advertised mortgage match companies. 8. www.quickenloans.com – Quicken wants in – and they already have your financial information, so why not? I. Real Industry Trade Groups 1. http://www.uli.org/ - Urban Land Institute – research and publications 2. http://www.narea-assoc.org/ - National Association of Real Estate Appraisers 3. http://www.crefc.org/ - CRE Finance Counsel, formerly known as the “Commercial Mortgage Securities Association” – news links, resources and publications 4. www.reit.com/ - The website of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts has much in the way of useful materials with a focus that is notably and increasingly international. 5. www.icsc.org/- The website of the International Council of Shopping Centers 6. www.biasc.org/ - The Building Industry Association of Southern California website 7. www.aia.org/ - The American Institute of Architects website provides easy access to AIA forms for purchase. 8. www.boma.org/ - The Building Owners and Managers Association is for professionals involved in building ownership, management, development and leasing. Of particular use is information about ANSI/BOMA Z65.1 – 2010, their latest standard method of Measuring Floor Area in Office Buildings. 9. www.irem.org/ - The website of the Institute of Real Estate Management is for real estate property management professionals. 10. http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/ - The website of the Appraisal Institute has information and publications, but is largely limited to members.178174110633v2 5
  • 6. 11. http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm - The Mortgage Bankers Association website provides various free information including economic forecasts, quarterly originations estimates, a weekly application survey, a national delinquency survey, benchmarking studies and others. 12. www.car.org/ - The California Association of Realtors website has a large amount of information, most of which requires membership. But if you’re a member, this is a very useful website. 13. www.realtor.org/ - The National Association of Realtors website. J. Real Estate Education 1. http://realpropertylaw.calbar.ca.gov/RealPropertyLaw.aspx - California State Bar – Real Property Section – Member access to Real Property Law Journal articles 2. http://ceb.com/ - CEB provides numerous high quality programs, which are increasingly available on line, assisting lawyers to obtain MCLE credit by attending live or online programs and the ability to subscribe to the Real Property Law Reporter and other publications. 3. http://www.lacba.org/showpage.cfm?pageid=186 – Los Angeles County Bar Association Real Property Section (but also check out the online version of LA Lawyer at http://www.lacba.org/showpage.cfm?pageid=40 for searchable archival access 4. www.acrel.org – the public site of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers has all of its program materials and newsletter articles on line and searchable 1 year after the publication date. A treasure chest of relevant material 5. http://www.joshuastein.com/ - the website of Josh Stein one of the most prolific authors on real estate legal matters – click on the Publications link 6. http://www.firstam.com/title/resources/reference-information/jack- murray-law-library/ - the library of Jack Murray, another prolific author on real estate legal matters 7. http://www.americanbar.org/publications/probate_property_magazine_ho me.html - ABA Real Property Trust & Estate Law Section Probate and Property Magazine – full access for members only 8. http://scholar.google.com/schhp?hl=en&tab=ws – Google Scholar – a good source of cheap opinion and article access, always to be ultimately verified.178174110633v2 6
  • 7. 9. www.anderson.ucla.edu/ziman.xml - UCLA’s Ziman Center at the Anderson School of Business has various free tools, including top-notch research briefs, a research bulletin and working papers. 10. www.usc.edu/schools/sppd/lusk/ - The Lusk Center at USC also provides information, including research and working papers. K. Real Estate News and Publications 1. http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-real-estate-commercial.html - Wall Street Journal Property Report 2. http://www.gspartners.com/ - George Smith Partners – always good finance information 3. http://www.bizjournals.com/ - Business Journals from around the U.S. 4. http://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/ - The Los Angeles Business Journal 5. http://realtytimes.com/ - Realty Times – News and Advice featuring local market conditions 6. http://dirt.umkc.edu – DIRT Listserv 7. http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com - The National Mortgage News website 8. http://www.inman.com - The Inman News website 9. http://www.almrealestatemediagroup.com/ - This website allows free subscriptions to Real Estate Forum magazine, which comes out 10 times a year. They also put out a weekly review of the nation’s top commercial real estate stories, as well as webinars and video programming. 10. http://aux.zicklin.baruch.cuny.edu/jrer/ - This website carries the full text of recent (and often quite sophisticated) Journal of Real Estate Research articles, such as the recent title “Short-Term Own-Price and Spillover Effects of Distressed Residential Properties: The Case of a Housing Crash.” (Volume 33, Number 2, 2011) L. Maps and Surveying Tools 1. http://www.earthpoint.us/Townships.aspx - Public Land Survey System on Google Earth – shows township ranges and sections in an overlay178174110633v2 7
  • 8. 2. http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/ - Bureau of Land Management(BLM), General Land Office (GLO) Records Automation web site - accessto Federal land conveyance records for Public Land States M. Legal Cases Databases 1. www.lexis.com/ - The biggest name in paid legal research 2. www.westlaw.com/ - Westlaw is Avis to Lexis’s Hertz 3. http://www.jurisearch.com/ - Jurisearch is a pay service, with monthly or incident billing available. N. Miscellaneous 1. http://maps.google.com/ - Google Maps 2. www.spoofcard.com – Caller ID spoofing, voice changing and call recording 3. www.yousendit.com – online file sharing, send larger files, manage file transfer, FTP replacement with no email attachments. 4. www.mailitsafe - A similar website to yousendit 5. http://www.sendthisfile.com - Another similar site 6. http://www.dropbox.com/ - Dropbox is a “cloud” site, meaning that your data is stored “in the cloud” or on the internet. There have beenvarious security problems with Dropbox reported in the media, butit is popular. 7. http://www.evernote.com/ - A competitor to Dropbox. 8. www.pamela-systems.com – call management tool, especially for Skype – record voice mail calls to disk 9. www.google.com/googlevoice/ - One number for all your phones, online voicemail and cheap calling 10. www.teamviewer.com - the All-In-One Solution for Remote Access and Support over the Internet 11. http://www.dban.org/ - Dariks Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self- contained free boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers to ensure due diligence in computer recycling 12. http://www.techhit.com/?s=g&gclid=COinsqq2hasCFWk0Qgodrl0X0A - Techhit is a website with a variety of tools available to make178174110633v2 8
  • 9. Microsoft Outlook more productive. These are not free, but may beuseful. E.g. “Simply File,” which is a folder prediction technology thatlearns about your filing scheme and helps you file e-mail messages infolders. 13. http://www.truecrypt.org/ - Free open source hardware that enables encryption of everything 14. http://www.whenisgood.com/ - online scheduling software for staff, employees and others online. 15. http://docs.google.com/ - allows multiple users to simultaneously view and edit a document. For lawyers, probable confidentiality issues. 16. www.barracudanetworks.com - pay service that allows you to back up your computer to the web. 17. www.carbonite.com - Another pay service that allows you to back up your computer to the web. 18. www.mozy.com – Similar to Carbonite. 19. www.i365.com - Similar to Carbonite 20. www.spoofcard.com - allows you to purchase credits for from about 8 cents per to about 20 cents per and make a phone call but display a different caller i.d. 21. .http://activewords.com – free software that inserts words at a trigger in your documents 22. https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=reader&passive=1209600&continue=http://www.google.com/reader&followup=http://www.google.com/reader - Google Reader - aggregates and allows you to quickly check yourfavorite website for updatesII. Apps A. Real Estate Sales Exam (download via itunes) - a free iphone app that purports to assist you in passing your real estate broker’s or sales license exam. They also put out the “California DMV Driver License Written Exam Prep – Free Edition.” B. Real Estate Professor (download via itunes) – also to help pass the DRE exams C. Law Stack (download via itunes) - a free app that describes itself as a “legal library in your pocket.” It comes pre-loaded with the U.S. Constitution, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and various other free titles. You can also add other titles for a small fee, including California Codes for $1.99.178174110633v2 9
  • 10. D. Barron’s Dictionary of Real Estate terms (download via itunes) E. Real Estate Dictionary (download via itunes) F. Complete Foreclosures (download via itunes) – a free app to help you search for foreclosure listings in your area and nationwide E. HUD Homes (download via itunes) – the free government version put out by HUD and focused on government foreclosures. F. Foreclosure Search by USHUD (download via itunes) – the private version from a company that has a similar name but is not with the government. Also includes properties owned by some of the major banks. G. Walk Score (download via itunes) - free app, which calculates the walkability of any location and shows you a map of nearby amenities. H. Real Estate Challenge (download via itunes) - free game that solemnly advises you that “80% of millionaires found their wealth in Real Estate.” I. Home Square – Décor Planner (download via itunes) - free app that will record your floor plan, create a shopping list of home furnishings, and manage your budget. J. Craigslist Housing Maps – Crib Q (download via itunes) - free app shows you the ubiquitous Craigslist apartment listings on a map. K. Mortgage Calculators (download via itunes) - free apps to calculate buy or rent, debt to income, monthly payments and whether or not to refinance. N. ReCalc Free (download via itunes) - A similar free set of mortgage calculators O. iBorrower (download via itunes) - Another set of free mortgage calculators, with a few features missing from some of the others. P. IREM Comps (download via itunes) - free app put out by IREM (the Institute of Real Estate Management) allows you to establish competitive rents Q. Realtor.Com (download via itunes) - free app is similar to the Realtor.com website, but optimized for the iphone. R. Trulia Real Estate (download via itunes) - free app says that it is the best real estate site for home buyers, apartment hunters AND “real estate enthusiasts L. Homes.com (download via itunes) - free app is similar to Realtor.com. M. Loopnet.com (download via itunes) - free app is similar to the search sites for residential properties, but devoted to commercial properties.178174110633v2 10
  • 11. U. Magic Plan (download via itunes) - free app that purports to measure, draw and publish an interactive floor plan on the internet from pictures. Rooms can be rotated and “snapped” on to create the full house. V. Appraisal Institutes Valuation Magazine (download via itunes) – free access to the Appraisal Institutes Quarterly Magazine W. Ilnspect (download via itunes) - This .99 cent app is designed to help inspectors or any one doing a walk through of real property. It can be used to record things that need to be flagged later and then will e-mail a complete property report with up to 6 pictures. X My C.A.R. (download via itunes) - free app from the California Association of Realtors lets you look up market data for over 30 counties in the State of California. It also links to various other C.A.R. resources – and you need not be a C.A.R. member, unlike the C.A.R. website. Y. iQuick Contract Maker (download via itunes) - $2.99 app says that it “is the Quickest and Easiest Way to Create a Legal Contract.” It goes on to add “Use it for Construction, Landscape, Real Estate, Movers, Home Repair, Etc…..Create a full and thorough contract in less than 5 minutes.” Hmmm! Z. Acreage Calculator (download via itunes) - this app, for $.99, indicates that it will allow you to enter dimensions of a property and will then calculate the acreage. Or you can use it for square feet, square yards, square meters, etc. The results can then be e-mailed using a template. N. Real Estate Assistant (download via itunes) - free app will calculate the square footage of a house from the sizes of each room. Then it will give you a price per square foot. O. Sitewise – Location Profiler (download via itunes) - This $.99 app gives you demographics for a particular location, including population by age, educational attainment, etc P. .Journal of Property Management (download via itunes) - free app provides you with IREM’s bi-monthly journal with comprehensive coverage of the real estate management industry. The topics are varied, but for anyone interested in property management, this is very useful.178174110633v2 11
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