What are the applicant requirements?

Applicants are required to demonstrate sufficient financial capacity to purchase and rehabilitate a property. Applicants cannot have tax delinquencies or code violations, foreclosures, or outstanding loans. Applicants must also provide satisfactory evidence of adequate financial capacity and submit a redevelopment plan in order to be considered.

Please see the http://albanycountylandbank.org/dev/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ACLB-Property-Purchase-Application.pdf to view all application requirements

Does the ACLB only operate in the City of Albany?

The Albany County Land Bank operates throughout Albany County, serving all 18 municipalities.

How do I know what properties the Land Bank owns?

Every property owned and sold by the Land Bank can be viewed on our Interactive Property Map by visiting the following link:

https://public-aclb.epropertyplus.com/landmgmtpub/app/base/propertySearch?searchInfo=%7B%22criteria%22%3A%7B%22criterias%22%3A%5B%5D%7D%7D

 

Does the Red “X” placard on buildings in the City of Albany designate a Land Bank property?

The Albany County Land Bank does not place the Red “X” placards on buildings. The placards are placed by the City of Albany to inform first responders that the building is known to be vacant and potentially unsecure and to use additional caution when responding to emergency calls. Please note that not every building in the City of Albany with a Red “X” placard is a Land Bank property and every Land Bank property does not have a Red “X”.

Does the Land Bank sell properties to investors? First-time Homebuyers? Developers? Non-profits?

Yes! The Land Bank works with multiple partners to return properties to productive use. To ensure a fair, consistent and equitable process, all applicants are required to undergo the same application and review process regardless of experience, background or proposal.

How do I visit a property?

To visit a property, call our office at (518) 407-0309 and schedule a property showing. Interested parties may not enter Land Bank properties unless accompanied by Land Bank staff.

Are prices negotiable?

The ACLB Real Estate team uses comparative market analyses to determine asking prices. Individuals are not required to meet the asking price. The Board of Directors considers multiple factors when reviewing property purchases, including, but not limited to, the proposed use, purchase price and anticipated investment. Please see the Land Bank’s Disposition Policy at http://albanycountylandbank.org/about/ to learn more.

Can I purchase multiple properties at once?

In most instances, buyers are limited to purchasing one property at a time. Exceptions to this policy are made from time to time at the discretion of the Board of Directors when warranted. Examples of approved Property Purchase Applications containing multiple properties include: purchasing a vacant building and the adjacent vacant lot to use in connection with the building and purchasing a cluster of contiguous vacant lots to enable a community garden or larger multi-unit development proposal.

Does the ACLB provide grant funds?

The Albany County Land Bank does provide direct grants to buyers. Buyers that require additional financial resources are strongly encouraged to explore grant sources to assist with their property purchase and/or rehabilitation.

For a list of grants that may be helpful please visit: http://albanycountylandbank.org/dev/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Funding-Affiliate-flyers.pdf

Can I use a Real Estate agent when purchasing from the ACLB?

Yes, applicants may use utilize real estate agents. The Land Bank does not remit brokers fees or commissions. Real Estate Agents representing buyers approved by the Board of Directors may be eligible for a referral fee.

Does the Albany County Land Bank pay commission to Real Estate agents?

Unless otherwise approved by the Albany County Land Bank, the Land Bank, at its sole discretion, will provide a $500 fee at closing to a licensed real estate broker or real estate salesperson representing buyers who close on a property purchased from the Land Bank providing all of the following: 1) a property sale of $10,000 or more; 2) the buyer submits documentation that the broker/salesperson was representing the buyer, and; 3) the broker/salesperson possesses a valid NYS Real Estate License.

Is the Albany County Land Bank Corporation part of local government?

Although the Albany County Land Bank was established by the Albany County Legislature in 2014, it is not part of the County or local government. Under New York State Law, land banks are charitable not-for-profit corporations granted certain powers necessary to confront the problems caused by vacant, abandoned, and tax-delinquent properties in our communities. The Albany County Land Bank Corporation is independently managed by a Board of Directors who exercise oversight and control over the officers and staff of the Land Bank.  The Executive Director reports to the Chair of the Board of Directors and is responsible for general supervision and management of the Land Bank and all Land Bank staff and employees. Although it is not government controlled, the Land Bank works in partnership with Albany County and its municipalities to revitalize neighborhoods and strengthen communities across Albany County.

What is the difference between a Land Bank and a Land Trust?

Although Land Banks and Land Trusts are both community develop organizations that can work in partnership to revitalize communities and preserve affordability, they differ in multiple ways. Community land trusts (CLTs) are nonprofit corporations, created and controlled by neighborhood residents. Land acquired by a Land Trust is retained by the Land Trust forever. Buildings atop the land can be sold to other nonprofits, limited partnerships, small businesses, or individual homeowners. The owners of these buildings gain exclusive use of the underlying land through a long-term ground lease that contains restrictions on the use and resale of the buildings that regulates how the buildings are occupied, operated, and conveyed in order to preserve affordability.

To learn more about some of the differences between the two organizations, visit: https://shelterforce.org/2014/10/02/answer_land_banks_land_trusts/

What is the process of purchasing a property from Albany County Land Bank?

In order to be considered all applicants must view a property to ensure they understand the condition of the property and the amount of rehabilitation needed to restore the property to productive use. Please note that rehabilitation projects can require significant time and resources and may not be the best option for some.

After determining that a rehabilitation is viable for you, all applicants are required to complete a Property Purchase application and satisfactorily demonstrate that they are capable of responsibly returning the property to productive use. Only complete applications are considered.

Every month the Land Bank advances completed Property Purchase Applications for certain properties throughout Albany County through a three step review and approval process. Visit our website and sign up for our email list or follow us on social media to be notified of which properties are moving forward each month.

Once advanced, completed applications for advanced properties will undergo the following reviews:

One: The Land Bank will seek local input on the proposed uses. For applications for properties located within the City of Albany the Land Bank holds a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 PM (255 Orange Street, 2nd Floor, Albany, NY).  The CAC provides feedback on the Applicant and their proposed use of the property. Local feedback is used to inform the subsequent levels of application review.

Two: The Land Bank’s Acquisition & Disposition Committee (comprised of Land Bank Board Members) will meet and review each viable proposal for each property in the sales cycle.

Three: Sales recommendations are presented to the Land Bank’s Board of Directors for review and approval to advance the recommended sales is requested at the Board Meeting. The sales recommendation presented to the Board of Directors contain the feedback and any required actions from the Local Advisory and Acquisition & Disposition Committee.

Applicants with approved applications will be informed of the Board’s decision and receive follow up documents reflecting the Board of Directors decision and advance to closing. Applicants that were not approved will be informed and encouraged to continue to work with the Land Bank to find another property. The Land Bank is committed to continuing to work with viable applicants to find another property suitable for the Applicant’s proposal.

How long does the process take?

The timeline varies depending on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, sales cycles, the number of applications received, type of funding used, whether or not a title search is conducted, and the buyer’s proposal. Typically, the timeframe from submission of application to closing ranges from 2 to 4 months.

What type of funding can be used to demonstrate adequate financial capacity and/or purchase properties from the Land Bank?

The Albany County Land Bank accepts cash, traditional financing and grant funds to purchase and rehabilitate a property.

Why does the Land Bank ask for so many documents?

ACLB uses the required documents in connection with their review of Property Purchase Applications to ensure buyers are capable of responsibly restoring and maintaining the properties it sells. Private information submitted to the Land Bank is not shared.

To learn more about the Land Bank’s Privacy Policy please visit: http://albanycountylandbank.org/about

Can I bring in a contractor to property viewings?

Applicants are encouraged to bring their contractors or other appropriate resources needed to create an accurate and informed Property Purchase Application.

Am I required to rehabilitate the property I purchase?

The Albany County Land Bank requires buyers to execute a Development Enforcement and Mortgage Agreement (“Redevelopment Agreement”) as part of many property sales and is primarily, but not limited to, the sale of buildings. Thisensures that buyers uphold their commitment to meet the proposed use stated in their application and complete their project within a certain timeframe. The Land Bank may also decide to employ deed restrictions to ensure certain outcomes in property sales. If a Buyer does not meet the requirements set forth by the Redevelopment Agreement, the Albany County Land Bank may regain possession of the property.

To learn more about the Land Bank’s enforcement instruments and policy visit our website at:   http://albanycountylandbank.org/about

What are the next steps after completing the rehabilitation of the property I purchased?

Once the Buyer has satisfied the requirements set forth in the Development Enforcement Note and Mortgage Agreement, they must schedule an inspection with their local Buildings and Regulatory Compliance department. The local department will issue a Residential Occupancy Permit, Certificate of Occupancy, or a similar document stating the property is adequate for a residential dwelling.

To view a  Sample Residential Occupancy Permit from the City of Albany, please use the following link:
http://albanycountylandbank.org/dev/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/sample-ROP.pdf

After the property has passed inspection by the local municipality, Buyers are required to schedule a walkthrough with Land Bank staff, so they can observe the work that has been done. Following the final walkthrough, the Land Bank’s legal team will begin the process to discharge the mortgage. Buyers will receive a copy of the filed discharge.

Will I be able to “flip” the property?

In some instances the Land Bank does permit buyers to “flip” properties after rehabbing, providing that the intent to resell the rehabilitated property is disclosed in the purchase application. In the event a resale is permitted, the new purchasers must be approved by the Land Bank.

How does the Albany County Land Bank acquire properties?

Most properties acquired by the Albany County Land Bank are tax foreclosed properties conveyed to the Land Bank by Albany County. Albany County extinguishes the back taxes and liens on properties conveyed from the County to ACLB, which facilitates returning the property to productive use. From time to time, and subject to approval by ACLB Board of Directors, the Land Bank may make strategic acquisitions in connection with a redevelopment plan or accept property donations.

How do I find out about zoning?

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that proposals are compliant with local rules and regulations. All applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the local municipality to learn more about local zoning. Obtaining any and all permissions required to realize a redevelopment proposal is the responsibility of the buyer.

How do I obtain building permits?

Building permits are regulated by the various municipalities that the Albany County Land Bank serves. To learn about permit requirements, please check with the local Building department.

I’m a contractor, how can I get work with the Albany County Land Bank?

The Land Bank utilizes an RFP Process to procure contractors. Notices are posted to our website, and are also sent out by email to our mailing list. To view RFP Notices or join our mailing list, use the following link:

Contractors