Using 'preferred' lender has its perks

REThink Real Estate

Q: I am interested in a condo building in Astoria, N.Y., that was built this year. The real estate agent kept pushing her bank on me, saying that no other bank will lend me money unless there are at least 50 percent to 70 percent sold units. The building currently has 15 percent of its units in contract. What does the agent get out of me using her chosen bank? Is it true that there are no banks anywhere that would lend me money now that only 15 percent are in contract? –Liam, Queens, N.Y.

A: New condo buildings are a very different animal, from a financing perspective, than almost any other real estate purchase. It is absolutely correct that almost no lender will extend mortgage money on a building until it has passes the point where 50 percent of its units are sold — and some lenders require that more than 70 percent of units be sold.