Rethink bridge loan to retirement

Some say potential for disaster is too high to justify

DEAR BENNY: My wife and I are selling our house and moving to a retirement community, which also has assisted living facilities. We have an offer coming this next week. This is the only offer we have had in the three months the house has been on the market. We have put a contract on an apartment in the retirement facility.

Presuming we can reach agreement with our buyer and sign the contract and get a settlement date, the retirement facility wants us to take out a bridge loan for the buy-in fee (about $300,000). Our concern is whether anything could go wrong before settlement. We feel we would be more comfortable waiting until we have the cash in hand.

Are we being overly fearful? We are told that it is a normal procedure to take out the bridge loan, as the earnest deposit guarantees that the settlement will go through. Is this true? We trust our seller’s agent but feel the buyer’s agent is dragging her feet. Should we have a real estate lawyer too? If so, how do we find one? –John