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Ask Curbed: Somebody Explain My Mortgage To Me

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With all the new terms and demands required by lenders before they hand out cash for buyers in new buildings, the process of securing a mortgage now falls somewhere between solving a Rubik's Cube and making it all the way through Finnegans Wake on the impossible scale. One confused Curbed reader, currently in contract on an apartment in Williamsburg, poses a number of questions:

Here's my situation. Contract signed on a new development in Williamsburg (2br/2.5ba, $473/sq ft).

I have commitment letters from two lenders. One will release financing at 50% of the building "sold." The other will release it at 70%. The question no one can answer for me is, how does this process work? Who is the first to close? Who is the last? What happens if I close first and then there's a Countrywide situation for one of the other purchasers where everyone gets to the table and the money isn't there? What actually constitutes "50% sold"? Is it contracts signed? Can't possibly be units closed because then no one would be able to move in and no one would want to be in the position of first to close. Is there some kind of mass closing where everyone's attorney and the sponsor is in a room together and we all sign on the dotted line at once?While the thought of a boozy mass closing party does tickle our fancy, we're not sure developers want large groups of buyers gathering en masse nowadays. Any answers for our prospective Williamsburger? Add a comment.
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