Increasing number of NYC buildings aren’t up to snuff for mortgages

Could your buildings finances prevent you from getting a mortgage? That’s what’s happening to more and more city residents.


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2012, 3:21 PM

Everything was going right, and the buyer was ready to make a move.
He had been preapproved for a mortgage and had signed a contract for a $560,000 one-bedroom apartment at Wellington Tower, a condo on the upper East Side.
But when it was time to get a mortgage, it was no go. The problem: While the buyer was fine, the building did not meet the lending criteria of a number of banks.
“Everyone was upset and surprised,” said Howard Morrel, senior vice president at Brown Harris Stevens, who represented the seller – the building’s sponsor – as well as the buyer.
“We had one of the best mortgage brokers in town. No luck.”
It wasn’t the first time lenders had said no to mortgages for buyers looking to purchase at Wellington Tower. Just a few months before, Morrel ran into the same problem with the buyer of a studio. He walked.
Low interest rates and the high cost of rentals in the city have many locals looking to jump on their first purchases.
But first-timers, as well as sellers and buyers who haven’t been in the market for some time and those looking to refinance may be in for a surprise: Buildings have to pass the sniff test, too, and these days it’s harder than ever to do.

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