Once your offer on apartment is accepted, you ask your lender or mortgage broker for a commitment letter. You submit a lot of financial information, the apartment is appraised, the lender or mortgage broker looks at the building itself to make sure it meets their lending guidelines, and finally they give you a commitment to lend up to X amount by Y date at Z interest rate.
Once upon a time you could go to sleep on that assurance and quit worrying about financing the hugest purchase of your life.
These days, the letters are riddled with conditions. Some lenders try to sneak in “subject to appraisal” if they’ve issued the letter before the appraisal or “appraisal subject to underwriting review”—essentially, these are loopholes inserted by the lender that allow them to walk away from the “commitment.”
Which leads us to….