At first, searching for a home loan online appears simple enough. But a good broker can help with a lot more than just finding the lowest rate, as we find out from two of Aussie’s Brokers.
In his 23 years in the banking and finance industry, George Farmer, Franchisee of Aussie Bundaberg, has helped countless Australians secure the right loan for their housing and investment needs. One of the most significant times in his career, however, was during the January 2013 floods that devastated much of the Bundaberg community – displacing 10% of the city’s population for extended periods of time.
“It was a tough time for the community but it was my customer’s story that had the biggest impact on me,” Farmer says, referring to how he helped a family move on from the devastation of the floods by securing a loan to buy a new home.
“When I first saw them, they had been living in temporary accommodation for four or five months. They wanted to get into a new home and get on with their lives,” he says.
The family couldn’t face returning to the same home so they decided to sell up. As the property had been completely inundated by flood water, it was worth a fraction of its previous value. When they first met Farmer, they had yet to receive any money from the sale or from their approved insurance claim on the property, which made applying for a new home loan difficult.
They also hadn’t applied for a home loan for many years and were unfamiliar with the complexity of the offers available and the policies imposed by lenders.
Farmer set to work, ensuring a new loan was approved within 24 hours. But he didn’t stop there. He also liaised with the insurance company to get their claim on the flooded property on track; he spoke to all stakeholders in the sale of their existing home to speed up the exchange; negotiated an early settlement on the family’s new home – to help the family move in, and out of temporary accommodation, two weeks ahead of schedule.
Helping people is what makes his job so rewarding, Farmer says. “We have the ability to make a real difference in people’s lives.”
Having someone on your side
For Chris Bonnici, Franchisee of Aussie Gawler in South Australia, helping first home buyers start off on the right track is one of the best aspects of his job. “With first home buyers, it’s ideal if they see me three to six months before buying a home because there are so many things they need to consider,” he says.
From advising on a savings deposit, and helping them find out about their credit history, Bonnici covers all bases for his clients. “We can help put them on track so they can be approved for a loan,” he says.
It’s not just first home buyers who can benefit from Bonnici’s expertise, however. “About six months ago we had a client with five investment properties come and see us after attending one of our property investment seminars,” Bonnici says. “We were able to help him save $10,000 a year on interest rates over his entire property investment portfolio.”
Bonnici and his team reviewed the investor’s loans, held with various lenders, and managed the entire process of changing lenders and refinancing to secure lower rates. “As a result, he was able to buy another property with the income he freed up.”
Why see an Aussie broker?
A broker can help you demystify the home loan market – from understanding the various home loan features and which ones are more likely to meet your needs, to knowing various lenders’ policies and guidelines and which are likely to approve your application, they can save you time, money and heartache.
“The number one thing we offer clients is having someone on their side,” Farmer explains. “A broker is somebody who’s going to fight for your interests.”
As an example, Farmer offers the story of a client whose approved home loan was rescinded by the bank after he put down a deposit on a new home.
“The bank called a few days later to withdraw the loan, even though the client’s circumstances hadn’t changed,” Farmer says. “He was in danger of losing his deposit. It took some effort, but we managed to get it across the line and the loan was approved once again. If he had been dealing directly with the bank, chances are that wouldn’t have happened.”
Similarly, Bonnici says the advantage of using a broker extends beyond finding the right interest rate.
“We can help you determine which features of a loan are suitable for your circumstances. People think they need all of a product’s features, which in reality they won’t use, and end up paying for as a result. We can help our customers avoid that.”
Whatever your circumstances or needs, an Aussie Broker can make a real difference to your life and help you get the right deal.
If you’d like to speak to an Aussie Broker today and get your property plans moving get in touch here.