Kathy Dundas – Mortgage Broker of the Year
A highly experienced mortgage broker with No Fuss Homeloans, Kathy Dundas takes the top gong for this year’s Mortgage Broker of the Year Award
How important is it to have a trusted mortgage broker, especially in this market?
There have been so many changes implemented by lenders in the investment property loan space recently that it can be very difficult to carry out comparisons between the lenders unless you are across all the facts.
Since APRA stepped in to try and curb the level of investor borrowing, lenders are continually changing their policies to ensure that they are working within the new APRA lending guidelines.
This has resulted in each lender having to adopt different strategies to ensure that they comply. In this market, it is extremely important for investors to ensure that they engage an experienced and trusted mortgage broker to navigate the loan selection process so that they secure the loan that is going to best suit their purposes – not knowing the lending market at the moment can result in customers missing out on closing a property purchase due to a poor choice of lender.
Choosing an investment loan has never been just about who has the best interest rate. A good broker is not there just for the loan application, they are with you for the journey from beginning to end and all the turns along the way.
What are the qualities of a good broker?
The broking industry is now well regulated and all brokers need to have a certain level of qualification and membership to an industry body before they can provide advice on mortgage products.
However, experience would have to be one of the most important qualities of a good broker. A broker needs to gain a good understanding of your situation and your requirements before they can provide you with advice. They also need to be able to gauge your level of understanding of loan products and the loan process to ensure that they provide you with the right level of advice, so finding a broker with good communication skills is a must. I believe it comes down to trust – you must feel comfortable with your broker; if you do not feel confident in their ability, then you should look for someone who does give you confidence.
When shopping for a broker some good questions to ask:
- How long have you been in the industry?
- Do you have a credit licence?
- How many lenders do you have on your panel?
- Do you have a favourite lender? (This is a good question
– you do not want a broker who puts all their loans with one bank/lender as that could be the only lender they like to use – you want a broker who will look at all lenders on their panel and advise you on which ones best suit your purposes)
- Do you charge a fee for your service? (Some brokers charge additional fees for service – so ask this upfront)
What are your top tips for applying for an investment loan in the current market?
In the current market (especially in Sydney and Melbourne) it is important that you do your homework on the area you are looking to purchase in to ensure that you have a realistic idea of the market values. I have recently seen clients making high offers in order to secure a property only to find that the bank’s valuation comes in short which can result in not being able to proceed with the purchase. This can be a disaster.
Given the recent changes in the investment loan space,
it can be invaluable to have a pre-approval of finance in place so that you are certain of your borrowing capacity and that you meet the credit criteria of the lender. Having pre- approved finance in place gives you the confidence to start making offers on property, and I also find that real estate agents tend to take buyers who have pre-approved finance more seriously.
How do you ensure you get the finance you need?
- Understand your borrowing capacity – this can vary greatly from lender to lender and you will be surprised how significant this difference can be.
- Make sure you have the necessary documentation ready to submit with the loan application.
- If your current circumstances do not allow you to achieve the purchase that you desire at the moment, do not give up. A good broker will advise you on what is needed to get you to the point where you can achieve your goal; it may take a little longer than you anticipated but with the right advice you will get there.
How does it feel to win this award?
Winning the Reader’s Choice Award is very exciting as this represents an award given to me by my clients. The majority of awards for mortgage broking are industry driven and are based on the volume of loans written, but this award is based on my clients’ satisfaction and appreciation of my work – that’s what makes it extra special. It is also confirmation that I am providing my clients with a high level of service and advice. My belief is that for a client to be really happy with their choice of loan, they need to understand the options and make an educated decision to go with the loan that really suits their situation.
Kathy helped me through the purchase of my first ever property. She gave helpful advice at every step of the purchase, and I honestly wouldn’t have been able to do it without her.Heath Petzold
“Kathy from Home Loans helped me progress the complicated legal and financial matters related to finalising my investment property. She handled the mechanics and much of the negotiation and translated complex information. Kathy was readily available by phone or email, and gave me confidence.”Virginia – Blackheath