Money for nothing? Of course, it's not that simple, but it's Claire McArthur's job to hunt down the best possible loan offer for her clients – and generally, there's no charge.
Claire is a mortgage advisor with Personalised Mortgages Ltd, a premier mortgage brokering company that assists you to obtain the finance to get yourself into your dream home. Claire can also assist you with refinancing or consolidating your loans, and perhaps even get that investment property portfolio underway. Every advisor at Personalised Mortgages Ltd has worked in either the business or commercial areas of the banks. This means that you are getting service and knowledge that few others can match.
“Contrary to what many people believe, you don’t have to be in dire straits to use the services of a mortgage broker,” Claire points out. “In fact, it’s often best to check out what we have to offer first, particularly for those new to the world of financial services.
“The first step on the property ladder is the hardest. Finding finance for a deposit and convincing a lender to have faith in your ability to meet repayments is often very daunting. Banks can have rigid requirements which don’t suit every borrower.
“That’s where I come in. I have a solid banking background in banking; I’ve worked my way up from teller to managing commercial and personal portfolios. Because I’m familiar with the different lenders’ criteria I am able to negotiate with them to arrange the best possible deal, saving my clients valuable time and worry.
“And best of all, it normally doesn’t cost clients a thing.
“Working with my clients is the best thing about my job – I love it. That was my favourite part of working in the bank, and as an independent mortgage advisor I now have more time and flexibility to tailor solutions to individual clients. Personalised Mortgages Ltd provides just that – a personalised service.
“I have a really good ability to bond with people and I enjoy providing as much or as little assistance as they want. Often clients really appreciate a wraparound service – not just a mortgage, but helping with insurance, lawyers, accountants and wills to protect their biggest asset. I make sure all protocols have been complied with for investing in a property or business so that there are no nasty lastminute surprises.”
As a long term local resident, Claire loves working with clients in the Pukekohe and Franklin area, and with the continued strong growth in the region there’s bound to be more demand for her services. Like most of us, the more she can avoid the horrors of the southern motorway, the better she likes it. Conveniently for local clients, she’s based in Pukekohe’s Professional House in Seddon Street several days a week but is always available to meet with clients in their home.
“I’m totally mobile – whatever suits.”
Claire came to New Zealand from South Africa with her family 20 years ago, attending high school in south Auckland. She currently lives in Drury with her two rescue dogs, the “goofy but lovely” Rigby and recently acquired puppy Ellie, who is adept at destroying soft toys (but Claire’s shoe collection is strictly off limits).
Claire started tertiary studies, but the business of business was a stronger attraction - “making money was far more fun than uni”. After working in service-oriented businesses, banking was what immersed her in finance. But the personal contact aspect called.
“I decided to leave to do what I really love, helping people. I have the contacts and the knowledge to help my clients achieve their financial aims, and I find it so satisfying to help them into a home or business or assist with refinancing, reviewing or refixing interest rates to make things work better. We’re accredited with most of the major banks and can deal with them for both personal and business matters, and for those who don’t meet the mainstream banks’ criteria we have a raft of other options.
“Whether it’s for a home loan or a business venture, even if you think something seems impossible, we can sit down and talk about how we can manage it.”
Claire is a fan of KiwiSaver for helping with a deposit for a home.
“It provides credibility by demonstrating to lenders that clients can save.”
And there’s further good news for local home buyers.
“We’re currently aligning with a couple of local building companies, which should help us build even stronger relationships with potential home owners (so to speak!).”
Claire isn’t just all about finance though. As part of what she calls “my girly side” she’s a team leader in an organic skin care and makeup business.
“It’s a real feel-good thing. I love seeing women’s faces light up when they try the beautiful World Organics, especially since they are pure & natural!”
In her leisure time Claire likes to hang out at the beach, and admits she is a total water baby – “once in the water, you’ll struggle to get me out!”. She’s also a keen runner, making the most of Franklin’s open spaces.
But one thing Claire will never run away from is the opportunity to help her clients.
“By using our services you could end up thousands of dollars better off – at little or no cost.”