Nothing makes Cait Holmes happier than being able to help someone with a mortgage after they’ve been through some financially challenging times.
“People have this perception of mortgages as all the same, but they are actually more like shoes,” says Cait. “There are different sizes and styles, and my job as a mortgage broker is to find the best one for the client’s situation.”
Cait is an experienced broker with Mortgage Designers, a company based in Victoria. She and her family moved to Powell River three years ago, and she now helps people here with their mortgage needs.
“Mortgage brokers are federally regulated, just like any chartered bank, and I am educated in this field through the University of British Columbia,” says Cait. “While we do work with banks like TD and Scotia, we also work with over 50 lenders around the country.”
Flexibility is one of the major reasons to choose a mortgage broker, explains Cait.
“I have helped a lot of people get or refinance their mortgage without once meeting them in person,” she says. “I have a secure application form on the Mortgage Designers website, which a client can fill in at their convenience, like after their kids have gone to bed. I’ll review it and be able to give them some options by the next day.
“You can get a mortgage and never have to change out of your pyjamas,” she adds with a laugh.
Having a flexible work schedule is part of what drew Cait to this career.
“I have a degree in business, as well as a commercial helicopter pilot’s licence; I spent seven years working on luxury super-yachts for some of the richest people in the world before I took some time off to start a family,” she says. “These days, I typically get up at 5 am, work for a few hours, then spend some time with my kids before getting back to work again. I am able to have time for my family as well as provide for them, and offer a great service for the people of Powell River.”
Cait stresses that her first priority is to advise her clients on their mortgage options.
“I work for you, not for any bank or lender,” she says. “I have a legal obligation to look out for your best interests. And best of all, almost all the time, my services are free, because I am paid by the lenders.”
Cait welcomes anyone with questions about mortgages to contact her.
“I’ve worked with people who are self-employed, are looking to purchase investment properties, and who have gone through challenging times,” she said. “I work with people on their first mortgage and those in their renewal period wanting to see if they can get a better product or add some funds for a home renovation.”
Cait says she can even help people in the middle of their term determine if today’s interest rates, which are very low, make it more economical for them to break their term and pay the penalty while saving on interest down the road.
“In all cases, my job is to guide people through the process, give them a realistic idea of what it will entail, and provide them with the information to make the right choice for their circumstances,” she adds. “I’m not here to sell a particular product; the client always tells me how they want to proceed after I’ve shown them their options.”
The convenience of a mortgage broker is one of the main reasons about 47 per cent of homeowners in Canada use them, says Cait.
“The experience is very user-friendly and flexible,” she adds. “Everything happens at your convenience, and it’s free. My job is to find the best deal for you, and I’m always looking out for your best interests.”