Win at home loans

Christine acted as guarantor to give her kids a leg-up onto the property ladder

Like many parents, Christine Freney wanted to help her kids on the path to home ownership. But it’s never been more difficult for young people to secure an affordable home. Find out how uno helped Christine and her son secure the perfect loan – together.

Christine, who has worked for a long time in commercial real estate in Queensland, knows a property bargain when she sees one. A three-bedroom workers’ cottage in a great street in Clayfield was for sale at a good price. It was an ideal starter property in need of renovation.

Ryan, a 29-year-old carpenter, could do much of the rebuilding work himself, and turn the house into an ideal home for his partner and young son. Then, when the time was right, he could sell the property and the family could make a nice profit.

Parents to the rescue

For many Australian families, this is a familiar scenario. A report from research firm, Digital Finance Analytics, shows more than half of all first home buyers entering the market in the last quarter of 2016 had financial help from their parents.

Many parents with available cash finance enough of their child’s home deposit so that they avoid paying lenders’ mortgage insurance, which is generally mandatory for buyers borrowing more than 80 per cent of the purchase price.

Christine wanted to do more than that. She wanted to buy the property for Ryan and his family, so they had somewhere to live straight away. She moved quickly and signed a cash unconditional contract for $579,100 and then looked to secure finance.

But there was a problem: something the energetic grandmother hadn’t considered before committing to the house. What lender was going to take out a 30-year loan with someone about to turn 59? If the loan was in her name, the best they would offer was a 15-year loan. That would have pushed the mortgage repayments to nearly $5000 a month.

“I didn’t even think about it,” Christine says. “I don’t think I’m old! But it’s a fact. Am I really going to be working and paying off a mortgage at 90?”

Christine needed to find a solution quickly. To make the deal work financially, she knew the mortgage could not be in her name. Ryan’s 26-year-old sister, Leah, who has an excellent credit record, was also happy to be involved. So the plan was for Christine’s children to be co-owners of the Clayfield property.

A helpful hand

It’s about this time that Christine discovered uno Home Loans. “I rang them on a Thursday and someone named Jitarth [Jadeja] picked up the phone,” she says. “Straight away he thought outside the box. I’ve been involved in a lot of property development over the years. You want to work with people who are creative – who don’t follow the script over the phone or find it’s too hard. You want someone to engage with you and go, ‘let’s find a solution’. Right from that initial consultation, uno really worked hard for me.”

uno mortgage coach Phillip Jiang was soon on the Freneys’ case. “He was great all the way,” Christine says. “He has a great sense of humour and is very, very good at what he does. The whole way along – every time we got a problem – we’d work together to fix it. They didn’t want to know what you had for breakfast seven years ago. They worked with what you had today and how you could go forward with it.”

Phillip quickly helped the Freneys find the best deal for their circumstances – a 30-year mortgage through AMP. “The interest rate’s fantastic so you couldn’t ask for a better scenario,” she says.

Christine was also impressed with how the team organised all of her documentation through the uno website. “I had to get verification for some of the documents, of course – a few had to be witnessed or certified and then they had to be scanned back in – but it was a very simple process. uno gave me an excellent checklist, too.

“I thoroughly recommend uno. After I wrote a feedback report, not only did I have a response from Phillip and Jitarth but the CEO rang me, Vincent [Turner]. I thought that was really lovely. I deal with people all day, every day: banks, finances, solicitors. Very rarely do you ever get someone who has the decency and the respect to their staff, as well as their clients, to pick up the telephone themselves personally and say ‘thank you for the lovely comments you made’. I’m totally impressed with the whole operation.”

Christine is also pleased to have helped her kids on the path to real estate ownership. “It’s the perfect start to two young people and a young family to go ahead in the market,” she says. “That was the only way they could afford that little house in a fantastic street in a great suburb. That is their platform to bounce forward.”

Contact uno Home Loans to see how we can help you or your children find the right home loan to suit your family’s circumstances.

This information in this article is general only and does not take into account your individual circumstances. It should not be relied upon to make any financial decisions. uno can’t make a recommendation until we complete an assessment of your requirements and objectives and your financial position. Interest rates, and other product information included in this article, are subject to change at any time at the complete discretion of each lender.

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Peter Gearin is a writer and former senior editor at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald. Now director of Top to Tale Media, he writes for

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