That’s the number of people who have used the mortgage calculator on our website since February 2017.

We’ve tried to make phone contact with all 800 people and some major themes have emerged.

About 200 people entered dud contact details which means we couldn’t touch base with them. Their loss, truly.

About 500 have told us that they’re ‘just looking’ and that they don’t want much more help, interaction, information or whatever at this stage. Which is totally fine by me.

When we call people, I guess it’s a bit like when I’m in Hallensteins and the shop assistant dude comes up and asks ‘do you need any help mate?’. Even though I’ve got no bloody idea what I’m looking for, I pretty much always say “I’m just looking, bro. All good”.

I don’t want to appear like the fashion dipshit that I actually am. I want to remain cool.

It’s why I always take my wife with me. She’s got no problem telling the shop dude that a slim fit shirt that looks good on Dan Carter makes me look like a gladwrapped Kumara.

The reality though is that I’m not a pushy bugger, so I know you’ll take your time. I figure that if you were in a hurry to get a mortgage and get the job done, you would have rung me up directly, right?

Anyway, the remaining 100 or so people have gone through the preapproval process with us. Not all have made it to the bank and of those that did, 30 got formal preapproval and 15 are now home owners.

So what’s holding people up?

Here are some of the common problems we’re seeing for the first home buyer:

  • People wanting to use parents as guarantors, but the parents aren’t in a strong enough financial position to do it.
  • Too much short-term debt.
  • Not having as much deposit in reality as they say they’ve got.
  • Regularly going into unauthorised overdraft or missing bill payments.
  • Actual income being less than initially thought.
  • Relying on the HomeStart Grant as part of their deposit, but exceeding the income cap and/or price cap. Really easy to do in Auckland.

Often it’s just a matter of time and a bit of effort being applied to resolve these issues. It might take 6 weeks. Sometimes it takes 6 months. The good news is that having failed on the first attempt they’re now in a great position to be successful next time around.

It hasn’t taken long to turn those 100 people from ‘just looking but I actually haven’t got a clue’ to ‘able to get serious, soon’ or ‘can get serious, RIGHT NOW’. As I said, 15 have now got a house. How cool is that?

And all it took for that 100 to move from the ‘yeah, nah’ realms to the ‘get in!’ territory was in saying yes. Yes to a conversation that could put them in the ballpark or change their tactics to get them over the line quicker. Two or three short plays instead of a messy and arduous rolling maul, metre by metre to cross the line… And that’s if they don’t miss the opportunity completely.

Now, hopefully I don’t get 600 phone calls on Monday morning from eager first home buyers but if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines ‘just looking’ maybe now is the time to take that next step? Say yes and give me a call.

About Campbell Hastie

Cam is one half of Auckland based mortgage brokers, The Go 2 Guys.

He makes a living by sharing what he knows about mortgages with people, arranging mortgages for people and then insuring people.

He doesn't claim to know everything about mortgages himself which is why he teamed up with David Mercer — hence the ‘2’ in Go 2 Guys.

He writes posts regularly on his blog and has been told he has an ability to share his knowledge in a simple and sometimes memorable way.

Feel free to comment and ask any questions. Contact Campbell Hastie m: 027 697 7789.

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