Profiles of Excellence: Custom Mortgages

The hunt for a dream home is often focused on the physical: the type of house, the number of rooms, the neighbourhood it’s located in.

But in truth, making the right choice involves all sorts of less visible but equally critical considerations – and key among them is the mortgage.

The wrong mortgage can make the dream of home ownership into a nightmare – but the right one can be the foundation upon which the success of long-term financial success is built.

Making sure every client finds the latter is the philosophy that’s been driving Custom Mortgages since it opened its doors 10 years ago.

“Custom Mortgages was founded on the principal of helping people achieve their goal of real estate ownership in a way that helps them achieve other goals in their life as well,” said Rishel Tomlinson, principal mortgage broker with Custom. “My motto is: if you get your mortgage right, everything else becomes possible.”

For Tomlinson, that means sitting down with clients to look at goals, budgets and most importantly, cash flow, and not just figuring out the biggest possible amount a client can be approved for.

“Contrary to most mortgage application processes where the conversation begins by asking how much income is earned, at Custom Mortgages we begin the conversation by asking what type of property and location is desired, and depending on the given purchase price range for this type of product, we talk about what the individual cash flow needs are for each unique borrower, and from there provide them with their top three mortgage options and strategies to help them achieve their real estate purchase within the cash flow parameters we’ve identified.”

In other words: find success for each client by matching the right mortgage – type, conditions and size – to their actual lives, goals and financial situation.

For Tomlinson, avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach means getting to know her clients and their goals – and staying with them for the long-term.

She’s worked with countless clients through that overwhelming “first home purchase,” helping them navigate the process – but she’s also worked alongside long-time clients through multiple home sales and purchases.

“To be able to see someone achieve their goals is so rewarding,” she said. “I have heard many times: I didn’t think it would be possible, thank goodness I talked to you because having achieved this real estate ownership has made so much more in my life possible.”

For example, Tomlinson points to a client who, through several moves, went from not believing they could own a home at all, to being mortgage free.

“That’s a huge accomplishment and it’s very exciting to be part of people’s lives in that way,” she said.

As the organization reaches its 10th anniversary, they’re preparing to launch a unique app that will help people answer the question “What can I afford” which looks at not just the basics, like income level, but future plans like having children or moving to a different area.

“It’s not a simple question and the app will help make it simple by working step by step through all the factors,” she said. “It can be a very stressful process for people when it comes time to buy or sell, to apply for a new mortgage, and really at the end of the day my job is to make it straight-forward, to make it comfortable and to make it work for my client, now and into the future.”

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