A Big Deal: Aaron Christie-David

by Contributor10 Feb 2020

Aaron Christie-David, managing director and finance broker at Atelier Wealth, learns that taking on a challenging client can be a blessing in disguise


We were referred to a client by a trusted conveyancer who was getting nervous about an upcoming settlement, which happened to be an off -the-plan purchase.

The purchaser was a young and ambitious female investor, and this particular investment was her third investment property to date, located in Gregory Hills in Sydney. Her other two properties were in Sydney’s Lane Cove and Ellenbrook in Perth.

This client had actually been working with a different mortgage broker for her purchase, but he had strangely stopped responding to her calls and emails. 

As a result of the lack of communication, she had been issued with a notice to complete on her purchase but didn’t have the necessary support.

Luckily, the conveyancer referred her to us to see if we could come up with options for her purchase in order to prevent her from losing her deposit.

This young investor was determined to build her property portfolio, and we wanted to do everything we could to help her out.

The client was working in a few different roles, which meant she had multiple income sources – with PAYG, sole trader and casual income. We needed to prove all her income to get this loan to service and find a lender who would move quickly.

We started ordering valuations with a few lenders we had shortlisted and soon became aware that the property was close to power lines.

This posed a big risk, as most lenders want to have a minimum of 50 metres distance from power lines. To complicate the purchase further, the loan was in mortgage insurance territory.


Given that the settlement time frame was short and we were tight on lender options, we started ordering valuations knowing the power line issue may have been a deal-breaker. With some luck on our side, the valuation came back at 51 metres – just enough to be acceptable!

The next challenge we needed to overcome was a serviceability issue, given the client’s various income types that would be acceptable.

By putting our heads together as a team and working through lender policy, we delivered an exceptional outcome for our client and referral partner

We then calculated her borrowing capacity based on refinancing her two existing investment property loans as new lending, and drawing available equity out to bring this purchase’s LVR to under 80%.

We approached CommBank and explained the urgency around the settlement. We were then able to complete desktop valuations on her two investment properties, which were favourable.

CommBank’s policy for the client’s casual and sole trader income ensured the loan was serviceable, and the fact that she was an existing customer also helped with visibility over her transaction accounts. 

With a clear solution presented, we were able to explain to the vendor that we could settle, and they had renewed confidence about our ability to deliver a result within the fortnight.

We settled this purchase and the two refi nances within two weeks – a great result!


When we handle purchases, typically we’re organised with a pre-approval, and then every so often a deal like this comes along that is a welcome challenge.

I felt this loan really challenged us as a team to be great problem-solvers, as there were so many variables to the purchase, including:

  • Serviceability challenges such as shading of rental income and investment property expenses
  • Valuation concerns related to the power lines
  • Mortgage insurance and whether we could avoid this
  • Acceptability of income sources, such as casual and sole trader
  • Timings for settlement, being issued with a notice to complete, and two external refinances
  • Living expenses and making sure we were thorough with investment property commitments, ongoing rent and personal expenses

We felt that by putting our heads together as a team and working through lender policy we delivered an exceptional outcome for our client and referral partner.

We were also very appreciative of the support we received from our BDM and state manager at CommBank, and our support team at Connective, in doing everything possible to escalate these fi les and give priority where they could, based on the settlement date.

This was a true team effort, with everyone laser-focused on ensuring our client was updated throughout the day to reduce stress levels – not overpromising but still seeking to overdeliver.

The thank-you gift to us was a nice gesture from our client, who has since gone on to refer a number of her friends and family (who we’re fortunate aren’t in such tough situations!).

Aaron Christie- David
Managing director and finance broker at Atelier Wealth