May
28

Don’t Forget To Pick Up A Mortgage When You Run to Costco

May 28, 2012

Home in a Shopping CartThe next time you’re shopping at Costco, don’t forget to pick up a mortgage along with that 72-pack of toothpaste.

Yes, it was only a matter of time. Costco Wholesale Corp, where members can purchase everything from chicken wings, shaving cream, and toilet paper in bulk to TV’s and coffins, is now in the mortgage business.

Well, you can’t necessarily put the mortgage in your cart per se. Costco has partnered with First Choice Bank and 10 other lenders to create a home purchase and refinancing mortgage product for its members on the warehouse retailer’s website.

“In effect, we’re buying advertising on their site for this program,” said John Alexander, director of business development for First Choice Bank. “To do that, I’ve committed to Costco that I’ll live up to certain service agreements.”

Members can go to Costco.com and enter their personal information as well as current mortgage balance and loan amount to see a list of licensed lenders in their state along with details on loans. If the member sees a lender they are interested in, they simply check them off and the lender will receive their loan request. For those who value their anonymity, no personal information is sent to the lenders without the members permission.

“The customer is in control; they choose who they want to call,” said Jeff Douglas, chief executive of Wyndham Capital Mortgage Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., one of the first lenders in the program. “This is a good part of our business,”

This is a smart move on Costco’s part as 90 percent of potential homebuyers begin their search online. However, the mortgage loan application eventually goes through the same underwriting process as a normal loan so mortgage interest rate may be altered from the original rate sent to the Costco member.

Costco has three tiers of  options for members:

  • Costco members can save up to $5,000 over the typical life of the loan.
  • Gold Star Members have access to lender fees of $750 or less.
  • Executive Members have access lender fees of $600 or less.

It seems there is little left that Costco can’t offer their members.

Categories: Mortgages

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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