TALKING TO THE EXPERTS
When buying a home, for first-time homebuyers especially, the
process can be stressful or confusing. Costco Services recently
spoke with some of the participating lenders in the Mortgage
Program for Costco Members and mortgage loan originators to
help answer some of the most frequently asked questions. The
Mortgage Program for Costco Members is provided by First
Choice Loan Services Inc., a Berkshire Bank company.
Costco Services: Why should Costco members consider
the Mortgage Program over other mortgage lenders?
Laura Labow: It’s all about the experience. Lenders associated
with this program are committed to working together to help
Costco members. Constantly improving the experience is a
priority, and requires a hands-on approach. For instance, lenders
meet weekly to review member feedback to ensure members
are getting the best possible service.
CS: What are the benefits?
Laura: The benefits include competitive rates, low fees, the ability
to compare rates and great customer service.
CS: What are lender fees and other fees?
Teresa Taylor: When shopping for a mortgage, buyers will find
that lender fees typically run from .75% to 1.25% of the loan
amount and include charges such as origination, application,
processing, and underwriting fees. In contrast, Costco members
pay no more than $350 or $650 in lender fees,* depending on their
level of membership. Other fees outside the lender fees include
services ordered by third parties, such as a credit report, appraisal,
flood certificate, tax service, title, escrow, survey and inspections.
CS: What advice would you give a first-time homebuyer?
Joanna Mann: There are a lot of resources online to help
homebuyers determine what they need to gather and how to
determine if they are on the right track for their budget. My advice
is to take the time needed to talk to others who have been through
this process before, and to speak with a real estate agent and a
mortgage loan originator.
CS: What should buyers do before purchasing a home?
Amy Paterson: When buying a home, buyers should become
prequalified or preapproved, which means providing information
and documentation, such as paystubs, W-2s, and bank
statements, so the lender can determine the amount a buyer
may be able to borrow to purchase a home.
CS: What’s the difference between prequalified
Amy: A prequalification is typically provided by a mortgage
originator based on their determination of whether the buyer
qualifies for a loan. A preapproval is only provided after an
*Lender fees charged to Executive Members by lenders will not exceed $350 per loan. Lender fees charged to Gold Star and Business Members by
lenders will not exceed $650 per loan. Lender fees include application, commitment, underwriting, processing fees or similar fees and do not include
third party fees, such as title insurance, appraisal, tax service, escrow and other such fees in which the lender does not pro;t and are passed directly
through the borrower. All fees are clearly detailed in the Loan Estimate provided by lender.
General Program Disclosures: Mortgage lead generation, and/or originations are provided by or through Berkshire Bank (NMLS# 506896) and its
wholly owned subsidiary First Choice Loan Services Inc. (NMLS #210764), located at One Tower Center, Floor #18, East Brunswick, NJ 08816. Berkshire
Bank and First Choice Loan Services Inc. are licensed, registered, or exempt from state licensing in the states in which they originate mortgage loans
Purchasing a home may be
one of the biggest financial
decisions you make.
J.G. Wentworth Home Lending, LLC