Joe Hage, Chase Private Client Mortgage Banker, Helps Individuals With Their Real Estate Options
MORTGAGE SPECIALIST: “I help people buy homes and refinance their existing homes. Based on the last few decades, this is still historically a very good time to buy a home, while the interest rates are still low for mortgages.” Joe Hage, Chase Private Client Mortgage Banker, looks forward to helping more people with their biggest financial decision — purchasing a home.
“Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything, Scarlet, for it’s the only thing in the world that lasts.”
Gerald O’Hara’s statement to his daughter Scarlet about their plantation Tara in Gone With the Wind still resonates today.
“It’s always better to buy than to rent if you are able to do so,” points out Joe Hage, Chase private Client Mortgage Banker. “The one investment you can count on to grow is real estate. Historically, an investment in real estate will increase.”
Headquartered at the JP Morgan Chase Bank at 16 Nassau Street, Mr. Hage has been in banking for 15 years, always working in retail mortgage banking with the largest banks in the country.
Assisting people to navigate and negotiate the complicated and challenging process of buying a house is his area of expertise, as well as his greatest pleasure. Residential mortgages are his specialty.
“I help guide customers through the process,” he explains, noting information they should know ahead of time. “Before the clients go looking for a home, they should come to see me. They need to know what they can afford before requesting to see a house, and putting in any offers. There is always a risk factor, and I will evaluate that risk. They can get a pre-qualification letter at no cost from me to take to the realtors and look for a home, but they first need to know how much they can afford. This is very important because they will have other monthly bills to pay. They need to be clear about this.
“Also,” he continues, “you want to make sure you have 30 to 60 days for the process. The bank has to determine your credit rating, income, assets, and reserves — all to make sure you can afford the house.”
When buying a new house, Mr. Hage notes that a 30-year mortgage is typical, and it is customary to put 20 percent down.
Mr. Hage is a licensed mortgage banker, NMLS ID 448878. He can handle loans in every state, and he helps people all over the country.
“The majority of my clients are married couples, people with families, also singles, graduate students, and business owners. They vary in age from first-time home-owners to retirees, who may want to downsize. Some clients in Princeton are moving within town from a four- or five-bedroom house to a three- or two-bedroom so they can still have the quality of living in town but without having to pay the extra costs to live here.”
In addition, Mr. Hage points out that he often helps people with refinancing. “They may want to renovate the house, consolidate debt and use the equity for other needs. More times, a refinance is used to help get them a lower interest rate. For example, if they are paying a five percent mortgage, we may be able to reduce it to four percent. This is a good time to refinance. Also, it can be a good time to consolidate debt, including credit cards.
Also, he points out, “With the current volatility in the stock market, people take money out in order to buy a house as an investment or a second home.”
During the past 15 years, Mr. Hage has noticed changes in the banking business, especially with the advances in technology. “When I began, we were hand-writing the applications. By 2006, that had all changed, and everything was changing over to a paperless process.”
However, he adds, there is still nothing like a face-to-face meeting. “I still use the ‘old school’ approach. Face-to-face and not just having an 800 number. Getting a mortgage is one of the largest debts people will incur, and I want to help them all I can and have it be as comfortable as it can be.
“Of course, you have to adapt to change, and staying up-to-date with all the regulations is crucial. We always educate the clients so they can understand the process. There are so many options today, and I want to emphasize that it is very important for people to work with an experienced, educated professional.
“JP Morgan Chase has been around for many decades, and we make sure we are always doing the right thing for the consumer. Personally, I am often on the phone after hours and later at night with clients. I work at the same time the real estate brokers work. My priority is always helping the consumer, and I have a very rewarding relationship with the real estate people.”
Mr. Hage looks forward to many more years as a residential mortgage specialist. “I enjoy looking out for people and their families and being part of this community. I love this business and being able to help clients realize their dream of owning their own home. I always look forward to closings and giving the new home-owner the gift of an American flag.
“Home ownership is the American dream, and being a first generation citizen of this great country, I want to show my patriotism. And what a blessing it is to help all types of people become a contributing part of our society.
“I also want people to know I am open to speaking with anyone about mortgage needs or refinancing. This is my greatest pleasure.
“Also, if you are not 100 percent satisfied with my service or your experience with Chase at any time, please let me know right away. Your satisfaction is very important to us. We always care about your security and privacy, so please don’t include identifying information like account numbers and social security numbers in e-mails to us. Call us instead or send the information by fax or U.S. Mail.”