How to Buy a House Part 2: Lenders, Real Estate Agents & Mortgage Loan Pre-Qualification

Texas VLB
The Dog Tag
Published in
3 min readFeb 5, 2019


On this episode of The Dog Tag, our hosts Jim Bob Mickler, Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) Director for Marketing & Outreach, and Jimmy Smaragdis, VLB Marketing Specialist, talk about how to find a lender, prequalify for a mortgage and why you need a good real estate agent. Their guests include Director of Strategic Products Elizabeth Robertson and Loan Officer Marcia Boyer of Gateway Mortgage Group, as well as Kim Mangum, Loan Origination Manager for the VLB Veterans Land & Housing Program.

After you’ve established your credit score and calculated how much house you can afford, the next step in the home buying process is finding a good mortgage lender who can help you pre-qualify for a home mortgage. On this episode you can find out how the VA Home Loan Guaranty works, what kind of documents you initially need to provide the lender and how an experienced real estate professional is essential to help you find the perfect home that fits your budget.

The information and advice in this episode can help you take the right steps to becoming a homeowner.

(L-R) Kim Mangum, Jimmy Smaragdis, Elizabeth Robertson, Marcia Boyer & Jim Bob Mickler

Show Notes:

Introductions [:20]

How to find a mortgage lender. [1:10]

The characteristics of a good mortgage lender. [2:07]

What happens if you change your lender. [4:11]

How to obtain the Certificate of Eligibility to use the VLB Veterans Housing Assistance Program (VHAP). [5:06]

Veterans can use the VLB VHAP in conjunction with their VA Home Loan Guaranty. [6:19]

How the VA Home Loan Guaranty works and what the eligibility requirements are. [7:12]

How to find out if you are eligible for the VA Home Loan Guaranty. [11:02]

How to get pre-qualified for a mortgage with your lender. [12:50]

What documents to bring to get pre-qualified. [13:51]

How long a mortgage pre-qualification lasts. [14:44]

Does going to more than one lender affect your credit score? [16:21]

The importance of having an experienced, reliable real estate agent. [17:26]

How to find a VLB Approved Real Estate Professional. [18:56]

Helpful Resources:

Gateway Mortgage Group

VA Home Loan Guaranty

Annual Credit Report

Trans Union



Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Contact Marcia Boyer: 817–484–6560 |

Listen to this podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud.

The Dog Tag® is brought to you by the Texas Veterans Land Board. Find more episodes at If you have questions about this topic, or suggestions for other podcast topics, call 1–800–252-VETS or email Visit to find out more about your benefits!



Texas VLB
The Dog Tag

Official Account for the Texas Veterans Land Board | Land, Home, and Home Improvement Loans, Texas State Veterans Homes and Cemeteries