• "Bette and Betsy represent you not only in making a smart howeowner decision but also in the negotiating process-your agents really are on your side."  -Meleah and Mark B.
  • "Bette and Betsy are easy to get in touch with and fast moving." -David M.
  • "The transaction went incredibly smoothly and I knew where I stood throughout the process." -Wendy R.
  • "They really know the business and what they are doing. They came highly recommended-they exceeded our expectations." -Barbara and Ted K.
  • "Betsy certainly goes above and beyond. Wouldn't use anyone else."  -Julia and Dan L.
  • "Betsy's expertise in Old Town was invaluable.  It was very apparent why she and her mom have such a fantastic reputation."  -Tricia B.
  • "Awesome. No drama. Helpful every step of the way. Very professional and gave honest opinions." Elizabeth and Richard H.
  • "We were in the process of moving out of state and Bette and Betsy took care of everything for us regarding the closing. We didn't worry-they are so trustworthy." -Barbara and Ted K.
  • "This is a true team-both are strong realtors in their own right." -Lauren G.
  • "Betsy rocks!" James B.
  • "First class.  Betsy worked with us for a long time, so we got to know her well.  Her knowledge and professionalism were outstanding."  Julia and Dan L.
  • "Betsy has a strong set of ethics and was excellent in providing her professional opinion at all the right moments. We love our home!" -Lauren G.
  • "Betsy was wonderful to work with. Very professional." -Coleen M.
  • "Bette and Betsy were very professional and made themselves available to me at the hours that worked best for me and through whichever form of communication I chose." -Wendy R.
  • "Both Bette and Betsy were awesome to work with.  Their knowledge and expertise in the field of real estate went a long way.  We'll definitely work with them again." S. Goodman & J. Luckett
  • "Betsy worked very hard dealing with our very difficult buyer. The transaction would have fallen apart if not for her persistence." Carol H and David T.
  • "We enjoyed the experience of two professional agents who worked together to accomplish our mission." -Katie and Clark O.
  • "I have bought and sold 6 other properties and working with Bette and Betsy was by far the best sale/buy. Personally they are delightful to work with." -Heather C.
  • "I have made 6 corporate moves and Betsy is hands down the best realtor I have worked with. She worked tirelessly to ensure I was paying a fair price and getting a quality property." Tricia B.
  • "Very professional. Incredibly knowledgable. We had worked with many Realtors and none of them compared to Bette and Betsy. They are fabulous. I would recommend them to everyone." -Jessica J.
  • "Love the home warranty and help with subcontractors." -Sherwood T.
  • "Bette and Betsy are great in every way." - Shelley Y.
  • "Working with Bette and Betsy put me totally at ease because I was totally confident in them."  -Evan S.
  • "Service above and beyond my expectations-highly recommend. Customized level of service to the needs of their clients. Excellent communication and very professional." -Gwen A.
  • "Bette and Betsy were both very personable and professional.  They were perceptive to my needs and wants and were also very knowledgable for a first time home buyer." Evan S.
  • "Very efficient and professional.  They know what to do and I had a contract in 6 days!" -Penny S. 

Betsy Gorman
(703) 861-4825

Bette Gorman
(703) 585-2235

Long & Foster
400 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 683-0400 - Phone
(703) 763-5750 - Fax

Getting a Loan

Knowing how much property you can afford is one of the most important factors in buying a new home.  Your purchasing power is a combination of the amount of money you have for a down payment and closing costs plus the amount of any loans you intend to get.  Having your financing in order prior to viewing properties is important for two reasons: (1) working with a lender will help you determine the price range of homes you should be focusing on and (2) when you submit an offer you will need to include a lender approval letter — if you have already been preapproved, then getting this letter should be as simple as a phone call.

Types of Lenders

Mortgage Bankers

The most common type of lender in the residential mortgage arena are mortgage bankers.  Examples of mortgage bankers are national lenders (e.g. Wells Fargo or SunTrust) or local or regional lenders (e.g First Savings or Union Mortgage Group).  Mortgage bankers typically originate loans and then sell these loans to the secondary mortgage market shortly after funding.

Mortgage Brokers

Mortgage brokers work as intermediaries between mortgage lenders and buyers.  Mortgage brokers work with a variety of lenders and often offer the most variety in loan programs. Brokers assist the buyer in filling out the loan application, obtain the credit report and appraisal, offer recommendations of a loan program and work to find a lender to fund the loan. Brokers do not make the decision to extend the loan and do not fund the loan.

Loan Pre-Approval

Each lender has its own requirements that must be met before it will issue a preapproval letter.  Generally, most require a completed a loan application, a credit check and some documentation that supports employment and asset information on the loan application.  Getting a preapproval letter is an important first step in the loan process.  A pre-approval letter must be included with any contract you write.

Loan Approval

Once your contract is accepted and the contract is ratified, you and your loan officer will work closely together to finalize the details of your loan.  To finalize your loan, you likely will be asked to provide the following:

  • Copies of previous two years’ W-2s
  • Copy of most recent pay stub
  • Information regarding any outstanding loans (car payments, student loans, other mortgages, etc)
  • Information regarding all deposit accounts (savings/checking accounts, stocks, etc)
  • Information regarding other assets (IRA/401(k)) if those assets are to be used for the purchase
  • If you are applying for a VA (Dept. of Veteran Affairs) loan, a Certificate of Eligibility

If you are self employed, you may be asked for the following:

  • Tax returns for previous two years

If you own other property, you may asked for the following:

  • Information regarding the property including mortgage information
  • Copy of previous two years tax returns
  • If the property is rented, a copy of the lease

Our clients are often surprised at how much documentation is required to get a loan.  It’s true that just a few years ago, it seemed that almost anyone could get loan — often with no documentation.  However, since the financial crisis, lending regulations have been tightened and lenders are now required to more closely scrutinize a buyer’s financial situation to ensure loans are given only to responsible borrowers. If you are contemplating buying a house in the near future, speak to a lender before making any signficant financial changes.  Even benign actions (like closing a credit card or moving money from one account to another) can complicate your loan approval process.