Monday, December 17, 2012

2013 VA Loan Limits

Good News - The 2013 VA Loan Limit for 100% financing in the DC MSA will be $843,750. 

If you are an eligible Veteran - you could buy a home for $843,750 with ZERO out of pocket.

VA also does not have an actual loan limit.  If you want to buy a home that's $1M - you can still use your VA Loan.  You would have to put down 25% of the difference between $843,750 and $1M ($1,000,000 - $843,750 = $156,250 x 25% = $39,062.50).

If you have a disability for which you receive VA Disability Benefits, your VA Funding Fee may be waived.

Some features of the VA Loan include:
Lower interest rates than Conventional financing.
No monthly mortgage insurance.
Low or no down payment required.
Cash-out refinances up to 90% of the value of your home.

If you would like more information on VA Loans, please call or shoot us an email.


** This is not an offer of credit.  Not all applicants will qualify.  Rates are subject to change at any time.  Equal Housing Lender. **

Robert F. Rosenbaum, Jr. 
The Rosenbaum Lending Group
1st Portfolio Lending Corp.
8300 Boone Blvd., Ste 200
Vienna, VA 22182
(703) 879-5200  Office
(703) 608-1110  Cellular
(703) 891-9815  Direct Fax
NMLS License: 649782
Notary Public

Please click HERE for our secure online application. 

It’s a good life!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Great article from WSJ ... "Now, Homes Fuel Economy"

November 28, 2012

Now, Homes Fuel Economy

Real Estate, Once a Drag on Growth, Reverses Course as Other Sectors Tail Off


The U.S. housing market, which plunged the economy into recession five years ago and was a persistent drag on the recovery, is now a key economic driver at a time when other sectors are slowing.
Economists project U.S. gross domestic product growth will slow in the final three months of the year from the sluggish 2% annual rate in the third quarter. Businesses, unnerved by the prospect of federal tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" taking effect in January, have slowed their pace of investment spending. Defense spending also is expected to slow, further weighing on growth.
But while those economic pillars weaken, an improving housing market is buoying consumers' spirits and giving the economy its biggest lift since the real-estate boom. Macroeconomic Advisers projects the economy will grow at a 1.4% annual rate in the fourth quarter, with housing contributing 0.4 percentage point. IHS Global Insight is projecting a 1% growth rate, with housing contributing 0.53 of a percentage point—the largest contribution since 2005.
"Housing seems unfazed by the uncertainty that is plaguing other parts of the economy," said Ben Herzon, an economist with Macroeconomic Advisers.
The real-estate recovery is just beginning, of course, and housing's role in the overall economy remains diminished by five years of rising foreclosures and falling prices. New loans aren't easy to come by as lenders grapple with distressed mortgages. Millions of homeowners owe more than their property is worth. Still, housing's steady improvement is "going to offset some of the slowdown in manufacturing, and it is one of the reasons we think we're likely not to see a double-dip recession," said Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae.
Home prices rose 3.6% in September from a year ago, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller National Index out Tuesday. Prices are up 7% through the first nine months of 2012, which is the strongest rise since 2005 and puts prices on a trajectory to beat even the most optimistic forecasts from earlier this year. The gains also are broad-based, with the 20 cities tracked by the Case-Shiller index—except Chicago and New York—showing year-over-year gains.
The housing turnaround has been a boon for real-estate brokers and home builders, some of whom have seen their stock prices more than double this year. Retailers have seen a new stream of customers ready to decorate, furnish and upgrade their homes while investors are spending at hardware stores to renovate previously foreclosed homes. Banks, meantime, have posted record mortgage profits amid high refinance volumes and stronger demand for new loans.
Beyond those direct benefits are a number of indirect effects. Rising home values make homeowners feel better about their finances—making them more likely to spend and, with interest rates low, more comfortable about taking on debt. An index of confidence released Tuesday by the Conference Board rose to 73.7 in November, the highest level since February 2008.
"Housing's share belies its importance to the economy," said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank. "The confidence effects are massive."
Rising home prices are making consumers feel flush, which may eventually spur them to spend more: New home-equity lines of credit are projected to grow by 22% this year to $77 billion, a three-year high, according to Moody's Analytics. "We can start to see the housing market as an assist to our growth rather than an anchor," said Frank Blake, chief executive of retailer Home Depot Inc. on an earnings call this month.
Rising home values have given Clara Soh confidence about her finances—and she is spending accordingly. The 35-year-old senior director at a pharmaceuticals trade group has spent the past five years saving more and spending less. With interest rates low, she recently refinanced a Portland, Ore., home that she has been renting out since her recent move to Washington, D.C. That lowered her payment by $300 a month—while the home has gained $100,000 in value. Now she plans to pay off her 30-year mortgage early and splurge a little: She recently spent $300 on clothes, $1,000 on climbing gear, and $700 on a new bike. "I feel a little more confident about the direction things are going. I have a little more of a cushion," she said.
While rising prices now are driving the housing market forward, that couldn't have happened without a painful cycle of losses. Lower prices and rock-bottom interest rates have boosted affordability. The average monthly mortgage payment on a median-price home in October, assuming a 10% down payment, fell to $720 at prevailing rates, down from nearly $1,270 at the end of 2005.
Rising rents and an uptick in household formation have ignited demand, which, in turn, has pushed inventories of homes for sale to their lowest level in at least a decade. The upshot: More buyers are chasing fewer homes, pushing up prices.
"Consumers are trying to find a house to buy and they can't," said Ivy Zelman, chief executive of research firm Zelman & Associates. In Phoenix, Maracay Homes sold out four of its 12 developments this year and will add 10 new ones over the next six months. At Whispering Heights, a Maracay development in Chandler, Ariz., that courts move-up buyers with homes priced from $250,000, the company sold as many as 10 homes a month, up from three a month last year. They sold out in October.
Write to Conor Dougherty at, Nick Timiraos at, and Neil Shah at

Friday, November 16, 2012

Market Snapshot

Weekly Preview
Forwarded exclusively by:
Bob Rosenbaum
The Rosenbaum Lending Group
Office: (703) 879-5200
NMLS#: 649782
Profile Photo
Friday, November 16, 2012
Stock indexes in pre-open trading were abut unchanged this morning as was the interest rate market. At 9:15 Oct industrial production was expected to have increased 0.1%, it fell 0.4% and Sept production originally reported +0.4% was revised lower to +0.2%. Oct factory usage was expected at 78.3% unchanged from Sept, it declined to 77.8%, a big decline. On the reports stock indexes came off their best levels but still managed to hold minor gains. The bond and mortgage markets in early activity were unchanged from yesterday, the day before and the day before that. The 10 yr note has closed at 1.59% for the past three sessions, unable to push lower even with weaker equity markets, Europe in recession again, and the Fed continuing to buy MBSs and treasuries.
Today the over-riding issue for markets is the meeting this morning between the Administration and Congressional leaders. There is a lot of speculation floating around this morning; from a deal has already been stuck to avoid the cliff to we are going over it and into economic decline. More likely, when the meeting ends what we will hear from both sides is that it was a “good” meeting but there are continuing issues that must be resolved. No matter what comes of the gathering, it is still about posturing; neither political party wants to be seen as capitulating without a fight to defend their principles.
At 9:30 the DJIA opened +7, the 10 yr note at 1.59% unchanged and 30 yr MBSs +3 bp frm yesterday’s close.
The current sentiment in the bond and mortgage markets is that rates will very likely move lower. Based on the underlying various fundamental factors that is a sensible outlook, however in the very short term the bond market has stalled. There has been no move to lower interest rates this week and most of last week, even with the DJIA down 1000 points, Europe in recession, heightened tensions in the Mid-East with Israel threatening to attack the Gaza Strip, and the potential of continued grid-lock in Washington. Combined, those issues should have driven investors into safe US treasuries; it hasn’t happened. The bond and mortgage markets are stalled although the technical picture based on current price action remains slightly bullish, but weakening daily with strong resistance at present levels. When expectations differ from actual price action there is reason to be concerned, if (and it is a big IF) the stock indexes improve the bond and mortgage markets will likely experience declining prices.
The meeting today between Obama and Republican leaders is the main focus. The meeting hosts the same people that couldn’t agree on much over the last two years. Obama wants higher taxes for the wealthy, Republicans oppose and increases. Yesterday on CNBS Simpson and Bowles, the two that did come up with a plan that would accomplish many of the issues facing the economy and budgets, said if you tax the wealthy 100% it would only run the government for 5 months. Also yesterday, retiring Barney Frank the co-author of one of the biggest regulatory bills ever passed and that has slowed potential growth, out saying he wants to tax SS recipients that make over $100K 90% on their SS payments.   

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Rising home prices lift 1.3 million borrowers above water

Rising home prices lift 1.3 million borrowers above water

Saturday, October 27, 2012

There's a storm a brewin'

The "Frankenstorm" is Coming -- Is Your Business Prepared to Weather the Storm?

By now we've all heard about Hurricane Sandy, the "Frankenstorm" that is threatening the area. This is expected to be a slow moving/long lasting system with gusty tropical storm force winds, heavy rain and flooding. Earlier today Governor McDonnell declared a state of emergency in preparation for the storm. Make sure your business is prepared before the storm arrives. Below we've outlined some emergency preparedness tips, courtesy of the CDC:
Storm Coming Picture 1. Gather Emergency Supplies
If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. By taking time now to prepare emergency water supplies, food supplies and disaster supplies kit, you can provide for your entire family. And don't forget to take your pets and service animals into account!

2. Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit
Assemble the following items to create kits for use at home, the office, at school and/or in a vehicle:

  • Water-one gallon per person, per day (3­day supply for evacuation, 2­week supply for home)
  • Food-non­perishable, easy­to­prepare items (3­day supply for evacuation, 2­week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery­powered or hand­crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7­day supply) and medical items
  • Multi­purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two­-way radiosExtra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener
3. Gas
Fill your car's gas tank. Gas stations will be in short supply in a power outage.

4. Generators
If you have a generator or plan to buy one, please be familiar with safety tips.

5. Food Safety
Power outages and flooding may happen as a result of a tropical storm or hurricane, so have a plan for keeping food safe. Have a cooler on hand to keep food cold, and group food together in the freezer so it stays cold longer.

6. Outdoor Items
Plan to secure all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.

7. Trees
Remove dead limbs on trees that could fall on your property (home, car, land).

8. Leaves
Clear leaves from storm drains, gutters and other areas that, if clogged, could cause flooding.

9. Weather Forecasts
Pay close attention to weather forecasts for the latest storm track. We will provide guidance as needed. Purchase or charge up your weather radio. If you have a weather radio that uses SAME codes, Fairfax County's SAME code is 051059.

10. Tech Ready
View our Digital Preparedness Kit, which is an important way to stay informed and connected before, during and after an emergency.

11. Phone Numbers
Save important phone numbers to your phone or write them down, especially your power company. Always report a power outage.

12. Safe and Well Website Following the 2005 hurricane season, the Red Cross developed the Safe and Well website, which enables people within a disaster area to let their friends and loved ones outside of the affected region know of their well-being. By logging onto the Red Cross public website, a person affected by disaster may post messages indicating that they are safe and well at a shelter, hotel, or at home, and that they will contact their friends and family as soon as possible. During large-scale disasters, there will be telephone-based assistance via the 1-866-GET-INFO hotline for people who live within the affected areas and do not have Internet access, but wish to register on the Safe and Well website.   


Monday, October 15, 2012

Best time to buy ... EVER ... Read on :-)

Today we will focus on Prince William County ... PWC has been hit mighty hard by the collapse of the mortgage and real estate markets ... Now it's leveled off and is starting to recover (slowly) ...

Housing prices are down - Mortgage rates are at all time lows ... This really creates the perfect storm.  Let me show you why ... Below is a current chart for the Housing Price Index for Prince William County (source: ...

In 2007, the average home in PWC sold for around $280,000. In the most recent quarter, the average home sold around $220,000. So there's $60k right off the bat.

For this comparison we are going to assume that the buyer has good credit and 20% down-payment.

What does all of this mean ... For the exact same house, you get it for $60,000 less today and you need to earn $23,000 less per year to afford it. 

In short, more people should be buying.  The difference between the average rent in PWC and the average mortgage payment in PWC is 1%.  So for an extra 1% you could stop making your landlord rich and start investing in you!

Call us today to schedule a time to sit down with us; and let us help you buy into your future.  Whether you're buying your first home or your dream home, we can help.  (703) 879-5200 or email

Our Realtor of Choice for PWC is:
Mary Beth Eisenhard
Long and Foster Realtors
Gainesville Office
(571) 723-7653 Direct

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Healthy Eating Tips ...

Follow Me On:
Bob Rosenbaum, Jr.
The Rosenbaum Lending Group
Phone: (703) 879-5200
Cellular (703) 608-1110
NMLS: # 649782
It seems that every time we turn on the television, there is another report about the health challenges facing Americans. Almost two-thirds of the adult population is overweight, and people are starting to take notice. Fast food restaurants have begun adding lighter fare to their menus. Sesame Street® has introduced vegetable Muppets® to its cast, and even Cookie Monster® is conceding that cookies should be a "sometime food!"

It can be difficult to say no to that piece of office birthday cake, or opt for fruit rather than fries with that sandwich at lunch. However, there are some ways that you can cook and eat healthier which only require a little bit of sacrifice!
Cooking Tips
  • Use herbs, spices, lemon, vinegar, or salsa to add flavoring.
  • Steam, grill, broil, stir-fry, or roast meats rather than frying.
  • Allow juices to drip away from meat during cooking. Use wine, fruit juice, or a light marinade to maintain moisture.
  • When cooking vegetables, try steaming or microwaving instead of boiling to keep nutrients intact.

Shopping Tips
  • Read labels and compare! Calories, fat, and salt content can vary widely.
  • Select low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and salad dressings.
  • Purchase whole-grain breads, pastas, and cereals.
  • Pick lean cuts of meat and remove all visible fat prior to cooking.
  • Choose fruit juices rather than fruit drinks which usually contain added sugar.

Party Tips
  • Eat a healthy snack 30 minutes before going to the party.
  • Drink lots of water - Fills you up, but doesn't stay with you!
  • Find the VEGGIES ... Even if you dip, you'll still be ahead of the game.
  • Remember, you're there to enjoy the people, not the food.
    A Recipe for You: French Ni├žoise Salad (Serves 2 people.)

    Arrange the salad ingredients on a plate in an aesthetically appealing way. First put the lettuce greens down and then in a circle around the perimeter, place the eggs, tomatoes, olives, avocado, potatoes and green beans. Mince the tuna and form it into a ball. Place half in the center of each plate. Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk rapidly with a fork. Season to taste and drizzle all over the salad. Enjoy!

    If you have a favorite healthy cooking technique or recipe, please share it with me!

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    Market Snapshot

    Weekly Preview
    Forwarded exclusively by:
    Bob Rosenbaum
    The Rosenbaum Lending Group
    Office: (703) 879-5200
    NMLS#: 649782
    Profile Photo
    Tuesday, October 02, 2012
    Treasuries and mortgages opened slightly weaker this morning; the US and Europe’s stock markets better. European stocks climbed for a second day, their first back-to-back gains in three weeks, as Spanish bond yields fell following a report the country will soon seek a sovereign bailout; possibly as soon as this weekend. When that actually occurs it will alleviate a little of the fear factor that is one issue that has contributed to these low interest rates. Yields on Spain’s 10-year debt retreated 14 basis points to 5.74%; it was only a few days ago that Spain’s 10 yr traded at 6.06%. Reuters late yesterday reported that the government is prepared to ask the European Union for a bailout, citing four unidentified European officials. The buying has carried over to Italy where yields are down as much as 7 bps. Today’s bid has lowered the Italian 10-yr 5 bps, and dropped it back below 5.00%. Meanwhile, light selling has the German bund yields up as much as 4 bps. A 2 bp uptick has the German 10-yr yield near 1.475%. Finally, Britain held a 10-yr Gilt auction that saw the yield fall to 1.760% (1.83% previous) and the bid/cover rise to 1.9x (1.8x previous). If Europe’s rates continue to find support, the US 10 yr note and MBS markets may be vulnerable to selling.
    The only scheduled economic measurement today is Sept auto and truck sales; estimates are that sales dipped a little I Sept.
    Data from the investment markets suggest consumers are not buying the QE 3 announced in Sept. According to Bloomberg News The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund -- which includes Inc. and Macy’s --has lagged behind the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund by 2.8% since Sept. 14 the day after the $40B a month MBS buy the FOMC announced the easing move. The recent weakening in discretionary stocks relative to staples differs from 2010, when Fed Chairman Bernanke’s speech at the annual Jackson Hole conference in late August foreshadowed QE2, setting off almost six months of outperformance of discretionary stocks over staples.
    At 9:30 the DJIA opened +28, NASDAQ +12, SA&P +3. The 10 yr note yield at 1.64% +1 bp and 30 yr MBS price -3 bp.
    It is Tuesday; tomorrow ADP payroll people will release its estimate for Sept private job growth, the consensus is ADP will report 140K jobs while the consensus for Friday’s BLS data is that private jobs increased 103K. There is always a difference between ADP and BLS data, but either estimate isn’t much. As the calendar clicks off toward Friday’s employment data markets are likely to stabilize with not much change. That Spain is now expected to ask the ECB for money to support its bans has, at least for the moment, relaxed the safety trade into German and US bonds and notes. Countering the relaxation is the Fed’s easing move that adds support to MBS and Treasury markets. The Fed’s current QE is substantially different from the other easing moves, previously QE 1. QE 2 had limits for the amounts of treasury and mortgage purchases; this easing is open-ended that could go on for a year or two. One year of monthly purchases adds $480B to the Fed’s balance sheet.
    Rate markets continue to hold bullish technicals. The 10 yr note has resistance at 1.56% and support at 1.69%. MBS 30 yr FNMA doesn’t have resistance as the price is at historic levels, support for 30 yr MBSs is at 104.59 down 119 bp frm present levels. The mortgage markets could suffer large declines and still hold the bullish outlook.

    Big enough to compete, small enough to care.
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    Friday, September 21, 2012

    Fed Announcement Could Impact Home Loan Rates

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    Bob Rosenbaum, Jr.
    The Rosenbaum Lending Group
    Access National Mortgage
    Phone: (703) 879-5200
    Cellular (202) 746-5937
    NMLS: # 649782

    The Fed Announces QE3
    What Does This Mean for Home Loan Rates?
    On September 13, 2012, the Fed announced another round of Mortgage Bond buying, known as Quantitative Easing or QE3. This could have a big impact on anyone looking to purchase or refinance a home.

    Here's some important information to know and to share:

    What is Quantitative Easing? Quantitative Easing is the concept of the Fed becoming a buyer of Treasuries and bonds to try and stimulate the economy. Oftentimes, the Fed does Quantitative Easing when they are hoping to (1) create inflation and avoid a deflationary economy, (2) lower the unemployment rate, and (3) boost Stock prices.

    Why did the Fed announce QE3? With our economy still struggling (especially our housing and labor markets) and inflation appearing tame, QE3 was widely expected. Over the next several months, at the very least the Fed will be buying Mortgage Bonds at an annual rate of nearly $800 Billion. The Fed also noted that QE3 will continue until there is a self-sustainable recovery in our economy, as long as inflation doesn't rise too high or quickly.

    What does QE3 mean for home loan rates? The Fed is buying such large amounts of Mortgage Bonds each month to keep home loan rates (which are tied to Mortgage Bonds) near record lows, which they hope will help strengthen our housing market and economy overall. However, as the economy starts to improve and if inflation heats up, Bonds could face some selling pressure...which could impact home loan rates negatively as a result.

    What is the bottom line? Now remains a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance, as home loan rates remain near historic lows. If you or anyone you know wants to learn more about taking advantage of today's low rates, call or email me anytime. I'm always happy to help.


    Bob Rosenbaum, Jr.
    Access National Mortgage