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.

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