Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Report: Atlanta among nations most-literate cities

According to a national survey by Central Connecticut State University, Atlanta is among the nation’s most-literate major cities.

The Big Peach came in fifth, trailing Seattle; Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Pittsburgh, Penn. Rounding out the Top 10 are Portland, Ore.; St. Paul, Minn; Boston; Cincinnati, Ohio,; and Denver, Colo.

Atlanta, as well as Boston, Seattle, Washington, made the Top 10 in literacy and also as best cities for singles.

The report scored cities of 250,000 people or more against several indicators, including education level, Internet use, newspaper circulation, number of booksellers, library services and local publications.

The study, “America’s Most Literate Cities 2009,” measures cultural offerings and reading resources among major national cities. The study compares literacy with other “quality of life” factors, finding that “cities that rank high for literacy also tend to feature great singles’ scenes.”

“This study attempts to capture one critical index of our nation’s well-being – the literacy of its major cities – by focusing on six key indicators of literacy: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and Internet resources,” said the study’s author, CCSU President Jack Miller, in a news release. “The information is compared against population rates in each city to develop a per capita profile of the city’s ‘long-term literacy’ – a set of factors measuring the ways people use their literacy – and thus presents a large-scale portrait of our nation’s cultural vitality.”

Atlanta Business Chronicle
December 28, 2009

Milicki & Associates, Inc.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Are you looking for a brighter furture?

Is the grass greener at another real estate company?

In this tough housing market, have you wondered

"Is the grass greener at another company?"

At Milicki & Associates, it really is!

Our goal is to create a environment of freedom, respect and support for our elite agents that will allow them to achieve the success that they deserve in the real estate industry.

Unlike many other real estate firms, we have in-office marketing, advertising and office support to help your business start, build and thrive while at Milicki & Associates. We are not frightened by changes in the real estate market in fact we embrace the changes! Referrals, floor duty programs, monthly office newsletters and personalized training are another way that we differentiate ourselves from the competition.

Do you have health an dental insurance? What about a 401k plan? At Milicki & Associates, we not only want to help your business grow and expand; we also want to help you take care of your most important assets - yourself and your family!

"Exceeding Excellence Everyday"
is not just our motto, it is our promise to our clients, our team of agents and ourselves!

If you would like to see how the grass is greener at Milicki & Associates please contact our office at your earliest convienience. You will not believe how a simple change can make such an enormous difference in your business and your life.

Anita C. Young

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Atlanta 83 out of 100 in Forbes report on affordable cities

Best Bang for the Buck

When it comes to affordable cities with stable employment and good housing markets, a new Forbes.com report ranks Atlanta below average.

Forbes puts metro Atlanta at No. 83 out of 100 large U.S. metro areas on a list of the "Best Bang for the Buck Cities."

The survey looked at factors like commute times, home vacancies, housing affordability, real estate taxes, unemployment and jobs forecast.

Atlanta ranked 15th for housing affordability, 93rd for travel time, 39th for real estate taxes, 72nd for unemployment, 95th for vacancies, 92 for its future job outlook, 51st for future home prices and 78th for foreclosures.

The "best bang for the buck" list is topped by Omaha-Council Bluffs, Iowa; Little Rock, Ark; and Jackson, Miss.

The lowest-ranked communities on the list include the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metro area (No. 98), Miami (No. 99) and Los Angeles (No. 100).

Read the full article

Milicki & Associates, Inc.
110 Evans Mill Dr. Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157

Monday, December 7, 2009

Isakson: No extension of home credit after it expires in June 2010

ATLANTA U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson said Monday there won’t be another extension of his homebuyer tax credit after it expires in June.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Isakson said a second extension “isn’t going to happen.” The Georgia Republican and former real estate agent said the extension signed into law in November by President Barack Obama “will not work at its fullest unless it has a termination date.”

The U.S. Senate voted earlier this month to extend an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers which had been set to expire. Isakson was the architect of that tax break. The new plan was expanded to include a $6,500 credit for existing homeowners who buy a new home after living in their current residence for at least five years. The credit will be available through June 2010 as long as the buyer has signed a binding contract by the April 30, 2010.

Isakson said making existing homebuyers eligible for the tax credit will provide a needed boost to the housing market.

“I have said from the beginning, unless you move it across the market you’re never going to catch the ‘move up’, where the most home equity is,” he said.

Isakson said existing homeowners persuaded to enter the housing market will help move homes that have been languishing with “for sale” signs on their front lawns. Once those homes move, the construction industry will perk up, he said.

There have been signs the tax credit is working. The National Association of REALTORS® reported that home sales surged for the second month in a row in October, climbing to the highest level in 2 1/2 years. Home sales nationwide are up almost 36 percent from January, although they are still 16 percent below the peak in autumn 2005.

by Anita C. Young, Milicki & Associates

Milicki & Associates Inc. 110 Evans Mill Dr. Suite 103, Dallas, GA 30157


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mortgage rates fall to new low

Long-term mortgage rates fell to a new low this week, with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 4.71 percent in the week ending Dec. 3, the lowest rate since at least 1971, when Freddie Mac started keeping track.

One year ago, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.53 percent.

Today 15 year fixed-rate mortgages are even lower, averaging 4.27 percent if you are able to afford a higher monthly payment this is a bargain.

"Interest rates for 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages fell for the fifth consecutive week to an all-time record low, while the average rate on a 5-year ARM hovered nearer its record set in the previous week," says Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) chief economist Frank Nothaft. "In addition, interest rates on 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgages thus far in 2009 averaged one percentage point below their respective average in 2008."

In Atlanta, home sales rose 3.2 percent in October, NAR reported. Also in Atlanta, home prices were down 10.9 percent year-over-year in October. Low rates continue to contribute to a rebound in the housing market. Existing-home sales rose 10.1 percent in October from September, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Adding to a leg up in the market, the $8,000 first-time-buyer tax credit has been extended until April 30. It has also been expanded to include many buyers who are not buying their first home, with a credit of $6,500, depending on income.

Closings are up and prices are down from a year ago. It is still a buyers market!

Contact our office for more information and professional guidance in your real estate purchases.

by Anita C. Young, Milicki & Associates, Inc.

Milicki & Associates, Inc.
110 Evans Mill Dr. Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Delta to close call centers, bring jobs back to the U.S.

Delta Air Lines Inc. will shutter call centers in Montreal and London next year, and move some of those jobs back to the United States in a measure to improve efficiency, airline officials confirmed Monday.

The closures are part of an alignment of call centers among SkyTeam members Delta and Air France-KLM Group.

It is not yet clear where in the U.S. the call agents will be housed or the exact number of jobs to return stateside, Delta spokeswoman Susan Chana Elliott said. All jobs returning to the U.S. will be for French-speaking agents, and will likely result in new job openings. Delta said affected employees would be offered other positions within the airline, severance packages or employment counseling.

The move will affect 142 jobs at its Montreal center and 187 positions in its London reservation offices. The Montreal facility will closed Aug. 31, 2010, while the London center will close in the fourth quarter of 2010.

With the closing of the London office, joint venture partner Air France-KLM will assume responsibilities for customer calls in Europe. Under the plan, Delta will handle calls for joint venture customers in the United States and Canada.

No other Delta call centers will be affected by the moves, Elliott said.

Atlanta-based Delta (NYSE: DAL) is the world’s largest airline.

In April, Delta stopped routing U.S. calls to a call center in India citing customer complaints.

Does this indicate that more American companies will follow Deltas example?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Take the Distress Out of Distressed Properties

Foreclosure filings have decreased slightly for the past three months in a row, according to RealtyTrac. While that’s certainly welcome news from a short-term perspective, the larger picture concerning distressed properties remains grim. October 2009 marked the 45th straight month of year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity. In the third quarter of this year alone, there were still more foreclosures than in all of 2006.

At the RISMedia Power Broker Perspective Panel on Distressed Properties, RealtyTrac’s Rick Sharga noted that the year will end with about 3.3 million households having gone into foreclosure. And because of rising “shadow inventory” another 4 million properties are expected to hit foreclosure status in 2010.

The Obama Administration’s recent push to accelerate the pace of loan modifications to keep struggling borrowers in their homes also has a dark side. Some 50-60% of those whose loans are modified are expected to redefault eventually nonetheless.

This massive inventory of distressed properties continues to put significant downward pressure on home prices nationally, and makes it tempting for real estate practitioners to slip into a state of powerlessness and discouragement. That’s a huge mistake.
Just ask Mark Stark, CEO of the Prudential Americana Group. He could be forgiven for a fair degree of despondency about these seemingly horrific events in the real estate world. He’s based in the foreclosure epicenter of Las Vegas, where homes that a year and a half ago listed for $444,000 are now on the market for $150,000, and still barely moving.

But appearing as RISMedia panelist he was positively evangelical in his remarks to real estate pros about coping with a changed market:

■Don’t label your market. Take “good” and “bad” out of your vocabulary. What’s happening now is an event, and it’s your challenge to be informed, work through the problems and find answers.
■You need to live in the truth. Don’t confuse the facts with what you’d like the facts to be.
■Question your limiting beliefs. Ask yourself tough questions and acknowledge that sometimes you will be wrong.
■Be part of the solutions and the opportunities. There will be more opportunities from this debacle than there were before. A lot of good will come out of this–eventually.
By Wendy Cole, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

Milicki & Associates, Inc.
110 Evans Mill Dr. Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

$8,000 homebuyers tax credit extended

President Obama reups popular tax credit through June 2010 and expands it to include people with higher incomes and some who want to trade up into new homes.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- President Obama signed an extension and expansion of the first-time homebuyers tax credit on Friday.

The $8,000 credit was scheduled to lapse on Dec. 1 but will now be in effect through the end of June. Homebuyers must sign a contract before April 30 and close by June 30.
The income limits were also raised: Single buyers can now earn up to $125,000 and still get the full credit while a married couple can earn $225,000.

The bill also made more homeowners eligible to claim the credit on their taxes. First-time buyers -- those who have not owned a home in the past three years -- still qualify for an $8,000 rebate. But now people who want to trade up can also qualify. Those who have owned and occupied a residence for at least five years out of the past eight can claim a $6,500 tax credit if they close on a purchase by the end of June.

"The new version of the tax credit has the potential to stimulate the housing market even more than the old version due to the fact that more people will qualify under the new rules," said Gibran Nicholas, chairman of the CMPS Institute, an organization that certifies mortgage bankers and brokers.

Who qualifies?

Nicholas provided four scenarios illustrating how the tax credit rules for existing homebuyers will apply:

• Harry owned a home in 2001 and 2002 but sold it to relocate for a job. He would qualify for the $8,000 first-time-buyer credit because he has not owned a home in the past three years.

• Sue purchased a home in 2004 and has lived there since. If she decides to buy a new home, she would qualify for the $6,500 tax credit because she has lived in the same residence for five consecutive years in the past eight.

• Jane purchased her home in 2002, lived there for five consecutive years before she rented it out in 2007. She would qualify because she was an owner/occupier for at least five consecutive years in the past eight.

• Mark purchased a home in 2006 and lived there for the past three years. He would not qualify because he is neither a first-time homebuyer nor someone who lived in the same primary residence for five consecutive years out of the past eight.

How it helps the economy

Legislators and industry experts expect that the credit will encourage buyers such as Jane and Sue to move up their purchase plans.

"This bill will shift demand from the second half of 2010 into the first half," said Pat Newport, a real estate analyst with IHS Global Research. "As a result, home sales and prices will get a boost in the first half of 2010, with payback in the second."

That's not a bad thing, according to Bill Kilmer, vice president of advocacy for the National Association of Home Builders. It's important to stabilize real estate markets quickly to help bring the economy out of its tailspin.

The original $8,000 tax credit appears to have helped accomplish that goal: Home prices have inched up the past few months, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Would it have happened anyway?

But critics still see the program as being ineffectual because it rewards buyers who would have purchased a home anyway. Newport estimates that fewer than 400,000 of the 2 million who have claimed the original credit made their purchases solely because of the tax advantages.

Furthermore, buyers do not, in reality, receive the entire benefit. "The credit helped prices stabilize," said Newport. "So the credit has been split between seller and buyer. The sellers are getting higher prices and buyers paying more than they would have without it."

The housing industry, however, is pleased with the extension, although the credit has not been quite as effective as they hoped.

The industry thought the credit would provide a ripple effect, with sales to first timers triggering as many three additional "move-up" sales.

That did not happen, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.

"It did not have the chain reaction impact it was supposed to," he said. "Instead, many first-timers turned to vacant, foreclosed or other distressed properties the sellers of which were unlikely to be move-up buyers."

So, the tax credit helped prop up the low end of the market without having much impact on the rest of the spectrum. Expanding the benefit to existing homeowners should boost those segments. That should produce additional benefits, according to Yun.

"Preventing further price decline or even nudging prices up a bit stabilizes housing wealth, which makes homeowners more comfortable in their spending," said Yun. "They're more likely to go out to the stores or buy a new car. That provides a boost to the overall economy."

Milicki & Associates, Inc.
110 Evans Mill Dr Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tax Credit Extended and Expanded

As of – Thursday, November 5th – that bill has passed and will be sent to President Obama for his signature

Upon Passing the extension of the HomeBuyers Tax Credit there will be several changes to assist homebuyers. It is no longer limited to First-time buyers bu has been extended to others also looking to purchase a home.

Let's summarize the changes quickly:

Once President Obama, has signs the bill, the expiration date for the credit will move to April 30, 2010.

First-time buyers who have not had interest in a principle residence for three years are still eligible, and the maximum amount remains the same – $8,000 for married couples, $4,000 for those filing separately.

Current homeowners, who have consecutively maintained the home they want to sell as their primary residence for five of the last eight years, are also eligible. However, the maximum amount for those homeowners is lower: $6,500 for married couples and $3,200 for those filing separately.

The tax credit may not used to purchase a home for more than $800,000. All buyers who want to get the credit must include documentation of the purchase on their tax returns. (Usually a copy of the HUD statement given at closing will suffice)

Milicki & Associates, Inc.
110 Evans Mill Dr Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Senate Votes On Home Tax Credit

Senate Committee Says YES
House & Senate Vote Next!

BREAKING NEWS: Senate Plans to Extend and Expand Tax Credit
The Senate has reached a compromise on extending and expanding the $8,000 tax credit for 1st time home buyers, a boost for the housing industry and a great opportunity for both buyers & sellers!

While its final passage remains uncertain, the agreement would extend the existing credit for 1st time home buyers, worth up to $8,000, plus offer a new credit of up to $6,500 for some existing homeowners. The reduced credit would be available to all homebuyers who have been in their current residence for a consecutive five-year period in the past eight years. Lawmakers also raised the qualifying income limits to $125,000 for single taxpayers and $250,000 for joint taxpayers, from the current $75,000 and $150,000, housing-industry sources said. Under the Senate compromise, buyers must have sales agreements in hand by April 30, but they will have until June 30 to go to settlement, said the sources. The measure still faces votes in the full Senate and the House.

The new provisions are aimed at broadening availability of the credit beyond first-time buyers and giving the weakened real estate market a bigger boost while preventing real estate investors from benefitting. While Senate lawmakers appear to have reached a deal on the substance of the tax credit, they are still at odds over how it would be brought to the Senate floor.

This Is Great News For Buyers and Sellers!
There are incredible properties available for buyers at prices that may not be seen again in our lifetimes. This means that more buyers will be in the market and that increases the odds for sellers. Insiders do not expect these incentives to be renewed again so buyers must take action now to get pending contracts before April 30th 2010.

Stay tuned for additional details as the legislative process continues. Please contact your elected officials and encourage them to "vote yes" to pass this important legislation!

The Window Of Opportunity Is Officially Open - Don't Miss It!
Please Contact Us To Get Started Today!

Milicki & Associates, Inc.
110 Evans Mill Dr. Suite 103
Dallas GA, 30157

Thursday, October 29, 2009

$8,000 home credit still in play

By Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney.com senior writer
Last Updated: October 29, 2009: 10:51 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Confused about whether lawmakers will extend the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit and what it would look like?

That's understandable, since the situation is still very fluid.

Here's where things stand.

Support for the credit: There is still bipartisan support in Congress for extending the credit past Nov. 30 and making it available to more homebuyers.

It's still not clear where President Obama stands on the issue. Last week, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan said the administration wanted to review more data to better assess the cost of the credit before weighing in.

What's on the table now: There appears to be a compromise deal that falls between the most and least generous proposals that have been put forth so far.

"There is bipartisan compromise to extend the credit through spring and expand it to existing homeowners who are stepping up to a different home," financial policy analyst Jaret Seiberg wrote in a research note for Concept Capital's Research Group.

The latest idea under discussion is a credit worth up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers and up to $6,500 for homeowners looking to trade up to a bigger primary residence and who have already lived in their current home for five years. (CNN: Senate compromise may be in the works.)

To qualify for the full credit, however, homebuyers must have adjusted gross income of less than $125,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly).

In addition, the credit would only apply to homes sold for $800,000 or less. Contracts to buy a home must be signed by April 30, 2010, and the deals must close by June 30 in order for a buyer to qualify for the credit.
Rationale for extending the credit: Supporters of the credit say it has helped to boost existing home sales in recent months. Extending the credit would help further support sales, stabilize housing prices and generate jobs in the face of an expected rise in foreclosures next year, which is expected to put downward pressure on prices.

If the credit is allowed to expire, they say, the housing market and the broader economy will grow moribund again.

"The most fundamental argument for the credit is that nothing works in the economy if housing is falling -- it hurts household wealth and credit becomes tight," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "[The credit] is a good insurance policy. It's vital to stem the housing price declines."

What critics say: Though extending the credit has bipartisan support, it is not without its critics.

Critics, while acknowledging that the credit has helped to generate additional home sales, say it has been poorly targeted and therefore not cost-effective.

They point to estimates that only 10% to 20% of the nearly 2 million homebuyers who will have gotten the credit by Nov. 30 bought solely because of the tax break.

In other words, a large majority of homebuyers who benefited from the credit would have bought their homes without it.

By one economist's estimate, the government may have spent $43,000 for each sale that occurred strictly because of the credit.

In a position paper published this week, the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said making the credit available to existing homeowners would not help stabilize housing prices or reduce inventory.

"When [they] purchase a new home, they simultaneously put their current home up for sale. As a result, there is no net effect on supply or demand in the housing market."

Timing on a vote: An amendment to extend and expand the credit could be attached to a bill that would extend unemployment benefits and which could pass the Senate by next week.

However, there's a chance the housing credit will be dealt with separately.

The credit could be attached to another piece of legislation or put in a standalone bill with other proposals to extend tax breaks.

First Published: October 28, 2009: 4:14 PM ET

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cash in: Tricks for buying a home at the bottom

Barbara Corcoran shares insider tips to help homebuyers in this market

By Barbara Corcoran

While others argue over whether this really is the bottom, savvy buyers are taking advantage of the best market in years to purchase a home. If you’re an aspiring homeowner, here’s the know-how you need to snatch up a bargain — where to look, what to watch out for, and how to get financing that will make your home-ownership dreams come true.

The best kinds of homes to look for

1. A property with a clear ending! That is, a clear ending when it comes to estates, trusts, divorces and foreclosures.

2. A seller in trouble. Sellers who are behind on their property taxes, have a failed business or just need cash.

3. A scorned homeowner. Just like a scorned lover, the homeowner had another buyer who just backed out. They will almost always sell the house for even less.

4. A shopworn listing. A home that’s been on the market for more than 60 days or a home that’s had numerous or aggressive price drops always signals a good deal to be had.

5. A home with an overgrown yard. It always means the homeowner is ready to give up.

6. A vacant home. No one likes to pay a mortgage on an empty house.

Some don'ts to keep in mind

7. Don’t go for a short sale unless you have plenty of time. They can drag on and on because of the bidding process and you can end up paying the same money or more, with all the increased costs, repairs and the rise in interest rates, while waiting to close.

8. Don’t compromise on what you’re looking for just to get a “good deal.” It’s no deal if it doesn’t meet the criteria you want in your home.

Insider tips to spot the seller ready to take a low bid

1. Check the closets. See if the wife’s or husband’s clothes are no longer there.

2. Check the tax records. Find out how much the seller owes. You can get the records at the county clerk’s office, and in some municipalities the town records are online.

3. Look for give-away words. In advertising, words like “bring offer” or “drastically reduced” mean exactly that.

4. Ask your agent to pull the listing history on the house. It includes how many times the home has been listed and what the price reductions have been.

5. Let the seller talk! If the sellers are home at the showing, let them talk. Often they’ll say more than they should, like, “We close on our new home next month.”

How to get the financing you need as a buyer

1. Order the house appraisal first. The appraisal may come in lower than the price you plan to bid!

2. Ask the seller to pay part of your closing costs. It reduces the cash you need up front.

3. Ask not-for-profit organizations about financing. They’re good advocates for consumers who otherwise get overlooked or taken advantage of by major banks and mortgage companies. Check out NACA (Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America), NHS (Neighborhood Housing Services) in your part of the country, and ACORN.

4. Review your own credit report early. Correct any errors in the report and fix everything possible before you shop for a home.

5. Ask for owner financing. Many older homeowners are not buying another home and like the idea of a steady 5 percent return using their old home as collateral.

6. Ask for a family contribution. Many parents are very happy to help the first-time homebuyer and their grandchildren secure their first home.

7. Prequalify for financing with your lender or mortgage broker before you begin your search.

8. Don’t take no for an answer. If you’re turned down by a local bank, you may still be approved by a national mortgage lender. If you’re turned down by a national lender, you’re often approved by your local bank.

Milicki & Associates, Inc.
110 Evans Mill Dr. Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pick the right pro at the right price

To keep a lid on home-improvement costs, hire only the expertise you really need.

By Josh Garskof, Money Magazine contributing writer
October 23, 2009

(Money Magazine) -- For anything from a small upgrade to a major remodeling job, perhaps the most important decision you'll make is whom to hire. You'll seek out a top-notch worker with a stellar reputation, of course, but first you'll have to decide what kind of expert you're looking for.

That choice can have a dramatic effect on the cost of your project. Whether you're wondering if you really need an architect to design your new den or debating whether a handyman can handle your wiring job, here's how to figure out which pro to call.

Specialist or handyman?
The difference: Electricians, plumbers, and other specialists have the know-how to tackle any project in their area of expertise, but they cost at least $75 to $100 an hour.

A handyman doesn't have that depth of experience but has the advantage of breadth: He'll not only hang your ceiling fan but repaint the ceiling too. You'll typically pay just $25 to $50 an hour for an independent handyman. Franchises such as MrHandyman.com and HouseDoctors.com will charge you more -- $50 to $100 an hour -- but are likelier to insure and bond their crews. (Both handymen and specialists may tack on an extra fee for small jobs.)

How to decide: For jobs that involve inside-the-wall changes to electricity, plumbing, or heating or cooling systems, go with a licensed specialist.

General contractor or several tradesmen?
The difference: A general contractor will handle a renovation, addition, or remodeling job from soup to nuts, bringing in whatever subcontractors he needs -- plumber, tiler, roofer, and so on. In exchange he'll mark up the subs' fees by 10% to 20%. Or you could hire those same contractors yourself and save thousands.

How to decide: If you need only one or two subs -- perhaps a plumber and a granite guy for those new counters -- and you're a veteran home improver, go for it on your own. Otherwise, a GC will spare you the hassle of getting referrals and doing due diligence on a host of pros as well as the delays and cost overruns you'll encounter by juggling multiple tradesmen yourself.

Architect or contractor?
The difference: When a contractor designs a project, he looks for efficient, cost-effective ways to achieve your goals: A family room addition is likely to be a boxy appendage off the kitchen, for example.

An architect is trained to design the new space around your family's lifestyle and to weave it seamlessly into the existing house. But his fees will also add at least 5% to 10% to your project cost -- and his design will probably cost quite a bit more to build than a general contractor's.

How to decide: Bring in an architect for any project that involves a significant alteration to your floor plan or exterior or will entail spending more than 10% of your home's value. You'll stand a better chance of coming away with a design that adds charm and value to your house.


Friday, October 23, 2009

OPEN HOUSE November 5, 2009 4pm-7pm

You’re Invited over to
Open House

We would like to re-introduce ourselves to the community. After nearly 4 years in business in the Dallas area we want to take the opportunity to invite our Friends and Neighbors over for a little meet and greet. In fact we have designed a special drink just for the occasion

“The Milicki Mojito”

Join us for lots of fun, prizes, food and the opportunity to see old friends and meet new ones.

Date: November 5, 2009
Time: 4:00pm-7:00pm
Place: Milicki & Associates
110 Evans Mill Drive, Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Forbes: Atlanta ranks No. 1 among America's 'recession proof' retirement markets

Metro Atlanta ranks No. 1 on a new list by Forbes of America's 40 "recession proof" retirement cities.

Forbes said it considered such factors as average income for seniors, current and expected home prices, job-growth predictions through 2014, the cost of living and median monthly housing cost.

Atlanta ranked 17th for number of sunny days, 17th for income of residents 65 and older, seventh for median home price, 17th for home price change predicted for 2009-2014, 11th for cost of living and 23rd for median housing cost.

Atlanta was followed by Dallas-Fort Worth, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Houston, St. Louis, Austin, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Kansas City and San Antonio.

New York finished last among the 40 cities, with Milwaukee and Boston near the bottom

click here for the ranking of 40 cities.

Monday, October 19, 2009
Atlanta Business Chronicle

Milicki & Associates, Inc.
Real Estate Specialists
110 Evans Mill Dr. Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157

America’s First Millionaire

An excerpt from “The Millionaire Real Estate Investor”, by Gary Keller with Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan

“It’s a little-known fact that America’s first millionaire was a real estate investor. A German immigrant and the son of a butcher, he was named John Jacob Astor. In the early 1800’s Astor got rich trading in furs, tea, silk, and fine china, but that was not where his real fortune was made. Eventually he invested his trading profits in something that would prove to be even better: real estate. His most profitable investments were in New York City, and before long the man known as “Manhattans Landlord” was widely acknowledged as the wealthiest person of his time. He has not only become America’s first millionaire, he was now its first multimillionaire. Shortly before his death Astor reportedly said, “Could I begin life again, knowing what I now know, and had money to invest, I would buy every foot of land on the Island of Manhattan.” Astor passed away in 1848, leaving over $20 million to his heirs. ($20 million may not seem like a great fortune now, but in 2005 dollars it would be the equivalent of about $458 billion.) This immigrant butcher’s son not only was America’s first millionaire and multimillionaire, he was also America’s first Millionaire Real Estate Investor.

I love the story of John Jacob Astor because it captures both the art and science of investing. The art inspires us, and the science instructs us. The fact that an immigrant butcher’s son could build America’s first great fortune is the inspiration. The fact that he did it through real estate is the instruction. This is consistent with my experience. I believe there is an art and a science to achieving your highest potential in any endeavor, and building financial wealth is no exception. The art of real estate investing is about becoming inspired to overcome your MythUnderstandings and think like a millionaire Real Estate Investor. The science is about learning and applying the models these successful investors use. Up to this point we’ve addressed the art. It’s now time to address the science: the Five Models of the Millionaire Real Estate Investor.”

Friday, October 16, 2009

215 Lafayette Street, Dallas, GA 30157

This well cared for home features 4bedrooms/2bath. It is located in a well established neighborhood with close proximity to the Silver Comet Trail. Bonus Room / Office / or fourth bedroom on the lower level.

Milicki and Associates
Real Estate Specialists
110 Evans Mill Drive
Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157
Main: 770-874-2022
Fax: 770-874-2027

Thursday, October 8, 2009

~ Tickle Your Funny Bone ~


* Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop.

* Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink.

* For high blood pressure suffers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

* A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent your from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

* If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives; then you'll be afraid to cough.

* You only need two tools in life: WD-40 and Duck Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and it does, use the duck tape.

* If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.

And finally, a daily thought:

Hope this put a little laughter into your day!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Featured Property

3978 Lullwater Main, Kennesaw, GA 30144

Bring your family home to this sunny haven with gleaming hardwoods on the main level. 3bed, 2 1/2 bath with a 4th bedroom downstairs that is versatile. This home has the perfect flow for entertaining. Large backyard is level and shaded. Sellers are installing new stainless steel kitchen appliances for buyer. GREAT SCHOOLS!

Milicki & Associates
Real Estate Specialists
110 Evans Mill Drive, Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157
770.874.2022 Main
770.874.2027 Fax

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Georgia applies for high-speed rail grant

The Georgia Department of Transportation Friday October 2nd applied for $472 million in federal economic stimulus funds to build a high-speed passenger rail line from Atlanta to Macon.

The money would come from the $8 billion nationwide commitment to high-speed rail announced by President Barack Obama last spring.

If the DOT receives the entire $472 million, the funds would cover the project's full capital costs, from tracks and signals to construction of stations along the rout and enough locomotives to support three round trips per day, said Erik Steavens, the DOT's director of inter modal programs. "One of the issues we've had in the past is being able to (obtain) matching (funds), so we've applied for all of the capital costs," says Stevens.

Steavens also said the only additional funding the would be required would be about $10 million a year in operating expenses. he is confident that the General Assembly would come up with the match if the federal government puts up the rest.

Steavans said the DOT expects to find out by the end of the year whether the grant will be approved. and that the unique public-private partnership the stat has entered into with Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC), the freight rail carrier that owns the tracks, should work in the application's favor. "We'll have to see who else applies and what they bring to the table"

Atlanta Business Chronicle

Harris Poll: ATL, GA among most popular places

When polled where they would like to live, U.S. residents picked Atlanta as the 13th most popular city to reside and Georgia as the 14th most popular state.

New York City topped the Harris Poll this year as America's No. 1 choice to live, followed by San Francisco which was tied with Denver at the number 2 spot.
4) San Diego
5) Seattle
6) Chicago
7) Boston
8) Las Vegas
13) Atlanta

New York City topped the list every year except once in 1997.

California is the most popular state, taking the No. 1 spot for the sixth year in a row as the place Americans would like to live if they didn't live in the state they now live. Florida remains No. 2, Hawaii came in at No. 3, Texas was No. 4 and Colorado was No. 5.

"The most popular states and cities where large numbers of people would like to live tend to attract tourists and businesses" according to the Harris news release.

Atlanta Business Chronicle
October 5, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Featured Property

102 White Park Drive, Suite 300 D, Dallas, Georgia 30132
This commerical property has approximately 1500 sq.ft of light industrial space, including cabinets and a separate work area. There is approximately 600 sq.ft of finished office space with one bathroom. 14' ceiling height in the warehouse, with 12' high, 10' roll- up, drive in door.

Milicki & Associates
Real Estate Specialists
110 Evans Mill Drive
Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157
Main: 770.874.2022
Fax: 770.874.2027
Toll Free: 1.866.966.3022

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First-Time Homebuyer Credit Provides Tax Benefits to 1.4 Million Families to Date

The IRS has released IR-2009-083 reporting that approximately 1.4 million taxpayers have filed (or amended) there 2008 income tax returns claiming the $8000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. The IRS release of informaiton also reminds taxpayers of the importance of getting your home purchase closed before the December expiration of the tax credit. The IRS has publicized a YouTube video it has prepared to help taxpayers understand the basics of the tax credit.

The National Associations of Realtors (NAR) continues to put forth it full effords to extend the credit into 2010. Read the IRS Press Release.

Anita C. Young
Milicki & Associates, Inc.
110 Evans Mill Dr.
Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157
866-966-3022 toll free

Friday, September 25, 2009

Featured Properties

284 Jennifer Lane, Temple, GA

This cute 3bed/2bath home sits on 2.46 acres, with a 16x20 shop. Shop has electricity, heat & air. This home has new vinyl siding, windows and metal roof. Only 10 mins to I-20.

Listing price is $115,900
Milicki & Associates
Real Estate Specialists
110 Evans Mill Drive
Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157
Main: 770-874-2022
Fax: 770-874-2027

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Flooding Across Metro Atlanta Area Affects Closing

I hope that all of you are safe and dry. Due to the recent flooding in the Metro Atlanta area, there are several counties that have been placed on the "State of Emergency" list.

They are as follows: Carroll, Catoosa, Chattogga, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinett, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Stephens and Walker.

This means that if you have a property under contract in any of these counties and the appraisal has already taken place, a Lender Certification or Final Inspection will have to be performed on that home before a lender will allow it to close. This is an industry-wide issue; therefore your closings may be affected by this.

Contact your lender to verify that you are good to close.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Featured Properties

30 Barberry Lane, Dallas, Georgia
This spacious home has 5 bedrooms, one on the main level, huge kitchen and breakfast area, separate dining, living and family rooms. Enormous master retreat has a large sitting room and closet. Upstairs loft overlooks foyer.
Priced at $ 158,900

3938 Longview Drive, Chamblee, Georgia
This is a spcaious 4bed/2 1.5 bath home in the best metro Atlanta area. Harwoods on main, deck overlooks private fenced backyard, and a large workshop off the 2 car garage.
Priced at $279,900
Milicki and Associates
Toll free : 1-866-966-3022
Fax: 770-874-2027
email: info@milicki.com

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Selling You Home, Do You Know Your Buyers Market?

Before you put your home on the market there are a few thing that you should consider.
What is the market for your home? Who would be the best agent to help you market your home? What are the positives and negative of my neighborhood that buyers will be looking at?

Understanding the buyer market and who might be a good fit for your home will help ensure that you highlight the most vital features. There are so many different kinds of buyers that might consider your home: single first-time, working couple, family, retirees or empty nesters, and a growing buyer market are women who purchase homes without spouse/partner.

Before putting your home on the market, you should take time to search for the best agent to handle your transaction. The agent can help you better understand which buyers are most likely going to be interested in your home. If there is a concern that needs addressing, an eyesore in the neighborhood or a foreclosure that’s been sitting on the block for several months; don’t be afraid to talk about it. The potential buyers are aware that it’s there (if they do their homework).

Even though you may have lived in your neighborhood for years, taking the time to drive or walk around it is a good idea. But this time do it with the same viewpoint you had when you were originally considering buying your home. It can really be a very different view. If you’re objective, you’ll see both the key selling points of the neighborhood as well as the things that may deter buyers. Seeing it all is beneficial because that’s exactly what potential buyers will see.

Making your home ready for your specific buyer market will help you not waste time marketing it to uninterested buyers. The house needs to be spotless, have great curb appeal, and evoke a warm and welcoming feeling with a few amenities. However, it is important to understand that in this economic era the home must also be basic enough to be affordable.

Milicki & Associates
Real Estate Specialists
110 Evans Mill Drive Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157
Main: 770-874-2022
Fax: 770-874-2027
Email: info@milicki.com

Monday, August 24, 2009

Is The Housing Market On The Mend?

The Reports Are In.
Is The Housing Market On The Mend?

By way of several home sales reports and other economic data, (see home price appreciation report below) clear signals are being sent that the recent rout in home sales has diminished for a majority of the country . Sales of previously occupied homes rose for the third month in a row in the month of June, the National Association of Realtors reported. The marketplace has not seen this period of expansion in almost 5 years.

Home sales rose 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million last month Sales were up in all four regions of the country.

Demonstrating how the housing market is a big part of the economy's "barometer", the Dow Jones Average reached above 9,000 for the first time since early January.

In an informal and unscientific poll, Home Actions surveyed Realtors as to their perception of the turn around. Clearly, they reported, many consumers who were sitting on the fence are now engaged in the house hunting process. Low mortgage rates, combined with affordable home prices and government assistance create a nice environment.

Source: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid30740796001?bctid=30821717001
Link NRA report

How to Size Up an Investment Property

When you're evaluating a potential property investment, it's important to consider the cash flow and ROI. Here's how.

If you're thinking about buying your first real estate investment, there's good news. There are lots of good deals out there. But even if a deal looks to good to resist, you need to be sure you have a firm understanding of the two significant elements that determine profitability: cash flow and return on investment (ROI). Otherwise, it's very easy to misjudge just how profitable the property will be.

Expenses vs. Revenues

Cash flow is extremely important because it dictates whether the investment will cost you out-of-pocket money or put money back in your pocket on a monthly basis. To determine monthly cash flow, you must consider all expenses related to the property and then subtract this from the revenue being generated.

Finding the obvious expenses is pretty easy, but you may have to do some digging to uncover the not-so-obvious expenses. These line items are real and can significantly impact your monthly cash flow, so don’t leave anything out. They can include:

Vacancy-rate impact

  • Replacement equipment
  • Maintenance
  • Advertising
  • Tenant Repairs
  • Payment Deliquencies

After you subtract all expenses from the revenue, you’ll know whether you’ll be making money or paying money. You may ask yourself: Why would I involve myself in an investment that is going to cost me out-of-pocket money? This brings us to the next important variable when evaluating your real estate investment decision: return on investment (ROI).

What Is ROI, Anyway?

First, the technical definition: the rate of return based on an initial investment that generates a cash annuity for a specified time period. Now, in plain English: ROI is basically the money going out (including your initial investment) banked against the cash flow that the property will generate in a given amount of time. This creates a net cash flow stream, and your return percent is calculated off of this figure.

Keep in mind that when compiling these cash flows, you must include all expenses related to the property, and the revenue stream must include all monetary benefits derived from it as well. ROI is heavily determined by the initial investment, because that is most likely the largest cash outlay related to the investment. All other variables held constant within the same scenario dictate that the bigger the down payment, the less return you will have on the investment.

So a new question emerges: If my return is less, why would I put a larger amount down? You must consider the trade-off between the amount of the down payment and the monthly cash flow. The more you put down, the more likely you are to have a positive cash flow — the investment paying you dividends. There is a fine balance between cash flow and ROI. Depending on your current and future financial goals, you can determine the best scenario that suits your needs. In order to attain this balance, you must have the knowledge and skills to determine the best scenario.

Whether your goal is to generate an annuity stream, prepare for retirement or create a college fund, real estate investments can be an excellent place for your money, if you do it right. With interest rates at record lows, profitable inventory and opportunities throughout the nation, it may be time for you to invest in property.

By Chris Lombardi May 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Housing To Drive Economic Stability in 2010

The Chicago Federal Reserve surveyed consumers in the Midwest region and concluded that there will be economic growth in 2010, but joblessness will remain a problem.

The Fed forecast predicts that real gross domestic product will grow by 3.2 percent in 2010 after a decline of 1.8 percent this year.

The 2010 recovery is likely to be driven by spending on residential properties, as well as an increase in industrial production, says William Strauss, senior economist at the Chicago Fed.

Housing starts were projected to fall to 530,000 units in 2009 from 900,000 in 2008, and to rebound to 740,000 in 2010.

Source: Reuters News, Krasny (06/08/2009)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

PETITION: Stop the Home Valuation Code of Conduct

"Petition to stop the Home Valuation Code of Conduct.

In the past few weeks, we’ve talked about the new appraisal rules and how they’re impacting our business. Now, here’s a video explaining the situation more in-depth along with a petition to ask the House to enact an 18 month moratorium on the HVCC (in the form of House Bill 3044)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Do You Have Above Average Credit?

"Do you Have Above-Average Credit?

Forty-two percent of U.S. consumers have credit scores between 550 and 699. As a result, these consumers typically don’t qualify for preferred interest rates and, depending on their overall credit profile, they may not even qualify for certain loans and credit cards. The primary challenge is that most consumers don’t understand what impacts their credit profile and, more importantly, don’t know what actions they can take to help improve it. This short quiz will help test how much you know about your credit profile and how it works.

1. To have the best credit profile impact, what is the maximum amount of your monthly credit line you should use?a) 70%b) 30%c) 50%

2. What is the top contributing factor to what makes a good credit score?a) Length of credit historyb) Amounts you owec) Payment history

3. If you pay 2% each month on your credit card (typical minimum payment), when will you pay off a $3,000 balance at 10% interest?a) 18 yearsb) 6 yearsc) 3 years

4. After paying off a high-interest credit card, you should:a) Continue using it occasionallyb) Close the accountc) Use the full amount of available credit every month

5. Applying for credit cards in order to just receive a free sign-up gift (t-shirts, mugs, etc.) has no impact on my credit profile?True or False

6. Rewards points on credit cards are a good deal when:a) I get cash backb) I get free airline ticketsc) I carry no balance each month

7. To have a credit score, I must have at least one creditor reporting activity on my credit report for:a) 12 monthsb) 8 monthsc) 6 months

8. Credit bureaus that manage your personal credit report data and credit scores are a:a) Government entityb) Non-profit agencyc) Regular business corporation

9. Banks and credit card companies think you are credit-worthy by how many credit offers you receive by mail?True or False

10. Credit scores are used by lenders mainly to: a) Tell how I compare to other consumersb) Tell if I make my payments on timec) Predict the likeliness that I will repay my loan on time

Answers: 1 - c, 2 - c, 3 - a, 4 - a, 5 - False, 6 - c, 7 - c, 8 - c, 9 - False, 10 - c

If you find you answered more than half of these questions wrong, you’re not alone. In a survey, we found that the majority of consumers do not know the answers to these and similar types of questions. On average, U.S. consumers have a total of 13 credit obligations on their credit report. These include installment loans (auto loans, mortgage loans, student loans, etc.) and credit cards (such as department store charge cards, gas cards, or bank cards). As a result of the numerous outstanding credit obligations, combined with the lack of proper knowledge and guidance about what impacts their credit profile, the average U.S. consumer ends up spending thousands of dollars on unnecessary interest expenses.

The good news is that it’s not too late. With a good understanding and proper guidance of how credit works, consumers can learn how to effectively manage their personal credit profile. Improvements can be obtained fairly rapidly with credit coaching services and the proper changes (no more trial-and-error stuff). Our survey group of customers who participated in a credit optimization and coaching service saw their credit scores increase by an average of 30 points in just four months as a result of more effectively managing their credit. More than ever, every responsible consumer should proactively evaluate, optimize and protect their credit before they have a required credit need or an issue arises.

Market Issues by Jeff Mandel and Marlin Brandt
Read more: http://rismedia.com/2009-07-11/do-you-have-above-average-credit/#ixzz0L9hxN2JV&C "

Milicki and Associates
110 Evans Mill Drive, Suite 103, Dallas, Georgia 30157
Office: 770-874-2022 Toll Free: 1-866-966-3022 Fax: 770-8742027
www.milicki.com info@milicki.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

GEORGIA - No Homestead Tax Exemption for 2009

The 'Governor's Tax Credit' for homestead property was NOT funded by the State legislature for 2009 which will result in an increase on your 2009 tax bill between $77.04 and $228.24 (depending on other exemptions you have or whether your Property is located within the city limits).
If your taxes are paid from an escrow account through your mortgage lender, you may want to notify them so the escrow payment amount can be adjusted accordingly.
Click on the following link for video of Gail Downing, Cobb County Tax Commissioner
Homestead exemption

For additional information, go to www.cobbtax.org then click on “Property Tax”

Milicki and Associates
110 Evans Mill Drive, Suite 103, Dallas, Georgia 30157
Office: 770-874-2022 Toll Free: 1-866-966-3022 Fax: 770-874-2027

Featured Properties

284 Jennifer Lane, Temple, GA
If you are looking for a lovely, well-cared-for home with a lot of property, this is the home for you! This home is a 3 bed, 2 bath modular home with over 2 acres, garage, and lean-to. Just 10 minutes from I-20, this home is perfect no matter where you work. With new vinyl siding, windows, and roof, this home is will go quickly - especially with a newly updated master bathroom. For those who are interested, the seller will consider lease purchases. The listing price on this home is $115,900.

419 Clarion Drive, Carrollton, GA
Are you looking for a spacious, immaculate home in Carrollton in a well-established neighborhood? Then, this is the palce for you! This 5-bed, 3-bath home is located in the Mountain Creek subdivision and near the 15th green and 16th tee. Listed at $168,000, this well-cared for home will go quickly!

3938 Longview Drive, Chamblee, GA
Located in the Huntley Hills subdivision, this 4-bed, 2.5-bath home is a steal at $259,000. Sitting on approximately 1/2 an acre, this home is spacious with a large, fenced backyard, two car garage with large workshop, and a formal dining room. This property is located in a swim/tennis community. With this home being so close to great schools and I-285, it will go fast!

Milicki and Associates
Toll free : 1-866-966-3022
Fax: 770-874-2027

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"The Key to Influencing Others"

"Do Nice Things For Others...
One of the best ways to influence someone is to do something nice for him.

I know many successful salespeople who make a habit of taking their prospects out to breakfast or lunch. During the breakfast or lunch, they do not talk about their products or services unless the client brings it up. They merely make small talk, ask questions and listen.

They work on building trust, and they work on establishing a friendly relationship. At the end of the breakfast or lunch, they tell the prospect that they will be getting in touch with him sometime in the future with the possibility of talking to him about helping him in some way.

See Them As Friends and Partners...
The best salespeople and businesspeople in America today are those who look upon their customers and prospective customers as friends and partners.

They always look for ways to help their partners improve their lives in ways that are not directly related to the products or services they sell. They sow seeds, and they reap a harvest. They trigger a desire in people to reciprocate.

When the time comes for those salespeople to approach their prospects with the possibility of buying their products or services, the prospects are wide open to the questions and inputs of the salespeople. The prospects have a deep-down desire to reciprocate.

Send Thank You Notes...
One of the best ways to use this principle in your interactions is to continually look for ways to say and do positive things for people. Look for ways to do kind acts and favors for your friends and prospects.

Send thank-you notes. Send birthday cards. Send clippings from newspapers about subjects that you feel may be of interest to them. Always keep your promises, and follow up on your commitments.

Always do what you say you will do. Do everything possible to put in, knowing confidently that you will ultimately be able to get out far more. You will reap if you sow.

Be A Go-Giver Rather Than A Go-Getter...
Someone has observed that no one ever built a statue to a person to acknowledge what he or she got out of life. Statues are built only to people to acknowledge what they gave.

The most powerful, influential and successful people you will ever meet always look for ways to do nice things for others.

When you meet someone under almost any circumstance, one of the best questions you can ask is this: "Is there anything that I can do for you?"

Always look for ways to put in rather than to take out. The successful man or woman of today is a "go-giver" as well as a go-getter.

Be Open and Empathetic...
The more that people feel that you are open and empathetic and sensitive to their needs and concerns, the more open they will be to your influencing them positively in some way.

And the more you can influence others with the power and impact of your personality, the more you will accomplish, and the faster you will accomplish it. The more rapidly you will move toward the great success that you desire and deserve.

Action Exercises:

Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, look for ways to do nice things for other people, especially your family, friends, and customers. The more nice things you do for others, the better you feel about yourself.

Second, take time to really listen to people, especially your staff and coworkers. The more and better you listen to others, the greater is your influence over them."
~Brian Tracy

Milicki and Associates, Inc.
110 Evans Mill Drive, Suite 103, Dallas, Georgia 30157
Office: 770-874-2022 | Toll Free: 1-866-966-3022 | Fax: 770-874-2027
www.milicki.com | info@milicki.com

Friday, June 26, 2009

How to Make Your Offer Stand Out

"I get calls all the time from buyers who say they are DONE with their current agent. They tell me their current agent is not doing a good job because they have made multiple offers on homes and they have not gotten one house. I get very saddened by this only because I know from my own experience that it is tough out there right now for agents. There are so many numerous factors that are hindering the realtors and clients do not understand it.

First, people want to see a particular home. So the agent will call only to find out that the home really is not active and that it has multiple offers on it. The status really and truly should be changed to pending or back up or hold depending on the situation. I cannot tell you how many times I call only to find out a home is not available. Many times, I can leave messages for other agents and they never get back to me because they are "too busy" aren't we all. The board of realtors will be fining agents for not putting homes that truly are not active in their proper category so the other agents do not waste their time. I called on over 40 homes in Fontana the other day and one 1 was truly available.

The offer you make needs to stand out. What do I mean by stand out? Well, first you need to make sure you are working with a reputable bank...not ABC Mortgage in timbucktwo...you need to work with someone that people respect, such as a big solid bank like say for example Wells Fargo would be good. Anyone knows they are very strict with their lending. So, get a pre-approval, not a pre-qualfication letter. Also, when trying to buy a REO listing (Bank Owned) they do have you cross qualify with their lender which is normal. Many people do not understand this and get upset over it. Just do it, otherwise, your offer will not even be looked at by the bank.

Don't ask for a lot of concessions. By this I mean, don't ask for closing costs if you don't need them. That will net less to the bank and someone may outbid you on a property. If at all possible make your best offer. I always run comparables for my clients so they are not over paying. One thing many people think is if they are the highest and best offer out there they certainly will get the house. Not necessarily if it is over the appraised value the bank won't allow the sale to go to you. They know the market and know what the home should sell for, they want to get the closest to that they can. So, make sure you know what the house is worth and don't overbid.

The type of financing really matters to the banks these days for an REO listing or (Bank Owned). Cash is best, but most people don't have all cash. Conventional financing is best over FHA/VA loans. However, it is what it is and just keep trying. The inventory has been down therefore, homes are getting multiple offers. You want to get over to see a house as soon as it is listed and make an offer right away, don't wait or it will be gone.

Don't blame your agent if he/she writes up your offer how YOU wanted it. Remember, your agent represents you and you need to make sure you are happy with it before it is submitted. It is not totally an agents fault, we must take responsibility for our own actions and not be so tough on the agents. It is hard to get a house accepted with you are competing with so many other offers. You need to figure out what you can live with and not ask for on a home to make your offer stand out. And, you need to ask yourself how much you are ready to pay. See the comparables that your agent should provide you, and if they don't ask to see them.

Keep your offer as simple as possible and make sure it nets the bank or seller the highest amount possible and that should help you have a stronger offer."
~ Joan Patterson

Milicki and Associates
110 Evans Mill Drive, Suite 103, Dallas, Georgia 30157
Office: 770-874-2022 | Fax: 770-874-2027

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

FREE First-Time Homebuyers Workshop

"Senator Isakson to Host Workshop for First-Time Homebuyers

Saturday, June 29, 2009 - Gwinnett Technical College

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson welcomes you to a free workshop for first-time homebuyers, offering information about homeownership opportunities. Government agencies will be on hand to offer advice and answer questions. The workshop will take place THIS Saturday, June 27, 2009, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at Gwinnett Technical College, located at 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043.

Please RSVP by Thursday, June 25, 2009:
Email rsvp@isakson.senate.gov
or phone (770) 661 661-0999." ~ Georgia Association of REALTORS®

Milicki and Associates
110 Evans Mill Drive, Suite 103, Dallas, Georgia 30157

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Home + Children = Childproofing is a Must!

So, you have bought your home and moved everything in. Now what? "It's time to make sure your home is safe for your child. Unintentional injury is the number one cause of fatalities in children in the US.

You'll find all kinds of gadgets for sale that can really help your home childproofing efforts. Or, if you can afford it, you can hire a professional childproofer to choose and install safety devices for you. But, keep in mind, gadgets are NO substitute for your eyes and ears! Prevention is crucial - Here are some recommended steps to childproof your home.


1. Install safety latches on all cabinets and drawers, plus locking latches on all appliances that open and close. Stow away cleaning products, medications, vitamins, knives, etc.
2. Use stove back burners, and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Use stove knob covers and stove guards, including oven locks. Some newer dishwashers have built-in child locks, too.
3. Keep appliances and kitchenware out of reach and away from the edge of counters.
4. Put visual reminders around - look for "Mr. Yuk" stickers, or make your own!!
5. Use up-to-the-minute, new safety caps for all outlets, all around the house, and unplug all appliances when not in use.
6. Make sure plastic garbage and sandwich bags are kept out of reach.


1. Use safety latches where needed.
2. Use toilet locks to keep lids closed, and children out!
3. Install anti-scalding devices on faucets and showerheads (set water temperature to 120 degrees).
4. Unplug hairdryers and electric razors after use
5. Use child-proof caps for all medications, and keep them out of reach of children
6. Make sure any bathroom (or area) rugs have non-slip pads. Also make sure bathtubs are slip-proof.

Garage and yard
1. Test garage doors to make sure they reverse automatically when they come in contact with anything.
2. Repair any loose bricks or walkways.
3. Keep gardening tools and hoses stored properly.
4. Make sure pools have proper fencing, preferably around their perimeter
5. Install safety netting around balconys and decks.

Around the house
1. Install safety gates at the top and bottom of all staircases
2. Use doorknob covers, and corner and edge bumpers on furniture
3. Make sure furniture, including cribs, is placed away from windows.
4. One cause of in-home accidents is when children pull tv's or furniture down - make sure cords are hidden .... prevent furniture from tipping by securing with brackets. Keep dresser drawers closed - they make perfect ladders!
5. Keep recliner chairs in the closed position
6. Post emergency information (phone numbers for police, fire, md's and poison control, etc.) next to all phones. The phone number for the National Poison Control Center is (800) 222-1222.
7. Make sure window blinds don't have looped cords as these can be strangulation hazards. Secure windows and doors (low windows shouldn't open more than 4 inches).
8. Remove or place special hinges on free-falling lids from toy chests or hampers.
9. Some plants can be poisonous - make sure yours aren't!
10. Keep children away from exercise equipment, and unplug when not in use.
11. Keep an eye out for small objects that your child could choke on (paper clips, beads, buttons, coins, etc.).
12. Be sure to install smoke detectors on each floor in your home and carbon monoxide detectors, too (they should be within 10 feet of all bedrooms).

Remember that childproofing your home can never be 100% effective against injury. That's why it is so important to supervise children at all times. I hope these suggestions and checklist will help make your home a safer haven for all your children and visitors!" ~ Debbie Rose, Linvingston, NJ

Milicki and Associates
110 Evans Mill Drive, Suite 103, Dallas, Georgia 30157
Office: 770-874-2022 | Fax: 770-874-2027

ATTN GA Agents: New Regulations to Effect Your Closings!!! PLEASE READ!

There are new federal regulations that WILL DEFINITELY impacts your closings starting 7/30/09. These regulations, HVCC and HERA -HOEPA, are designed to protect consumers by making them more informed about their home loan choices. A few highlights:

-HVCC: Requires that all consumers receive a copy of their appraisal no less than 3 days prior to their closing; therefore, closings should not be scheduled for at least 10 days AFTER the lender receive the appraisal to allow sufficient time to underwrite the appraisal, to mail the appraisal, and to provide 3 days for consumer review.

1. The EARLIEST a consumer can close their home loan is 7 business days AFTER receipt of initial disclosures. Disclosures are not sent to the consumer until after we receive the initial loan decision. (Encourage your clients to get a preapproval as soon as they start the home buying process!)

2. Lenders are now required to issue a Truth-In-Lending (TIL) Disclosure at least 3 business days prior to closing. If the actual APR at closing is .125% more or less than the APR in the initial TIL, lenders will need to re-disclose a new TIL and the closing will have to be rescheduled for 4 business days later (this will SIGNIFICANTLY impact the ability of Mortgage Brokers to meet your closing deadlines!)

There are several other changes under HERA-HOEPA which can impact your closings. Without going into much detail, I would suggest following these guidelines to insure a positive client experience:
1. Encourage your clients to get a real pre-approval at the beginning of the home buying process - make sure that the lender reviews these federal guidelines with them at that time.

2. Identify the closing attorney as soon as the contract is written and obtain their fee sheet as their fees can have an impact on the APR.

3. DO NOT schedule a closing date until at least 30 days after the contract is executed to avoid missed closings.

Anita C. Young, Broker
Milicki and Associates
110 Evans Mill Drive, Suite 103, Dallas, Georgia 30157
Office: 770-874-2022 | Fax: 770-874-2027

Friday, June 19, 2009

Spring Fling 2009 - What a Success!

Fun was had. Giveaways were won. Champagne was given. Food was eaten. We came. We conquered.

Yesterday, we hosted our first Spring Fling company event. Located at Lost Mountain Park, the attendance was great. Agents, office staff, and their spouses and children were present – as well as a few of the sponsors of the event, including Jabar Dozier from American Family Insurance, Brad Hartman from Cornerstone Mortgage Group, and Steven Smith from Colonial Bank.

As promised, we had many FANTASTIC giveaways. To see what you missed out on, here is a list of the giveaways and winners:

Milicki and Associates sign pack - Vanessa Williams

Milicki and Associates polo shirt - Rhonda Sosebee

$10 printing credit in the office - Nick Guerrero

$10 printing credit in the office - Phyllis Sands

$10 printing credit in the office - Brad Hartman

5 Milicki and Associates folders - Ebony

5 Milicki and Associates folders - Bonnie Smith

5 Milicki and Associates folders - Frank Milicki

Stars and Strikes gift card set - Mallory (Steve’s Daughter)

Stars and Strikes gift card set - Austin (Anita’s Son)

Stars and Strikes gift card set - Joy (Phyllis’s Daughter)

Stars and Strikes gift card set - Jabar Dozier

Stars and Strikes gift card set - Dominque

Panera Bread gift card - Steve and Kathy Milicki

Panera Bread gift card - Victoria (Bonnie’s Daughter)

Panera Bread gift card - Nanette Stewart

Chili’s gift card - Michael Stewart

If you really missed out on the event, no worries!!! We will be having another company event later this year.

We have pictures and videos of the event. The pictures are already up on Facebook and MySpace. If you do not have a profile on either of these websites, you need one. Until you can get a profile on these websites, you can view the pictures here: