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?