Friday, April 29 2011
We consider Atlas Van Lines a local company here in Evansville Indiana. Even though this is true, Atlas Van Lines has worldwide contacts and offices throughout the United States and in other countries. Atlas therefore has a direct pulse to the market place and is in a very good position to make predictions on corporate as well as personal relocations. The report below will highlight the advances in the relocation market. -RT
Relocation managers across the U.S. are expressing optimism that the worst of the recession is now in the rearview mirror, according to a survey.
Responding to Atlas Van Lines' 44th annual Corporate Relocation Survey, 72 percent of the relocation managers polled say they believe their respective companies will fare better in 2011. The optimism rate among large firms surveyed jumps to 80 percent.
Data from the survey indicated that:
• Fifty-four percent of executives surveyed believe the U.S. economy will improve in 2011-the highest rate of such optimism recorded since 2006.
• Thirty percent of companies plan to relocate workers this year, the highest percentage in six years.
• Eighty-seven percent of companies will spend as much or more on relocation in 2011 as in 2010, the most since 2007.
The Midwest is now the top destination of transfers (37 percent) followed by the Northeast (31 percent), the South (28 percent) and West (20 percent). Thirty-two percent of companies say they increased the number of international relocations in 2010, with 28 percent predicting another increase in 2011.
According to Griffin, the Atlas survey has revealed trends in how corporations are moving existing employees or newly-hired staff. He said, it shows where the economy has been and where it’s headed and the view looks better than it did one year ago. The effect of economic/market pressures on entry level/new hire and middle management relocations appear to be lessening.
In 2008 and 2009, roughly 40 percent of companies say these pressures decreased relocations in these job sectors. In 2010 that percentage dropped to just above 25 percent.
Seventy-eight percent say the economy or real estate markets are the most important factors affecting relocations. While employers may be more optimistic about the economy, many of their workers remain cautious and somewhat apprehensive. Fifty-nine percent of firms say they had employees decline relocations in 2010; the third highest level in several years. Among large companies, the rate jumps to 87 percent. Three of every four companies surveyed say the number of employees declining relocation in 2010 stayed about the same as 2009, reflecting little change in workers' attitudes toward moving.
Sixty-nine percent of employees who wouldn’t move cited housing and mortgage concerns, 55 percent cited family issues and ties, and 41 percent cited their spouse’s or partner’s employment.
Twenty-seven percent of companies surveyed say that declining a relocation request usually hinders an employee's career.
2011 Survey fast facts
• Eighty-four percent of firms have a formal relocation policy.
• More than half of all relocations were new hires (53 percent).
• Employees age 36-40 remained the most frequently relocated salaried employee in 2010 (37 percent); most are male - only 19 percent of relocations involved female employees.
• Forty-five percent of relocations involved employees with children; 61 percent of those relocated were homeowners.
• Thirty-two percent of responding firms give employees just one week or less to accept a relocation offer (up 7 percent from 2010 survey).
• More than three-fourths of companies reimburse/pay to pack all items; 28 percent to move pets; 14 percent will even reimburse for moving boats.
• Among international relocations, the most frequent destination was Europe (41 percent).
Source: Atlas Van Lines http://www.talentmgt.com/industry_news/2011/April/5359/index.php
Wednesday, April 27 2011
The news coming out of the home construction industry is cautiously positive. We do not think that we have overcome all the problems and obstacles, but all indications are that new home construction rates are on the rise. The report below shows positive signs and we can only hope this trend will continue. - RT
New home construction is picking up just in time for the spring buying season, according to the latest new-home report released on Tuesday from the Commerce Department. Builders broke ground on more new homes in March than in the last six months.
Tuesday, April 26 2011
Here we have a copy of the Indiana Statewide Housing market Overview. It is important to note that real estate is local and local conditions do not necessarily follow state or nationwide conditions. We are fortunate to be in the Tristate. Our averages are running above those of both the state and the nationwide levels. One indicator we keep an eye on is the Months Supply of Inventory, at the local level, which for the year ending in March 2011 is 9.1. The Indiana State wide Months Supply of Inventory is 9.7. We will report on this again in one month time to see if there were any differences. Please feel free to contact me at: RolandoTrentini@FCTE.com if you have any questions or concerns. - RT
The Indiana Association of REALTORS® (IAR) today released its monthly “Indiana Real Estate Markets Report” as a continuation of its “Indiana is Home” project. Statewide, when comparing March 2011 to March 2010:
“As expected, the number of closed sales and the median sale price of homes are down year-over-year,” said Karl Berron, Chief Executive Officer. “It is likely we'll report larger percentage decreases in those measures next month. Neither is particularly concerning because of the April 30th federal home buyer tax credit deadline that pulled sales forward last year.”
Tuesday, April 26 2011
More Americans are heading to the South and West, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The latest census data shows the largest population growth in the last decade occurred in areas of the South and West, as Northeast and Midwest residents continued to head toward warmer and less expensive Sun Belt hot-spots.
Populations in the South and West grew 14.3 percent and 13.8 percent, respectively, from 2000 to 2010, while Northeast and Midwest areas grew by only 3.2 percent and 3.9 percent, according to the Census Bureau.
As such, the decade’s hottest housing markets also had the most rapid population growth, including Nevada (35.1 percent growth), Arizona (24.6 percent), and Florida (17.6 percent).
However, demographic factors likely will have less of an impact as it once did in the short-term in driving the housing market and prices, experts say.
Paul Bishop, vice president for research at the National Association of REALTORS®, says he expects much of the short-term housing activity to be mostly centered on low and high ends of the market, rather than driven by merely migration patterns. He says investors likely will continue to target highly discounted homes in growing Sun Belt cities as well as in shrinking Rust Belt areas. He also anticipates an increase in sales of expensive homes.
"The stock market has been doing pretty well, which benefits the wealthy," Bishop told Investor’s Business Daily. "And the wealthy can withstand bad economic times better than others."
Source: “Housing Bust Curtails Moves, Great American Migration” Investor’s Business Daily (April 14, 2011)
Monday, April 25 2011
a happy home
Did you know that a typical U.S. home emits more carbon dioxide than two average cars? Or that the average U.S. household spends $1,900 per year on utility bills? Earth Day is just around the corner, and serves as a great reminder to consider new ways to become more eco-friendly. Below, tips for your home that will benefit the earth and your wallet.
Start with heating and cooling
Heating and cooling systems drain more energy dollars than any other system in your home. Consider programmable thermostats, upgrades to current equipment, regular replacement of filters, and drawing the shades on your windows to save energy use and cost.
Check the insulation in your attic, ceilings, basement walls, floors and crawl spaces to increase the comfort of your home while reducing heating and cooling needs.
Watch your watts
Changes to your lighting are one of the most immediate ways to reduce energy costs. Use energy-efficient bulbs and consider occupancy sensors, dimmers and timers for high-use areas such as the kitchen, living room and outside.
Monitor appliance consumption
Shop for new appliances with two price tags in mind: the initial cost of the appliance itself, and what it will cost you to operate that machine over its lifetime.
Want to start conserving but don’t know where to start? Here’s a simple guide to the steps you should take to maximize energy and cost savings.
1. Find out which appliances or areas of your home use the most energy. This can be done with your utility company, or you can do an audit yourself.
2. Compare your current energy costs with your
areas of greatest energy loss. Determine your energy efficiency investment solution and how long it will take to pay off in the long term.
3. Weigh factors such as “How long will I be in my home,” “Does the work require a contractor?” and “What is my budget and how much do I have for maintenance and repair?” before developing
Learn more about smart energy conservation by visiting www.energysavers.gov
Home service agreements give you the assurance that there is someone to help at any time with problems on covered items. A HomeTrust home service agreement gives you the protection you need against breakdowns of covered appliances and major systems such as plumbing, heating, electrical and air conditioning.
Friday, April 22 2011
EVANSVILLE -- Winter and early Spring flooding is causing quite the mess along Evansville's riverfront, but clean up crews have to wait for the weather to cooperate.
The Greenway along Evansville's riverfront is a path that many take every day. Joshua Seibert lives in Evansville and says this time of year he's usually greeted with the remnants of Winter flooding. He says the riverfront is usually "sort of smelly from the stagnant water, the debris. Lot of grass down here too. Usually it's cleaned up down here, but it's been pretty nasty". Seibert says this year, the junk that's washed up seems to be worse, including tires and other junk washed up on the concrete near Casino Aztar.
The City of Evansville says that all of this mess can't be cleaned up until waters fully recede for the entire season. Executive Director of Transportation and Services for the city Ed Ziemer says his crews normally wait until April first or Mid-April to clean up because in the past they've cleaned up only to have more flooding happen.
Ziemer says once word is given that flood season is over, city crews get to work to get the riverfront back into shape. "A couple pick up trucks or dump trucks (are used) to load the logs in. We try to pick up any cans or paper or plastic bags or tires or anything like that. We pick all that stuff up. The only thing we wash back in the river is the mud itself," he explained.
Ziemer says it usually takes a crew of about ten workers to get the riverfront area cleaned up. The entire crew works for the city, so no extra funds are needed for the job.
Thursday, April 21 2011
The superintendent of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation is stepping down.
At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Vince Bertram announced he will be leaving his post as head of the EVSC. He said, "It is very difficult. It has been the most excruciating decision I've ever made."
The announcement came as a shock to many teachers and faculty at the EVSC. Keith Gambill, President of the Evansville Teacher's Association tells News 25, "We were surprised to find out that Dr. Bertram would be leaving."
Gambill praised the relationship they've forge with Bertram over the years and they hope his replacement will be just as open.
"We look forward to building a quality relationship with him as well," says Gambill.
Dr. Bertram is leaving the EVSC to become the chief executive officer of Project Lead the Way, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum program for middle and high schools.
Bertram explained, "It is in all 50 states, serving 4,000 schools and over 400,000 students." He continued, "It's not about success, it's really about doing things that are significant."
Bertram has served four years as superintendent and helped develop the district's Strategic Plan. We're told Bertram will remain as superintendent through the remainder of the school year before starting at PLTW early this summer.
During Monday's press conference, an emotional Bertram thanked the community and his family's support.
The EVSC Board of Trustees said it will begin formulating plan to hire a new superintendent.
Thursday, April 21 2011
EVANSVILLE- It can be tough having a dependant family member who has special needs. Caregivers often get overwhelmed and need support. Jacob's Village has been providing adults with disabilities alternative living arrangements since October 2004.
The organization is funded through private donations and fees from people living there.
Currently, six people are calling Jacob's Village home. The facility has caregivers 24-hours a day, nature trails, a gazebo area, and a variety of activities. Jacob's Village offers services to families who are looking for alternative living options or a place for loved ones to go if a caretaker wants to get away for a weekend.
The organization plans to expand in May by building more housing units. Starting in the fall, it will offer services to senior citizen who can't live on there own.
Jacob's Village President Cheryl Kuchna says, "Initially we were focused on people with disabilities and we've learned about what needs there are in the community around us. It does appear that good, affordable, accessible housing options are in short supply, especially for seniors and people with disabilities, so we are kind of evolving our mission to provide additional housing choices right here in this neighborhood."
Jacob's Village has its biggest fundraiser on May 13th. The Otters baseball team hosts a game and all proceeds go to the organization.
Wednesday, April 20 2011
Apartment bargains once dominated the housing market, but those bargains have slowly faded away. As vacancies decrease and rents rise, renters are finding fewer deals.
Analysts expect vacancies to decrease even more and rents to continue to rise through 2013, as the economy continues to improve.
Rental activity recorded its best start for the year since 1999, according to Reis Inc. Vacancy rates have fallen to mid-2008 levels and rents have increased for the past five quarters, now averaging $991 per month nationwide.
Renters are finding the fewest deals along the coasts, such as New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and San Jose, Calif. These cities are experiencing low vacancy rates. Also, a boost in these cities’ economies is sending rents higher. New York City alone has seen double rent increases compared to the national average and has the lowest vacancy rate in the nation.
The best rental deals can be found in Las Vegas, Tucson, Ariz., Phoenix, and several cities in Florida--all cities where unemployment and foreclosures remain high. According to Reis, Las Vegas was the only city to see rents fall last year.
However, analysts say that bargains across the country are getting fewer, and renters should expect to see an increase in rents over the next three years.
View the Top 6 Cities Where Buying Is Better Than Renting.
Source: “Rental Market Swings Back in Favor of Landlords,” MSNBC.com (April 12, 2011)
Tuesday, April 19 2011
SPENCER CO., IN - Holiday World & Splashin' Safari will get some national airtime this summer. The park will be featured on the Travel Channel reality show, "Bert the Conqueror."
The show's host, Bert Kreischer, is described as an "everyman" who travels the country, conquering extreme rides, sports and unusual competitions.
Bert will visit Holiday World & Splashin' Safari on May 6 and 7 to try and "conquer" The Voyage roller coaster and Wildebeest water coaster, each voted the world's top rides of their kind. Park President Dan Koch said his mother is also planning an extra challenge for Bert.
"We hear that Bert hollers like a little girl on roller coasters," says park president Dan Koch. "I hope that means he'll drown out my screams."
The show's producers said Holiday World was the most demanded venue for Bert to feature in his show's second season.
You can join Bert as he tries to conquer the rides. Holiday World is conducting "open auditions" by video and email through April 20. In a one minute video or 175 word email, families are asked to explain why they should be picked to ride along with Bert. Contest rules can be found at http://HolidayWorld.com/HoliBlog.
"Bert the Conqueror" airs Sunday evenings on the Travel Channel. The Holiday World episode is expected to air this summer.
Monday, April 18 2011
Vacation homes are offering plenty of good deals at the moment. In many second-home hot spots, prices are still close to five-year lows. For example, single-home prices in second-home hotspot Napa, Calif., are down 47 percent from their peak in 2006, according to Fiserv.
Friday, April 15 2011
It's a sign of the season: outdoor home improvement scams. Police say as the temps warm up, the fraud cases pile up.
False promises cost an Evansville woman thousands after she agreed to hand over checks to a local contractor.
Door-to-door scams often begin with a stranger knocking at your front door, but not this time.
Instead, Dorothy Elzer says it was a familiar face. "Seems like I had known him," said the 86-year-old woman. Elzer says she had seen the contractor around her neighborhood doing work for others.
He pointed out a roofing problem. "Well, he said if I didn't get it fixed it would be leaking."
She was sold and agreed to hire the apparent handyman to repair her roof. Elzer says she can't write as well as she used to, so she handed over several blank checks to pay for the supplies and labor.
They negotiated a price, but it wasn't the $6,000 now missing out of her account.
Elzer says was never given any receipts detailing the completed work or supplies purchased. Evansville Police officers are now working this as a theft and home improvement fraud case.
"Some checks had been written for roofing that was never performed for the house," says Karen Kajmowicz, EPD Public Information Officer.
She says investigators have a person of interest they're looking for, but aren't identifying any names just yet. Police reports list Thrifty Roofing & Construction as the listed company.
"We're working on a few different leads so there's a possibility we'll be able to find out who this was," Kajmowicz says.
NEWS 25 contacted Thrifty Roofing. The phone line appears to be disconnected.
Police caution everyone to ask for references before agreeing to any door-to-door salesman work.
Thursday, April 14 2011
NOTICE TO MY READERS:
My blog submissions are being copied and reproduced without my permission. This blog entry is just to see from which of my blog sites they are being copied.
My apologies for any inconvenience and I will make sure that this blog will be deleted momentarily.
Thursday, April 14 2011
The Evansville Parks and Recreation Department is working to repair all the city pools so they open on time this year.
So far Lorraine pool has received the most repairs. Last summer there was a problem with the infrastructure and piping when the lining was put into place. Now, contractors have identified 14 leaks and are working to fix those. Once that is done, a new liner will be put in place, costing more than $37,000.
In three weeks, the parks department will start prepping by draining, power washing, filling and chlorinating the pools. Garvin pool will take the most work to open, because it's the only city pool with a fiberglass liner.
Agency Director Dan Schall says, "that is our goal every year to get the pools up and running. You don't know your major problems until you pressurize the system with water, by looking at a pool it might look great cosmetically, but once you pressurize it that's when your true issues start to arise."
Hartke pool will open the weekend before Memorial Day and the rest of the pools will open the first Tuesday in June.
Wednesday, April 13 2011
If you remember the Market Watch I sent in December, I made several specific predictions about how our local real estate market would perform the first several months of this year compared to last year. Those predictions have been accurate to-date but what is probably more telling is how we are doing compared to 2009. As I have mentioned before the homebuyer tax credits in the first half of last year distorted sales. There were no homebuyer tax credits in the first half of 2009. Closed sales in the first three months of 2011 were up 11.7% in units and up 18% in total sales dollars compared to the corresponding period in 2009. The local housing market has improved and will continue to get better.
The number of active listings on the market continues to stay at historically low levels. Housing affordability which is influenced primarily by the price of homes and interest rates is at historically high levels. If you are thinking about buying, waiting will inevitably mean you pay more for your home, either in terms of price, interest rates or both. If you are thinking about selling, it is better to get your house on the market now before inventory levels begin to rise.
If you are selling your home, it is important to understand that buyer behavior has changed significantly in the past few years. Now virtually all buyers look at homes online before physically visiting a house. In other words showings happen online. Today the number of times a home is viewed online is as, or more important than the number of physical showings and is a better barometer of buyer interest. Seller reporting at FCTuckeremge.com provides sellers a realistic picture of marketing activity. This tool allows you to know when and how often potential buyers are looking at your home online. Call me if you have additional questions about this valuable program.
Let me know if I can help you with any of your real estate needs and please enjoy the beautiful spring weather that has finally arrived. You can reach me at 812-499-9234 or Kathy at 812-499-0246.
Wednesday, April 13 2011
Tuesday, April 12 2011
A potential $39 billion merger between two of the nation’s largest wireless carriers--AT&T and T-Mobile--could lead to higher cell phone bills, according to some experts.
Here are some cost-cutting measures to consider making now:
1. Use a family plan. You may want to find some “family” to add to your smartphone plan to start trimming your bill. AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, as well as other carriers offer family plans that aren’t just limited to those in your family. You can essentially add anyone to your “family” and still take advantage of the savings. Here’s the potential savings by bulking your plan: AT&T smartphone individual plans (which include voice, unlimited messaging and data) start at about $75 per month. A family plan that covers three users for similar features costs $145 a month--about $48 per person. A family of five? The monthly cost is $40 per person.
2. Trade in old phones. Don’t just dump your old cell phone in a drawer. Web sites such as GreenPhone.com and CellTradeUSA will let you trade your old phone for a new one. While you may have to pay a small upgrade cost, you’ll still save in having to buy new.
3. See if you qualify for a discount. Check to see if you qualify for a discounted cell phone plan if you’re a member of a national group such as AAA and AARP. Also, some wireless carriers even offer business discounts that you can apply toward your personal plan.
4. Free texting and video calls. You can curb your texting fees by using smartphone apps. For iPhone users, try Textfree With Voice; Android users might try chompSMS. (Note: These services only work with other smartphone owners who have the app.) You can also save by using video calls: iPhone users can save on calling minutes by using FaceTime video calling, and Android and iPhone users can video chat for free and also save on calling minutes by using Skype.
Source: “Here Are Smart Ways to Cut Cellphone Bill,” Orlando Sentinel (April 3, 2011)
Monday, April 11 2011
Friday, April 08 2011
Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel announced today that Heavy Trash Pick-up will begin on Monday, April 11, and is scheduled to run through Monday, June 13. This semi-annual curbside service is available to City residents who pay for trash service with their water bill, including newly-annexed areas. Apartment complexes, mobile home communities and business/commercial customers are not eligible.
To help keep crews on schedule and prevent heavy trash from sitting out on the curb any longer than necessary, the Evansville Water & Sewer Utility and Allied Waste analyzed collection volume data from past years before setting this spring’s heavy trash collection schedule. The number of days allocated for collection in each specific area has been determined based on the volume of heavy trash set out in the past and the number of days required to collect it.
The collection schedule and area maps are available on the City’s GIS website – www.evansvillegis.com – by clicking “Heavy Trash Pickup Dates” on the right.
Heavy trash must be placed in manageable, organized piles where normal weekly trash is collected before 6:00 a.m. on the first day collection is scheduled in an area.
Items that will be collected include:
Items that will NOT be collected include:
Heavy trash that does not meet these requirements will not be picked up. If a customer has put their heavy trash out according to the requirements above yet feels they were missed, they can call Allied Waste at 424-3345 within two days to report a possible missed pick-up.
Note that many items not collected through the City’s heavy trash pick-up can be properly disposed of through programs offered by the Solid Waste District, including:
Additional information about these programs is available in the Solid Waste District’s section of the City Website (www.evansvillegov.org/Index.aspx?page=50) or by calling 436-7800.
Friday, April 08 2011
For the second time in three months there is a proud new mama monkey at Mesker Park Zoo.
A Francois' Langur (FRANZ-wah LANG-ur) monkey gave birth to a female on February 8th, but the baby was just put on display.
Another feamle gave birth to a male baby in November.
Francois' Langur Monkeys are leaf-eating monkeys native to Vietnam, Laos, and China.
They usually sleep in caves, and the babies have bright orange fur that turns brown as they mature.
There are only 73 Francois Langur Monkeys in captivity in the U.S., eight of those are in Evansville.
Thursday, April 07 2011
More investors are finding a sweet spot in flipping foreclosures, but it’s not the same type of house flipping seen during the real estate boom.
Tuesday, April 05 2011
The Kunkel Group is well-known for its projects with the city and it is ready to begin the next phase for the massive manufacturing plant.
Monday, April 04 2011
The Solid Waste District conducts tire recycling programs each year in the spring and fall for the residents of Vanderburgh County.
These programs provide an environmentally proper method of disposal of used tires so that they are kept out of the landfill and are not illegally dumped.
There is a $1 per tire fee for car & light truck tires. Semi tires are $10 and tractor tires are $25. Tires from businesses are not accepted.
The District accepts an unlimited number of tires free of charge from neighborhood associations and other civic groups who collect unwanted tires from alleys, roadsides and ditches.
2011 PROGRAMS Civic Center Parking Lot 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Friday, April 01 2011
The do-it-yourself home improvement market has faced a 21 percent drop from 2005-2010, according to the latest research from market researcher Mintel. Yet, that’s not due to lack of will on home owner's part, but more about lack of money, according to the survey.