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Leadership DeKalb Serves Community via Important Leadership Programs

Recognized for his achievements as a homebuilder as well as a philanthropist, Stephen F. Been has sponsored numerous civic organizations and charities in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. As part of his extensive philanthropic work in the area, Stephen F. Been has donated to Leadership DeKalb, a regional group that supports community development, outreach, and education through several important programs.

Founded in 1986 by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, Leadership DeKalb assumed its present status as an independent nonprofit eight years later. Today, Leadership DeKalb hosts a 10-month leadership development program for professionals in the region, which covers a range of important issues in diversity, public education, government, economics, transportation, healthcare, and more. In 2013, more than 50 people graduated from the program, and over 1,000 have completed the program since the organization’s inception. In addition, Leadership DeKalb offers the Youth Leadership DeKalb program, through which high school sophomores and juniors learn about some of the most important issues facing the community and how they can make a positive impact on their community in their lives and careers.

Visit to learn more or to get involved with this community organization.



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Home Building Moves Toward Smart, Green Construction By Stephen F. Been

The explosion in smart technology in telecommunications and other sectors will continue to find their way into the construction industry over the next several years. Mobile technology will affect nearly every room and activity in the home, including the way that people monitor their lights and electricity, temperature, and even showering preferences.

Technology already exists to allow homeowners to monitor and adjust the temperature in their homes from anywhere in the world. Other products provide energy-efficient ventilation control that detects changes in motion and humidity throughout the day.

In addition to smart technology, the trend toward green construction practices continues to build steam. Of the many up-and-coming construction products on the market, most contain eco-friendly or recycled material. Improvements are also being made in the aesthetic appeal of these materials, which makes them attractive to both builders and consumers.

About Stephen F. Been:

Stephen F. Been is the CEO of the real estate construction and development firm Legacy Communities. Mr. Been was named Homebuilder of the Year by Professional Builder Magazine in 2009.

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Atlanta Housing Market Shows Signs of Improvement By Stephen F. Been

The housing supply in the Atlanta, Georgia, metropolitan area stands at a 12-year low, according to recent studies of the real estate market for the region. The market now has just five months of inventory, lower even than the housing-boom years of 2005 and 2006. At that time, the region maintained roughly six to seven months of housing inventory.

At the worst point in the current downturn, the inventory for detached housing stood at 14 months. Condos showed an even larger inventory, with a 17-month supply. The current change reflects a general sense that the real estate market has begun to stabilize, industry watchers agree. Signs of stabilization include a steady increase in demand for housing over the last 15 months, as well as an increase in the number of housing permits.

Some experts believe that the so-called first-ring suburbs, closer into the central city, represent good investment opportunities at this time. The areas contain homes built about 50 years ago, making them good prospects for purchase, renovation, and resale.

About Stephen F. Been:

In 2009, Stephen F. Been was named Homebuilder of the Year by Professional Builder Magazine. Mr. Been currently serves as the CEO of Legacy Communities, a real estate development and construction firm in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Stephen F. Been: About Leadership DeKalb

Established in 1986, Leadership DeKalb is the brainchild of a diverse group of DeKalb County’s leaders, including educators, elected officials, CEOs, entrepreneurs, judges, volunteers, and leaders of nonprofit organizations.

New members representing a cross-section of the community are nominated annually. Approximately 50 to 55 are selected to participate in a training program that presents information on a range of issues facing the community, such as quality of life, health, government, and education. On completion of the training program, members join with a network of more than 900 other Leadership DeKalb members.

Leadership DeKalb also sponsors Youth Leadership DeKalb, designed to promote leadership skills for tomorrow’s leaders. Youth members meet with adult Leadership DeKalb graduates, participate in an overnight retreat, and attend monthly classes regarding subjects such as healthy living, responsibility, finance, healthy relationships, business etiquette, and juvenile justice.

Leadership DeKalb is a nonprofit organization, and donations – corporate, individual, or in-kind—are tax-deductible.

As CEO of Legacy Communities Real Estate Development and Construction, Stephen F. Been is a major corporate sponsor of Youth Leadership DeKalb. Mr. Been is also a multi-year sponsor of Leadership DeKalb’s Golf Classic fundraiser, held at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club.

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Stephen F. Been’s Contributions to the Frank Ski Annual Youth Bowl

Involved in Atlanta-area real estate development since the early 1990s, Stephen F. Been heads Legacy Communities, LLC. Maintaining close ties to the local community, Been supports a number of nonprofit foundations and initiatives, including the Henry County YMCA Foundation, the Mayor’s Next Step Program, and the Frank Ski Kids Foundation (FSKF). His support for FSKF has totaled $750,000 over the course of several years.

The Frank Ski Kids Foundation was established by Atlanta television and radio personality Frank Ski as a way of providing youth with hands-on opportunities for personal development and achievement. The foundation’s community activities notably encompass athletics, science, technology, and the arts.

One of the most prominent FSKF events is the Frank Ski Annual Youth Bowl. Children who participate in their local parks and recreation football programs can earn a chance to play on one of the four Youth Bowl teams. Stephen F. Been and Legacy Communities have not only helped to host the event but also provided the trophies for the teams and for the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.


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Stephen F. Been on First-time Home Buying

Based in Atlanta, Stephen F. Been has served as Legacy Communities’ Chief Executive Officer for nearly a decade. An astute leader, Stephen F. Been assisted his housing development firm in successfully weathering the housing market’s financial challenges of the last few years.

While housing prices have declined significantly since 2007, demand has not kept pace with the increased inventory. One sector that has shown some signs of life is that of first-time home buyers. This may be attributable to the federal government’s $8,000 tax credit for new buyers. Even though this credit expired in 2010, now remains a good time for individuals considering buying their first home to take advantage of favorable prices. The following suggestions may be helpful to those new to the market:

1. Check with family members for assistance with the down payment. The federal government allows individuals to give as much as $13,000 tax free to one person in a year. Relatives who wish to receive the money back can work with borrowers to document such loans formally.

2. Research loan opportunities from the Federal Housing Administration. This agency often provides notes at lower rates and for smaller down payments to qualifying individuals.

3. Exercise caution in obtaining a mortgage. While online lenders may promise very low interest rates, such deals may come with conditions. It may also help to check with state agencies to verify that such lenders remain in good standing.

4. Consider the total cost of home ownership. Buying a property includes costs aside from a mortgage, such as homeowner’s insurance, maintenance, utilities, and community dues.

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