Ann Arbor, MI Real Estate News

By Chris Glahn
(Keller Williams Realty)
If you are looking for a fun night out with your significant other, try the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase for many laughs. I have been going there with my partner Lorrie Shaw for years and we love it. The two biggest things that we like about it, is that the early show (8:00pm, usually) is non-smoking and it's a pretty inexpensive night out on the town. Plus, if you buy your tickets in advance you can save a few dollars. Each show usually has 2 or 3 local comedians to open the night, then a headliner - all very funny! AACS is located at 314 East Liberty in Ann Arbor. Above the comedy club is Seva, a restaurant specializing in fresh, vegetarian and vegan fare. There you have it - dinner and a show. Just a short drive from Chelsea, Dexter or Ypsilanti! Laughter can always be the best cure for...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
It is hard to believe that January is already behind us and although there will be six more weeks of winter, we can all feel change in the air. Ann Arbor is an amazing place to be, there is so much diversity in the culture, restaurants, arts and entertainment.  Looking for something fun to do this month with your sweetheart?  Below, find highlights for a few of the events that I found interesting for the month of February. Try something new and exciting, then let me know how it was! ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1/23/2009 - 3/28/2009 MAMBO ITALIANO - ITALIAN BREADS BAKING CLASS WITH ZINGERMANS Did you know you can travel from Puglia to Genoa to Sicily without leaving Ann Arbor? In Mambo Italiano, we’ll take yo...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
If you are interested in searching for homes via the Ann Arbor Area Board's Multiple Listing Service in Washtenaw County, click here! This helpful tool allows you to search for waterfront property, commercial property, condominiums, and land! You can use the following keywords to search for your desired properties: Map Search| County/City | Address/Zip Area | School District | Body of Water Additional Search Options Include: Single Family Homes | Condo/Townhomes | Multi-Family Homes | Listing Status | House Style | Lots/Acreage | Commercial | Fireplace | Garage | Waterfront | Lakefront | Pool | Basement You can also create favorites and save your property searches! The MLS search tool is a great help to anyone searching for homes on the market! In the Real Estate market, there is a nat...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
The Whole Foods market in Ann Arbor at Cranbrook is one of my favorite places to shop! I just love the fresh meat and fish market, along with the baked goods that are out of this world. Recently I found out you can sample a glass of wine at the wine bar and then do your shopping, kind of fun to meet your sweetie there on Friday evening for weekend shopping with a glass of wine in hand. I just adore all the fresh flowers and fruit as well. This store is located at 990 W. Eisenhower Parkway on the Northeast corner of Ann Arbor's Saline Road in the Cranbrook Village shopping center. They offer several shopper benefits and events that you may not know about! Take a look: Whole Kids Club, just for kids ages 3-12Memberships is free - kids get a punch card (punched on Wednesdays) enabling them...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
In our Ann Arbor real estate market, we provide our clients with the very best service during and after the transaction.  We partner with Newcomers Welcome Service who specialize in helping recent arrivals feel right at home.  Get to know the area’s finest restaurants, shops, and services with free Welcome Packets that these ladies personally deliver.  They have been making our clients feel at home and have been around since 1960.  You can get more info at www.a2newcomersws.com.  They service Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Plymouth, Saline, and Ypsilanti, Michigan.  Terry Reuer explains what she does for our Ann Arbor home buyers in the video below.   Kathy Toth and Team www.KathyToth.com Keller Williams Realty
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Although the news to follow might seem distressing and the idea of purchasing an Ann Arbor MI home may make you very nervous in this market, keep in mind that it may just be the perfect time to buy. Interest rates are at all time lows and it's certainly a buyer's market.Recently the CoStar Group, a commercial real estate information company, performed its first analysis of delinquent and distressed properties in the CMBS (Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities) market. What's a CMBS Loan? According to Wells Fargo, "Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities are a collection of single mortgage loans brought together into one “securitized” pool, then transferred to a trust. The trust issues a series of bonds that are sold to investors. Pooling the loans allows bond investors access to risk/rewa...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Every day it is important to be thankful and grateful for what we have or what is coming our way.  This is a diversion from the Ann Arbor Real Estate market and a super way to share in one of life's great triumphs.  During times like this it's more important than ever to reflect on the simple things in life that make us happy and bring us together as humans beings.  To surpass our fears and prosper despite the obstacles.  Perhaps stopping our busy commercialized lives for just a few minutes each day to savor those things we may have overlooked, those simple traits of pure human nature that bring us joy. While the following story may be "off the beaten path" by way of Rochester, NY - it's an inspiring example of such joyful human nature.  Please take a minute to watch this video. I admit...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
The Ann Arbor Real Estate Podcast and $7500 Buyer Credit Update . January 2009 This month’s edition covers Ann Arbor real estate market activity and then we'll discuss recent market trends and strategies for getting the best loan possible. The economic Stimulus Bills in the House and Senate were marked up yesterday to delete the repayment provisions of the First Time Buyer Credit! This makes it a $7,500 gift from Uncle Sam! Based on some calculations I ran yesterday, this means that using FHA financing, Uncle Sam covers the entire down payment on homes up to $215,000! The Senate bill also extends the termination date out until September, 2009. Find out more at our Buyer Seminar Feb 10th. We look forward to helping more of our first time Buyers close and take advantage of this. Please ca...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
A study funded by the Horticultural Research Institute and performed by Clemson University Professor Mark Henry, shows a positive correlation between home sales price and excellent landscaping! 200 home sales were analyzed showing a positive link between the quality of a home’s landscaping and the home sale price received. Properties with an excellent landscape rating showed a sales price 6-7% higher than comparable properties with "good" landscaping. Homes with "good" landscapes realized 4-5% higher sales prices than those homes with "average" landscapes. While individual benefits like increased aesthetics were shown to not increase property values directly, benefits were realized at the time the property was sold. Following are a few value benefits to landscaping your Ann Arbor home: ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Our energy conscious city, Ann Arbor, just got a big nod from the national net on ElectricTV.net! ElectricTV is a joint production of the National Electrical Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. This web TV program reports on the latest and greatest developments in the electrical construction and information systems industries. Ann Arbor recently embarked on a journey to reduce power consumption - saving the environment and its pocketbook. They employed the latest in LED technology to light the streets and reduce consumption across the board. Every year precious taxpayer dollars are spent to upkeep community services such as street lighting. Ann Arbor was spending about $1.4 million a year to keep the city streets illuminated. After the initia...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
If you are interested in buying your first Ann Arbor home, don't allow myths to dissuade you from trying. The truth is that with home prices STABILIZING, it's a little LESS difficult for the first-time homeowner. However, with so many options available, that doesn't mean you can't qualify for a mortgage loan. You just need to know what to plan for and what questions to ask. Studies show that many potential homeowners believe they can't buy a house when in fact, there is strong possibility that they can. Close to 15% of people living in the United States state they would like to buy a home within the next few years but believe from a financial perspective, they won't be able to. Another 10% state they can afford a home but for other reasons, probably won't buy for a while. Here are some ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Lackluster US housing is contributing to the recession as well as a rising number of foreclosures as pictured below. For me, and my Ann Arbor Real Estate team this is a challenging time. Because we are seeing many good folks who have become victims of this crisis, we have shifted our resources to help others avoid foreclosure and provide options. Diana Holding, listing partner, just received the blank designation. We have a division to help Ann Arbor homes sellers. I would say that so far in January two thirds to 75% of our seller calls are eligible for short sales. The real heart ache is when they call us too late or they are one month away from losing the house. Hardships happen; job loss, medical bills, change of marital state, adjustable rates adjust making payments impossible, and ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Many people are starting to think about sending your child off to college in the fall, which comes with many stresses. One of the largest is what to do about housing. In Ann Arbor, student housing can range from $500 to $1,000+ a month for an apartment rental. This is just for the living space, utilities and other amenities handily increase the expense. This begs the question - is purchasing Ann Arbor real estate money better spent. A recent study by Cyberhomes.com ranked Ann Arbor as the third BEST place among those it catalogued nationwide to buy a single family home versus rent similar lodging. The example compared a $1,235 (including taxes) mortgage to a $1,605 rent for a similar sized unit. Kiddie Condos are not for everyone, you should weigh the cost/benefit analysis as it relates...
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By Marian Gregor-Ann, Arbor area Real Estate
(Keller Williams)
An American Opera The Greatest Pet Rescue Ever! That's the subtitle to Tom McPhee's documentary, An American Opera, which will be presented at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Thursday, January 29 at 8 p.m.  This is an emotionally moving film about the official and unofficial efforts to save the pets of New Orleans after Katrina.McPhee was watching the drama unfold on the news at home in Michigan. This was a story of a lifetime. He knew that he had to immediately go  down to New Orleans with his cameras to document what was happening.  He didn't have any  particular expectations or agenda.  Once there McPhee discovered that it was mandated that people be evacuated out of New Orleans without their beloved animals.  But what would happen to the animals?  Documenting the rescue...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
I graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1981 with a Masters in Business Administration. I keep in touch through alumni and go to a couple functions a year. It was a great program for me because I was at Ford Motor working as an auditor when I started and was taking night classes. Ford Motor paid the bill.Then my husband and I moved to Toronto where I went to University of York for part of my masters and learned to blend in and say “out and about” if you know what I mean, “Ey”? Those classes transferred down to EMU in Ypsilanti.Then I commuted for my last four classes from Toronto to Ypsilanti so I could finish my degree. I drove down each week until I finally walked across the stage in my cap and gown. It was a great experience for me because I was doing this for me and enjoyed ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
In challenging times, the tough get going!  Serious Ann Arbor real estate sellers are no different.  Many home sellers in the Ann Arbor area are using innovative tactics to create an edge over their competition.  From vintage Corvette's to car leases to motorboats and even specialized vehicles such as a custom built train car  - homeowners across the county are sweetening the pot.  Although home sales in Washtenaw County have remained steady compared to past year sales - the average price of a home has dropped 10.6%. Sellers are looking to attract attention for their Ann Arbor homes in any way they can.  An Augusta Township home on 27-acres and listed for $780,000 was offered with a vintage Stingray Corvette.  A Meadow Lane home was offered with a train vehicle that's seen many a U of M...
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By Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
(Missy Caulk TEAM)
View Larger MapAmerican Title Company is located in Ann Arbor at 3005 Boardwalk. I have used American Title for most of my years in the business. The staff is excellent and provide great service. Recently I had a closing there and Debbie Ellison one of the owners let me do a quick video interview of her. The processor I work with is Tim Ehlert. It is wonderful to work with one person that gets back to me right away.Lately I have had to have him update HUD 1's for me quite often with those short sale offers. American Title has been in business in Washtenaw County since 1962, and is independently owned an operated. Several years ago we were closing on a home and Greg Ottaviani, President noticed that the signature on the sales contract did not match the signature on the listing agreement....
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By Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
(Missy Caulk TEAM)
The Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors is sponsoring a Workshop on Social Networking on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 from 10 a.m. to Noon Ross Johnson, Chief Creative Officer of 3.7 Designs will be your instructor. This hands-on workshop with: Benefits of Social Networking Selecting the networks you wish to participate in Building your profiles Social Networking Etiquette Profile Upkeep Bring your laptop for this hands-on workshop! Free to Ann Arbor Area Realtors. For non-AAABoR members, the cost is $25, please call the Board office (734.761.7340) to register. I'm going but should I?   ***Originally posted on Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk***
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By Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
(Missy Caulk TEAM)
  Last week I received my Short Sale Certification and will currently be available to assist homeowners in Washtenaw County that are in this unfortunate situation. The first step will be to see if we can get you a loan modification of your current mortgage by working with your lender. In 2005 we had the highest number of home mortgages adjustments.(ARM) In 2007 we were only selling about 10% of homes selling short. That has risen now risen and will continue to rise in 2010 as many ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) are due to re-adjust again. The banks are now more willing to work with you to adjust your loan, or sell your home short of what you owe. In Michigan we have a 6 month redemption period by statute where a homeowner can pay all the fees, bring their home mortgage payments current...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Often Ann Arbor Home Sellers pay part of the Buyer’s closing costs or prepaid for their loan. I’d like to start with an example. If a house costs $300,000 and the seller pays $9,000 of the closing costs, the seller actually nets $291,000. This is done with the blessing of the lender and is disclosed on the HUD statement. The seller is paying the closing costs, and this is a legal way for the buyer to roll them into the loan. It is important to note that seller paying concessions are disclosed on the Ann Arbor Multiple Listing Service (MLS). So when the home in our example above is used to determine value for an appraisal on a nearby home, it would be given a sold value of $300,000 and noted concession of $9,000. Appraisers and REALTORS have this information and can then calculate that $...
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