Ann Arbor, MI Real Estate News

By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
As we weather the unusually cold winter in Michigan, with snowfall already close to the season expectation and half the season still ahead of us, we recently invested in some supplemental electric heaters. We are watching every nickel we spend since my husband lost his automotive position in late October and heat was big on the list of "can do without."  Of course, we cannot completely do without it and fortunately have two zones of heating in our home - one in the primary area of the home and one in the bedroom area that also includes my office and the kitchen. Zone 1 was adjusted to a 60 degree temperature for day and lower for night.  Zone 2 was adjusted to 55 degrees day and night.  There are time variations for weekends via the programmable thermostats but those temperatures are no...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
With only a few days until the "changing of the guard" welcoming the Obama Administration, talk about the housing crisis has hit the forefront. Democrats are promoting a plan to allow bankruptcy judges to modify home loans as government loan programs don't seem to be working. The question becomes, what's a better plan - personal bankruptcy or foreclosure? According to FICO scoring entities (the makers of your credit score), neither are great options. While foreclosure is a better way to go than personal bankruptcy, it still delivers a major blow to your credit score. Bankruptcy is worse because it affects more than just your home loan account, it affects everything.Many out there are speculating that the crisis will become much larger as prime borrowers continue to lose equity in their ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Although our Ann Arbor real estate stats for Kathy Toth and Team are not finalized for 2008 closings yet, we wanted to share some interesting data with you. Year to date (picture taken in November 2008) this is where our Ann Arbor buyers came from (please also see attached graph, Ann Arbor Real Estate Source of 2008 Sales Income): 33% personal referral business 19.4% www.kathytoth.com 19% past client 6.9% guarantee 5% IVR Call 4.6% www.annarborhomevalue.com 4.2% radio 3% reputation 1.8% other 1.7% sign call 1.3% Agent referral business Our data loosely mirrors 2008 data from the National Association of Realtors where generally the following trends were outlined as sources for real estate buyers: 34% real estate agent 32% internet 15% sign 7% referral from someone they know 7% home build...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Established in 1919, the Barton Hills Country Club offers a full service setting where members can enjoy the many amenities provided by the facility. Swimming, 4 tennis courts, private golf, a fitness center and exceptional restaurants provide plenty of opportunity for family fun. Located on the Northeast side of Ann Arbor, the Barton Hills Golf Course is truly nestled in the woods offering a pristine setting like no other. The Barton Hills membership is small by design creating a welcoming and friendly atmosphere and excellent access to great Michigan golf. Their main clubhouse is about 40,000 sqft with banquet facilities outfitting up to 325 people, formal dining seating 50 and an outdoor grill overlooking the 18th hole that accommodates up to 100 people. The experience here truly is...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Everybody Loves a Cupcake! Watch my Cupcake Station Video MMMM...how sweet it is! Just waddle on over to 116 East Liberty. They've got all sorts of treats to sample (no tricks here). They have some mini sizes or standard sizes. The best was the red velvet cake. I hope to go back to try the bumpy cake. They have a comfortable seating area and soft drinks. You can call ahead for orders at 734-222-1801 or check out the CupCakeStation website for other sweets. For other Ann Arbor information and why we love promoting and selling Ann Arbor Real Estate, visit us online. Related Links - Visit some of my other favorite places Visit Zingermans | Click here Zingerman’s constantly strives to be better Grand Traverse Pie Company | Click here The menu is varied, the fare light Click here to search ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Location, location, location - Barton Hills is private and secluded, capitalizing on all that nature has to offer. It's a quiet spot offering a wonderful escape. The Barton Hills Golf Course and Country Club was established in 1919. This 18-hole, par 72 Ann Arbor Golf course was designed by Donald Ross in 1922. Its beautiful setting is surrounded by great architecture and a stunning Michigan landscape. Barton Hills offers private equity membership that is optional with community homeownership. The beautiful and lush scenery provides an arena that is fun for players of all levels - from scratch golfers on up to those with higher handicaps. Stop on in and play a round or visit the teaching center. There's nothing better than a relaxing day on the golf course at Barton Hills! Preliminary ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
It's no surprise, the final tally for 2008 foreclosures in Washtenaw County is in and it's up - 1,439 homes were sold at sheriff's auction last year. This sets a record high for the area. Historically foreclosures in Washtenaw have been gradually increasing until a large spike in 2007. Following are the numbers published by the Washtenaw County Clerk and Register of Deeds for the past several years: 2002: 231 2003: 265 2004: 288 2005: 433 2006: 703 2007: 1,151 2008: 1,439 December 08 marked some good news in that the rate of foreclosure dropped significantly. Only 73 homes went to auction in December, the lowest rate for any month in 2008 (down from 147 in DEC 07). However this may be due to a self imposed holiday moratorium from most Ann Arbor lenders. Washtenaw County's Treasurer, Cat...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Ann Arbor was recently named number seven on a list of best digital cities (Pop. 75,000 to 124,999) by e.Repulic's Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities Magazine. Awards go to the cities that use technology to create a seamless environment between local government and constituents. The city was ranked for its online services (at city website www.a2gov.org) including: TRAKiT - featuring online access to development reviews and building inspections GovDelivery - an email notification service providing information about road or lane closures, general news and other notables Citizen Request System - a tool allowing citizens to request city repairs such as parks maintenance, pothole and street light repair. The cities placing in Ann Arbor's population category were: 1st City ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
The Alpha House is a shelter located on Ann Arbor's West side for temporarily homeless families. This Christmas, local Ann Arbor school children from the aftercare program of the Summers-Knoll School helped to make the holidays just a little better for these families. They picked out, cut down and delivered a tree (donated by Braun's Trees), strung lights and garlands, made decorations, purchased stocking stuffers and cookies and helped to fill the living room of the Alpha House with Christmas cheer. The Summers-Knoll kids held a bake sale earlier this month to help purchase gift certificates for the Alpha House residents - they raised $100! This community service project is part of the school's ongoing effort to teach students how to help community members in need. This is the first ye...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Con-way Freight recently earned the commercial real estate "deal of the year" in Ann Arbor. Con-way did a lot of restructuring this year - to Ann Arbor's benefit. They decided to keep their 20,000 employee company in the region and also combined three other US offices bringing scores more jobs to the Ann Arbor market. Their commitment to the area in combination with the scope of the deal earned them deal of the year status. There are much larger implications here. Con-way's actions have solidified Ann Arbor's status as a mecca for large companies. The local pool of talent here is a huge driving factor. Con-way was looking for workers in the pricing, operations, and financial segments with good analytical skills and our employee base fit their needs. Our central location is also a factor...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
15 Things You Will Learn When You Attend This Free Workshop Why you should never fall into the trap of working with the name on the For Sale sign. 3 Ways homebuyers surrender their power to negotiate a better price. Obtain competitive responsible financing options for any home you buy. How to keep your confidential financial information from landing in the Seller's hands. How to avoid paying hidden "junk fees" that add thousands to the cost of a loan. How credit scores are determined, how they can affect your mortgage rate and increase the cost of your loan by thousands. How to build a team of buyer - friendly experts that will be on your side, and not the seller's. Why it's illegal for an ordinary real estate agent to recommend a home inspector, and the important reason why only Buyer ...
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By asdf zcxv, Ann Arbor Area Real Estate
(Keller Williams Realty)
The local YMCA has the doors open, music playing and stationary bikes galore.  Come to the Y on Sundays between January to March between 10:00 and Noon and you can work out at your own pace.  It isn't a spinning class and you don't have to be a member of the Y to join in the fun. Come and workout! I hope to see you there this Sunday.  I volunteer and will have the room ready for you.
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
The Chelsea Community Foundation recently donated $25,000 to help fund the creation of a new lifeline service offered by The Western Washtenaw Area Value Express (WAVE). The Lifeline Service Van Program will offer rides by appointment to services outside of Western Washtenaw County such as medical, human-service, employment agencies, grocery stores, and enrichment activities. For instance a Chelsea resident may be brought to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital for dialysis. This is the first service of it's kind. Riders would likely be charged a fee for the ride - $10-$15 for seniors and those with disabilities and perhaps double for others. The $25,000 grant will provide for one year of service during an initial evaluation period. WAVE currently provides a same day, door to door van service for ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
The proposed Washtenaw and Livingston commuter rail Line (WALLY) is slowly moving again. The project stalled out after the release of a feasibility study with estimated start up costs slated at around $32 million. High start up costs would be largely related to infrastructure improvement. The proposed commuter rail line would extend from the City of Howell to Ann Arbor with seven total stops (Howell, Genoa Township, Hamburg Township, Barton Road, 8 Mile Road in Whitmore Lake, Ann Arbor and U of M). Daily trains would run on tracks owned by the Great Lakes Central Railroad who early on committed to providing 10 bi-level passenger cars. WALLY was originally proposed as an alternative to adding a third lane on US 23, slated to cost over $500 million.Although the Ann Arbor Transportation Au...
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By asdf zcxv, Ann Arbor Area Real Estate
(Keller Williams Realty)
If you are buying or selling your home you need to understand the areas of Ann Arbor as defined by the local Board of Realtors and our areas are not defined by zip code but instead by boundaries and schools. You will want to be aware of these areas if you are searching for a home to purchase or if you are a seller searching what is for sale in your neighborhood.  The following is presented to give you an idea of what sold in each area in 2008 and looking ahead; what is for sale currently in 2009. This map clarifies how the areas are divided.  Here is an overview map with the areas marked:     Area 81  NorthWest Ann Arbor  is boarded on the East side by US 23 and to the south I94. The range of pricing of current listings are the following: $169,000  Elizabeth $5,990,000 Country Club Driv...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
With the combination of fabulous amenities, a bustling community and culture, incredible educational institutions, and a vibrant business center, our hometown of Ann Arbor is often named one of the best places to live and retire. If you've been thinking about relocating to Ann Arbor or purchasing your first home here, now may be a great time. Mortgage rates in the last week have plummeted to all time lows! For those with good credit or some equity in your homes, you have an excellent chance to take advantage. 30 year fixed rates have been consistently been advertised at lower than 5 percent. This is a great opportunity to save hundreds on your mortgage if your current rates are upwards of 6-6.5%. Your current lender or mortgage broker can provide you with details. For those first timers...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here is to 2009 and the change that it will bring. As the holiday season comes to an end, treat yourself and your family or friends to a “Fun Thing to Do in Ann Arbor”. Below, find highlights for a few of the events that I found interesting for the month of January. Try something new and exciting, then let me know how it was! ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1/4/2009 (The Ark) NEIL WOODWARD Neil Woodward has performed his Warm Winter Night concerts at the Ark for most of the past 30 seasons, presenting his original compositions and evocative antiquities from Great Lakes and North American folklore. The Ark 316 South Main St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Map/Driving Directions Phone: (734)761-1451 For more ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
OK, without my Health, Ann Arbor Real Estate does not Matter, Right? http://www.motionbox.com/videos/0a9fdfb0181ee6c487 Every cell in our bodies requires energy ― whether it’s delivering nutrients to our brains, pumping oxygen from our lungs to our muscles during power walks, or producing infection-fighting white blood cells deep in our bone marrow. Our body converts calories in food to energy (blood sugar) to perform these and many other functions. So I admit - I am in need of a cooking make over. Thus, the cooking class. My husband and I took a cooking class which is more vegan than we realized. I got to try almond, soy and rice milk. This was like a Napa wine bar experience. (Ok, so Larry was not in love with soy.) Jan cooked during all the classes and we sampled diligently. Yes, and...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Whether you are considering buying a house or selling one, conduct a rundown of property items.  The rundown could make all the difference in the world. Although not everything will require costly repairs, some might, which is why it's important to be prepared. Before you head out to look at homes or put your home on the market, check these items to ensure they are properly working: Look for settlement cracks on the wall, floor, or ceiling. Every Michigan home, at one time or another, will get a settlement crack with the thaw and freeze of the ground, so if you find a few, there's no need to panic. However, if you notice major cracks, this could be a sign of structural problems. Mark down the location of where you find cracks and point them out to the inspector, who will determine the d...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Fr. Bill Wegher is the parish priest at St. Mary's Catholic Church. The congregation is part of the Lansing Diocese directed under Bishop Boyea.  This Catholic Church is very active!  The activities are non-stop and include bingo, retreats, confirmation classes, book fairs, Christmas Bazaars, wreath sales, a youth group, ladies volleyball, men's club, and more. Call 734-878-3161 to get involved.  Watch this video for an inside view of St. Mary's Church. St. Mary's was dedicated by Bishop Mengling on May 10, 2003. Over 950 people can be seated in the worship space. The school is preschool through the 8th grade. To get more information on St. Mary's school, contact Principal, Mr. John Gilboe at 734-878-5616. Students participate in Co-ed Soccer, Boys and Girls Basketball, Girl's Volleybal...
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