Ann Arbor, MI Real Estate News

By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
We stopped in to the Common Grill for lunch and found we were among very good people. There is nothing common about the meals prepared by Chef Craig. I am a fan of several salads and LOVE the warm fresh bread with poppy seeds. I have ordered this to take out for special meals at home too. You can order carry out by calling (734) 475-0470 and ask for the "Back Door." Also among the patrons, former University of Michigan football coach, Lloyd Carr, pictured below.   We occasionally enjoy a fine dinner here and then saunter down to Jeff Daniel's The Purple Rose Theatre. I always enjoy seeing Jeff Daniels unplugged pictured on our Chelsea community webpage. For more community info of Chelsea visit our website.   Do you know any one moving to our area? We welcome the opportunity to show off ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
According to the 2007 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from National Association of Realtors, the top five sources of down payment money follows: 1.        Savings2.        Proceeds from the sale of a primary residence3.        Gift from Relatives or Friends4.        Sale from Stocks or Bonds5.        Equity from Residence (continue to own) I was surprised to learn that 73% of first time buyers are using money they had saved to come up with their down payment on a home.  We see many of our clients as first time home buyers as a result of attending the seminars. Per the study, 43% of repeat buyers will use money from savings to at least help partially cover the down payment of their new home. Many people get proceeds from sale of primary residence. For more information on how you can b...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Graphic artist Jonathan Wright has been living with fairy doors in his Ann Arbor home since the mid- 1990s, when the kids in his wife's day-care discovered one under the stairway. When the precisely detailed 6-8 inch tall doors started showing up in downtown Ann Arbor businesses, Wright (who deftly sidesteps questions about any personal connection to the doors) decided to study this teeny, tiny real estate phenomenon. He planted journals in fairy-friendly establishments, gathered the observations and artwork of the masses and put together a book, "Who's Behind the Fairy Doors?" Since that first tiny door appeared under the stairs, others have shown up in the kitchen and living room of Wright's home, in his wife's kindergarten classroom, and at Sweetwater's Cafe, Peaceable Kingdom, Selo/...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
The Purple Rose Theatre was alive last night with a Jeff Daniels tradition. He plays his original songs on guitar. This year he invited his daughter, son Ben, and wife Kathleen on stage to participate. Since many of the songs are written from real life events, their participation was very special. Jeff said he wept openly when Ben Daniels declared he wanted to be a musician. Ben's song "Fake Your Smile," performed as a duo with his dad Jeff, was quite good. My favorite replay this year was "The RV Song." A couple new ones to me were "Happy Birthday to Kathleen" and "Tiny Shoes." Again, the personalization is hard to imagine but understanding the song’s birth is part of what makes the experience so special. Apparently, the kids had friends over to change clothes for a prom and friend Bi...
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By Marian Gregor-Ann, Arbor area Real Estate
(Keller Williams)
 Chelsea, Michigan, enjoys much sophistication due to the cosmopolitinism of nearby Ann Arbor, yet the city maintains the intimacy of a small town.  Chelsea's Home Town Holidays is a prime example of its small town atmosphere with a bit of sophistication.     This year was the 21st annual celebration. Most of the local merchants work with the city's non-profits to produce events and decorations throughout town.  For example, The Garden Mill donated hundreds of votive candles which the Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts placed in recycled, plastic milk bottles to make luminaries.  They lined both sides of Main Street for about a mile.       Through the three days of the festival, there was story telling, Gingerbread houses on display at various stores, a live nativity scene with a real camel, a ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
CNN Money's "100 Best Places to Live and Launch" recently unveiled Ann Arbor at #42!  The biggest pros listed were a strong, high-tech industry, an eco-minded community and abundant college sports.  The University of Michigan has been marked by business leaders and entrepreneurs to be the hub of our forward thinking city.  Our pool of educated workers and many start-ups are also U of M credits.  Ann Arbor's high-tech industry is fueled by Ann Arbor Spark - a public/private venture providing pre-seed captital for tech companies in advanced automotive, manufacturing, materials, alternative energy homeland security, defense and life sciences.  Ann Arbor Spark will fund up to $250,000 with matching funds from the entity for an equity stake in the return.  Recently the Michigan Business Tax ...
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
I first heard this phrase of wisdom from Norm Abram on This Old House in the early 80's when my husband and I bought our first house and I became engrossed in the series.  I literally never missed an episode for years - it was the thing I cared about most.  OK, in TV time, it was the thing I cared about most.... I learned so many basic skills from watching the guys on the program that I felt I could do anything.  A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing but when a friend of my husband's came to our home one day and we were showcasing the things we had corrected in the 1940ish structure, he was shocked when I said we needed to scribe the woodwork to fit the plaster-contoured wall into the basement.  "How do YOU know about scribing?" he asked.  "I watch This Old House," was my answer. ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
One of the best parts of selling Ann Arbor real estate is bringing clients to Zingerman's Deli for meals. Finding the best Ann Arbor homes for sale requires a nourishing break here at my favorite restaurant! Ann Arbor has so many top restaurants, but this is quick and memorable - after all you never forget the best! The Zingermans story is an interesting one - this once quaint Ann Arbor delicatessen is today a multi-million dollar powerhouse. What began in 1982 in a small Kerrytown grocery store has grown to a 500+ employee company spread over seven separate businesses. Unlike most businesses Zingermans promotes "open book finances", encouraging employees to think and act like owners. This ownership culture has helped the once small deli to blossom over the years. View the Zingerman's D...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Real estate technology has come so far these days it's almost impossible to keep up with! We use all kinds of cutting edge technologies to ensure our Ann Arbor real estate buyers and sellers get the best service available. Aside from many useful iPhone real estate applications, our Ann Arbor real estate blog, Free Michigan MLS access and many useful Ann Arbor real estate reports, we also use time-saving mobile technologies in our car!   Take a look as my husband Larry demonstrates voice-activated GPS Navigation (I'm holding the camera 8-) )   The Ford Voice activated navigation system gets us where we need to go and allows us to easily phone clients on the fly. I can select a number from my phonebook and answer calls by pushing a button on my steering wheel! The video interface is large...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Ann Arbor Home Sellers Say Goodnight To Home Selling and Good Morning to Home Shopping   We are so proud to have moved 95 families year to date in 2008. Nothing goes perfectly and in fact when trouble brews that is when a true experienced expert Ann Arbor real estate agent pays off.      We hired Kathy Toth to sell our home in Saline and suggest you hire her Team.  They sold our house at list price in a few weeks in a challenging market.  Communication was excellent, pictures and marketing were outstanding.  We know what poor service was with a previous agent.  Don't make that mistake.  Just hire Kathy; you get superior systems and resources.  Now we get to shop with our buyer's agent Vicki who we LOVE. Michael and Iryna Hogue Michael and Iryna's Video Testimonial   You know our Ann Arb...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Plum market is where I buy organic soap with citrus, fresh sushi, lots of fresh produce, green machine naked juice and a bottle of wine or two.  For that, I depend on Rod Johnson, Wine and Beer Team Leader.  He knows his wines and can introduce you to the cold cellar where some special wines are housed.  He is a great resource. No detail is overlooked at Plum where Matt and Marc Jonna have set out to provide a grocery experience like no other.  Their product selections mix the best in natural, organic, specialty and local products.  Their produce department is a perfect example of their craft.  Freshness and quality are an absolute must and locally grown Michigan product are always highlighted.  As soon as something comes into season, you'll find the freshest and the best version at Plu...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Michigan Beat Florida Gulf Coast last night, Ann Arbor Agent Enjoyed Front Row Seats Nothing beats University of Michigan court side action in Ann Arbor!  Every time the ball was thrown my direction I was glad the players stepped in and caught it, because they throw hard and fast.    These pictures are from my Storm phone and more will follow, but until they get uploaded, here is the video rehash.   I wish you could have been in my seat.  What fun to see them score 76 - 59. Some great 3 pointers were scored. It was great to take a break from the Ann Arbor Real Estate Market for some good old-fashioned fun with the 6 of us in the family.  The kids are home from college so it is nice to spend some time with them - doing things with them.  OK, back to wrapping and cooking tomorrow! Kathy T...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Eighty-seven percent of home buyers who used the Internet to search for a home, purchased through a real estate agent. Many popular sites for national as well as Ann Arbor home buyers’ search include: Local Multiple Listing Service 60% Realtor.com 48% Real Estate Company Web Sites 46% Real Estate Agent Web Sites 43% For-Sale-By-Owner Web Sites 19% Local Newspaper Web Sites 11% All Other Categories     Source: The 2008 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, based on thousands of responses to a questionnaire mailed to a large national sample of consumers, is the latest in a series of NAR surveys evaluating demographics, marketing, preferences and experiences of home buyers and sellers. So Ann Arbor Real Estate is still a very local business with our Ann Arbo...
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By Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
(Missy Caulk TEAM)
Thursday night before the massive snow storm hit throughout Michigan, Karen Moorhead (@A2Karen) and I attended a Bar Camp in downtown Ann Arbor sponsored by A2Geeks. I heard about the group on the FaceBook group A2Geeks. I heard about the venue change on Twitter because I follow @arbcamp. The venue was at Cottage Inn Pizza in downtown Ann Arbor, which is a landmark restaurant and always wins the award for the "best pizza in Ann Arbor' voted on by the public.   When it was first posted, I had to get on a waiting list as over 100 Geeks signed up very quickly.     Ann Arbor Spark helped out with the change of venue so it was held at Cottage Inn. Ann Arbor Spark is responsible for bringing many new business to Ann Arbor and we are fortunate to have Michael Finney as CEO helping to spread th...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
The Pfizer campus is located in North East Ann Arbor off Plymouth Rd on 77-acres.   It will no longer be idle. U of M Board of Regents announced the purchase in 2009 will provide much needed local jobs.  Job increase is expected at 2000 plus employees in research and life sciences.   The city will continue to make budget adjustments regarding taxes.  I am thrilled that the University has made the commitment and this may be a magnet to attract other key businesses and partnerships.  This will have a positive impact on the Ann Arbor real estate community.  Stefanie Murray was out along with other Ann Arbor News staff working furiously on reporting and for the Ann Arbor News full story: video interviews can be watched from the Mayor, Mary Sue Coleman, President of the University of Michiga...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Ups and downs in the economy are causing more people to go into foreclosure. In fact, the home foreclosure rate in Michigan is up 7.96 percent from September but down 15.07 percent from October 2007. All told, there were 11,393 filings in the state in October, or one for every 396 homes, according to RealtyTrac.com. Michigan now ranks No. 7 in the country for percentage of homes facing foreclosure filings, behind Nevada, Arizona, Florida, California, Colorado and Georgia. That's why we are teaming up to help folks avoid personal and financial ruin.  Seven out of ten home owners have not taken action to avoid foreclosure. Jan Yarbrough just dodged the foreclosure bullet. Eighteen months ago, she moved up north to another house and listed her Ann Arbor area home. Jan's Ann Arbor area hous...
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By asdf zcxv, Ann Arbor Area Real Estate
(Keller Williams Realty)
The University of Michigan has purchased the Pfizer campus in North East Ann Arbor, Michigan and it is good to have the UM there and they could bring in as many as 2,000 people and jobs to the area.   It was sad to see it empty and although it decreases the tax base, it is better to have someone occupying the space rather than sit empty.  It will be interesting to see the science businesses which take off from there. Any time we bring jobs into the state of Michigan, we are very happy with the progress!     Ann Arbor Mayor Discusses Pfizer Purchase
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
I have been to the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum countless times while accompanying children on field trips, it is one of my favorite places to visit.  Thanks to the awesome adventures such as those found at the museum and our great schools, Ann Arbor was ranked one of the best places to raise children in 2008.  The museum’s mission is to “inspire people to discover the wonder of science, math and technology.” and “to be the leader in imaginative and interactive learning experiences”. This Ann Arbor museum was founded in 1978 by a group of talented and dedicated volunteers.  Today over 100 volunteers still give their energy and support to keep the museum going.  Visitors have access to more than 250 exhibits all meant to bring physics, math, geology and music to life.  A few of the regular ...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
I recently had the opportunity to meet with Sharon McRill of the Betty Brigade to learn a little more about how they help Ann Arbor homeowners.  I was so impressed with their story, I wanted to share it with you all.  They are located in three different cities, and are well positioned to help home buyers and sellers in the Ann Arbor marketplace. Whether you need pet care, event or party planning, residential or business moving coordination, wedding planning or just some personal assistance and life organization - The Betty Brigade can help.  They are a full service concierge company that will help you get organized so you can spend more valuable time with family and friends.  Sharon told me a great story of one of her experiences: a home owner off Geddes Road in Ann Arbor was having the...
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By Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team
(Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams)
Taking a break from the Ann  Arbor Real Estate routine to see Jeff Daniels Onstage and Unplugged in Chelsea, MI  over the Holiday Jeff Daniels has been doing a great job with commercials promoting Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  I hope to see him again live unplugged when my kids come home over Christmas break.  Besides his great acting, he actually is pretty easy on the ears with his guitar. <> Once you have the privilege of hearing him unplugged at The Purple Rose with his wife Kathleen working behind the scenes, you recognize it is very personal and intimate experience - one worth repeating. Below is a video of him playing courtesy of the Ann Arbor News.  Just leave it on while you read. Jeff Daniels has written his own plays and productions including "Sh...
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