Real Estate Information Archive


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Decisions You’ll Have to Make When Buying Your First Investment Property

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

Tom has been an income property manager and marketing specialist for nearly 30 years.  We have spread sheets and other helpful tools for our client buyers or sellers.  Contact us today for more information if you are looking to invest. 

3 Decisions You’ll Have to Make When Buying Your First Investment Property

Whether you’re angling for financial independence or looking to supplement your family’s income, buying a rental property is a smart investment. Not only do real estate investments create passive income, but they also generate long-term appreciation. But before you start shopping for your first investment property, there are a few key questions you need to answer.

Will you buy a short-term or long-term rental?

An increasing number of real estate investors are opting for vacation Rentals rather than traditional long-term rental properties. Should you?


It’s true that vacation rentals have higher profit margins than traditional rentals. However, they’re also more work to manage due to frequent tenant turnover.


Vacation rentals aren’t suitable everywhere, either. Unless your area attracts enough tourism to keep vacancy rates down, a long-term rental is likely a safer bet. Many places also have restrictive rules on short-term rentals, with some cities banning rentals under 30 days entirely.


If you are buying in an area with year-round tourism and laws friendly to vacation rentals, buying a vacation rental could deliver a much greater return on investment than a traditional rental. However, you’ll need to factor taxes, property management fees, and other expenses into the ROI calculations.

How will you manage the property?

Speaking of property management fees: While some investors opt to self-manage their property, most serious investors prefer outsourcing to property management agencies. That’s because managing rental properties can be a full-time job in and of itself, but if you’re a first-time investor, you likely have other responsibilities competing for your time.


Trying to juggle it all yourself is a recipe for lackluster marketing, lapsed maintenance, and disgruntled tenants. While you might not feel the effects immediately, over time this has a big impact on your property’s profitability. A professional property manager is better equipped to keep your property in good condition and your guests or tenants happy. Unless you like the idea of fielding late-night emergency calls, look for an agency that offers a 24/7 support line to both you and your tenants or guests.


Be prepared to part with some of your rental revenue in exchange for top-tier property management. However, a good property manager saves money in other ways. Not only do they successfully market your property and ensure regular use, professional property managers also give you reduced rates for maintenance and repairs, either through in-house staff or volume discounts with outside contractors. Plus, with all the time you’ll save, you can find your next rental property and grow your income even further.

How will you pay for it?

For most first-time investors, the most confusing question isn’t how to manage the property; it’s how to pay for it. Lending requirements are stricter for investment properties than owner-occupied ones, with most lenders requiring higher credit scores and debt-to-income ratios for investment purchases.


The good news is you can use projected rental income to qualify for an investment property mortgage. However, you’ll need to complete a rental appraisal, known as a Comparable Rent Schedule, and only 75% of the projected income will be factored into your DTI ratio.


Investment properties also require larger down payments — usually at least 20%. It’s possible to borrow money for the down payment, although any new debts will be factored into the DTI ratio. Borrowing against a primary residence’s equity, either through a Home equity loan or home equity line of credit, is a popular way to fund the down payment. 401(k) loans and Roth IRA withdrawals may also be used for a down payment, but investors should discuss these options with their financial planner or accountant before making a decision.


With low risk and high-profit potential, rental properties are an easy entrance into real estate investing. However, buying an investment property isn’t the same as buying a home of your own. Instead of shopping according to what you like, you need to buy based on what sells. If you want guidance in choosing the right rental property for your portfolio, reach out to a real estate team that knows the local area by heart.

Tom Stachler is a licensed Broker and Builder, a member of the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and CPIX Commercial Board of Brokers and has been assisting families buy and sell real estate in the Ann Arbor, Saline, Dexter and surrounding communities for over 30 years.  Contact us or use the helpful Links on this website for realty related resources and new property listings for sale and Lease, homes, condos, income property and commercial real estate are all covered by our office.  

How Long $1 Million Will Last in Retirement in Every State

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

10,000 people turn 65 in the U.S. every single day. The average American retirement age is 63, and the life expectancy for retirees is about 85. That means Americans should plan to spend 22 years in retirement. The AARP suggests a retirement income nest egg of at least $1 million, but the Buying power of $1 million varies wildly depending on where you live. So if you’re asking “how long will my money last in retirement,” the answer depends on your state.

In order to determine how long $1 million will last the average retiree in each state, we found the average total expenditures for people 65 and older, which includes groceries, housing, utilities, transportation and healthcare. Then, we multiplied that by the cost of living index in each state to find the average expenditure cost for each state.

Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach

50. Hawaii

$1 million will last: 11 years, 11 months

If you retire with $1 million in Hawaii, you have just shy of a dozen years to ride out your savings. At $5,626 a year, the cost of groceries is by far the highest in the nation, and housing is no picnic, either. At $46,478 a year, housing costs in Hawaii blow away the next-most-expensive state by nearly $16,000 a year. In all, annual expenditures are nearly $23,000 more in Hawaii than the next-priciest state.

49. California

$1 million will last: 16 years, 5 months

Only one state other than Hawaii requires annual expenditures of more than $60,000 — and that state is California, where retirees spend $60,877 a year to get by. Hawaii is also the only state to trump California in the category of housing costs. Although it’s nearly $16,000 more forgiving than Hawaii, housing in California is a brutal $30,514 a year. It costs a lot to live and retire comfortably in the Golden State. Do I have enough to retire? If you have $1 million and you’re asking this question in California, the answer is no.

48. Alaska

$1 million will last: 17 years, 0 months

America’s other noncontiguous state joins Hawaii near the bottom of the retirement-dollar-stretching pack. It costs $58,733 to get through a year in Alaska, thanks in large part to a painfully high $4,651 annual grocery bill, which is second in the nation behind Hawaii. Housing is actually a relatively forgiving $21,585 a year, but even so, you can expect your luck — and your $1 million — to run out in exactly 17 years. That means the amount of money needed to retire in Alaska is more than $1 million.

47. New York

$1 million will last: 17 years, 1 month

How long will my money last? That’s the question every retiree wants to know. In New York, the answer is not long enough. $1 million will take you slightly further in the Empire State than in the frozen wilderness of Alaska — one month further, to be exact. Utilities are relatively benign, but both groceries and transportation claim the title of ninth-highest in the nation. The real trouble, however, is housing. At $29,055, housing in New York costs more than it does in all but just two other states.

46. Massachusetts

$1 million will last: 17 years, 4 months

The big financial killer in pricey Massachusetts is healthcare, which costs an individual $6,844 a year in the state. That’s more than all but two states in the entire country. At $4,628 a year, utilities are a major burden as well. In fact, just three states pay higher utility bills. In all, Massachusetts residents need about $57,795 a year to support the cost of living in the state. Like every other state on this list so far, $1 million is not enough to support a retirement in Massachusetts.

45. Connecticut

$1 million will last: 17 years, 4 months

You can expect $1 million to last exactly as long in Connecticut as it does in Massachusetts, which is not long enough. Also, like their neighbors to the north, people who retire in Connecticut will be required to kick a large chunk of their annual spending to healthcare. At $6,619 a year, Connecticut has the fifth-highest healthcare costs in the nation.

44. Maryland

$1 million will last: 17 years, 4 months

Retirees can also stretch $1 million for only 17 years and four months in the Mid-Atlantic state of Maryland. At $28,899 a year, Maryland is Home to the country’s fourth-highest housing costs. A retiree can also expect to spend about $7,394 a year on transportation. In all, the cost of living is $57,661 per year.

43. Oregon

$1 million will last: 17 years, 7 months

With an annual average of $27,316, just four states demand more from their retirees in terms of housing costs than Oregon. At $3,938 a year, grocery bills are also high compared to the national average. Residents get a break, however, in the category of utilities. The annual cost is just $2,903, which is the second-lowest in the country. In the end, $1 million won’t cut it if you want to retire in Oregon.

If you’re staying in Oregon but still want to cut costs, consider moving to the Hermiston-Pendleton area in Eastern Oregon. It’s the best place to live in Oregon on a fixed income.

42. Rhode Island

$1 million will last: 18 years, 2 months

Rhode Island is the first state where $1 million will see you through an average length retirement. Healthcare, transportation and groceries all cost more in Rhode Island than they do in most of the country, but not by much. The big bank breakers are housing, which costs $21,942 per year, and utilities, which costs retirees in the state $4,621 per year. In total, you’ll need about $55,026 a year if you want to retire in the smallest state in the nation.

41. New Jersey

$1 million will last: 18 years, 6 months

Rounding out the top 10 is the Garden State. The most densely packed state in the Union, New Jerseyeans pay more than the national average across all categories, but where they really get crushed is housing, with the eighth-highest average cost. Four walls and a roof cost an average of $23,573. At $4,207 per year, utilities in New Jersey aren’t cheap either.

40. Vermont

$1 million will last: 18 years, 7 months

Healthcare costs in Vermont are only slightly above the national average, but across all other categories, the increases are significant. Planning to retire in Vermont? Housing will cost you $22,377 a year. Utilities will run you $4,392, the sixth-highest in the country. In total, the cost of living in Vermont is about $53,909 per year.

39. New Hampshire

$1 million will last: 19 years

In Vermont’s neighboring New England state of New Hampshire, you can squeeze a full 19 years out of $1 million. At $4,128 a year, the cost of groceries is well above the national average. At $4,824, the annual bill for utilities is even higher compared to the rest of the nation. In fact, New Hampshire residents can expect to pay higher-than-average costs across all categories.

38. Maine

$1 million will last: 19 years, 6 months

At $3,347 a year, retirees in Maine pay grocery bills that are a little bit below the national average — but every other category is higher. The worst of the bunch is the cost of housing, which comes in at $19,877 per year. At $4,251, the annual cost of utilities is high as well. In total, Mainers pay about $51,364 a year to live in the state.

37. Washington

$1 million will last: 21 years, 1 month

On the other side of the continent, the state of Washington offers retirees the opportunity to stretch $1 million more than 21 years. Residents pay $3,334 for utilities, which is fairly well below the national average. All other categories are slightly above, for a grand total of $47,389 per year.

36. Delaware

$1 million will last: 21 years, 10 months

Residents of the First State pay roughly $15,281 for housing, which is slightly less than the national average of $15,529. Transportation costs are the sixth-lowest of all states, and retirees in Delaware also pay less than the average American for healthcare. They pay a little more than average, however, for groceries and utilities. In all, the state drums up annual expenses of about $45,781.

35. Pennsylvania

$1 million will last: 21 years, 11 months

About $45,602 will get you through a year of retirement in the state of Pennsylvania. At $5,152, healthcare costs are lower than all but three states. Everything else is a little more expensive than in the country as a whole, with the utilities ranking the 11th-highest out of all states, costing $4,019 a year.

34. Virginia

$1 million will last: 22 years

With annual expenses of $45,423, people who retire in Virginia can make $1 million last for 22 years. Compared to other states, Virginia ranks best in transportation, where retirees spend the eighth-lowest amount. The state ranked about average in utilities and healthcare. The category that’s more expensive than average is housing, which costs $17,191 a year.

33. Colorado

$1 million will last: 22 years

At $6,107, the cost of healthcare in Colorado is higher than it is in the country as a whole. At $17,517, housing costs are also higher than average. Everything else, however, is cheaper than average, especially utilities, which cost $3,059 a year. In all, people who retire in Colorado will spend around $45,379 per year.

32. Nevada

$1 million will last: 22 years

You’ll take $1 million about as far in Nevada as you would if you retired in Virginia or Colorado. With an annual cost of $3,109, Nevadans get off relatively easy when it comes to utilities. Housing, however, comes in at $16,601, which is slightly higher than average. Both transportation and healthcare costs are also more than average by a fairly steep margin.

31. South Carolina

$1 million will last: 22 years, 3 months

Rounding out the bottom 20 is South Carolina, which requires about $44,887 in total annual expenses. The cost of groceries and healthcare are a little more expensive than the national average, but not by much. Costing $4,095 a year, South Carolina performs worst in the utilities category, while the costs of transportation and housing are below average.

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30. Florida

$1 million will last: 22 years, 4 months

Grocery costs are relatively high in Florida, with the average annual bill coming in at $3,602. The $15,172 annual cost of housing is slightly above average, as are transportation and utility costs. But Floridian retirees will see some savings in healthcare costs, which are slightly cheaper than average. In all, the annual cost of living in the Sunshine State is $44,843.

29. South Dakota

$1 million will last: 22 years, 4 months

At $44,753, the cost of living per year in South Dakota stands just above the national average of $44,664. Housing is comparatively expensive, with an average cost of $17,563. The category where South Dakota residents do the best is transportation, which at an annual cost of $6,157 is the fifth-lowest of all states.

28. Minnesota

$1 million will last: 22 years, 6 months

In Minnesota, groceries, transportation and especially healthcare costs are higher than the national average. Healthcare alone costs $6,447 a year. The silver linings are utilities and housing, which are cheaper than the national average. When you retire in Minnesota, expect to spend $44,530 a year, which is just under the national average.

27. North Dakota

$22 million will last: 22 years, 7 months

In North Dakota, $1 million goes just slightly further than it does in Minnesota, its neighbor to the east. Utilities are cheap in North Dakota, with an average annual bill of $3,196, ninth-lowest of all states. At $14,628, housing costs are below-average. Groceries are slightly above average. Across all categories, healthcare costs are highest, with an annual bill of $6,452 and a ranking of No. 7 in the nation.

26. Montana

$1 million will last: 22 years, 10 months

To the west of North Dakota is Montana, which requires about $43,771 to cover annual expenses. Groceries and healthcare costs are just about even with the national average in Montana. Utilities, however, are cheapest in the nation. The average annual bill is $2,877.

25. Illinois

$1 million will last: 23 years, 1 month

The first state on the front end of the list is Illinois, which requires retirees to pay about $43,369 per year to cover the cost of living. Transportation and utilities are more expensive than the national average. Healthcare, housing and groceries are all lower than average, although not by much.

24. Arizona

$1 million will last: 23 years, 2 months

Arizona has just one category that’s more expensive than the national average, and that’s groceries, which cost residents about $3,439 a year. Housing costs come in at a respectable $14,613, and utilities, healthcare and transportation costs also come in just under the national average.

23. Wisconsin

$1 million will last: 23 years, 3 months

In Wisconsin, living expenses will run retirees $43,056 a year. At $6,441, the cost of healthcare is higher than it is in most of the country, and utilities and transportation costs are also higher than the national average. Retirees in Wisconsin, however, catch a break on housing, which costs $13,650 a year.

22. New Mexico

$1 million will last: 23 years, 3 months

$1 million will take retirees in New Mexico almost exactly as far as it would in Wisconsin. At $3,073 a year, annual utility bills are cheap in the state, and both housing and groceries are less expensive than the national average, as well. Residents of the state, however, can expect to pay a little more for healthcare and transportation.

If you want to keep working in retirement, there are lots of senior-friendly jobs that are perfect.

21. West Virginia

$1 million will last: 23 years, 6 months


If you plan to retire in West Virginia, you can expect to spend $3,602 on groceries a year, or a little more than the average American pays. At $5,296 a year, healthcare costs are a little lower than average. Utilities are also cheaper, with an average cost of $3,178. In total, the cost of living is roughly $42,565 per year.

20. Wyoming

$1 million will last: 23 years, 8 months

The first state in the top 20 is Wyoming, where it costs about $42,297 to live for a year. Groceries and utilities are a little expensive in Wyoming compared to the national average. Every other category, however, is cheaper. The category with the most savings is housing, where costs are just $12,920.

19. Kentucky

$1 million will last: 23 years, 8 months

Kentucky is the heart of Appalachia — and a state where $1 million goes a fairly long way. Annual housing costs are a relatively cheap $13,122 a year. With an annual bill of $3,076, groceries are also pretty cheap, as is the annual cost of healthcare, which is around $5,272. In total, you can expect to spend about $42,252 per year.

18. North Carolina

$1 million will last: 23 years, 8 months

The cost of living is cheaper than average across all categories in North Carolina — except for healthcare, which costs $6,147 a year. The least-expensive category compared to the national average is the most significant — housing, which costs around $13,246 a year. In total, retirees in North Carolina can expect to spend about $42,207.

17. Utah

$1 million will last: 23 years, 10 months

At just $2,946, utility rates in Utah are third-lowest in the country. At $14,240 a year, housing is relatively inexpensive, too. In fact, the only category that is pricier than the national average is groceries, but not by much. When all is said and done, retirees will spend around $41,984 per year.

16. Nebraska

$1 million will last: 23 years, 10 months

The annual cost of transportation in Nebraska is $7,051, which is the only category that is more expensive than the national average. Housing costs just $13,743, and at $3,204, the cost of annual utilities are also relatively inexpensive. When everything is calculated, retirees can expect to spend about $41,939 in the state of Nebraska.

Maybe $1 million is enough for you for retirement. Learn how to determine how much money you need to retire.

15. Louisiana

$1 million will last: 23 years, 10 months

Retirees in Louisiana pay less in every category than the average American, but not dramatically in most cases. Groceries and transportation both hover just under the national average, but the real reason Louisiana is in the top 15 is housing, which costs about $13,666 per year. When everything is included, you can expect to spend about $41,895 a year.

14. Ohio

$1 million will last: 24 years, 2 months

At just $11,429 a year, Ohio boasts the second-lowest annual housing costs in the entire country. Every other category hovers near the national average — at $6,880, the cost of transportation is actually a bit higher. Cheap housing, however, launches Ohio into the top 15, with total annual living expenses of $41,404.

13. Iowa

$1 million will last: 24 years, 3 months

Several factors contribute to Iowa’s relatively cheap $41,225 annual cost of living. First and foremost, housing is fairly inexpensive, coming in at just $12,967 a year. The $3,191 annual grocery bill is also cheap compared to the national average. Healthcare and transportation costs are about even.

12. Kansas

$1 million will last: 24 years, 7 months

Retirees can get by in Kansas on about $40,689 a year. All categories are cheaper than the national average, but residents don’t enjoy anything spectacular — except, that is, for housing. The annual cost of housing in Kansas is $12,191, the ninth-lowest cost in the nation.

11. Idaho

$1 million will last: 24 years, 8 months

At $7,161, the annual cost of transportation is slightly more expensive than the national average — but everything else is cheaper. This is especially true for housing, which costs $12,439 a year. This, along with a fairly low $2,913 grocery bill, makes Idaho an attractive place to retire, with a $40,555 annual cost of living.

10. Alabama

$1 million will last: 24 years, 9 months

In Alabama, utility costs are fairly high — $3,968, to be exact, higher than the national average. The state makes up for that and squeezes into the top 10, however, in other areas. At $5,019, healthcare costs are relatively low — but the real bonus comes from housing. The cost of housing in Alabama is just $11,460. Only two states can claim an average that’s more affordable. Mobile, Ala., is one of the best places to live on only a social security check.

9. Indiana

$1 million will last: 24 years, 9 months

If you retire in Indiana, you can enjoy costs across all categories that are lower than the national average. Groceries cost $3,235 annually. Transportation costs will run you $6,380. At $5,324 a year, healthcare is relatively cheap. The real savings, however, come from housing costs, which average just $12,082 a year.

8. Texas

$1 million will last: 24 years, 9 months

Both groceries and housing are fairly cheap in the Lonestar State, coming in at $3,035 and $12,889, respectively. Both utilities and healthcare costs are also lower than the national average, but just barely. Transportation costs come in at $6,374, for a total yearly cost of living of $40,376.

7. Missouri

$1 million will last: 24 years, 10 months

While everything but utilities is cheaper in Missouri compared to the national average, the state earns its place near the top of the list through housing. Housing costs in Missouri are just $11,476. That’s the fourth-cheapest in the country, and it makes Missouri one of just six states to break the $12,000 mark.

6. Georgia

$1 million will last: 24 years, 11 months

Georgia is also a member of the sub-$12,000 club with housing costs that average just $11,600. Every other category is also cheaper than the national average, as well, but not by nearly as much. If you retire in Georgia, you can get away with spending just $40,198 a year.

5. Tennessee

$1 million will last: 25 years

Not only does Tennessee have the distinction of being the first state in the top five, but it’s also the first state that allows retirees to squeeze a full quarter century out of $1 million. Tennessee residents largely have housing to thank for that. The cost of housing in the state is just $12,221 per year.

4. Michigan

$1 million will last: 25 years

Michiganders can also make $1 million last for 25 years. Healthcare costs just $5,416 a year in Michigan, and at $3,323, utilities are fairly cheap, too. The biggest advantage for retirees, however, is the fact that annual housing costs average just $12,330. In total, the estimated cost of living is $39,974.

3. Oklahoma

$1 million will last: 25 years, 2 months

One of just four states with an annual cost of living under $40,000, Oklahoma has a lot to offer retirees. Groceries cost just $3,201, and transportation costs come in at $6,113. The real steal, however, is that the cost of housing is $11,616, which is the sixth-cheapest in the nation. Even if you only have $100,000 saved, your nest egg will stretch far in Oklahoma.

2. Arkansas

$1 million will last: 25 years, 6 months

At $39,260, the cost of living in Arkansas is cheaper than it is in all but one other state. Housing costs just $12,004 a year, and groceries cost a low $3,100 — the fourth-lowest cost in the country. Everything else is comparatively cheap in Arkansas, too. Healthcare costs are second-lowest in the country at $5,025, and you can expect to spend just $5,997 in transportation costs, the lowest amount in the nation.

1. Mississippi

$1 million will last: 26 years, 4 months

Mississippi is the only state in the country where $1 million lasts more than 26 years. Not only is Mississippi the cheapest state in the nation, but at $11,134, it also has the lowest housing costs of any state. In total, you’ll spend just $37,964 to get through a whole year in Mississippi, where retirees can stretch their money farther than anywhere else.

Tom Stachler is a Michigan licensed real estate Broker and Builder working in the Ann Arbor, Saline and Dexter Real Estate markets.  Please refer to the helpful Links above for more information about Buying or selling real estate, homes and condos when searching for one of the area's best real estate brokers. 

Ypsilanti Income Properties for Sale

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

Two Duplex Income Property Homes for Sale

Want a great investment and add a couple income properties to your portfolio?  We have two properties fully Lease and managed through August 2018 for your perusal.  Check out the brief walk through videos below and also the attached operating statements for each.  Units have been well maintain and there is plenty of parking and well located between the Eastern Michigan Central Campus and EMU College of Business in dowtown Ann Arbor.  

You can purchase one or bundle them both together.  Call Tom for more details.  

OPEN house

​Contact our office for more details, but we will be showing both these properties WED November 8, 2017 from 12 -1pm.  

Operating Statement for 514 Washtenaw Click Here


514 Washtenaw, Ypsilanti, MI

 Click here for Listing Info


518 Washtenaw, Ypsilanti, MI

Click Here for Listing Info

Operating Statement for 518 Washtenaw Click Here


Call Us to make a showing appointment or get on the First to View List


Mortgage Rates Descend to Year Low

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team


Mortgage rates descended to a new year low this week, with the 30-year, fixed rate averaging 3.82 percent, down from 3.86 percent the week prior, according to Freddie Mac’s recently released Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®). The 15-year, fixed rate averaged 3.12 percent, down from 3.16 percent the week prior, while the 5-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate averaged 3.14 percent, down from 3.17 percent the week prior.

“The 10-year Treasury yield fell to a new 2017-low [this week],” says Sean Becketti, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “In response, the 30-year mortgage rate dropped four basis points to 3.82 percent, reaching a new year-to-date low for the second consecutive week. However, recent releases of positive economic data could halt the downward trend of mortgage rates.

Tom Stachler is a Michigan licensed real estate Broker and Builder working in the Ann Arbor, Saline and Dexter Real Estate markets.  Please refer to the helpful Links above for more information about Buying or selling real estate, homes and condos when searching for one of the area's best real estate brokers.  

Knowledge Reigns Supreme in Resort and Second-Home Marketplace

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

Louis Price, a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker in New Buffalo, Mich., has seen his business gravitate toward second homes over the last several years. Serving the Lake Michigan area, his client base trends toward second-home seekers from Chicago who are looking for homes by the lake.

That’s why when Price first learned about the Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS) certification offered by the National Association of REALTORS®, he knew he needed to get it.

“When I found out about the certification, I thought, ‘the more knowledge I can get about second homes and resorts, the better off I’ll be, and the better I can serve my clients,'” says Price.

“It really brought me up to date on the thought process they go through and helped me better figure out how to deal with their needs,” says Price.During his class, he learned about the attitudes of second-home buyers, and the differences between those looking for investment properties and those looking to get away and relax.

With a better understanding of their mindset, Price believes he has better credibility with clients. Many are impressed that he’s furthering his knowledge and like that he’s an expert in the area.

A REALTOR® since 1983 and a multimillion-dollar producer many times over, Price feels it’s important to always improve his knowledge base. With less than 1 percent of real estate professionals having earned the designation nationally, Price often champions the certification, telling other agents why they should follow his lead.“I think it carries extra weight with buyers and sellers, but it also carries extra weight with other real estate professionals, because they know I have the experience in resorts and second homes, so if they bring me an offer, or I bring them an offer, they know I’m aware of what’s going on in the market,” says Price. “There’s a respect there.”

As a member of the National Resort and Second Home Real Estate Committee, his responsibilities include staying up to date and protecting the interests of property owners and real estate professionals when it comes to second homes and resort properties.

While he’s seen an increase in business lately, Price feels that his RSPS certification makes him a preferred choice for those looking for second homes and resort properties.“The big question from buyers is, ‘Will I be able to Rent this house out?’ Some people don’t want to live in a rental community, so having that knowledge and knowing what different associations are doing is important for success,” says Price.

“The second home and resort business has been on an upswing the last couple years,” concludes Price. “Prices are going up a bit, but it’s also been a very good time for buyers.”


Check out our Waterfront or Income properties link above under MLS listings for a list of places for sale.   Call Tom with any questions that you may have.  Tom Stachler is a licensed builder and broker working in Ann Arbor and the surrounding MIchigan market areas.  

3 Tips for Investing in Residential Real Estate

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

3 Tips for Investing in Residential Real Estate in 2017

Businessman presenting financial analysis with charts generated by big data displaying international success and dollar signs

A great deal of the wealth of the top one percent of Americans is built on real estate.

Aside from owning your Home, it used to be that only the wealthy and well-connected were investing in real estate. Unless you knew the right people and were willing to put up a big chunk of money, there were relatively few methods for the average person to invest in real estate aside from just Buying properties and renting them out for income.

Real estate investment has, however, changed dramatically over the last couple of decades. Today individual investors have access to many different real estate-related investments. Moreover, new platforms for investing in residential real estate (that don’t involve the headache of being a landlord) have also proliferated in the last few years.

Here are three ways for individual investors to make profits in real estate today.

Invest in REITS

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are an increasingly popular option for real estate investing. You can purchase shares in a public REIT just like you buy mutual funds or stocks. The business model of a REIT is owning and/or developing income-producing assets in a particular segment of the real estate market. For example, you can invest in a REIT focusing on commercial real estate, maybe malls or office buildings, or a REIT specializing in residential real estate like apartments or condos.

Many investment advisers suggest using REITs in your portfolio to balance out stock and bond funds and mitigate portfolio risk as this asset class often does well when other investments are performing poorly.

Before investing in a REIT, make sure to understand how the trust is designed and how value is derived from its holdings. Keep in mind that the performance of a REIT is based on cash flow and profits from selling properties, and may not be impacted much by factors that typically drive the performance of stock and bond funds.

While most investment advisors today suggest considering real estate as an alternative investment, the majority suggest it should represent no more than 10-20 percent of your portfolio.

Take a Closer Look at Real Estate Investment Partnerships

Another way to invest in real estate is real estate investment partnerships. Current laws allow investment partnerships to be structured in a number of ways, including tenant in common projects, general partnerships, or limited liability partnerships (LLP) or limited liability corporations (LLC). These structures each have their own advantages and disadvantages, so always do your due diligence on your partners and potential liabilities before investing in a partnership.

Take a close look at how decisions will be made, and how managing partner/partners will be selected (and how they can be removed). Always insist on a written real estate partnership agreement, which should be reviewed by an attorney with experience in real estate transactions.

Limited liability partnerships are frequently established having an experienced property manager or real estate developer as the general partner. Investors are used to provide financing for the projects, and they are typically brought on as limited partners.  


Take a close look at using some of your IRA proceeds to invest in realty assets.  Call Tom to discuss this investment instrument and also Click Here to View Residential Income Properties. 


Diversify Your Portfolio with Peer-Based Residential Real Estate Platforms

You can also invest in residential real estate through peer-to-peer lending platforms. Just a few years ago, almost all P2P lending platforms making real estate loans focused on commercial properties.

Fundrise (equity crowdfunding) was one of the first firms to offer residential real estate loan products, launching in mid-2014. SoFi has also recently begun mortgage underwriting. With SoFi, however, nearly all of these P2P home loans are for larger amounts to borrowers with excellent credit.

Other broader peer-based lending platforms based on residential real estate and mortgages that have launched recently include Elevate (UK), LendInvest (UK) and Income& (US).

Academics argue the real estate investment sector has matured enough to become a new asset class along with stocks, bonds and cash. That’s why it’s not surprising that most investment advisors suggest real estate should be a substantial part of all larger portfolios today.

Tom Stachler is a licensed Broker & Builder plus marketing expert for commercial, condo and homes in the Ann Arbor Michigan community and surrounding areas such as Dexter, Saline, Chelsea, Milan Ypsilanti and Pinckney real estate markets.  Note the Search Properties link above to view a complete Inventory of homes and condos for sale.  Also click on the resources tab above for other helpful information Linkscontractor discounts and sources.   Have questions want sell your home or get a price ?  Go to to get started and see comparable home sales.  Or maybe you want to search for property and view an updated MLS inventory report created for those Buying properties .  Hit the contact me link to the right or call us with any questions because we would love to hear from you.  We also have a Contractor Discount page here on our website or many helpful Links in the tab above for more resources.  

Ann Arbor Real Estate for Sale, Saline Real estate for sale, whatever the need in the surrounding areas, we have it using the navigation tabs above.

Real Estate Interest Rates Likely to Rise Post Election Period

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

Rates have risen about a half percentage point right after the election as I have noticed from some of Ann Arbors local lenders.  A rise in the key interest rate could come “relatively soon,” Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated on Thursday, heightening the probability the Fed will forge ahead with a hike in December, despite initial doubts in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory. Mortgage rates, which generally follow the key rate, shot up this week, with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage topping out at an average 3.94 percent from 3.57 percent the week prior.

“This week, the verdict is in—over the last two weeks, the 30-year mortgage rate jumped 40 basis points to 3.94 percent, almost identical to the 39 basis point increase in the 10-year Treasury yield,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “If rates stick at these levels, expect a final burst of Home sales and refinances as ‘fence sitters’ try to beat further increases, then a marked slowdown in housing activity.”

Yellen’s position—which comes as the dust settles after one of the most contentious elections in history—reinforces the sentiments of Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard, who both voiced support for future hikes this week.  

Looking to get a recommendation for low rates while working with a good mortgage lender?  Get a list of the areas best lender by going to for info on numerous firms and the manager or VP to contact for superior service.  All have been in business for at least 15 years.  

Tom Stachler is a licensed Broker and Builder marketing homes and properties in the Ann Arbor Michigan area.  Also search for properties, houses, and condos for sale in Saline, Dexter, Chelsea, Milan and the Ypsilanti real estate markets.  Check out the handy Links for realty related information and and MLS inventory access above. 

Is Home Equity Still a Retirement Failsafe?

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

Homeownership is one of the more viable paths to a secure retirement—but many older homeowners missed the prime opportunity to leverage that equity before the recession. How much usable equity can older homeowners now expect in retirement, given the rebound in home values?

A recent study by the Urban Institute explored the answer to this question, analyzing the equity patterns among older households before, during and after the recession.

“Not only does a house meet the basic need of shelter, but it’s an asset that typically can be used to build wealth as homeowners pay down their mortgages,” the study’s authors state. “In fact, many retirement security experts argue that the conventional three-legged stool of retirement resources—Social Security, pensions and savings—is incomplete because it ignores the home.”

The swings not only parallel the movement of the market—according to the study’s findings, equity patterns follow mortgage debt trends, as well. From 1990 to 2006, national mortgage debt grew to $11.3 trillion from $2.5 trillion, then fell to $9.9 trillion by 2015; for the average older homeowner, debt grew from $44,000 to $82,000 between 1998 and 2012.Homeowners aged 65 or older, according to the study’s findings, could have used their home’s equity to grow their retirement income by over 50 percent (up to $60,000) pre-recession, either by borrowing a home equity line of credit, selling their home at a profit, or taking a cash-out refinance or second mortgage. That percentage dropped to 40 percent (up to $49,000) by 2012, despite accumulating an average 10 percent more equity then than in 1998. Home values, still, grew 3 percent by 2014. Monetarily, the average older homeowner’s equity stake increased from $117,000 to $166,000 between 2000 and 2006, then decreased to $129,000 by 2012.

Mortgage loan-to-value (LTV) ratios also moved in tandem; in fact, the proportion of older homeowners with LTV ratios at 80 percent or more doubled from 1998 to 2012, according to the study. The proportion of underwater homeowners tripled over the same period.

Older homeowners overall, however, have more of an opportunity now to unlock the wealth potential of their homes in retirement, even with the recession in the rearview. Their prospects, as the study demonstrates, lean on home value, as well as mortgage debt. State the study’s authors, “The majority of older adults, regardless of income, race and ethnicity, and education, own homes that they could use to help finance their retirement.”Older homeowners today have more favorable retirement conditions, but not without contingencies. Low-income and minority homeowners tend to have most of their wealth tied up in their homes, but accumulate the least equity overall, according to the study—with loan approval related to income, these segments could become challenged, even though they have the potential to increase their retirement incomes considerably more so than other higher-income or majority groups. Low-income and minority homeowners, the study’s authors postulate, will likely rely on Social Security as their primary source of income in retirement.

Tom Stachler is a licensed Broker and Builder marketing homes and properties in the Ann Arbor Michigan area.  Also search for properties, houses, and condos for sale in Saline, Dexter, Chelsea, Milan and the Ypsilanti real estate markets.  Check out the handy Links for realty related information and and MLS inventory access above.  

Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home | MyKCM

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a recent survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say“their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home values are projected to increase by 5.3% over the next 12 months.

What does that mean to you?

Simply put, if you are planning on buying a home that costs $250,000 today, that same home will cost you an additional $13,250 if you wait until next year. Your down payment will need to be higher as well to account for the higher home price.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months as you can see in the chart below:

Mortgage Rate Projections | MyKCMBottom Line

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.



Tom Stachler is a licensed broker and builder in Ann Arbor Area selling homes in Saline, Dexter, Milan and Ypsilanti home and condo markets.  Please check out the handy navigation tabs and other helpful resource Links providing pricing on your home or active real estate Inventory.  

Pros and Cons: Buying a Property for your College Student

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

There’s no way around it, supporting a college student can be very expensive. Food, books, and most importantly, housing — all add a hefty expense on top of tuition. That’s why the idea of purchasing a property for a college student can be a good investment strategy for families and an alternative to paying Rent for four years. If you have clients with children going off to college, use this list to help them weigh the financial pros and cons of buying their college student an off-campus Home.  Ask Tom about how to also create a homestead exemption to save you approx. 33% on property taxes as well.  


  • Offers possible tax benefits, appreciation in value, rental income, etc. Educate your clients on the area and demographics of the town in which they’re considering a purchase, as well as the current property values and typical rent prices.
  • Provides a stable living situation for their child and helps avoid rising rent prices and security deposits.
  • Eliminates any need to pay storage costs for furniture during summer breaks. In addition, they can rent the property out during the summer to make money.
  • Benefits multiply if you have roomates or other children who may attend the same college. 


  • Give this checklist to your client to help them determine if buying a property for their college student is a good investment.Creates homeowner costs such as a mortgage, insurance, and repairs. Have your clients determine a budget and create a list of estimated costs.
  • Unlikely to turn a profit or even recoup the costs of buying and selling the property after their student graduates (e.g., 3-5 years).
  • Must be prepared for the typical “college renter” consequences, i.e., the occasional party trashing, heedless roommate damage, etc. College students don’t have the best reputation when it comes to taking care of properties. Make sure your clients are financially prepared to cover possible repairs.
  • Inherent risk: their student could decide to transfer to a different school, or move back home. Make sure your clients have thought about what they would do if something like this happened.


Tom Stachler is a licensed Broker and Builder based in the tri county area surrounding Ann Arbor Michigan.  Also specializing in the Saline, Dexter, Chelsea and Ypsilanti Markets.  Call Tom for assistance on houses, homes and condos to purchase, list or Lease.  Check out the helpful Links page and navigation tabs above. Looking to purchase a home, check out the all MLS Inventory link above for currently active properties in the Board of Realtors data base.  

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