Real Estate Information Archive


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Homewonership Rate Rallies

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

Is the tide turning? The homeownership rate rallied slightly at 63.5 percent in the third quarter, higher than the 62.9 percent rate in the second quarter—the lowest point in more than 50 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Housing Vacancies and Homeownership report. The third quarter homeownership rate did not differ considerably from last year’s third quarter, however, at 63.7 percent.

On inventory, roughly 87 percent of housing was occupied in the third quarter, with 55.5 percent owner-occupied and 31.9 renter-occupied.

The Midwest saw the highest homeownership rates in the third quarter at 68.6 percent; the West saw the lowest, at 58.2 percent.

Non-Hispanic white homeowners held the highest homeownership rate in the third quarter, as well, at 71.9 percent. Asian or Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander homeowners held the second-highest rate at 55.6 percent. Hispanic homeowners held the third-highest, at 47.0 percent. Black homeowners held the lowest rate, at 41.3 percent—though both the Hispanic and Black rates were higher than those of last year’s third quarter.Homeownership rates in the third quarter were also highest among homeowners aged 65 and older, at 79.0 percent, and lowest for homeowners aged 35 and younger, at 35.2 percent.

The homeowner housing vacancy rate came in at 1.8 percent in the third quarter, while the renter vacancy rate reported 6.8 percent. Homeowner vacancy rates were highest outside metro areas at 2.5 percent, followed by inside principal cities at 1.9 percent and in suburban areas at 1.5 percent. Renter vacancy rates mirrored those of homeowners: highest outside metro areas at 9.6 percent followed by inside principal cities at 6.9 percent and in suburban areas at 6.0 percent.

“Optimists and pessimists alike have fodder for their cause,” wrote Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin. “On the optimist’s side, household formation—whether it’s from new renter or new owner households—is good for both the housing market and the general economy, as some renters eventually become owners and new households drive demand for Home-related goods and services. On the pessimist’s side, there are headwinds for those that want to own a home, but can’t: prices and rents have outpaced incomes, credit standards are higher, and a high share of young households are still living with their parents.The median list price of vacant for-sale housing in the third quarter was $157,500.

“Given other evidence from the [Census] release, my views swing more with the optimists than the pessimists.”

Tom Stachler is a licensed Broker and Builder marketing condo and home in the Ann Arbor Michigan are including other 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 Links, contractor discounts and sources.   Have questions want a price on your home or searching for homes, hit the contact me link or call us, we would love to hear from you.  

Top 10 Most Expensive Mistakes You’re Making on Your Home

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

Top 10 Most Expensive Mistakes You’re Making on Your Home



Homes cost a lot of money to maintain. But are you spending extra money unnecessarily on the upkeep of your home? Here are 10 of the most expensive mistakes you could be making in your home.

1. Using Traditional Light bulbs

If you still have incandescent light bulbs in your home, you could be throwing a lot of money away every month on inflated electric bills. Over its life span, an incandescent bulb can use $180 worth of electricity. A CFL will only use $41 worth of electricity over the same time period. Even better is the LED bulb, which only uses $30 per bulb. Think what replacing every light bulb in your home could do to your home's bottom line.

2. Ignoring a Leaky Faucet

A leaky faucet that drips one drop per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, which is enough water to take more than 180 showers. Some of us live in areas where water is plentiful, but for those of us in areas plagued with drought, this could be costing you a fortune. Fix or replace your leaky faucet and save a ton on your water bill.

3. Using the Wrong Air Filter Size

We all sometimes forget to change out the air filters for our HVAC systems or accidentally buy the wrong size. But using the wrong filter or a dirty filter can increase your power bill and cause expensive problems for your furnace down the road. Use the correct filters for your system, and set a reminder to change them after the recommended amount of time. You won't regret it.

4. Not Customizing Temperature

Invest in a customizable thermostat. If you're away at the office all day, you can program your heater to shift down a few degrees while you're gone and then shift back up shortly before you return home. Heating or cooling an empty home wastes a lot of money in energy costs.

5. Not Adjusting Air Vents Properly

Is one room in your home hot, while the others are cold? Oftentimes homeowners will crank up the air conditioning in the whole house to combat hot temperatures in one area. Instead, adjust air vents to direct the flow of air more evenly throughout your entire home. Professionals will come regulate this to ensure that your entire home is receiving the same amount of air conditioning or heating.

6.Over Watering Lawn

Many homeowners have their sprinkler systems programmed to come on in the early morning hours for optimum lawn health. This can become a problem, however, if you're never around to see what you're actually watering. A broken sprinkler head could be causing a fountain, or the trajectory of your sprinkler may be directed at a fence instead of your lawn. Periodically run your sprinklers during the day so you can see how they are performing when you're not around.

7. Water Heater Temperature Set Too High

Unless you have a tankless water heater, your water heater is keeping the water in its tank hot 24/7. If you don't keep an eye on the temperature as each season changes, you may be paying too much to heat your water. Decrease the temperature in the summer, and bump it back up when winter comes.

8. Leaky Windows and Doors

Leaky windows and doors are great places for cold, winter winds to enter your home. Many homeowners simply ignore them and crank up their heaters. Caulk leaky windows and put rubber seal around doors to keep winter winds out and warmth in.

9. Paying a Handyman

Don't pay a handyman for a job that is simple enough to do yourself. If you're unsure of how to do something, look up video tutorials online. Doing simple tasks yourself can save you a lot of money.

10. Ignoring Curled Shingles

It may be easy to ignore problems on your roof, but it will only lead to bigger problems later. If you see any possible issues with your roof, repair them as soon as possible, as this will save you significant costs later.

Use these 10 tips to cut maintenance costs on your home today.

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.  

Percentage of Condo Owners Required for Financing

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

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has lowered its owner-occupancy requirement for condominiums, marking progress in an issue believed to be preventing homebuyers from entering the real estate market. The action, announced in a mortgagee letter issued this week, lowers the requirement from 50 percent to 35 percent, effective immediately.

Condo projects older than 12 months with at least 35 percent owner occupancy (and less than 50 percent) can qualify for FHA certification, provided other conditions are met. From FHA’s letter:

  • Applications must be submitted for processing and review under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Review and Approval Process (HRAP) option;
  • Financial documents must provide for funding of replacement reserves for capital expenditures and deferred maintenance in an account representing at least 20 percent of the budget;
  • No more than 10 percent of the total units can be in arrears (more than 60 days past due) on their condominium association fee payments; and
  • Three years of acceptable financial documents (defined in the letter) must be provided.

The action is a win for the real estate industry, which has been advocating for changes, and homebuyers, especially first-time buyers for whom condos are the most affordable housing option.

“NAR has been fighting for changes to FHA’s condominium rules for years, and the mortgagee letter announced will bring some much needed relief to the market,” says Salomone. “Condominiums will have a much easier time getting certified by FHA, and Realtors® will have more options for clients looking to purchase a condo with an FHA mortgage. This is a big win for NAR, and while we believe all condominiums should have the rules applied to them equally, we also believe FHA has heard the concerns of Realtors® and is moving in the right direction.”The lowered requirement is a step forward, says National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) President Tom Salomone.

NAR will continue to work with FHA to address transfer fees, commercial space requirements, and other issues, Salomone says.

FHA’s action comes following the passage of the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act,” which mandated the lowered requirement


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.  


9404 Thornbird Way, Saline, Michigan Home for Sale

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

Low York Township Taxes and Just 5 minutes from US-23 & I-94 Freeway Split

This Wonderful Home has mature landscaping and trees with a fenced back yard and storage shed.  We are located in Sandpiper Cove and are tastefully adorned with two fireplaces, a study, finished basement with full bath.  Its perched up on a hill with great visibility and mature landscaping that provides plenty of privacy while you soak in your year round hot tub.  

9404 Thornbird Way, Saline, Michigan Home for Sale

  • 3350 Satellite ft plus 1200 square ft Finished Basement with Full Bath
  • Third floor two room guest suite with full bath
  • Two Fireplaces
  • Study - Sitting Room
  • Maple Hardwood Floors
  • 3 Car Attached Garage
  • 9 Foot Ceilings
  • 6 Person Hot Tub
  • 4 Bedroom and 4.5 Baths
  • In Ground Sprinkler System
  • Small Outbuilding
  • Satellite Dish & Comcast Cable
  • Smart house Wiring
  • Fenced Back Yard with out building
  • Control heat/AC temp with zoned thermostat on each floor
  • Beautifully Landscaped and surrounded by mature trees 

Contact Tom Stachler to setup a showing appointment. 


Famous Encino, Calif. Home Hops on Market - Jack Bauer Fox Show 24

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

Famous Encino, Calif. Home Hops on Market



Fans of the Fox show "24," listen up: Jack Bauer's fictional home is now for sale for a cool $3.9 million. The posh space, located at 4620 Rubio Ave in Encino, Calif., was also featured in "CSI" and the 90s classic "Beverly Hills, 90210."

Stretching 6,000 square feet with 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, the modern home was designed in 1939 by prominent architect J.R. Davidson, who went on to design three Arts & Architecture magazine Case Study homes.

The one story home sits on two-thirds of a seriously lush acre, with a pool perfect for lounging, sleek spaces for entertaining both indoors and out, a home gym, an outdoor kitchen, fireplace and fire pit. If that's not impressive enough, you'll be comforted to know that early photos of the residence hang in the Getty Center.

Listed byAlan Taylor of the John Aaroe Group
Listed for: $3,999,000

Photos by James Moss

Encino 2

Encino 2

Encino 3

Tom Stachler is a licensed Builder and Broker marketing homes in the Ann Arbor Real Estate Market and servicing Saline, Dexter, Chelsea, Milan and the Ypsilanti Michigan home and condo real estate for sale communities.  Check out our helpful Links section or contact us if you are considering Buying or selling a house or commercial property.  


Pest Maintenace for the New Homeowner

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

5 Pesty Mistakes New Home Owners Make

Some tips about home Pest maintenance around the house.  Check out the Video below.  

Tom Stachler is a licensed Builder and Broker in the Ann Arbor Michigan area also serving Saline, Dexter, Chelsea and the Ypsilanti real estate home and condo sales market.  Check out the home search or Listings tab link above for an inventory of properties for sale.  Also win dinner for two by visiting our Facebook page at

Information about Automated or Autonomous Vehicles in MIchigan

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

Mcity Information at the University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center

Testing new technologies in a realistic off-roadway environment is an essential step before a significant number of highly automated vehicles can be deployed safely on actual roadways. Working with the Michigan Department of Transportation, U of M researchers have designed Mcity, a unique test facility for evaluating the capabilities of connected, autonomous and automated vehicles and systems.

Occupying 32 acres at the University’s North Campus Research Complex, autonomous simulates the broad range of complexities vehicles encounter in urban and suburban environments. It includes approximately five lane-miles of roads with intersections, traffic signs and signals, sidewalks, benches, simulated buildings, street lights, and obstacles such as construction barriers. Mcity celebrated its grand opening on July 20, 2015 with representatives from government, industry, & the university. 

The University of Michigan is know world wide for its work in the transportation research and standards field.  Ann Arbor is also known as the Michigan Hub for research for many different interests in medicine, transportation and information systems.  

Looking to relocate to Michigan?  Contact area realty broker and builder Tom Stachler at Real Estate One for more information or use the handy navigation tabs above to find current properties for sale in the residential or commercial markets.  Other Links will provide contractor, school and other moving related information and references.  


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.  

Brian Wilson’s Lake Arrowhead Estate

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

brian_wilson_lake_arrowheadAfter Elvis and before the Beatles, the Beach Boys were America’s favorite rock ‘n’ roll group. The band, led by Brian Wilson and his two brothers, a cousin and a family friend, began performing in 1961 in Hawthorne, Calif., as The Pendletones. Within less than two years—and a name change later—the Beach Boys ruled the U.S. airwaves with “Surfin’ Safari,” “Surfin’ USA” and “Surfer Girl.” Between the Boys’ own hits and the No. 1 song “Surf City” that Wilson wrote and produced for American rock duo Jan and Dean, Wilson pretty much created the California beach music sound.

Today, Wilson and his wife Melinda are surfing onto the real estate scene, having recently listed their professionally decorated vacation retreat on Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino National Forest west of Los Angeles. At 4,500 square feet, the five-bedroom, five-bathroom, three-story Home is equipped with an elevator to access each floor, terraces/balconies on each level, two fireplaces and views of the lake from all the common rooms. A perfect blend of formal and casual, soaring ceilings give the interior an airy, cheerful vibe. The open layout lends itself to entertaining, as does the outdoor kitchen on the deck overlooking the lake. A single, solar-powered boat slip is included in the sale. Wilson had another home in Lake Arrowhead that he sold in 2003 to buy an equestrian property for his daughters, but he returned to the area in 2011.

Lake Arrowhead has been a peaceful retreat for the rich and famous and a backdrop in films since the early 1900s. Early actors decided to build vacation homes in the area after making films in the prestigious locale, and, today, many celebrities continue to visit and own homes there. Lake Arrowhead has been a popular hangout for Howard Hughes, Charles Lindbergh, Bugsy Siegel, Michael Jackson and many others.


Tom Stachler is a licensed broker and builder marketing properties in the Ann Arbor Michigan area and specializing in the Saline, Dexter, Chelsea, Milan, Pinckney and Ypsilanti communities. Use the helpful tabs and Links above to search for homes and condos for sale or Lease.  

Tips to Help You Secure Your First Mortgage

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

5 Tips to Help You Secure Your First Mortgage

Unless you are paying full price in cash, you're going to need a mortgage if you want to buy a Home. Fortunately, interest rates for these loans are currently at historic lows, which makes it easier than ever to afford the house of your dreams. Follow these steps if you want to get the best mortgage value for your money.

Check Your Credit Report

Arguably, the one of the most important factor in determining your mortgage is your ability to manage money, which is detailed in your credit report. This document includes such information as the credit accounts that you have, the debt that you're carrying and with whom, your monthly payments and how often you meet payment deadlines or skip them. 

Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a number between 300 and 800 that indicates your credit worthiness. Higher numbers, those above 700, will get you the best interest rates and payment terms. Lower numbers, anything under 600, may make it impossible for you to obtain a loan. Much of the information in your credit report determines the score. Not sure what your credit score is? You can find out here!

Fix Problems

Go through your credit report in detail and look for any errors, such as in the amounts owed, the names and addresses of merchants, and your payment history. If you discover any issues, contact the company responsible for the account or the credit reporting company that created the report. By law, they must correct the error, although it might take them a while to do so.

Higher credit scores, those above 700, will get you the best interest rates and payment terms. Lower scores, anything under 600, may make it impossible for you to obtain a loan.

The only areas you cannot correct are accurate financial issues, such as missed or late payments, bankruptcies or judgments against you. If a lender asks you about these problems, be prepared to explain them. Otherwise, these black marks will typically drop off your credit report in about seven years.

Get Prequalified

Before you go on a house hunt, you need some idea of what you can afford. Although the Internet is full of affordability calculators, their results carry no weight with sellers. A calculation that is valuable in real estate offers is prequalification. This is a process where a lender examines your credit information, down payment, and other financial details to determine the mortgage that you can afford. Armed with this information, you can then confine your house hunting to properties in your price range.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

Buying a home is a complex process that involves rules, regulations and standards that you must follow precisely, or your transaction will fall through. You may think that doing this on your own may save you money but it may cost you more in the long run. Obtaining the services of a real estate agent is the best way to ensure that your purchase will be successful and efficient.

Tom and his Team will help you find several homes that meet your pre-qualification amount and your desires. They can also open homes up to you that do not yet exist on any Internet or newspaper listing. Finally, they'll negotiate the best price in your name and fill out all the paperwork, so that all you have to worry about is when you can move in.  Additional Lender info can be found at or contact us for recommendations.  


Tom is a Michigan Licensed Broker working in the Ann Arbor Real Estate Market.  Contact 

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