Real Estate Information Archive


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Luxury Homes: How to Tell if You’re Getting a Fair Price

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

Luxury Homes: How to Tell if You’re Getting a Fair Price


Expensive Real Estate, How to Tell if You are Getting a Fair Price on a Luxury Home

By Anica Oaks

Buying a luxury Home isn’t as straightforward a process as one might think. This market has a lot more variables when it comes to each property, making it difficult to establish an exact market value on a home. That being the case, buyers may wonder if they’re getting a fair price on a luxury piece of property. If you’re in the expensive real estate market, here are some steps to take to ensure that the price for your home is fair.


It should be said that comparing two luxury homes isn’t the same as comparing other types of real estate. When you buy a “normal” home, your REALTOR® will look at similar homes in the area, keeping in mind the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. However, luxury homes aren’t built with that in mind. When you compare these types of homes, you may want to look at features like great views (if it’s a penthouse), privacy, sports features, etc. This gives you an idea of what’s on the market.

Know What You’re Looking For

Once you’ve looked at a couple of properties and have had a chance to compare them, you should be able to develop a “must-have” list. Think about your financing options as well. All of these will become a factor once you’re ready to buy.

Hire an Expert

Like any other profession, the real estate market has professionals that specialize in high-end homes in certain areas. These REALTORS® know what properties in the area are going for and how to find good deals.

Additionally, quality real estate professionals can tell you what types of transportation amenities are in the area. This is especially important if you’re moving into an area that’s very different from your current location. Hiring someone who knows how the flow of a geographic area works will be better able to steer you toward a good location.

Timing and Motivation

Once you’ve done the first three steps, you’ll finally want to start narrowing down the properties you’re looking at. It’s at this time that you’ll be able to make an offer on a home and more importantly, hopefully, get it at a fair price. 

Luxury homebuyers should consider the timing of their purchase. They may be able to get a better deal on a home in the winter than in the summer. The same can be said for homes that go up for sale at the end of the year. These homeowners may want to get rid of the property by year’s end for tax purposes.

Additionally, you may also be able to secure their luxury home at a reasonable price if the seller is motivated to sell. But be warned. Homes priced to sell go fast, in sometimes as little as two weeks. If you find a luxury home at an excellent price, be sure to ask your real estate professional to make an offer on it.

Buying luxury real estate at a good and fair price is a process. You should start by doing some research and by hiring a real estate professional who specializes in the luxury market. From there, compare the different homes on the market. Finally, once it comes time to buy the home, look for a motivated seller. This factor, combined with all of the previous work you’ve done, will help ensure that you’ve gotten the best price for your new place.

Tom Stachler is a Michigan Licensed Builder and Broker serving the Ann Arbor, Saline and surrounding real estate communities.  Please check out the ALL MLS listings for a list of Active status homes and condos for sale.  

Are Shipping Containers the Future of Swimming Pools?

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

Are Shipping Containers the Future of Swimming Pools?


Interesting Idea: One Canadian couple is making a splash transforming shipping containers into backyard swimming pools. (We always knew those shipping containers were universal!)

Paul and Denise Rathnam launched Modpools earlier this year and the idea has taken off, with orders mostly coming from the hottest locales in North America, particularly California, Nevada, Texas and Florida.

“The traditional pool is a symbol of excess and waste. This is a little more modern, more modest. We’re repurposing something rather than recycling. This pool can be resold, and you can take it with you if you move," Paul Rathnam told Vancouver Sun.

It's an interesting concept, for sure, and the design, once installed, looks pretty slick. It's as if your backyard was always destined to house a shipping container.

The standard size Modpool is eight feet wide by 20 feet long, and just over five feet deep. It also comes with a clear, acrylic window on one side, which is actually a pretty spiffy design element. Customers can opt to add another acrylic window on the other side for a see-through look if they want one.

In Canada, after delivery, a Modpool will cost you $35,000 plus tax, which could be a cheaper alternative for families planning on installing an in-ground swimming hole.

Tom Stachler is a Michigan Licensed Builder and Broker serving the Ann Arbor, Saline and surrounding real estate communities.  Please check out the ALL MLS listings for a list of Active status homes and condos for sale. 


by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team
Jeff Bridges Sells Montecito Mansion!

Jeff and Susan Bridges’ dreamy 20-acre Tuscan-style estate in Montecito, California has sold. It is the home where the Bridges raised their three daughters and now as empty nesters, the couple no longer needs the 9,593 square feet of living space. But it must be hard to give up the spectacular ocean view.

Jeff and Susan purchased the property in 1994 from Kenny Loggins for $7 million and put it up for sale in 2015 for $29.5 million. Crowned by stunning Pacific Ocean and Channel Island views, the acreage also includes hiking trails, fruit trees, a vineyard and an enclave where Jeff practiced his skills at pottery making.

The main house has five bedrooms, six baths, large formal rooms for entertaining opening along the grand hall with every room having banks of French doors opening to ocean and garden views and multiple terraces. Included are a large theatre, an attached four-car garage and a wine cellar below ground. The second level contains five bedrooms on wings jutting out from the main structure adding much privacy for the occupants. The master suite is its own private island with bedroom fireplace, huge master bath and a walk-in closet of over 200 square feet. Up the stairs on the private third level above the master is a large private rooftop terrace and private study. Outside are terraced destinations for dining, swimming next to a waterfall and space for lawn games.

Jeff and Susan Bridges have sold their Montecito family home, originally priced at $29.5 million. The sale price was $15.93 million, still making a profit over its $7 million purchase price.

Tom Stachler is a Michigan Licensed Builder and Broker serving the Ann Arbor, Saline and surrounding real estate communities.  Please check out the ALL MLS listings for a list of Active status homes and condos for sale. 

Bob Dylan's Historic Harlem Townhouse - For Sale

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team
Bob Dylan's Harlem Townhouse!

When Bob Dylan moved from Minnesota to New York City in 1960, he was just a few months from the start of his fast rise to stardom. The city quickly became his creative and inspirational playground where he could collaborate, learn from and work with some of the most innovative musicians of the time. Inspired by people such as Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Little Richard, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and his coffee house musician buddies in Greenwich Village, Dylan explored all the genres of American song including country, folk, gospel, rock and roll and even jazz. But it was in songwriting where he made his mark, culminating with the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016 for his lyrics. His long career has spanned politics, social change, philosophy and literature and continue to entertain his fans attending his Never Ending Tour that has been running since the 1980s.

Dylan has sold over 100 million records and won multiples in the music award categories as well as an Academy Award (which he often displays on stage during his concerts), Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, induction into three halls of fame and recognition from presidents and officials worldwide. In the words of Horace Engdahl, a member of the Nobel Committee, Bob Dylan is “ . . a singer worthy of a place beside the Greek bards, beside Ovid, beside the Romantic visionaries, beside the kings and queens of the blues, beside the forgotten masters of brilliant standards.”

The New York City historic Harlem townhouse where Bob Dylan lived from the 1980s until 2000, during some of his most musically productive years, has come on the market. Built circa 1890 and designed by the famous McKim, Mead & White architectural firm, it is located in the St. Nicholas Historic District, created in 1967 by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, encompassing approximately 150 houses. Popularly referred to as Striver’s Row, the neighborhood has attracted important residents through the years from politicians to artists.

Dylan’s four-story townhouse measures 3,952 square feet of restored 19th-century details with a complete 21st-century update for today’s lifestyles. Included are five bedrooms, three baths, six fireplaces with original mantels, formal dining room, large living room with Juliette balcony, a library, inlaid hardwood floors, crown molding, wainscoting and high ceilings.

Bob Dylan’s former historic Harlem townhouse of 14 years is now for sale, priced at $3.595 million.

Tom Stachler is a Michigan Licensed Builder and Broker serving the Ann Arbor, Saline and surrounding real estate communities.  Please check out the ALL MLS listings for a list of Active status homes and condos for sale.  

5 Cities Millennials are Flocking To

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

5 Cities Millennials are Flocking To

There are several places in the U.S. where millennials can be found due to the high employment rates and beautiful settings. For adults who are in their 20s and 30s, there are several places where it's smart to invest. When you're looking to move, these are a few cities that millennials are flocking to throughout the country.

Salt Lake City, Utah 


The high job growth in Salt Lake City makes it a desirable place for young adults to live as they look to obtain steady employment. The city is affordable to live in and has a median Home price of $233,000 with job growth of 2.4 percent. Salt Lake City also has a lower unemployment rate compared to other markets throughout the U.S. with 2.9 percent, which is below the national average by a few points.

Seattle, Wash.


Seattle is considered to be a hot spot for millennials, which make up 24.1 percent of the population. Its busy nightlife scene and generous median incomes of $67,000 make it an ideal place to live for younger generations. It also boasts a job growth rate of 10.8 percent. The beautiful views of the water and the long list of activities and attractions in the area are additional reasons that many millennials relocate to the city.

Austin, Texas


Millennials are drawn to Austin for its real estate market, which includes homes that have a median price of $226,000. The job growth is also 4.2 percent, and it's the second top city in the country for the number of jobs that are becoming available. Some of the top companies that are run out of Austin include Dell, Apple, and Google, making it known as "Silicon Hills." The average median income is also $58,932, which allows many young adults to afford to purchase their first home.

There's also a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability, making the city desirable for millennials who make green practices a priority. Austin is also known for selling more renewable energy than other nations.

Charlotte, N.C.


Charlotte is one of the best places to live in North Carolina with 14 percent of the population between the ages of 25 and 34. Many of the youth are post-college graduates who have relocated to the city to seek employment and purchase a home in a neighborhood that has a suburban family profile. The draw of millennials is also causing many companies to relocate their headquarters to Charlotte in hopes of hiring talented employees.

Dallas, Texas


Dallas continues to grow each year and attract young out-of-towners due to its job growth rate of 3.9 percent and median Home Price of $175,000. The big city boasts plenty of shopping opportunities and attractions for those who want to stay busy without spending a lot to live close to the downtown area. The city hasn't attempted to control ride sharing, and many places are also easy to access by walking. There are also neighboring cities that are affordable to live in for those who don't mind commuting to work.

Tom Stachler is one of the Ann Arbor and Saline Michigan's leading real estate brokers with over 25 years of experience in the Ann Arbor and surrounding areas.  Check out the MLS Listings link above for a list of thousands of real estate listings for sale in Michigan.

Gadgets from The Jetsons That Have Become a Reality

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

7 Gadgets from ‘The Jetsons’ That Have Become a Reality



If you were around during either run of "The Jetsons"—first in 1962 and again in 1985—you may have watched the show and wondered if the technology the futuristic family used would ever become a reality. In fact, quite a few of the gadgets used on the show have become commonplace in real life. From robotic maids to video chatting, here’s a look at how the future predicted by "The Jetsons" has become the present and how you can get in on it today.

1. Robot Vacuums

The Jetsons had robotic helpers that took care of all sorts of daily tasks around the house. Rosie, the family’s robot maid, was always working to keep their Home in tip-top shape. While we may not be quite at the Rosie level with our robots, little helpers like the Roomba from iRobot can get you pretty close.

Roomba will take care of the vacuuming for you. It may still need some maintenance—like emptying dust bins or making sure the floor is clear so it can do its job—but if you hate vacuuming, this little guy is going to be your best friend. These types of home automation devices promise to free up tons of time for more important activities in your day-to-day lives.

2. Smartwatches

Way back when Steve Jobs was just a boy, the Jetsons had little square watches they would watch TV on. While the Apple Watch doesn’t have the ability to stream television—yet—it does bear a striking resemblance to the gadget the Jetsons used almost 50 years before the Apple Watch was unveiled.

Even if you can’t catch up on your Netflix queue, today’s smartwatches have a lot of futuristic capabilities. You can take calls, set reminders, check sports scores, see weather forecasts, and do other tasks right on your wrist.

3. Video Calls

Another technological capability that probably seemed far-fetched at the time "The Jetsons" aired was video chatting. The characters would call each other up and communicate as if they were face-to-face. These days, apps like FaceTime and Skype make it as easy as tapping a contact name.

Of all the advances in technology that have accompanied the smartphone craze, video chatting might be the most life changing. Grandparents can see their grandkids from thousands of miles away at any time. Soldiers can chat with their spouses and children from across the ocean. The impact this tech has had on families can’t be overstated.

4. Talking Tech

In "The Jetsons," George was woken up each day by a talking alarm clock built into his bed. After being rudely startled awake, he could silence the alarm with his own voice—usually an angry grunt or groan.

If you want the talking alarm clock experience, plenty of options are available. Smartphone apps like the Rock Clock allow you to rise every morning to Dwayne Johnson’s soothing vocals, while dedicated alarm clocks that talk to you are available for the old-school consumer.

It isn’t just alarms that talk, though. It’s possible to have anything on your screen read to you using accessibility tech like screen readers, and digital assistants like Siri and Alexa will not only speak info to you but also have actual conversations with you.

5. Flat-Screen TVs

At a time when many TVs were still black and white and all of them were thick and bulky with tiny screens, "The Jetsons" featured flat-screen TVs with huge screens that lowered from the ceiling. In the ’60s, this would have been unthinkable.

Today’s televisions are ultra-thin and often very light with huge screens and ridiculously high resolutions. LG unveiled a model at CES this year that is less than 2.6 millimeters thick and weighs only seventeen pounds—and it’s a sixty-five-inch display!

TVs that retract into the ceiling are also a thing. Companies like Nexus 21 can install a TV concealment system that makes it impossible to tell anything is there until you’re ready to watch, keeping your walls and living space open until show time.

6. Drones

The Jetson kids were dropped off at school each day by robotic drones—a far cry from the school buses most of us grew up with. While we are still a long way off from personal drones to chauffeur us around, the technology is advancing rapidly, and drones are being used for a variety of purposes.

Consumer-oriented drones are basically futuristic RC cars, and military drones fly combat missions while keeping our troops out of harm’s way. Even Amazon’s delivery drones can have an order to your doorstep in less than thirty minutes. Self-driving cars are also coming along nicely, so it might not be long before these technologies converge to bring us our very own Jetsons-style transport pods.

7. Pill Cameras

A piece of technology that’s easy to miss both on "The Jetsons" and in everyday life is the PillCam. On the show, George swallows a little robot that travels around his body and performs a checkup. If you’ve had any sort of digestive issues in the last several years, the chances are good you may have swallowed a very similar device.

The PillCam is exactly what it sounds like—a camera in a pill-shaped case that you swallow. It can be a little hard to choke down due to the size, but once swallowed, the camera goes to work, imaging your digestive tract and transmitting the info to a receiver. This helps diagnose a variety of illnesses, like Crohn’s disease, and helps the patient avoid a much more elaborate and invasive endoscopy procedure.

"The Jetsons" first aired in 1962, and fifty years later the show’s futuristic vision of life has very nearly become a reality. What do you think our homes and lives will be like in another 50 years?

Tom Stachler is one of the Ann Arbor and Saline Michigan's leading real estate brokers with over 25 years of experience in the Ann Arbor and surrounding areas.  Check out the MLS Listings link above for a list of thousands of real estate listings for sale in Michigan.

11156 Pinehurst, Plymouth, MI Condo for Sale

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

Coming Soon: 4 Bedroom Plymouth Condo with Walk Out & Wooded Views

Great location for commuters wanting easy access to M-14.  This wonderful Home is for sale and located on a cul du sac that backs to a wooded common area.  This Rare 4 Bedroom unit sports a walk out basement with high ceilings and 3pc plumbing or a third bath.  The deck provides peaceful sunset views over a quiet wooded common nature area.  

Upstairs you will find Maple cabinets with Corian counters, Gas Fireplace with mantel and hardwood flooring and soaring ceilings.

Click here for more info/photos/video

Owner is prepping to get ready for MLS entry so stop back and to Look new photos and an HD walk through video all coming very soon.  Call Tom Stachler now to get on the first to show list.  


Plymouth Michigan condo for sale with 4 Bedrooms and 2.5 Bathrooms.  Use this website contact information to Call Tom Stachler to setup a showing appointment today when looking for this home or any Plymouth Michigan Real Estate Broker Listing. 

How to Prepare Your Home Before Going on Vacation

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

How to Prepare Your Home Before Going on Vacation

luxurious villa with swimming pool at dusk

Your summer vacation is finally here! You’ve booked flights, reserved hotel rooms, and scoped out the best places to eat along the way, but have you prepared your home for your absence?

Nothing spoils a vacation like returning to smelly trash, sad house plants, or an unexpected break-in. Whether you plan to be gone for a week or a month, there are a few simple steps you can take to get your home ready so you can relax and enjoy your time away.

Clean Up

Leave your home exactly as you’d like to find it when you return—like new!

  • Empty your refrigerator of any perishable foods that will pass their enjoy-by dates while you are away, and toss open pantry items that will mold or go stale.
  • Take out the trash and recycling. Don’t forget about smaller trash cans in bathrooms and utility rooms.
  • Finish, fold, and put away laundry. You’ll likely have clothes to wash when you return, so get a jumpstart before you go.  
  • Wash your sheets and towels, and remake your beds. You’ll thank your past self when you come home to fresh linens in clean bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Wipe down counters, run your garbage disposal, sanitize toilets, and organize clutter.

Close Out

Reduce the possibility of surprise maintenance issues, which can be costly to fix, by keeping up with regular home repairs throughout the year.

  • Perform routine inspections and weatherize. Make sure your heating and cooling systems, gas and water lines, and roof and windows are in good shape. Clean up your yard, mow the grass, and take care of any dead trees or overhanging limbs that could cause damage in severe weather.
  • Unplug all small appliances. This will save power and eliminate the potential for things to short-circuit and cause significant electrical damage.
  • Check your smoke detectors. Batteries die, parts wear out, and dust and other pollutants can impede alarm performance. Make sure your home is prepared in case of fire, and consider integrating your detectors into your home security system so the fire department is notified in an emergency.
  • Turn off your water at the main shut-off valve to prevent damage in the case of a burst pipe or water heater malfunction. Consider installing a water and flood sensor, which detects moisture where it shouldn’t be and pushes notifications to your smartphone.
  • Leave your closet doors ajar to prevent mold and musty smells from building up.


Protect your home and belongings from thieves. The highest percentage of burglaries occur during the summer months, and homes without security or alarm systems are up to 300 percent more likely to be broken into.

  • Set up remote monitoring. You can have a security system professionally installed or start with a wireless security camera that you can view from your smartphone. If you have a security monitoring service, let them know that you are traveling.
  • Collect spare keys. If you have house keys hiding under doormats or flower pots, bring them inside so prowlers don’t find them. Leave an extra set with a trusted neighbor or friend in case there’s an issue that needs to be addressed while you’re away.
  • Hold your mail and newspapers. Nothing signals that you are out of town like an overflowing mailbox or stack of unread papers on your front porch. Placing a hold with USPS is as easy as completing an online form and will prevent identity thieves from targeting sensitive information found in bills and credit card statements.
  • Take advantage of home automation. You can link everything from smart locks that you can triple-check via smartphone app to smart doorbell cameras that sense motion on your front porch and have two-way audio.
  • Close blinds into rooms that contain expensive items, and set up smart light timers that mirror your regular habits when you’re home.
  • Ask for help. Have a neighbor park in your driveway while you’re gone, and enlist a friend to water your plants and check up periodically on your property.

A little bit of preparation will go a long way when it comes to leaving your home clean and secure, and enjoying your vacation stress-free!

Tom Stachler is a Michigan Licensed Builder and Broker serving the Ann Arbor, Saline and surrounding real estate communities.  Please check out the ALL MLS listings for a list of Active status homes and condos for sale.  


by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team
Sting's Central Park Penthouse!

One of the world’s most popular singers-songwriters-celebrities is selling his Central Park penthouse. Starting out as the principal writer, lead singer and bassist for the rock band The Police from 1977 to 1984 and on to a highly successful solo career, Sting has won 16 Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, a Golden Globe, an Emmy and four nominations for Academy Awards best song.  Now at age 65, he has shifted some of his energy from music to real estate.


Like many of today’s celebrities, Sting turned to real estate as a safe haven to park, enjoy and invest his money.  Real estate has been a popular second career for a number of celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt and Diane Keaton.  Sting and his wife, actress Trudie Styler, have diversified with property in Italy, England and the United States.  In northern England, they own a farm house in the Lake District, in southern England is their 800-acre estate in Wiltshire, and they sold a London townhouse in 2015 at an approximate $20 million profit.  In Italy, they own the Il Palagio estate where they spend summers and Rent out at upwards of $100,000 per week with afternoon tea included.  In the United States, they own a Malibu, California beach house, which they rent for $200,000 for the summer, and a Manhattan penthouse which they have recently put on the market for $56 million.  


Sting’s Manhattan penthouse is located at 15 Central Park West, one of the city’s much coveted buildings.  At 5,417 square feet, the entry opens to a stunning circular staircase that looks more like a sculpture than functional access to an upper floor.  It draws the eye upward to the 10-foot ceilings and across to the walls of glass overlooking the treetops of Central Park from its 44 feet of park frontage.  The view becomes even more magical from the parkside 400-square-foot terrace.  Also included are three bedrooms, four baths, an office, a sunny white kitchen with its own spiral staircase and a free-standing Fibonacci spiral fireplace in the living room that lends drama.


The building, known for its excellent amenities, includes a full-time staff, climate-controlled wine rooms, a 75-foot lap pool with skylights and a 14,000-square-foot fitness center.  Co-listing agents are Suzun J. Bennet of Sotheby’s International Realty and Deborah Kern of Corcoran.


Legendary musician and songwriter Sting has listed his plush Manhattan Central Park duplex penthouse at $56 million.

Tom Stachler is a Michigan Licensed Builder and Broker serving the Ann Arbor, Saline and surrounding real estate communities.  Please check out the ALL MLS listings for a list of Active status homes and condos for sale.  

High School and College Gift Ideas

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team
As students prepare to graduate from high school and college in the coming weeks, family members and friends are beginning the search for graduation gifts. Though money may seem like the obvious choice, giving a physical item can make your gift stand out among a stack of cards. Here are five potential gifts for high-school and college graduates:

Business cards: As college graduates enter the “real world,” business cards can help them look professional at career fairs and job interviews. If you don’t know what design your grad would prefer, sites like Tiny Prints and Zazzle offer gift certificates. Complete the gift with a business card holder.

Book journals: Without homework, college grads have a lot more time to read for pleasure. One of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received is the What I Read book journal (, which includes space to write the name and author of the book, when you read it, the rating you give it and comments. Other companies that sell book journals include Moleskine and Barnes and Noble.

Letters to the graduate: From the makers of letters to my future self (also a great gift), this book of 12 prompted letters: (

Q&A journals: High-school graduates might like this Q&A a day for college journal (, which provides 365 questions for them to answer during each of their four years in college. Questions range from “What did you eat at the dining hall today?” to bigger questions about goals and relationships, and the writer can see how answers change over the course of their undergraduate career. For college graduates, the five-year Q&A a day journal (

Stationery: Both high school and college graduates will have many thank-you notes to write, and finding nice stationery is the first step. Names or initials add a personal touch, and companies like Crane & Co., American Stationery, and The Stationery Studio offer customized cards and letter sheets. Card boxes, in which guests can put cards at graduation parties, are another good gift option.

Or you could buy them a new condo or Home?  ;-)  Give us a call if we can ever help with a realty matter by using the contact information for Tom Stachler listed on this website or direct dial at 734-996-0000.  

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 12