Real Estate Information Archive


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Ann Arbor Area Real Estate Market and Trends Update for August 2016

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

Check out this video covering the August Real Estate Market and Trends Report from our Corporate President Dan Elsea


Tom Stachler is a Michigan Licensed Real Estate Broker and Builder, covering the Ann Arbor, Saline, Dexter, Chelsea and Ypsilanti Markets and surrounding areas.  Contact him to day for a free Home evaluation or stop by our automated market pricing tool at website for immediate ballpark pricing info without having to call anyone.  Tom and his team represent buyers and sellers in the tri-county area of Livingston, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.  Check out the helpful Links and navigation tabs above for more information and resources.  


5 Cheaper Home-Staging Idea Suggestions

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team
  1. Packing away personal items is one of the simplest — and cheapest — things you can do to sell your house or condo quickly.  Pack Away Personal Items and get ready for your next move. 

“The reason you want to depersonalize your home is because you want buyers to view it as their potential home,” we always say.

“Pictures are extremely distracting. You cannot believe how long potential buyers will stop and stare at people they do not know in photos,” and within reason on both these suggestions we also recommend moving any religious items from plain view.

The cost: $2 to $3 for a roll of packaging tape. You already have the scissors on hand and you can often score the boxes for free from a neighborhood store.In addition to attracting the buyer, “you want the buyer’s agent to enjoy showing the home,”  because even if this particular buyer isn’t interested, the agent might represent someone who would be a good match.

  1. Clear Clutter

“This is the hardest thing for most people to do because they are emotionally attached to everything in the house,” 

We recommend removing items from countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms. We suggest putting things in boxes and neatly stacking them in the corner of the garage. Anything extra should go in a small, rented storage unit. After years of living in the same home, clutter collects in such a way that may not be evident to the homeowner. However, it does affect the way buyers see the home, even if you do not realize it. Clutter collects on shelves and countertops, and in drawers, closets, garages, attics and basements.  Look for deals on plastic bins that have lids and stack neatly on top of each other.  These make a great alternative to storage shelves in the future for not only this place, but your next home.  Label gun the front neatly to make things easy to organize and find going forward. 

Or even better, ask a friend or relative to hang on to your items for free.

“Pack up 90 percent of your home, is a worthy goal" we always say. 

The cost: The price of a storage unit varies (around $45 a month for a 5-by-5-foot unit) or you can also consider one of the "pods" type moving services that will drop and retrieve a storage container in your driveway that they will later store until needed .  

  1. Rearrange and Neutralize

Rearrange the rooms in your home to reel in prospective buyers. Make sure each room has a distinct, useful purpose.

We suggest touring builders’ models to see how the rooms are furnished.

“Builders are experts on preparing their product for prospective buyers,” 

Have spare time when done? Closets should be “neat and organized.”  Even cereal boxes and can goods with labels forward organized from highest height to lowest gets noticed sub consciously by the buyers if we are splitting hairs here.   

“The pair of shoes or clothes that you haven’t worn in 10 years, get rid of at good will or Salvation Army etc. 

If your home has been painted recently, consider yourself ahead of the game. If not, take a paintbrush to the rooms that need it most. Sellers who paint the interior of their home will see a large return on the investment, this is one of the best returns on your dollar

“Fresh, neutral paint on the walls, trim and doors is worth its weight in gold — it makes everything appear clean and new,” I always say.

The cost: Anywhere from $12 to $50 per gallon for paint, plus another $10 to $50 for other painting supplies (primer, brushes, drop cloths, etc.) You can get back some of that money as a refund on your taxes for any items you donate to charity (such as those extra shoes in the closet).

  1. Scrub and Deodorize

Make sure your house or condo shines from top to bottom.

Cleaning and deodorizing a home before every showing “should be first and foremost.”

The goal is to help buyers imagine themselves living in the home.  Thus the less distractions objective.

“When buyers see an unkempt home or smell something when they first walk in, they become turned off immediately,”  we always say. “They can rarely see past it to look at all of the great features in the home.”

We suggest having the house professionally cleaned so that everything is spotless — windows, sliding glass door tracks, garage, basement, ceiling fans, etc.

We also recommend baking cookies in the oven, bringing cinnamon sticks to a slow boil in a pot of water or using air freshener to mask smells before each showing. Ridding the home of litter boxes or at least stale box material is also a must.

The cost: Varies by the location and size of the home, but typically less than $100 to clean a 4-bedroom, 2,500-square-foot home. Cookie dough runs about $3.

  1. Enhance Curb Appeal

Whatever you do, do not overlook the home’s exterior when selling.

“Curb appeal is just as important as cleaning the inside of the home — it’s the buyer’s first impression of your home,” are some of the things we mention in a special video we provide every one of our listing sellers.

“You only have one chance to make a first impression. …You want your home to stand out.”

Mow the lawn, make sure the sidewalk and driveway are free of clutter and debris, and ensure the house number is easily visible.

It may also be beneficial to pressure-clean the exterior of your home, driveway and sidewalk, if needed. Fresh stain on the deck or front door

Another valuable low-cost solution? Mulch.

“Mulch is cheap and covers a multitude of sins. It makes everything look trim and neat,” Landscaper and other contractors discount information is available using the link.  

The cost: Mulch costs around $3 per bag. The cost of renting a pressure washer varies, but you may be able to get one from a local hardware store for around $50 per day. It may cost double that to purchase a pressure washer. Professional cleaning with a pressure washer for a 2,500 square-foot-house may set you back about $250.


Looking to Sell your Property?  

Showing tips that will help you sell your home.  Tom Stachler is a licensed Broker and builder serving the areas near Ann Arbor, Michigan. Saline, Dexter, Chelsea homes and houses, condos for sale.  Get more information using our Links page or contractor discounts site.  We can provide you with a helpful personalized marketing plan showing how digital clout and marketing prowess prowess including staging video to watch at home and taking charge of any recommended contractors and projects aimed at getting you a higher return on your sale and investment.  We also have an automated service to get a shotgun type price for your property at

Tips for Your Next Bathroom Update

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

Tips for Your Next Bathroom Update

Check out this video for a couple ideas to prime your next Home improvement project perhaps?  

We are always here to help you in any project or referral.  Check out our contractor discounts page to take advantage of Tom's Builder and property manager discounts and have a referral list of quality contractors our team continues to use.  



tom stachler, real estate one, house, homes, condos, for sale, for Lease, contractor, recommendations, quality, work, highest rated. references, ann arbor, michigan, saline, dexter, chelsea, ypsilanti, mi

Existing-Home Sales Stumble in July

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

Slowed by frustratingly low inventory levels in many parts of the country, existing-home sales lost momentum in July and decreased year-over-year for the first time since November 2015, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Only the West region saw a monthly increase in closings in July.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in July from 5.57 million in June. For only the second time in the last 21 months, sales are now below (1.6 percent) a year ago (5.48 million).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says existing sales fell off track in July after steadily climbing the last four months. “Severely restrained inventory and the tightening grip it’s putting on affordability is the primary culprit for the considerable sales slump throughout much of the country last month,” he says. “Realtors® are reporting diminished buyer traffic because of the scarce number of affordable homes on the market, and the lack of supply is stifling the efforts of many prospective buyers attempting to purchase while mortgage rates hover at historical lows.”

The median existing-Home Price for all housing types in July was $244,100, up 5.3 percent from July 2015 ($231,800). July’s price increase marks the 53rd consecutive month of year-over-year gains.Adds Yun, “Furthermore, with new condo construction barely budging and currently making up only a small sliver of multi-family construction, sales suffered last month as condo buyers faced even stiffer supply constraints than those looking to purchase a single-family home.”

Total housing inventory at the end of July inched 0.9 percent higher to 2.13 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 5.8 percent lower than a year ago (2.26 million) and has now declined year-over-year for 14 straight months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace, which is up from 4.5 months in June.“Although home sales are still expected to finish the year at their strongest pace since the downturn, thanks to a very strong spring, the housing market is undershooting its full potential because of inadequate existing inventory combined with new home construction failing to catch up with underlying demand,” adds Yun. “As a result, sales in all regions are now flat or below a year ago and price growth isn’t slowing to a healthier and sustainable pace.”

The share of first-time buyers was 32 percent in July, which is below last month (33 percent) but up from 28 percent a year ago. First-time buyers represented 30 percent of sales in all of 2015.

All-cash sales were 21 percent of transactions in July, down from 22 percent in June, 23 percent a year ago and the lowest share since November 2009 (19 percent). Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 11 percent of homes in July, unchanged from June and down from 13 percent a year ago. Seventy percent of investors paid in cash in July.

NAR President Tom Salomone says in addition to affordability concerns, an issue seen earlier in the housing recovery may be reemerging. Realtors® are indicating that appraisal complications are appearing more frequently as the reason why a contract signing experienced a delayed settlement.According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage dropped from 3.57 percent in June to 3.44 percent in July. Mortgage rates have now fallen five straight months and in July were the lowest since January 2013 (3.41 percent). The average commitment rate for all of 2015 was 3.85 percent.

“Appraisal-related contract issues have notably risen over the past year and were the root cause of over a quarter of contract delays in the past three months,” he says. “This is likely a combination of sharply growing home prices in some areas, the uptick in home sales this year and the strong refinance market overworking the already reduced number of practicing appraisers. Realtors® are carefully monitoring this trend, and some have already indicated they’re extending closing dates on contracts to allow extra time to accommodate the possibility of appraisal-related delays.”

Coming in at the lowest share since NAR began tracking in October 2008, distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – were 5 percent of sales in July, down from 6 percent in June and 7 percent a year ago. Four percent of July sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 18 percent below market value in July (11 percent in June), while short sales were discounted 16 percent (18 percent in June).

Properties typically stayed on the market for 36 days in July, up from 34 days in June but down from 42 days a year ago. Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 95 days in July, while foreclosures sold in 54 days and non-distressed homes took 34 days. Forty-seven percent of homes sold in July were on the market for less than a month.

Inventory data from® reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in July were Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., all at a median of 32 days; and Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., at a median of 36 days.

“July’s existing home sales report is yet another telling sign that inventory is holding back overall progress in the housing market,” says Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield. “New home sales data pointed to the root problem being addressed, as production ramped up and median sale price dropped, a strong indicator that builders are placing an increased focus on affordable homes.”

“The primary culprit behind the decline in July is the lack of homes on the market,” says chief economist Jonathan Smoke. “We simply can’t see growth in sales without having enough homes to sell. This has been the case for 47 straight months, a situation that has bolstered home prices but made it tough for people to find a home for sale that meets their needs.”

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales decreased 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million in July from 4.92 million in June, and are now 0.8 percent under the 4.86 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $246,000 in July, up 5.4 percent from July 2015.

Existing condominium and co-op sales dropped 12.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 570,000 units in July from 650,000 in June, and are now 8.1 percent below July 2015 (620,000 units). The median existing condo price was $228,400 in July, which is 4.1 percent above a year ago.

Regional Breakdown

July existing-home sales in the Northeast descended 13.2 percent to an annual rate of 660,000, and are now 5.7 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $284,000, which is 3.3 percent above July 2015.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales fell 5.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.28 million in July (unchanged from a year ago). The median price in the Midwest was $194,000, up 5.0 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South in July declined 1.8 percent to an annual rate of 2.22 million, and are now 1.8 percent below July 2015. The median price in the South was $214,500, up 6.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West rose 2.5 percent to an annual rate of 1.23 million in July, but are still 0.8 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $346,100, which is 6.4 percent above July 2015.

“Adding up the limited supply of houses for sale, a potential for higher mortgage rates on the horizon, and dampened consumer confidence, we’re less optimistic about fall sales,” says Smoke. “But things look positive over the medium to longer-term, especially since the housing market is ultimately driven mainly by demographics and employment, both of which are decidedly in favor of strong sales.”


Tom Stachler, Real Estate, one, ann arbor, homes, for sale, for Lease, houses, saline, Michigan, dexter, chelsea, ypsilanti, prices, market update

Facial Skin Care in Ann Arbor Michigan - Great Gift Idea

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

Looking to tighten up those facial features?  

Looking for a Great Gift Idea?  Well we can never look too good right?  I would recommend contacting Hanna for a consultation or treatment or it makes a great gift idea too.  She brings a lot of experience and training from overseas to the table to benefit her clients.  Watch the video below. 

Hannah Prestige Skin Care Interview 

Prestige Skin Care

4695 Washtenaw Avenue, Suite #6,  Ann Arbor, MI,48108




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2500' 4BR/2.5 Bath Home for Rent in Ann Arbor, Michigan

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


Spacious Home with over 2500 square feet of livings space.  Partially finished basement and large yard with professional landscaping.  Property is located in popular community providing easy access to Zeeb Road and I-94 access.  

Close to shopping and within the Skyline High School district .  Hurry this one won't last long.

  • Security Deposit :One and half months Rent
  • Tenant pays for Grounds maintenance (planters, lawn, driveway, sidewalks)
  • Tenant pays for water & sewer, gas and electric
  • Landlord pays taxes and association fee
  • Landlord pays for Sprinkler Winterization and maintenance of the planters
  • This Ann Arbor Home for Rent is Available in the October

Please see sample Lease and also application online or call for showing instructions or questions.  


To View Photos and more info click here 5979 Cedar Ridge, Ann Arbor, MI


tom stachler, ann arbor broker, saline, michigan, rental, lease, house, homes, inventory, www.Saline.Rentals for a complete inventory. 

What Should Homeowners Know about Energy Efficiency?

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

Today’s “Ask the Expert” column features Mark Walker, Director with NRG Mass Sales.

Q: What are the top five things new homeowners need to know about energy efficiency?

A: First-time homebuyers have many questions, ranging in scope from a Home’s square footage, what the neighborhood is like, whether the asking price is negotiable, and more. Typically, it’s not until they receive the first electricity bill that they begin to think about energy efficiency.

Insulation is tops.As many REALTORS® know, new homeowners are one of a kind. They’re excited about their purchase, but perhaps nervous about the costs ahead. At Reliant in Texas and NRG Home in the Northeast, we want the electricity bill to be one less thing that causes concern. That’s why it’s helpful to understand what drives energy use, and how to be more efficient. Naturally, new homeowners consider their REALTOR® the go-to source for all things home-related, so here are five energy efficiency tips you can share with first-time homebuyers.

For re-sale homes, it’s important to make sure the home is well insulated. The most cost-effective improvement any new homeowner can make is adding insulation. Without proper insulation, a home can lose up to 40 percent of cooled or heated air.

  1. Heating and cooling account for most energy use.

Did you know that heating and cooling your home can account for up to half of its energy use? Save energy by following these simple tips:

  • Air filters and vents should not go unnoticed.Follow the 4×4 principle. Setting your thermostat four degrees higher when away from home for more than four hours can help reduce electricity costs.
  • Rotate ceiling fans. Turning your fan counter-clockwise during the summer helps create a wind chill effect for a more comfortable living environment. In the winter, set your fan clockwise to move hot air downward.
  • Always use the automatic A/C fan setting. Keep your A/C fan on the “auto” position. Turning it to the “on” position can increase energy costs and make it harder for your A/C to maintain the desired temperature.

Homeowners often overlook replacing air filters, but it’s important to change filters regularly to keep your system working efficiently. Also, ensure return air vents are free from obstructions. If air flow is hindered, the system can’t operate properly, and your energy bill will suffer.

  1. Energy-efficient appliances matter.

If appliances are more than 10 years old, it may be time to invest in new, energy-efficient models, from refrigerators and dishwashers to washers and dryers. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when upgrading.

  1. Small actions add up.

Turning lights off when leaving a room and shutting blinds to block summer heat are just a couple simple ways to decrease energy costs and make your home more comfortable and efficient.  LED light bulbs last longer and run on a very small fraction of what it takes to run other types of bulbs.  For more information and resources, visit our Links page above under resources tab on the right. 


Tom, Stachler, real estate, one, homes, for sale, michigan, ann arbor, saline, school information and more. condo, houses, for Lease, resources, energy. Thomas

Mortgage Rates Hover at All-Time Low

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

Average fixed mortgage rates dipped slightly last week, remaining near their all-time record lows, according to the recently released Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®).

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.43 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending August 18, 2016, down from the last week when it averaged 3.45 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.93 percent.

The 15-year FRM averaged 2.74 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from the last week when it averaged 2.76 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.15 percent.

“Ahead of the release of the FOMC minutes for July, 10-year Treasury yields were little changed from the prior week,” says Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 2 basis points to 3.43 percent this week, erasing last week’s uptick. For eight consecutive weeks, mortgage rates have ranged between 3.41 and 3.48 percent. Inflation is not adding any upward pressure on interest rates as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index was unchanged in July.”Additionally, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.76 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from the week prior when it averaged 2.74 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.94 percent.


Tom stachler, is a great resource for the areas best lenders from a dozen different companies. Interest rates are very low at historic levels Mortgage Rate Quote, interest rates, saline, michigan, ann arbor, dexter, yspilanti, chelsea

Thinking About Keeping Chickens at your Home?

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

More people are keeping chickens in their urban and suburban backyards, and I don’t think it’s just because they enjoy the fresh eggs. It would be cheaper and easier to just buy eggs at the grocery store.

Most people view backyard chickens as pets, not livestock. Chickens have distinct personalities, and they will respond to people who feed them and show them attention and affection.

But how many of these “new” chicken farmers know what they’re doing? There’s a wealth of free information available on the website of Penn Vet—the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia.

The school has sent a news release with 12 important tips because the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports people have been sickened by salmonella after coming in contact with backyard chickens.

A total of 324 people in 35 states got salmonella from January 4 through May 11. More than 90 percent had contact with chickens, according to the CDC, and 27 percent of salmonella victims were young children.

Moreover, in a July 19 update, the number of salmonella cases had almost doubled to 611 in 45 states.

Below are several important tips that can keep chicken keepers and their families healthy. They come from Sherrill Davison, a Penn Vet professor and veterinarian who has worked with chickens for more than 30 years.

“Not all poultry have salmonella in their intestines,” Davison says. But some chickens who are not ill do have salmonella in their intestinal tracts, which can be passed on to people.

Follow these guidelines:

— After tending your chickens, remove your shoes or boots before entering your Home. Wear them only in your chicken yard—and nowhere else.
— Do not bring chickens into your home.
— Wash your hands after handling chickens.
— Do not let chickens near food that will be eaten by people.
— Keep the coop clean. Change bedding every one-to-two weeks and disinfect with diluted household bleach or cleaners formulated for chickens. Chickens should be out of the coop when cleaners are used.
— Isolate birds that seem sick. Your garage is an OK sick bay. Your house is not.

Sick chickens need veterinary care. For names of vets who know how to treat chickens, contact the Penn Vet Laboratory of Avian Medicine and Pathology at 1-610-444-4282. Calls to the lab are free, and the staff will also answer questions and concerns, “though I cannot diagnose over the phone,” says Davison, who is director of the laboratory.

Penn vets are seeing an increase in backyard chickens with Marek’s disease and Mycoplasma. Neither disease is transmitted to people or pets that are not chickens.

Marek’s disease is an untreatable virus that causes tumors, weight loss and paralysis. Chickens won’t get it if they are vaccinated when they are one day old.

Mycoplasma is a bacterial-like respiratory disease that can be treated with antibiotics, but it will decrease egg production for the life of the chicken.

With good care, chickens generally live five to six years, Davison says, although one of her patients lived for 10 years. Chickens raised on egg farms are only allowed to live for one to two years—their peak egg production years.

For more information, go to

Check the "All MLS" listings tab at the top of the page to view an inventory of homes for sale in your area.  


tom stachler, real estate, one, for sale, homes, houses, inventory, list, chickens, city farmers, raising at home, kids, saline, michigan, ann arbor, chelsea, dexter, ypsilanti

L.A. Reid Lives it Up in LA Mega New Mansion

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

L.A. Reid Lives it Up in LA Mega Mansion



As everyone remains distracted with Olympic activity in Rio, music executive, producer and ex X Factor judge Antonio “L.A.” Reid has slid into a brand new mansion on the west side of L.A.

While music moguls snatching up mega mansions in Los Angeles is hardly breaking news, Reid's new pad scored for a hearty $17.99 million—is an epic piece of architecture, to say the least.

Sprawling over 11,200 square feet, the Home includes a 300-bottle wine cellar, a home theater, a bar and a gym.  The home boasts seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, and Reid can take one of two floating glass staircases or an elevator to the three floors in his new posh pad. Beyond the home's walls, 2,820 square feet of outdoor living space offers ample room for an infinity pool, an outdoor kitchen, a bar and a baja deck.

Built in 2015, the property entered the market at $27.5 million. The price eventually dropped to $20 million before Reid gobbled it up for a “bargain” of under $18 million on July 21.


Photos by Scott Everts / Benny Chan














Homes for sale, ann arbor, michigan, tom stachler, saline, michigan, ann arbor, house, home, inventory, list dexter, chelsea, condo, prices, million, dollar, results, 

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