Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

The Difference Between Pre-approval vs. Pre-qualified

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

In a meticulous, often confusing process like Home Buying, it's vital for you to understand at least the basic terms. Sometimes real estate professionals and loan officers will use terms like pre-approved and pre-qualified interchangeably when talking about a home loan. They are not, however, the same thing.

Pre-qualification is an estimate of how much money a lender would be willing to loan you, based on a general assessment of your relevant financial information, such as employment status, overall income and estimated value of assets.

The pre-approval process requires the lender to perform a more in-depth investigation and evaluation of your creditworthiness, culminating in a tentative commitment for mortgage funding up to a specific amount.

Here are some more details on each of these to further distinguish these similar but not synonymous terms.


This process begins with you either meeting face-to-face with a loan officer or talking with one over the phone. You'll provide basic information about your personal credit and finances, including any outstanding debts, total income and a potential down payment amount. This data is then used by the lender to provide you with a written estimate of how much you could comfortably afford per month for a mortgage.

There is neither a commitment nor cost associated for either party in a pre-qualification procedure. Its primary purpose is to give you a realistic perspective on how buying a home will impact your month-to-month household budget.

Most real estate professionals will tell you that it's best to make pre-qualification one of the very first steps in your home-buying journey, even prior to looking at houses.


In order to get a pre-approval, and the tentative commitment that comes with it, you must provide your desired home loan lender with the actual documentation (usually in paper form) of your financial details (assets, debts, income, etc).

You can expect to pay a fee for this part of the process, mainly to cover the lender's expenses incurred by running a credit check, as well as verifying your employment data and financial records.

Your pre-approval is then officially acknowledged via a commitment letter containing the amount the lender is willing to extend to you for your new home purchase.

A pre-approval is neither a guarantee of future mortgage loan approval, nor is it a legally binding contract, meaning you still have the option of choosing another lender.

Michigan Monthly Market Report - September 2013

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

Michigan Monthly Market Report - September 2013   

August continued the trend we outlined last month in each geographic area and price range with the market continuing to improve over last year, but at a slower rate. The pace of sales and of new listings entering the market are increasing and values are improving. New buyers are still outrunning new listings, so inventories continue to fall (with the exception of Washtenaw County and Northwest Michigan, where inventories have risen slightly).  

The overall Months Supply of Inventory hit another record low at two months and values have risen to a five-year high. Some select markets are approaching their peak 2005 values. This is, of course, all a result of what is really an overheated market. A market that moves too far ahead of the pace of the overall economy will eventually be headed for a fall, so the waning of this crazy pace to a more normal growth rate is good news for all. 

The Fall starts the seasonal slow down for Home sales so we can expect fewer multiple offers. We will still see the vast majority of homes (over 85%) sell within 90 days or less. For Buyers in a bidding war, our rule of thumb has been, “as long as the offer is at or below the peak 2005 value, the overbid is a safe bet.”

I have included two charts, Comerica’s local economic trend and the latest Case-Shiller value trend. Both show good news for housing and our local economy.

The Comerica Michigan Economic Activity Index continues to show strong growth through this summer, surpassing the prior 2007/08 high points. This represents the fuel for sustaining our local housing growth trends.

Case-Shiller shows Detroit with one of the highest year-over-year value growth rates. Although we are the only major city still below our 2000 value baseline, that is heavily influenced by the decline in values for the city of Detroit (the good news is city values are rising quickly again). The typical Southeast Michigan market is at or above 2000 values.

With Fall quickly approaching, I want to thank you for your support and interest this past summer season.


Interested in new listing updates?  Just click on the link above "Get Listing Updates" to receive new listings the day they come out automatically.  You can also contact us by using one of the options found after clicking on our home button above or call our office direct line at 734-996-0000 and ask for Tom Stachler.


NVIDIA Technology Center in Ann Arbor

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

NVIDIA, a Santa Clara, California-based global technology company, announced in August that it was opening of a sparkling new technology center in Avis Farms, Michigan, just south of Ann Arbor.

Although it doesn't have the name recognition of other giant tech companies, like Microsoft or Google, NVIDIA's software assists in the designing of myriad components and products that are integral parts of many of the electronic devices most of us use in our everyday lives.

The company its software products provide applications and functions to such disparate, wide-ranging items as smartphones, motion picture special effects and vehicle electronics. It is this latter tool that provided the impetus for NVIDIA to bring its state-of-the-art tech center to the Ann Arbor area.

“I’m pleased to see more technology-focused companies look to the state of Michigan as a resourceful Home and partner, Michael Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, said on NVIDIA's corporate blog. "NVIDIA’s commitment to the state of Michigan is an encouraging sign for future growth and jobs in the technology and automotive industries.”

At the Ann Arbor Tech Center, its approximately 20 onsite employees will work with many of the nearby automotive manufacturers, such as Chrysler, Ford, GM and Volkswagen, to develop “infotainment” systems, in-vehicle applications and other such software aimed specifically at the industry. In fact, in-dash digital instrument clusters powered by NVIDIA products and components are already being used in several car makes and models, including, but not limited to, Bentley, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce and Tesla.

According to NVIDIA marketing director Danny Shapiro, additional supercomputing and graphics development work will probably take place at the center.

The three brain wizards who together founded NVIDIA in 1993 are

  • Jen-Hsun Huang (company's CEO as of 2013) - Former Director of CoreWare with LSI Logic and microprocessor designer with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
  • Chris Malachowsky - Former electrical engineer with Sun Microsystems
  • Curtis Priem - Former Sun Microsystems' senior engineer and graphics chip designer

According to a 2002 article in Forbes, Huang, Malachowsky and Priem secured the necessary capital funding for this venture from Sequoia Capital.

Ingenuity of Ancient Architecture

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

Home styles vary around the world and Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Interesting article on ancient architecture covering different parts of the world below.  Here in Ann Arbor you can find different homes for sale in Ann Arbor and the surrounding communities by clicking this link.  Homes for Sale in Ann Arbor.

General contractors, home builders, and more ∨

Hire a decorator to find that just-right sofa and coffee table for your living room.
For small bathroom ideas, browse photos of space-saving sink consoles and clever hidden medicine cabinet mirrors.

Please call or click the link below if you would like help with any Real Estate Matter.  Note the All MLS Listings link above for direct access to the Ann Arbor Board of Realtors data base containing every listing for sale in Washtenaw County Michigan.  





homes for sale, ann arbor, michigan, property listings, real estate for sale, saline, mi, ypsilanti, Dexter, Pinckney, waterfront homes for sale, 


Huron River Chain of Lakes Recreation

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

Waterskiing, fishing, cruising, pontooning, swimming, relaxing and cabin rental are just the tip of the iceberg of things to do on and around the Huron River Chain of Lakes. A series of no-wake canals act as Links in the chain, connecting its nine bodies of water:

  • Big Portage Lake
  • Little Portage Lake
  • Baseline Lake
  • Zukey Lake
  • Strawberry Lake
  • Whitewood Lake
  • Gallagher Lake
  • Ore Lake
  • Tamarack Lake

According to the Huron River Watershed Council's website, the watershed itself blankets more than 250 square miles, including sections of Washtenaw and Livingston counties, in the southeast corner of Michigan. It contains numerous wetland areas and plays host to 20 communities. This chain-of-lakes section of the Huron River also offers nearly 600 miles of small streams and larger tributaries.

You are able to navigate most of the lakes with the usual watercraft; however, only small watercraft can navigate the serene waters of Little Portage, Ore and Tamarack.

Boaters have to get a boating license and register their watercraft with the Michigan Secretary of State. As well, if you plan on angling for some of the chain's myriad fish species, which include Northern Pike, Walleye and Bluegill, you must first secure a Michigan Department of Natural Resources issued fishing license.

Klaves Marina, near the city of Pinckney, sits on the shores of Big Portage Lake and offers the chain's only public stop for gas refills. Dockside eating establishments of note include Riverside Pizza on Portage Lake and Zukey Lake Tavern - the chain's exclusive full-service restaurant - on Zukey Lake.

Residents of and visitors to Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti can reach the Huron River Chain of Lakes in about 30 minutes, and downtown Detroit is less than 65 miles to the east.

Roundabout Project Update at State Street & Ellsworth Rd.

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

Commuters attempting to transverse the confluence of Ellsworth Road and State Street in Pittsfield Township, just south of Ann Arbor, can expect to face more roundabout detours to avoid the roundabout construction zone that has shut down that intersection since early June.

The most recent update reported on Ann back in August stated that the project was at least showing progress, as the section of Ellsworth Road west of State Street that has been under construction would open to accept traffic flow, while the section of Ellsworth east of State would be closed. It was estimated that this latest closure impacting those who have to navigate through this beehive work zone, where traffic running in both directions on State Street would be maintained while one of its usual two lanes will continue be closed, would stretch into at least mid-September.

Although it is no doubt disrupting a number of area residents' lives, businesses roundabout the intersection are staying open for the project's duration. Additionally, the $2.4 million improvement project coordinated by the Washtenaw County Road Commission is transitioning into its third phase, and thereby inching (like commuter traffic at the intersection) closer to its completion target of late September.

Initiated in 2012 by Pittsfield Township as a proactive solution to many of the anticipated traffic hassles, problems and issues have likely coincided with the opening of a new Costco store at 771 Airport Blvd. The large national retailer is reportedly footing about $500,000 of the construction bill, with payment for the remaining costs taken care of via two federal grants.

Pittsfield Township formed a partnership agreement with the City of Ann Arbor to split $42,000 spun off from the project, which will ostensibly go toward prettying up the roundabout intersection once construction's completed with some concrete stamping work.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6