The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Did Not Go Over The Cliff, Here to Stay Through 2013

Fiscal Cliff1Was there any good news for Distressed Homeowners as we waited for politicians to avoid taking us over the Fiscal Cliff?  Yes!  The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act  was extended through December 2013.  All of our Clients can breathe a sigh of relief.  What does this mean to homeowners who are under water on their Principal Residence and thinking about listing their homes; and for those already under contract? Well, it means continue as planned and move forward.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 was enacted on December 20, 2007.  The Act was designed to help distressed homeowners find relief from cancelled debt.  According to the website:

“If you owe a debt to someone else and they cancel or forgive that debt, the canceled amount may be taxable.

 The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. Debt reduced through mortgage restructuring, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure, qualifies for the relief.”

Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Consolidation such as:

What is Cancellation of Debt?  |   Is Cancellation of Debt income always taxable?  |  What is the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007?  |  What does exclusion of income mean?  |  Does the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act apply to all forgiven or cancelled debts?  |  Does the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act apply to debt incurred to refinance a home?  |  If the forgiven debt is excluded from income, do I have to report it on my tax return? 

There are many more questions and answers regarding the Debt Relief Act that apply to individuals each with their own circumstances so when it comes to the Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation individuals should consult a tax consultant and an attorney.

Call the Kathy Toth Team your Ann Arbor Distressed Property Experts!

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Selling Your Ann Arbor Home Can Be Daunting

Selling an Ann Arbor Area home can be daunting. Selling a home in Washtenaw County can be simple or complicated.  I found this info-graphic that takes you through the steps of renting your home or selling it (with pros and cons) to turning over the keys to the new buyers.  Do you want to know what your home is worth, or what your neighbor’s house sold for?

Thinking of selling your home and not sure where to start? Call us 734-426-6669.

Fewer Sheriff’s Deeds 5th Straight Month in Ann Arbor Real Estate Market Kathy Toth and Team| 734.426.6669|, Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams  2144 S. State St Ann Arbor, MI 48104

The Ann Arbor Real Estate Market is once again down in the number of Reported Sheriff’s Deeds recorded for the 5th straight month.  Year-to-Date we are down 25.85% comparing the first half of the year reports to last year.  When we compare June 2011 to June 2012 sheriff’s deeds are down in Washtenaw County 17.95%.  This is excellent news.  And comparing just the Month of June over the past 11 years we would have to go all the way back to June of 2006 to find a lower number of reported sheriff’s deeds recorded in Washtenaw County.  All good signs in the Ann Arbor Real Estate Market.

Buyers will start to notice fewer and fewer Bank Owned properties coming on the market in months ahead with these leading indicators in the Ann Arbor Real Estate Market.  While interest rates are still at all time lows there is no better time to purchase your new home.  To search for all listed properties just check out  Don’t sit on the fence in this market, why rent when you can own.

Ann Arbor Area Market StatsSellers – the market is hot right now.  Many properties are receiving multiple offers.  If you are interested in knowing what your home is worth just contact us for your personal comparative market analysis (CMA).  To get your Ann Arbor Area Market Stats for Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter and Saline click the brochure to the right and have the report emailed directly to your inbox. Want to know WHAT IS MY HOME WORTH?

An updated table showing monthly Sheriff’s Deeds recorded for January 2002 through June, 2012 is presented below.

June Sheriff's Deeds Reported Down for the 5th Straight Month – Market Trends and GO BLUE




Real Estate Trending Upward in Dexter Real Estate Market

Dexter real estate market is trending upward.  I am so delighted to provide you with more encouraging news. Sales are continuing to be seasonally steady and this has both Sellers and REALTORS very happy.

When reviewing the chart below, we should pay close attention to the red line on the chart which indicates an upward trend in the Linear (Average Square Foot / Sale Price) which is now hovering around $117.00 per square foot for the year end 2011.  The Linear (Average Square Foot) price is up by approximately $10.00 per square foot from the same time in December 2009.  The number of homes sold is up approximately 10% from last year as well.  So, in review of the trend over the past 2 years in Dexter, the market looks to be stabilizing and trending upward.  No one’s complaining about this kind of good news as the year 2011 soon comes to a close.

Buyers as well as Sellers should pay close attention to these indicators.  While trends are showing signs of a recovery, it’s a great time to take the next step to home ownership or listing your home for sale.  Call to schedule an appointment.

I would like to thank Peter W. Hendershot, State Licensed Real Estate Appraiser, Business Development Manager, Affinity Valuation Group for putting this chart together for all of us to analyze.  This data is shared with your local REALTORs, lenders, builders and lawyers so we can assist our clients.

To take advantage of buying opportunity, look for all the real estate deals and investigate foreclosures here.

We know about homes before they hit the market, just call or email what you need.

 Positively Yours,

Kathy Toth, CDPE, Associate Broker: KW, CEO Kathy Toth and Team  734-426-6669


New Construction Home Purchase in Washtenaw County – Do you Need REALTOR?

Do I Need a Buyer’s Agent to Purchase New Construction?

Q: I’m thinking about buying a new construction home.  Should I just go to the builder myself or do people use Realtors to buy new homes?

A:  STOP, WAIT, DON’T START THE CAR!  It’s absolutely in your best interest to hire a buyer’s agent experienced in New Construction homes BEFORE you start visiting the models.  Here’s why.  In order to represent you, the buyer’s agent must register you at the new home model.  If you visit the model on your own without your agent and register yourself, the builders generally will not allow the Realtor to negotiate on your behalf later.  So make sure to make an appointment with your buyer’s agent and they can show you all of the new construction in your area!  Ask Jennifer Graswick, buyer’s agent on our team who used to represent a builder for years, what it is like to now represent new construction buyers: 734-845-8888.

Reasons to hire a Realtor to buy new construction:

  • We Save You Money!  Are you getting what you are entitled to – both in quality and value? An experienced agent knows what you should receive and what “extras” might be available.
  • Pre-construction – Realtors have relationships with builders that can be quite beneficial to the buyer. The REALTOR® is also in a position to inform you when new pre-construction opportunities arise before they are even made public.
  • Dispute Resolution – in the event of a dispute with the builder over cost, build time, work orders, etc. you need the backing a strong Realtor and large real estate company such as Keller Williams. A builder is much more likely to yield when dealing with a top producing Realtor from a leading company who is bringing them a lot of business.
  • Our SERVICES are free to YOU – The builder pays us a commission once the sale is complete.  Since the purchase price of the property is the same with or without a Realtor, it makes sense to have a REALTOR® on your side to help you navigate the complicated home buying process.  We can help you locate your brand new dream home!
  • We know where the new homes are and can help you find the right one for you!

To give you an example, we recently worked with clients named Jane and Bob.  They’d looked at dozens of resale homes, short sales, foreclosures.  None of them quite measured up or was what they were looking for, so we decided to look at the new construction homes in the area.  We took them to visit several builders and in the end, we found two new construction homes they liked a lot.  We were able to negotiate on their behalf with 2 builders and got both of them to compete for our buyer’s business and lowered their pricing.  In the end, the home they chose was originally listed at a $214,900 price for a 4 bedroom 3 bath 3 car garage home.  The negotiated price with the builder?  $203,000.  Yep – saved them $11,900.  Not only that – we got the builder to agree to switch out the black appliances for stainless steel, put up a PVC white fence in the back yard, add crown moldings to the kitchen cabinets, add a water softener and a garage door opener to the 3rd garage door, and paint the front door (it was a funny shade of purple!)  Last but not least, we negotiated the builder to pay all the buyer’s closing costs AND buy down their interest rate to 4.25%.

As a Realtor, we know the Ann Arbor Area recent sales and can play good cop/bad cop with the builder and negotiate the price with the upgrades you want.  This may be more true with builder homes that have already been built and are sitting in inventory.

If you are thinking about buying Ann Arbor Area new construction, call 734-274-9544 and we’ll start sending you info on what new homes are available in Washtenaw County.  We are your Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts and are here to help.