Residential Building Permits Were Up in 2015 And The Toth Team Remains Positive for 2016

Building permits in Washtenaw County are mandatory if you have intentions of making home improvements. Michigan, as well as Washtenaw County, insists that building permits be obtained prior to construction to ensure compliance and regulate safety among workers. The total numbers of building permits rose in Washtenaw County from 930 in 2014  to 995 in 2015. Consumers cannot help but ask, why have the numbers been increasing at such a slow rate?  The Toth Team asked the question to Bob Filka, CEO – Home Builders Association of Michigan, and here is what Bob had to tell us,

“Our workforce shortage is the result of a perfect storm that included:

An estimated 60,000 people leaving the Michigan construction industry during the downturn.  These people found other careers, left the state, retired, etc.;

  1. During this same downturn, schools eliminated many career tech (i.e., construction) hands-on training programs;
  2. School curriculum requirements moved toward college prep requirements that further eroded the number of kids going into career tech programs;
  3. Cultural shifts and attitudes suggesting that every kid needs to go to college further undermined construction career paths

As a result of the above, we have a much smaller universe of workers.  This problem has constrained production.  It will (and has begun to) impact renovation and repair sectors too.  It is a major problem coming at us and while some believe the sector will simply need to raise wages to attract talent, the problem isn’t that simple.  Wages have been rising, yet the State of Michigan estimates that there are some 5,000 job openings across the state in construction right now.”

The Toth Team always remains positive – We predict that with this winters warmer weather and the interest rates staying low that building permits in Washtenaw County will increase with consumer confidence once again in 2016. Many large builders are scouting for large parcels to develop. If you know anyone who is thinking of selling land, contact us.

Semcog Building Permits


The above table displays an increase of 18.6% in Single Family permits in 2015 over 2014.  If you are considering making improvements to your existing home get your building contractor on board now and place your orders right away so as to be assured you get the job done on time.

Home buyers love to see custom designs and/or original floor plans when purchasing their dream home. These innovative features add personal creativity and make your home stand out more than others! We hope that this year brings growth among our creative society and people start to follow their construction dreams!

Have you ever thought about how much value adding another bedroom or bathroom to your home may increase your personal comfort and your homes potential property valuation? Click here for a property valuation from Kathy Toth and Team! 

Our region has recovered tremendously from our economic downfall in 2005 and The Toth Team is positive and hoping to see these numbers increasing!

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Toth Team, Worldwide Network

Your Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts

Keller Williams Realty

View Our Listings

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Kathy Toth and Team are Washtenaw County, Michigan real estate experts who will guide home buyers and sellers through the entire real estate process. Our extensive knowledge of Washtenaw County areas, combined with decades of expertise in the local real estate market is extremely valuable to helping you achieve your goals. For quality service and personal attention during your real estate transaction, contact Kathy Toth and Team for all your home buying and selling needs.


We Want to be your Real Estate Agents!

Kathy is an Associate Broker, Accredited Seller Representative, Certified Distressed Property Expert, and Certified Commercial Investment Member Candidate. To experience their website and to learn more about the team, please visit and, email [email protected], or stop into their office at 3134 Baker Road, Dexter, MI 48130.



The Toth Team’s Top 3 Most Recommended Books For Increasing Productivity, Growth, & Profit



When we are searching for an agent to sell or find the perfect home, we expect them to be knowledgeable of the market and to help us make the best decision possible. With the advancement of technology in today’s society we have the news right at our fingertips, but are we truly reading, or skimming over the facts? In the Wall Street Journal, “Skimming has become my brain’s default setting,” stated Cynthia Crossen, as she explained the difference between reading and skimming. Skimming is skipping over the main point to get to specific terms or concepts. This is a standard procedure that many of us do without noticing and one of the main reasons hard cover book sales have decreased.

Here at The Toth Team, we treasure the books that have taught us our values today and we would like to share our top three most recommended books for increasing productivity and growth. The Toth Team served 230 families in 2015 and we are on track to serve over 400 families THIS YEAR! Reading has several positive effects on our development and growth both inside and out of work. As we evolve and grow as a team, we must spend time discussing what has helped us grow and what has become an obstacle. We will focus on The Toth Team’s 3 favorite books: The One Thing, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, and the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team.


1. The One Thing



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“What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

– Gary Keller

This quote is the one single question the entire book is written around. Gary Keller is the founder of Keller-Williams Real Estate and has taken the company to the top of their industry. He not only is a remarkable leader and innovator, but also an elite author who moves individuals with his facts and results. Gary Keller and Jay Papasan insist the key to success is not to make a list or analyze your possibilities, but rather to think of that ONE Thing that is the most important thing in your life. This ONE Thing is similar to a goal or objective that you are working so hard every day for. Now once you have identified your ONE Thing and focused your vision primary on it, you must distinguish the obstacles in your way and then determine how you will overcome each and every single one of them.


2. The 4 Disciplines of Execution 


“Execution starts with focus”

– Jim Huling


Strategy is vital for every business to develop and perform effectively. Often times, individuals run into a conflict of interest and they lose focus on their strategy. Written by authors Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling, these experts define and explain how learning four distinct disciplines can produce desired results. The four disciplines analyzed are the discipline of focus, the discipline of leverage, the discipline of engagement, and the discipline of accountability. The concept whirlwind is discussed and there are several solutions given on how to control and handle our massive amounts of energy. It’s important to remain calm and focus our energy on what is high priority and vital to accomplish for that day.


3. 5 Dysfunctions of a Team



“Successful teamwork is not about mastering subtle, sophisticated theories, but rather about combining common sense with uncommon levels of discipline and persistence. Ironically, teams succeed because they are exceedingly human. By acknowledging the imperfections of their humanity, members of functional teams overcome the natural tendencies that make teamwork so elusive.”

-Patrick Lencioni


It is a challenge to meet a group a strangers and the next moment call them your teammates. How do we learn to adjust to working in a team and managing it effectively? We must first recognize our five main problems with working in a group and then we must develop solutions to these. Patrick Lencioni is an American writer and lover of business management. He is famous for this book and the founder/president of the Table Group, a management consulting firm primarily focused on organizational/team health. He believes that the first step in a group is to reduce the misunderstanding and confusions by addressing the five most common dysfunctions individuals have: Absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results.


Would you like to join a team that truly CARES about your individual development and your success? Call The Toth Team today!


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Toth Team, Worldwide Network

Your Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts

Keller Williams Realty

View Our Listings

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Kathy Toth and Team are Washtenaw County, Michigan real estate experts who will guide home buyers and sellers through the entire real estate process. Our extensive knowledge of Washtenaw County areas, combined with decades of expertise in the local real estate market is extremely valuable to helping you achieve your goals. For quality service and personal attention during your real estate transaction, contact Kathy Toth and Team for all your home buying and selling needs.

We Want to be your Real Estate Agents!



  • Crossen, C. (2011, October 17). Skimming vs. Reading. Retrieved February 02, 2016, from
  • Keller, G. (2013). The One Thing. London, UK: Hachette Book Group.
  • McChesney, C., Covey, S., & Huling, J. (n.d.). The 4 disciplines of execution: Achieving your wildly important goals.
  • Lencioni, P., & Okabayashi, K. (2008). The five dysfunctions of a team: An illustrated leadership fable. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons (Asia).

Savings for Some – Past Seller Clients Could Be Due A Transfer Tax Refund

News UpdateMoney Photo

Past Seller Clients

We want to make you aware of the following possible money saving news.

Hot off the press from Liberty Title, Ann Arbor, MI.


In July the Supreme Court of Michigan issued an Opinion that made a State Transfer Tax refund possible for a large group of sellers who sold real property within the past 4 years. The refund has become possible because of a new interpretation of one of the Michigan State Transfer Tax Exemptions. Sellers may be eligible for a tax refund of $7.50/$1,000 of the sale price, e.g. $1,500 on a $200,000 sale!

The exemption can be claimed when the following requirements are met:

1) SEV in the year of sale was lower than the SEV in the year of seller’s purchase; and

2) The property qualified for a 100% Principal Residence Exemption at the time of sale.

Prior to July, the widely held interpretation was that to claim the exemption there was an additional requirement that the sales price could not exceed the “true cash value “ (SEV x 2) of the property. The Supreme Court of Michigan has done away with this requirement. Instead, the sales price simply had to be the result of arm’s length negotiations between the seller and purchaser. Sellers that would have qualified for this exemption may now retroactively claim the exemption by requesting a refund from the State of Michigan.

EXAMPLE: Fred and Norma Seller purchased their home in 2004. At the time of the purchase, the SEV of the home was $ 125,000. Fred and Norma sold the home in 2010 for $200,000. The home was their principal residence in 2010 and the SEV of the home was $ 95,000. Fred and Norma paid $1,720 of transfer tax, as under the old interpretation, they had sold home for more than “true cash value”-$95,000 x 2=$190,000.

Under the NEW INTERPRETATION because SEV at time of sale-$95,000-was lower than SEV at time of original purchase- $125,000- they are entitled to a refund of $1,500 of the transfer taxes they paid.


• Step 1. Contact your local assessor. Nearly all assessors are listed on the internet. Just “Google” the name of your City/Township and go to their website. Find out the property’s SEV in the year you purchased the home (“P”) and the SEV in the year you sold your home (“S”). Confirm that the home was 100% homestead in year of sale. If it was homesteaded, and S is lower than P, congratulations-you are eligible for a refund! (See worksheet below)

• Step 2. The refund application can found at the following link:

• Step 3. Complete the application and file it with the Michigan Department of the Treasury at:

Michigan Department of Treasury

Special Taxes Division

Miscellaneous Taxes and Fees/SRETT

P.O. Box 30781

Lansing, MI 48909-8281

Still have Questions?

Contact Liberty Title’s legal department and Ask for Pat, David or Terese

Phone: 855-343-8830


1. Is the property currently claimed as a Homestead: YES NO (Circle One)

If “Yes”, continue; if “No”, Stop; you cannot claim the exemption.

2. What is the SEV for 20____ (Current SEV) $___________________

3. What was the SEV on the date of purchase? $___________________

Is the answer to #2 less than or equal to the answer to #3? YES NO (Circle One)

If “Yes”, continue to #4; if “No”, Stop; you cannot claim the Exemption.

4. What is the purchase price? $___________________

5. Is the purchase price the product of arm’s length negotiation? YES NO (Circle One)





For your private tour and to view this house early, contact the Toth Team at 734.669.0337.  

Want more information on selling? Check out some of our other resources:

 For more tips on selling your Ann Arbor home, please visit our Seller Resources page.


urlAfter a long day of shopping at Briarwood Mall or exploring Downtown, Ann Arbor and enjoying Michigan’s beautiful summer weather,  I am sure you will want to end your day with a memorable dining experience! My favorite restaurant in Ann Arbor for Authentic Chinese Cuisine is PF Chang’s! located right outside of Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I was shocked at how many different small plates I could order! I was accustom to the traditional dining experience but PF Chang’s certainly changes up the pace! I order the Lettuce Wraps & The Ahi Tuna Appetizer and they are both one of a kind! PF Chang’s is committed to bringing something new to their guests tables. They want to create relationships with their customers and serve meals that are not forgotten. The new Ann Arbor restaurant opened in December of 2014 and has been a success ever since. PF Chang’s encourages their guests to to try new dishes and share the tasty flavors in a community dining style! The horse symbolizes the original forbidden city of china, which was built for China’s first emperor Qin shi huangdi. The horses were protection/security for the locals.

Pf Chang


The Ann Arbor location is the seventh PF Chang’s to open in the state of Michigan – Wow are they expanding quickly! I am thrilled to see this company thrive due to their hard work; they deserve to be rewarded. PF Chang’s hours are Sunday – Thursday 11AM-10PM and Friday – Saturday 11AM-11PM. Happy Hour is between 3PM-7PM and is offered at the bar or patio at several of their locations. The restaurant has a comfortable atmosphere that invites people of all ages to come and celebrate their favorite moments with PF Chang’s! They are simply outstanding with their meal presentations. When I was there every dish that passed my eye caught my attention! Go to PF Chang’s unnamed-1Rewards to read about how you can become a member and receive exclusive invites, redeem special birthday gifts, & many more delicious rewards!

PF Chang’s is one of only a few other sit down restaurants in/near Briarwood Mall. The place is typically packed full of people during dinner hours (6-7PM) and without a reservation you may be waiting for a table! Fortunately, PF Chang’s is current with their systems and allows their guest access to book reservations via internet or telephone at anytime of the day. This gives folks the opportunity for last minute scheduling and easy reservation options!

Go check out all that PF Chang’s offers and take advantage of the day!unnamed




Additional Information Below..

Address: 720 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108

Phone Number: (734)- 780- 3900

Hours: Sunday- Thursday 11AM-10PM & Friday- Saturday 11AM-11PM









For your current and the most comprehensive Ann Arbor Area Real Estate market information including absorption rates for Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter and Saline click here.  Keep up-to-date on your local neighborhood and have the report sent directly to your email inbox.

Search homes in Ann Arbor and the surrounding Washtenaw County area and call us as we often know about properties before they are listed.  Search here to find foreclosure deals in the area.

Call the Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts at (734) 426-6669.  We are here to help you achieve your Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, and Saline Real Estate goals.

Kathy Toth and Team, Keller Williams Realty

Written by Kathy TothVisit Website