Tax Advice for Washtenaw County Homeowners With Catherine McClary

Here’s my full discussion with Washtenaw County Treasurer Catherine McClary

I’m joined once again by Catherine McClary, our Washtenaw County Treasurer, to discuss an important topic around this time of year: taxes. She is here to offer her best advice, some tricks of the trade, and more for all of you taxpayers out there.

Feel free to watch the full video, or use these timestamps to browse specific topics at your leisure:

0:00 — Introducing today’s topic

0:38 — The most important thing you can do if you’re in trouble with your taxes

1:45 — Income and property tax resources available to you

3:45 — The property tax timeline in Michigan

5:40 — Deferments for seniors, military members, and those with disabilities

9:28 — A few special tax programs to know about in Michigan for filing purposes

12:20 — More about the Bridge Loans to Affordability program in Washtenaw County

13:50 — The Home for Generations program and how it helps bridge the racial wealth gap

16:30 — Final thoughts

Thanks so much to Catherine for sharing her expertise and time. If you have any tax-specific questions for Catherine, reach out to her today at [email protected]. It goes directly to her, and she’d love to help out.

If you have any other real estate-related questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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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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.


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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.



Washtenaw County January 2014 Recorded Sheriff’s Deeds Drop Again

Washtenaw County recorded Sheriff’s deeds dropped in January from 77 in 2013 to 36 recorded in 2014.  This 53.25 percent drop is welcome news for the entire Ann Arbor area. Looks more like 2005 and 2006 January figures. Comparing the 2012 – 2013, year-end totals, we see another significant drop of 35.82%.  What a great start to 2014. And, now, if we all just think warmer temperatures here in the Ann Arbor area, we’ll be in fine shape. View Table.

How Much Home WorthThe Ann Arbor area housing inventory has remained low.  With less inventory some Sellers are seeing multiple offers on their homes.  Take this time to find out what your home is worth.  With market conditions improving and pre-approved buyers ready to purchase, this is the perfect time to speak with Kathy Toth and Team to discuss the value of your home. Have a home valuation sent directly to your email inbox. What is my home worth

The updated table below shows the Sheriff’s Deeds Recorded by Month –  January 2002 through January 2014 for Washtenaw County, MI.

Sheriff's Deeds Recorded

Click Here to Explore Dexter area Homes for Sale

Are you looking to buy?  Go to to search for your new home.

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!

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Sales Down in Ann Arbor and Surrounding Area

Incredible news –  for the  3rd month in a row we have had a drop in the number of recorded Sheriff Deeds in Washtenaw County.  April 2011 compared to this year April 2012 we are down 36.5%.  Yearly totals for the 1st 4 months of 2011 compared to the 1st 4 months of 2012 we are down 28.64% from last year.  2012 is certainly showing improved signs of stabilization with a total of 122 fewer recorded sheriff’s deeds compared to last year at this time.

Sellers – it is time to list your home.  Property inventory is down and buyers are writing offers.  Very important to price your home to sell at a competitive price point to attract buyers.  Keep in mind that the sale of your home will also depend on an appraisal.

Looking for foreclosure deals?

Buyers – keep up with new and current listings.  Use our free property search at  Have new listings sent directly to your inbox.  You can determine your own search criteria.

The chart below has been provided by Washtenaw County Clerk and Register of Deeds.

Use our detailed  home search engine to  Search homes in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area.

Kathy Toth and Team |  Keller Williams Realty  |  734.669.0337

Ann Arbor Michigan Real Estate: Post Foreclosure – What are redemption rights?

This is a question which is sometimes raised by many homeowners who have just lost their property due to foreclosure. How does this work?

Well, according to Washtenaw County the redemption period is as follows: “after a property is sold at a sheriff’s sale (foreclosure sale), there is a redemption period. For many properties it is a six month period, for some properties, usually those properties with three or more acres or if more than two thirds of the loan has been paid, it is a year. If the property has been declared abandoned, the redemption period can be substantially shortened to one month.” Importantly, homeowners have rights during the redemption period, you can continue to live in the property and are not required to make any mortgage payments, can sell the property to another person or more interestingly BUY IT BACK!

Buying back a property that you are living in is an interesting concept that could save you month, however if you want to buy back the property many people want to know the answer to the big question: ‘what is the price?’ – Well, according to the county, this works as follows “at the sheriff’s sale, the purchaser paid a certain amount of money to purchase the property. Often the purchaser will be your mortgage company although it could also be another investor. The amount necessary for you to buy back, or redeem, your property is the amount the purchaser paid, plus some allowable costs and a daily interest rate based upon your mortgage loan interest rate.”

You can find out the sale price for your property at the Registrar of Deeds in the county where your property is located. If you want to buy back the home and it was sold for less than the amount owed to a mortgage company you only have to pay the purchase price from the sheriff’s sale even if it is substantially less than your loan amount. But that said, regardless, if the purchase price is less than the amount owing on the loan then you may be responsible for the difference. This difference is called the “deficiency” and the mortgage company can try and collect on this deficiency. Be careful and if you get collection calls, always seek legal advice if you are unsure whether they are warranted or not.  When you short sale your home, the approval letter often waives the deficiency.  Read Should I Short Sale My Home?

All said and done, what if you don’t buy back your home? Well, at the end of the redemption period you can be evicted if you are still in the property. However the purchaser of the property should not simply change the locks or evict you without a court order. If this happens you should contact an attorney immediately for assistance as there is a correct procedure that must be followed to evict the person still in the property.

This is all interesting stuff that is relevant to the market that we are living in across the country today. All of these things mean that while it can be tough on sellers, if you are a buyer then now is a great time to pick up a bargain home here in Ann Arbor!  If you are looking at a Short Sale, click here.

We welcome your comments, if you live in the community, we want to hear what you think of your neighborhood and welcome your input to improve this Ann Arbor Area information.

If you are looking to move to Ann Arbor instead then give the team a call! Ann Arbor offers great access to the expressway to get to Detroit or beyond quickly. A hop skip and a jump away is Zingerman’s Deli, Kerrytown, Kerrytown Farmers Market, Briarwood Mall, U of M campus, Medical Centerand University of Michigan football games. Drive to Veteran’s Park for figure or hockey skating, baseball, sledding, swimming, or enjoy fresh produce at Plum Market. For some specialty items be sure to visit nearby Morgan and York with video. Ann Arbor is a great place to live – convenient for all, including the Detroit metro airport, which is around 30 minutes away! Remember to be sure to visit world famous Ann Arbor Arts Fairs held every July. Click here to search Dexter Real Estate using our complimentary Ann Arbor Real Estate MLS Search service. Alternatively please contact Kathy Toth and the team if you need more specific assistance in your Ann Arbor Real Estate needs.

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