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7/24/2015 Finding a School for Your Children

The decision to purchase a new home is often impacted by the school district where your children would attend after the move. Finding a community with the right school district for your family is important. In this post, I am going to provide you some online tools to research the districts you may be considering moving into this year.

 

One of the first places to start is on Michigan Department of Education's website. They share information on graduation rates, college readiness and MEAP scores for each district. The department also publishes a list of school rankings throughout the state. The full list is available online here.

 

If you're not sure what district fits your family best geographically, a map of all the public school districts in the Genesee County is available through the Genesee Intermediate School District. A map of schools in the Saginaw Intermediate School is also online.

 

Maybe your dream home is not in the district of your choice. Do not worry because in Michigan, families can take advantage of Schools of Choice. These options allow a select number of students outside a district to enroll in a particular school.

 

Each district has a choice whether or not they will participate in the Schools of Choice, so do not assume a school participates. In addition to being optional, there are limited number of seats for transfer students in participating schools, so it is important to see available seats before making a final decision on a move. Learn more about Schools of Choice here.

 

Finally, remember you are not limited by the public schools located near your home. There are a lot of private and charter schools in the area expanding the educational choices for your children. A search tool for charter schools in Michigan is available online.

 

Learn more about the education choices in a community before picking your perfect home. Do the research to find the best school for your children then find your dream home to match that choice. -  Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

7/17/2015 Laundry Room Makeovers

Are you looking for an easy home improvement project that will make a big difference in your everyday life? If so, then consider giving your laundry room a makeover. Not only will these improvements help with your daily routine, they are also great enhancements when you decide to sell your home.

 

One of the easiest things to do in a laundry room is to provide better storage space. Adding shelving above your washer and dryer can get your cleaning products in a space that is organized and easy to access. If your laundry room is in an area that is viewed by guests consider purchasing cabinets to hide away your cleaning supplies. You can also buy inexpensive curtains to hide away your laundry area from prying eyes.

 

In order to make the task of doing laundry easier for you consider installing rods to hang up clothes as they come out of the dryer. You can also add in bins to allow for easy sorting of colors before washing.

If your space is limited, consider reconfiguring your area by buying a stackable washer and dryer set. You can also utilize the space for other purposes too. Install a counter of the top of your washer and dryer (if they are both front loading machines) then you can use the space to wrap gifts or even as a work bench area.

 

Instead of improving the efficiency of small laundry rooms, some homeowners have the opposite problem. Many laundry spaces are large and waste valuable space in a house. If you have this problem, consider making the laundry room into a multi-purpose area. Create a space for crafts or hobbies that might otherwise have to be tucked away when not in use. The addition of storage cabinets and a small table can help best utilize the new area for both purposes.

 

Consider making over your laundry room this summer. These simple home improvement projects are sure to make life easier for everyone in your family. Remember if you are considering selling your home reach out to me and I will make the sale happen for you - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

7/10/2015 Packing Tips for Moving

Now that summer is in full swing many people are preparing to move to a new home and have started the packing process. Moving is never easy, but I hope these tips will help make the process a little easier for you.

First, wait to pack essential items for everyday living until right before you move. Items you only periodically use along with seasonal and holiday items should be packed first. Wait until as close to your move date as possible to pack essentials such as clothing, dishes and towels.

 

Make sure to pack essential items to ensure they are easily accessible.  Try using a clear plastic bin to make these items stand out. You should also consider packing an overnight bag for each member of your family, so they have all the necessities when arriving at your new home.

 

Some items that can be difficult to transport are toiletries and cleaning products. Cover open tops of liquid products with saran wrap and then put the tops back on the bottles. This will help prevent spillage from these products while moving.

Organizing boxes can sometimes be overwhelming. A simple way to keep boxes in order is to put numbers, letters or another label to show which ones should be opened first at your new home. For instance, boxes with the letter "A" or number "1" are priority boxes that are to be opened first. Kitchen utensils, bathroom essentials and bedding would receive this designation while holiday items may be labeled "C" or number "3" helping to prioritize the unpacking process.

In addition to organizing by number, label the destination for the box in your new home. By putting the room where it should be delivered on the outside, it will be easier for professional movers or family members to help you sort boxes.

 

Reduce the number of boxes you pack by keeping some items intact. Items in drawers can be kept in place by stretching press and seal or stretch wrap around them. Use baskets, hampers and suitcases for other loose clothing items further reducing the number of boxes you need for packing.

 

Packing materials can be expensive, so try to utilize existing resources to help protect glass items. Pack stemware, glasses and other breakable items inside clean socks protecting them from breakage while moving. Other pieces of clothing can protect dishes and any glass items reducing the amount of bubble wrap you need for your move. Remember to purchase packing paper which is free from any printing. Compared to using regular newspaper this will ensure that newsprint does not rub off onto any of your items.


If you are looking for a new home this summer or want to sell your current home contact me Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900.  

 
7/1/2015 Michigan Holiday Travel Tips

Lots of national websites provide tips for anyone traveling over the upcoming holiday weekend. In this week's post, I hope to provide you with some local resources for travel throughout Michigan. So, if you are planning to head up north to camp or to visit friends on the lake I want to help make your travel a little easier.

 

First, AAA offers a great online resource that allows you to get live traffic and construction updates. You can look up the information based on region and even map your route to see any problems along your journey. The Live Traffic Reports and Construction Updates site is a great resource to check before leaving your home and while you are on the road for live updates.

 

The good news from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is they have suspended most construction for the July Fourth Holiday. Work will be stopped from 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 through 6 a.m. on Monday, July 6. AAA has estimated 1.3 million drivers will take to Michigan roads this weekend, so this is good news for anyone who will be driving in the next couple of days.

 

Last year, MDOT even launched a free app for motorists. The Mi Drive app is available for download through iTunes and Google Play. Some of the features are similar to those offered by AAA, however it includes several other things on your designated route. Rest areas, traffic updates and real-time traffic camera views are available. Besides downloading the Mi Drive app, users can still get updates online through their website.

 

Remember to be safe and to plan in advance while making your Fourth of July travel this weekend. Have a safe and happy holiday. - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

6/26/2015 Holiday Fun for Your Family
The Fourth of July holiday weekend will bring a wide array of free events for your family to enjoy. Ranging from concerts to fireworks and parades, there is something for everyone across Genesee County.
 
The Music in the Parks concert series continues with their annual concert at Crossroads Village on Thursday, July 2 located at 6140 Bray Road in Flint. The village opens at 5 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m., admission is free. The Flint Symphony Orchestra will be performing the concert.
 
Clio Family Fun Day
The annual Clio Family Fun Day will be held on Saturday, July 4 at Clio City Park located at 402 N. Mill Street. The event includes a wide array of rides and carnival food for your family to enjoy. The day ends with fireworks at dusk.
 
Fenton Freedom Fest
In southern Genesee County, Fenton’s annual Freedom Festival will be held on Saturday, July 4.  The fun starts with a parade at 10 a.m. The day concludes with fireworks at dusk.
 
Downtown Flint
The Fourth of July weekend carnival returns to downtown this year with plenty of fun to be had for everyone. The carnival kicks off on Thursday, July 2 at 4 p.m. and runs through Sunday evening. It will be located at the DDA-owned Flat Lot, located between First Street and Kearsley Street. The fireworks will be held on Friday, July 3 and will be set off from Chevy Commons near Kettering University.
 
Frankenmuth
Our neighbors to the north in Frankenmuth will host their annual Volksläufe race (German for People’s Race) on Saturday, July 4. Race activities include a spaghetti dinner, beer garden and more. The fun kicks off on Friday, July 3 with their annual fireworks display at 10:15 p.m. The show is shot off from Heritage Park located at 601 Weiss St.
 
These are just a few of the great events taking place next weekend. Consider spending time with your family while enjoying the Fourth of July holiday.
6/19/2015 Keep Your Family Protected with National Safety Month Tips

Each June marks National Safety Month. In this week's post I hope to share with you some helpful tips to keep your family safe in your home.

First, the month focuses on protecting children from the potential dangers related to windows. The most important tip is for adult supervision to always take place when children are playing near windows. Windows should also be kept closed and locked when children are nearby. Any double-hung windows should only have the top opened for ventilation.

In addition, you should keep furniture away from windows that may allow children to reach and fall through it. Kids should also not be allowed to jump on furniture that is near a window. Finally, the National Safety Council Window Safety Task Force recommends installing ASTM-approved fall prevention devices which are limited-opening hardware that only allow a window to open a few inches.

Another important safety precaution to take in your home is checking for the possibility of lead paint. Even though the use of the paint has been banned since 1978 older homes still have the possibility of having it. Besides paint on the walls or exterior of your home, soil can sometimes contain dust from exterior lead paint and leaded gas. If you have an older home the National Safety Council has compiled an overview of tips to prevent exposure which could lead to lead poisoning.

Finally, the month works to showcase the dangers of Carbon Monoxide and Radon in your home. Please check out our "Clean Air in Your Home" post from May 1.

Keeping your family safe is important all year long. Learn more tips National Safety Month website. - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900

6/12/2015 Home Improvement Projects for Dad
Since Father’s Day is next weekend, I wanted to share some simple home improvement projects that can be done in honor dad. From completing some of the bigger chores around the house typically done by dad to creating a new space just for him to enjoy, these ideas are guaranteed to be a hit on Father’s Day.
 
Are there any dreaded chores that dad typically handles around the house? If so, Father’s Day is a perfect time to handle these chores for him. From simple things like mowing the lawn or taking out the garbage to more dreaded chores like power-washing the house or cleaning the garage, giving dad a break from this work is a great gift.
 
Consider doing chores for dad along with creating a new space made just for him. One idea is creating a “man cave” for dad to enjoy some of his hobbies. Part of your basement or a spare bedroom are great places to give dad some of his own space. The room can give dad his own private area to enjoy some of his hobbies or to just watch his favorite sports team on television without being interrupted.
 
Another great idea is to create an outdoor patio area for grilling and entertaining.  Most dads love to grill outside during the summer.  Creating a nice space to keep the grill, making it more accessible, is a great way to maximize its use throughout the year.  If your dad doesn't have a grill of his own or perhaps he just needs an upgraded grill consider purchasing one for a Father’s Day gift.
 
Finally, another great surprise for dad is to organize your garage into workable areas. Purchase a tool bench for easy access to household tools and take time to organize everything into the new space.  It is also a great help to organize outdoor lawn equipment by adding hooks and shelves along the wall.  These additions will maximize your storage space and will help you get everything organized.  Then next time dad wants to tackle a home improvement project of his own he will be able to find all the tools he needs to complete it.
 
These are just a few ideas that are great surprises to consider for dad this Father’s Day. Some of these projects will even add value to your home if you decide to sell your property in the future. Perhaps in the near future you may even consider a move to give dad even more space to enjoy his favorite hobbies. -  RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900 – Dave Taljonick.
6/5/2015 Concerts Heat Up the Night in Area Communities

Summer is finally here and now is the chance to enjoy time outside with our families. I want to share with you some of the local concert series that are being presented throughout the area. All of the shows are free or low cost and offer a great evening of entertainment for your family.

Clio

The Clio concerts are on Tuesday evenings starting on July 7 running through August 11 with one exception on Wednesday, July 29. The shows are in the amphitheater located inside Clio City Park. The cost is $6 per concert or $25 to attend the entire series; parking is free. Performers include the following tribute groups: Johnny Cash, Bob Seger, Shania Twain & Tim McGraw and Jimmy Buffet. Other concerts include Motown and Woodstock era favorites. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the concerts start at 7 p.m.

Flushing

Flushing hosts its concerts at Riverview Park in the heart of downtown. Their concerts kickoff with "Rich Eddy's Rockin' Oldies Band" on June 17. The concerts will be held every Wednesdays through August 5. Each show starts at 7:00 pm and there is no cost to attend. Groups include classic rock tributes, blues groups, country and other varieties.

Swartz Creek

The Swartz Creek Fine Arts Association hosts concerts at Pajtas Theater off Miller and Morrish Roads. Their concerts are held on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. starting on June 16 and run through August 4. There is no cost for the concerts which include Motown, jazz, country, gospel and classic rock groups. The last concert is the Bob Smeets annual coney night hosted by the Lions Club to help raise funds for the concert series.

Fenton

Free summer concerts at the Millpond Park in downtown Fenton started on Thursday, June 4 and run through August 27 (except for July 2) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Fenton Community & Cultural Center located at 150 South Leroy. A wide array of groups will be showcased including classic rock, blues, country, funk, Motown and pop. The concerts end with a Beatles tribute band.

Frankenmuth

The Frankenmuth Women's Club hosts Sunday evening concerts in Memorial Park at the Palmer Schau Platz. The concerts begin on Sunday, June 28 and run through Sunday, August 16. There is no charge to attend these concerts which begin at 7 p.m. Tributes to the Eagles, Jimmy Buffet, Abba, Neil Diamon, John Denver, Brooks and Dunn and the Bee Gees are some of the groups guests will enjoy throughout the summer.

Make plans to take your family and head out to some of the concerts this summer. Take time to enjoy the shows in your community or a nearby city where you may consider moving in the near future. - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900

5/29/2015 Outdoor Family Movies Provide Great Family Entertainment

Summer is officially here and area communities are hosting family movie nights for you to enjoy the great outdoor with your loved ones. The films include an array of titles and guarantee to provide fun entertainment for the entire family.

Swartz Creek

Family Movie Night kicks off in Swartz Creek on Friday, June 12 with showing of "The Lorax" and continues every two weeks until Friday, August 21. Funtastic Inflatables will be onsite at 7:30 for every movie night for the kids to enjoy at no charge. In the case of bad weather, the films will be shown the following Friday. The movies are shown at the Pajtas Theater at dusk.

Movie schedule:

  • Friday, June 12, "The Lorax"
  • Friday, June 26, "ET"
  • Friday, July 10, "Dolphin Tale"
  • Friday, July 24, "Lego Movie"
  • Friday, August 7, "Big Hero 6"
  • Friday, August 21, "Planes: Fire & Rescue"

Burton

New this year are family movie nights in the city of Burton. Movies will be held at the Burton Eagles club at 3317 E Bristol Rd and will start at dusk.

Each movie night includes a variety of fun for the entire family. The night "Frozen" plays children will get to enjoy character meet and greets along with bounce house fun. For "Planes: Fire & Rescue" families will get to be up close to real fire trucks, police cruisers and ambulances. The movies and activities are free, but food will be available for purchase.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, July 10, "Frozen"
  • Saturday, July 18 "Planes: Fire & Rescue"
  • Saturday, August 1 "Monsters University"

Sloan Museum- Flint

The Sloan Museum is hosting Movies In the Courtyard this summer. The films include an array of family friendly movies, comedies and even romance films. The cost is $5 per person, $4 for members and college students. Doors open at 8 pm and the movies begin at dusk.

The schedule of movies is as follows:

  • Friday, June 12, "Pitch Perfect"
  • Saturday, June 20, "Lego Movie"
  • Friday, July 10, "In My Dreams"
  • Saturday, July 11, "Despicable Me"
  • Saturday, July 18, "Blended"
  • Saturday, August 8, "Wedding Ringer"
  • Saturday, August 15, "Dirty Dancing"
  • Saturday, October 3, "Beetlejuice"

Next time you are looking for something fun to do with your family look no further than one of the family movie nights outlined in this posting. I hope you and your family enjoy some great entertainment this summer  - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

5/22/2015 Veteran's Memorials and Celebrations in Genesee County

In honor of Memorial Day, I wanted to share a recap of a post from last year about veteran's memorials in Genesee County. I have also included information about any veteran's ceremonies being held at the memorials over the weekend.

 

Genesee Veterans Memorial

Genesee Township dedicated their memorial in 2009 in a park on the bank of Mott Lake off Genesee Road at Stanley Road. The memorial features walls with personalized bricks honoring veterans from the area. The memorial surrounds a 30 foot bronze flag pole.

 

The annual Lions Club parade begins on Monday at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Genesee High School located at 7347 N. Genesee Road.

 

Burton Veterans Memorial

The Burton park was originally dedicated in 1997 at the corner of Atherton and Center Roads. The monuments were then moved near city hall to create a more expanded park which was dedicated in 2009.

 

There will be a parade starting at 2 p.m. ending at City Hall on Monday. Later in the evening there will be a Veterans Ceremony at the memorial's site across from Burton's City Hall off of Center Road on Manor Drive.

 

Davison City

A veteran's memorial is housed at the base of the city hall flag pole off of Main Street in downtown Davison. On Monday, Davison area veterans of the American Legion, VFW and AMVET posts host the traditional Memorial Day Parade and ceremonies.

 

The festivities begin with a parade starting at the fire station ending at the memorial where a ceremony will take place from 10:45 to 11:15 a.m. The Davison American Legion post will have an open house immediately following with free refreshments. The post is located at 10309 Davison Rd.

 

Davison Township's Veterans Court of Honor

The court is located inside the Davison Township Park located at 1280 N. Irish Road. The names of veterans who served in the armed forces from Davison, Davison Township or Richfield Township are honored.

 

McFarlan Veterans Memorial Park in Flint

The Friends of the McFarlan Park are raising funds to restore the park which is located in downtown Flint. The park is adjacent to the Durant Hotel and the Riverbank Center. It was established as the city's first park in 1875. Then in 1951 it was designated as the Genesee County War Memorial. The link above provides information on purchasing personalized bricks to help support the restoration efforts.

                                                                 

Clio Veterans Memorial Park

The Clio Veterans Memorial Park is located at the southeast corner of Vienna and Railway Streets in downtown Clio. An array of bricks and benches were installed to service men and women from the area. The park also includes a Fireman's Memorial which features a piece of steel from one of the Twin Towers

 

Swartz Creek Area Veterans Memorial

The Swartz Creek memorial was dedicated in June 2013. Special features of the park include a military dog statue. In addition, five life-size bronze statues representing the four branches of the armed services and the Coast Guard. The park is located on Civic Drive near the corner of Miller and Morrish Roads.

 

The veterans memorial group is hosting a garage sale fundraiser next week to help raise funds to purchase a new police dog for the city. The sale will be held on Thursday and Friday, May 28 and 29 at the Masonic Temple in Swartz Creek.

 

Happy Memorial Day to all of you who have served or our currently serving in our military; we appreciate your service to our country. - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

 

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