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8/22/2014 Picking the Right School While Buying a Home
If you are a parent who is looking to purchase a new home, one of the main factors you may consider when selecting a community is the school district. There are some great resources to help you find the best school system for your children.
First, the Michigan Department of Education offers 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.  In addition, a map of all the public school districts in the county is available through the Genesee Intermediate School District.
Perhaps your family is not able to afford the home of your dreams in the district of your choice. Do not despair 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. It is optional for each district to participate in the Schools of Choice, so do not assume every school participates. In addition to being optional, there are limited number of seats for transfer students in participating schools therefore it is important to investigate your options before making a final decision on a move. Learn more about Schools of Choice here.
Finally, you are not limited by the public schools located near your new home. An array of private and charter schools are also available throughout the county expanding the educational options for your children.
Finding the perfect home is important for your family; finding the best school for your children is just as critical. Take time to research your options before making a purchase.  Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

If you know of anyone looking for a newer ranch with a country setting, close to Frankenmuth and I-75, send them this link:


8/15/2014 Credit Requirements for FHA Government Loans

Earlier this year we talked about saving for down payments for your new home. One of the options we discussed were loans through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) which typically only require 3.5 percent in a down payment.


In order to take advantage of the low down payment, potential homebuyers need to have a FICO score of 580 or better. Even if your credit score is below this level, you may still qualify for a FHA loan, however your down payment may be as high as 10 percent.


A great benefit of FHA loans is that it is easier to qualify even if you have questionable credit history. Credit problems may include lower credit scores, bankruptcies or foreclosures. FHA requires anyone with these issues to have a record of re-establishing their credit and a good payment history.


When working to improve your credit for FHA loans take time to look at your credit report. Copies of your report are available from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion at no cost. If you notice problems on your credit report, dispute these inaccuracies. Applicants for FHA funding can get credit support through the consumer credit counseling programs.


Other issues potential buyers may have are having little to no credit history. Requirements for these loans are a minimum of two lines of credit to qualify for FHA funding. However, there is a substitute application form that can be used for anyone without sufficient credit history.


Remember there are lending options for individuals who may not be able to qualify for traditional home loans. FHA funding is one choice to help make your dream of owning a home a reality.


If you know of anyone looking for a great Clio home with a huge deck and even an attached greenhouse, send them this link: Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

8/8/2014 Home Inspections - What Should I Expect?

Once an offer is accepted on a home the excitement begins to build for potential buyers. However, it's important to take time to have a professional home inspection before finalizing a purchase to look for potential defects in the property. Paying for a home inspection can save you from the headache of encountering serious repairs after buying the property.


Remember, the home inspection is to inform you of things that you may want to correct or repair once the home is yours, not a check list for the seller. If there are serious defects that are safety concerns or very costly to correct, then you can re-negotiate or withdraw your offer.


Some of the serious defects found on a property include the following items:

  1. Problems with the home's roof. If the property's roof is in need of major repairs then ask for the seller to replace it or negotiate for a lower purchase price.
  2. Issues with the house's foundation. This is a serious repair and without a major reduction in cost most likely you should walk away from the property.
  3. Damage in the bathroom can be another problem. One frequent problem is a damaged shower pan where water is collecting under the shower. Negotiate costs to have the repair covered by the seller.
  4. Outdated wiring can also be a problem in older homes. Correcting this can be expensive and even dangerous. Find out the costs to update the wiring from a professional and use this as leverage in your negotiations with the seller.


These are just a few of the potential defects that may be identified in your home inspection. Buying a home is one of the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime, so take the steps necessary to ensure you are making a smart investment. As your realtor, I will provide you with a list of quality home inspectors in the area.


If you know of anyone looking for a great Clio home with a huge deck and even an attached greenhouse, send them this link: Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

8/1/2014 Back to the Bricks Kicks Off Next Week

Back to the Bricks fun begins next week across Genesee County. The event is held annually to celebrate Genesee County’s automotive history. The main events will take place the week of August 11-16. Most events are free and car owners can show their vehicles for no charge.


The Tune Up Party Week from August 4-9 includes events in Flint Township (August 4), Clio (August 5), Linden (August 6), Fenton (August 7), Davison (August 8) and Mt. Morris (August 9). I want to share some of the festivities in Clio where my office is located.  Information on the events in the other area cities is available through the link at the start of this section.


The fun begins in Clio on Tuesday with a drive around the Auto City Speedway from 2-4:00 p.m. Participates have the chance to drive their vehicle on the track. There will be pit stops throughout town from 4-8:00 p.m. with live music at the Clio Amphitheater starting at 7 p.m. The featured group, Phil Dirt & The Dozers, plays music reminisce of groups from the 1950s and 1960s. Cost of admission is $6 per person.


The main events begin on Tuesday, August 12 with an open house at the Flint Assembly plant followed by a free drive-in movie at the US 23 Drive-In Theater located on Fenton Road in Mundy Township. The next day, on Wednesday, the opening ceremony for the cruise will take place at 4 p.m. at 4300 S. Saginaw Street in Flint followed by the rolling cruise which goes from Flint through Burton and Grand Blanc. Additional cruises take place on Thursday and Friday.


Everything culminates on Saturday with the main show in downtown Flint. The cars will be on display for the public from 8:00 a.m.- 5 p.m. The festivities continue throughout the day with a final concert featuring the Flint Symphony Orchestra and Flash Cadillac from 3-5:00 p.m. near Flint City Hall.


Take to enjoy Back to the Bricks with your family this year. From enjoying the fun in Clio to watching the cruise down Saginaw Street there are lots of options for you. If you know anyone looking for a water front home in the Fenton area, send them this link. Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

7/25/2014 Costs of Selling Your Home

Most of us know some of the costs associated with buying a home, but many people are not aware of the costs incurred by sellers of property. The good news is that these costs are fairly easy to calculate in advance of your sale.


The one you know is the commission paid to the real estate company who represents you. This fee is negotiable and usually is in the range of 6 to 7% of the sale price. State transfer tax, revenue stamps, title insurance, recording fees and administrative fees usually total another 2 to 2.5% of the sale price.


It is quite common nowadays for buyers to negotiate for some of their closings costs to be paid by the seller at the time of closing. Your agent will help you to understand and negotiate these costs if they come up in the offer.


Finally, if you still owe on your mortgage you will need to pay that off too. The title company handling your closing will get the exact amount needed for the day of closing. They will then prepare a pay-off check from the proceeds of your sale and overnight the payment to the mortgage company when the transaction is complete.


If you are looking to sell your home this year, I can make that happen with the least amount of hassle. By the way, if you know of someone looking for a great home in Clio at 13331 Paradise Dr., send them this link for more information Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

7/18/2014 Free Movies Provide Great Family Entertainment

Besides the concerts and festivals featured in earlier blog postings, there are also free family movies for you to enjoy this summer. Several communities in Genesee County are hosting indoor and outdoor family films.


The City of Swartz Creek sponsors an outdoor Family Movie Night every other Friday. The fun begins at 7:30 pm with free bounce house activities and the movie plays at dusk. The remaining dates are July 25 (Goonies), August 8 (Despicable Me 2) and August 22 (Planes). The movies are held at the Pajtas Theater at 8099 Civic Drive in Swartz Creek.  Bring a chair or blanket to use while viewing these films. Additional information is available online or by calling 810-635-4464.


NCG Cinemas in Grand Blanc is holding a Free Family Film Festival beginning the weekend of August 22; films are shown on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and the shows begin at 10:00 a.m.  Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis.  The movies run through the weekend of September 19. Movies include “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” (beginning August 22), the “Lego Movie” (beginning August 29), “Free Birds” (beginning September 5), “Rio 2” (beginning September 12) and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” (beginning September 19).


Finally, outdoor movie nights are held every Friday in Flushing at Walt’s Walk-in Theater. The films are shown at the Riverview Park recreation complex located at 725 E. Main Street in Flushing. Seating is available on-site or you can bring a chair or blanket with you to watch the movie.


The movies begin at dusk (around 9 p.m.). Concessions are available on site at the Teen Canteen that sells a variety of snacks to support local youth organizations. The films will run through Friday, August 16.  Tonight’s film is the “Lego Movie” which is followed by “Nut Job”, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”, “Despicable Me 2” and “Free Birds”.  Additional information is available online through the organization’s website.   


Next time you are looking for something fun to do with your family look no further than one of the free family films outlined in this posting. I hope you and your family enjoy some great entertainment this summer.  By the way, if you know of someone looking for a great three  bedroom home in Davison, send them this link for 1132 Emerald Forest Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

7/11/2014 Buying Early: Making a Purchase in Your 20s and 30s

Young adults have struggled with having the chance to purchase their first home.  These individuals, who are in their 20s and 30s, have been looking for opportunities that make buying a home possible for them.  I hope to offer some tips to help young adults make their housing dreams come true.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau home ownership for Americans under the age of 35 is only at 36 percent; the lowest level since they began tracking in the early 1980s.  The good news is that we live in one of the cheaper housing markets in the country which means there are bargains available for young adults hoping to make a purchase.  

As a first-time buyer you are not required to have the 20 percent down payment.  Many people make this assumption and are scared away from researching a purchase.  However, there are programs out there that allow you to purchase a home for a much smaller down payment.  These federal programs are targeted towards first-time buyers.

The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans allows buyers to put only 5 percent down.  Other programs such as the USDA Rural Development Loan Programs provide support for purchases in certain regions.  Areas in Genesee County covered by the program include Clio, Mt. Morris, Frankenmuth, Montrose and Flushing.

Even though there are lots of online resources remember it is still important to hire a realtor.  We are experts in our field and can help you navigate the system.  I will provide you personalized service and can help you find out additional information about properties beyond the descriptions you read online.

Finally, take your time.  The number of houses available for sale is at an all-time low, so it can take time to find a property that fits your needs.  Do not allow yourself to become discouraged; expect to spend several months finding your home.

Remember even if you have student loan debt or do not have 20 percent to put as a down payment there are still options available to help you own a home.  Contact me for help in finding a property for you to call home - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.
7/2/2014 Fireworks Displays in Genesee and Saginaw Counties

If you will be in the area this weekend, here is a listing of the fireworks displays that will be taking place over the next few days.  I have included both Saginaw and Genesee Counties for your convenience.


The festivities will kick off on July 3 with displays in both Flint and Frankenmuth.  The Flint fireworks will be launched at 9:30 p.m. and will be shot off from the Chevy in the Hole site.  Seating will be available for viewing from Atwood Stadium.  It is located at 701 University Avenue in Flint.


The Frankenmuth display will also take place on July 3 and will begin at 10:15 p.m.   The fireworks will be launched from Heritage Park located at 601 Weiss Street in Frankenmuth.  Viewing is available all along the river.


The displays will continue on the Fourth of July with fireworks in both Fenton and Clio.  The Fenton fireworks will be set off at dusk and are part of the city’s Freedom Festival celebration.  The display is launched from Silver Lake Park located at 16000 Jennings Rd in Fenton.  Viewing is available along the Silver Lake Road shopping district.


In Clio the festivities continue as part of their Family Fun Day with fireworks at dusk.  The display will be launched from Clio City Park located at 402 N. Mill Street in Clio with viewing available on site.


Finally, the annual Bay City Fireworks Festival will take place over three nights with displays on July 3, 4 and 5 all at 10:05 p.m.  These are launched from Wenonah Park located on 801 N. Water Street in Bay City.  The display is considered to the largest in the area and anyone attending should plan to arrive early to get a seat along the river for the best views.


Whether or not you are enjoying one of these displays or launching your own fireworks, I wish you and your family a happy and safe Fourth of July! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

6/27/2014 Preparing to Buy Your First Home

Anyone who is planning to buy their first home later this year needs to follow a few steps to get ready before looking at properties. Getting these items in order will ensure that you are ready to buy when you find your dream home.


First, you need to have a steady income stream. Lenders are more likely to finance individuals who have a regular income that will allow them to pay a mortgage. These payments will last between 15 and 30 years, so it is imperative that you have the ability to pay over that extended period of time.


Besides having a regular income, make sure you have enough savings to cover the closing costs on a house along with the other associated closing fees. See my previous posting "Closing Costs: Beyond the Down Payment" to learn about these costs; which are typically 4 to 6 percent of a home's purchase price. Create a budget in advance of looking for a home that sets aside savings to help you prepare for these costs.


In addition to saving money for you closing costs, estimate a budget for living in a new home. Consider costs beyond the mortgage and insurance such as water, trash and sewer bills that are not typically paid by renters. Make adjustments in your family's current budget will help accommodate for these costs after purchasing your new home.


Finally, check your credit score to make sure it is in order. Work with your banking institution or financial advisor to get a current copy of your credit report. Check for any errors and find out if there are any ways that you can improve your score. A better score on your credit report will result in a lower interest rate ultimately making your mortgage payments lower.


These are just a few things you can do beforehand to starting the search for your new home. By having these things prepared in advance you will help streamline the process to purchase your first home. If you have any additional questions about the buying process contact me, Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900.

6/13/2014 Father's Day Home Improvements for Dad

In honor of Father’s Day, I wanted to share some simple home improvements that can be made in honor dad.  These are also great additions to add value to your home if you decide to sell your property in the future.


First, 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 consider purchasing one for a Father’s Day gift.


Second, transform part of the basement into dad’s personal space giving him a “man cave” where he can enjoy some of his hobbies.  Make an area for him to watch sports on television to use his exercise equipment.  Making the space in your basement functional is a big attraction to potential buyers and a nice way to give dad his own space.  Consider buying dad something that represents his favorite sports team to decorate the area or even a bigger television for viewing the big games.


Finally, organize your garage into workable areas. Create a tool bench for easy access to household tools.  Also, organize outdoor lawn equipment by adding hooks and shelves along the wall.  These additions will maximize your storage space all while helping you get organized. It will also make it easier for dad to work on household repairs or projects in the yard.   Dads always appreciate getting new hand tools or something to make their work in the yard easier.


These are just a few simple home improvements that are great surprises for dad this Father’s Day.  Making simple changes to your home will also transform the space for the entire family.  Perhaps you might want to consider a move to give dad even more space to enjoy his favorite hobbies, if so contact me at RE/Max Right Choice at 810-686-3900 – Dave Taljonick.
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