Rural Development Loan to Move Into Your Dream Home
When looking to buy a new home finances can be a major hurdle to overcome. Coming up with money for a down payment can be overwhelming. Depending on where you want to move you may be able to use the Rural Development Loan Assistance program which requires no money down.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers two programs for homebuyers. The programs allow for the purchase of homes in designated areas. Rural areas and communities with less than 20,000 people are eligible for this type of financing. In our area, communities such as Clio, Montrose, Flushing, Mt. Morris and Frankenmuth all qualify for the financing programs.
First, the Guarantee Home Loan program includes lenders from the private sector who work with the USDA guaranteeing the loans. With the program, any time a homeowner defaults, the Rural Development will pay the lender back for the amount of the loan. In addition, the program lets a homebuyer borrow up to 102% a home’s value eliminating the need for a down payment.
The second option is offered through the Direct Home Loan Program. The financing provides direct assistance from Rural Development. For a potential buyer to qualify, he or she must have a household income below 80% of the median income level for the community where he or she resides.
Call me today if you want to learn more about either of these programs. The Rural Development loans can make your dream of owning a home a reality today. Remember when it comes to real estate, Dave is the man! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900
Cleaning Projects for Your Home this Spring
Even though the ground hog predicted six more weeks of winter, spring is in the air this weekend. With the changing of the weather that means it is time to tackle the dreaded spring cleaning. If you’re like me you hate the idea of undertaking the cleaning projects that have piled up over the winter. In this post I want to provide you with some tips and local resources to make your cleaning a little easier.
When making plans for spring cleaning it is important to handle projects on both the outside and inside of your home. With the beautiful weather this weekend you could begin to tackle the outside projects. The first thing you want to do is to clean out your flower beds and the areas along the walkways. From leaves to trash to branches that may have accumulated over the winter months. In a few weeks once spring officially arrives you can start to bring out all the decorative items for your porch and yard. It’s always a good idea to wait until the weather officially breaks before bringing out any lawn furniture.
Inside your house start with the simple things like cleaning your walls and wiping down your ceilings. This includes cleaning off your light fixtures, ceiling fans and windows. A vacuum with an extended wand can make the job a lot easier. Inside the kitchen make sure to wipe away any grime that may have accumulated near the stove and other high use cooking areas.
Another important task is cleaning your carpets, furnitures and rugs. If you have a shampooer you can do the task on your own or you can rent one from a hardware or home improvement store. There are lots of great local businesses that offer professional carpet cleaning services too. It is also important to wash or dry-clean any curtains in your home.
One important task that is often overlooked is cleaning out medications, hazardous cleaning products and other expired goods. Start in your pantry by sorting through any expired food items. If you have food your family doesn’t want to eat, but the items are not expired considering donating them to a local food pantry such as the Community of Christ in Clio.
We sometimes forget cleaning out your medicine cabinet is an important task too. Taking expired medications can be dangerous and it is imperative to properly dispose of any old medicine. Remember do not simply through them away or flush them down the toilet. Here are the Genesee County designated drop-off locations for the disposal of prescription medications including Clio’s Borden’s Pharmacy.
In addition to disposing of medications, remember to properly dispose of any other hazardous products such as paint, electronics, oil and cell phones properly. This list from Keep Genesee County Beautiful also includes places where you can recycle old furniture, furnishings, scrap metal and more.
Remember when you’re all done with your spring cleaning your house may be ready to be put on the market to sell in 2017. When it comes to real estate, Dave is the man! Contact me, Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, at 810-686-3900.
Local Organizations Provide Outlet for Creativity
In this week’s post I want to share with you three local businesses/organizations who provide individuals with an opportunity to showcase their creativity. The Clio Center for the Arts, Inc; Flint Handmade and Black Door Design offer classes and workshops designed to release the inner artist in everyone.
The Center offers a wide array of art classes for children and adults. The types of courses offered include pottery, painting, digital photography, watercolor, glass etching drawing and more. Some classes are held over the course of several weeks while others are one-time events. Upcoming classes include clay sculpting, colored pencil and pottery. Individuals can also enjoy open studio time at the Center located at 3370 W. Vienna Rd. in Clio just down the road from my office.
The organization was created to encourage creative expression in downtown Flint by hosting handmade product shows and hands-on demonstrations for people to enjoy. During the Second Friday Art Walks, Flint Handmade hosts a social crafting event at the Local Grocer. Each month a new project is featured on the second Friday of the month from 5 to 9 p.m.
Other featured make-and-takes include “Craft Academy” sessions and “Yoga & Crafts” held at different local businesses during the month. Throughout the year they host craft markets including their annual Flint Handmade Holiday Craft Market held the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Their next show will be held on Saturday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Yellow Dog Marketplace in Goodrich. Admission is free and the event will showcase handmade pottery and local food.
Black Door Designs is a business located in Flushing that is a creative space for individuals to participate in workshops using a variety of mediums. Custom projects utilize glass, wood, watercolor and acrylic paint. You can sign up for a publicly offered class or host a private event at the studio. Upcoming events include a Heart Day Date Night where couples can create custom wood signs and a custom daisy painting class. The cost for workshops starts around $35.
Take time to let your creative side show by checking out one of these three organizations. From simple make-and-takes to classes held over the course of several weeks, each one offers unique opportunities to showcase your inner artist. Classes offered appeal to broad audiences including adults and kids along with men and women. Don’t let the winter blues get you down, show your creative side today! - Dave Taljonick of RE/MAX Right Choice.
Three Home & Garden Shows Will Bloom This Spring
Even though winter is still in full force, spring will be here soon. In my post this week I want to go over three local home and garden shows to get you in the spirit of spring. These shows provide great opportunities to get ideas to spruce up your current home or to dream up plans for your next house.
The shows being in just a few weeks with the Cottage & Lakefront Living Show. The event will take place at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi on February 23-26. Get great ideas for your cabin up north or your backyard retreat by attending this fun show.
The showplace is located at 46100 Grand River Drive in Novi. Admission is $10 per person and $4 for children ages 6 to 14 (children 5 and under are free). If you attend the event on Thursday or Friday you can enter the promo “LAKE”when purchasing tickets to receive $2 off through the link above.
The next big show is sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Saginaw and will take place on Saginaw Valley State University’s campus. The Home & Garden Show will take place on March 25 and 26 at the Saginaw Valley State University Ryder Center. The show will be held at the Ryder Center on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Each year a wide array of exhibitors and seminars are offered. Check out the Home Builders Association’s web site to download a $1 off admission coupon.
Finally, the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center will hold their annual Spring Home & Garden Show on Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2. The show will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Learn more on Dort Federal’s calendar on their website.
Take time out of your schedule to check out one of these great shows. And remember if you get a great idea that doesn’t work at your current home I can help you find the property of your dreams. When it comes to real estate, Dave is the man! - Dave Taljonick of RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.
Six Genesee County Valentineís Day Events
As February approaches you may be trying to decide what to do for Valentine’s Day. From picking up something for the special someone in your life to romantic dinners under the stars, these local events are designed to get you in the Valentine’s Day spirit.
Looking for something special to give to your sweetheart? Then head over to Flint Handmade's Mini Mart on Saturday, February 4 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Flint Farmer's Market. Vendors will be there displaying handmade goods that would make perfect gifts for your sweetheart.
The Old Newsboys of Flint will be hosting their annual Valentine's Day Gala the weekend before Valentine’s Day. The event will take place on Saturday, February 11 at Warwick Hills Country Club in Grand Blanc. The cost is $75 per person and black tie is optional. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. with music and dancing starting at 8:30 p.m. Tickets should be purchased in advance through the link above.
Don’t miss out on For-Mar Nature Preserve’s 3rd annual Whooo’s in Love program. The cost of the event is only $2 per couple and will include an array of fun activities to enjoy with your sweetheart. Pre-registration is required by February 9 through the link above.
Reserve your seat now for dinner under the stars at the Longway Planetarium. The cost is $200.00 per couple and only one night is still available. There are still spots open for Sunday, February 12 from 6 to 10 p.m. Make a reservation online through the link above.
Another great option is the Enduring Love Dinner being held at the Sloan Museum on Monday, February 13. The three-course dinner will allow you to step back in time to the Ship of Dreams with their Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. Tickets are $150 per couple and can be reserved online or by calling 810-237-3427.
Looking for something to do with the special little one in your life? Plan to take him or her the Lil Sweeties Dance on Saturday, February 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. The event will be held at the Longway Planetarium is $8 for adults and $6 for children. Cookies and punch will be served and a special viewin of the Perfect Little Planet will be done for guests.
These are just a few of the great Valentine’s Day events happening in Genesee County. Make plans now to enjoy one of them with your sweetheart before tickets sell out. - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.
Zehnderís SnowFest Kicks Off in Frankenmuth Next Week
Next week Zehnder's will hold their annual SnowFest which will take place from Wednesday, January 25 through Monday, January 30 in Frankenmuth. The event has been held for over 25 years and brings together artists from around the globe to compete in snow and ice carving contests.
Opening day will include the start of the children’s snow sculpting competition at Frankenmuth Riverplace. In addition, the world class sculpting teams will continue to share their creations throughout the day and the teams from across Michigan will start their work at 6 p.m. The warming tent will also host Michigan’s Favorite Apple Recipe Contest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursday will bring the start of the high school snow sculpting competition along with a dueling piano luncheon in Zehnder’s main dining room. In addition, each day there will be an array of music events in Zehnder’s Snowfest Warming Tent.
The fun continues on Friday with the ice carving competition from 12 to 6 p.m. In addition, the children’s play area will be open near the Frankenmuth Toy Company. There will also be carousel and pony rides for kids to enjoy for only $2. The night ends with the collegiate ice carving “Under the Stars” competition.
Saturday will be jam-packed with fun all day long culminating with the fireworks display at 6:45 p.m. over the river. The competitions continue all the way through Sunday with all ice and snow sculptures ready for viewing by 11:30 a.m. The festival closes out on Monday, January 30 with the 25th Annual Chef's Hot Food Competition. The event will take place from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. and is $30 per person to attend.
As usual, Zehnder's SnowFest promises to provide fun for the entire family. The festival starts on Wednesday next week running through the following Monday. So, pack up the family and head to Frankenmuth to check out the fun! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.
Making Snow Removal Easier
Although we haven’t been hit with as much snow this year I still wanted to provide you with some useful tips to make snow removal easier for you along with some safety tips when completing the task. From picking the right shovel to removing snow in a timely manner, I hope this advice can be helpful for you during the next big snow storm.
If you do not have a snowblower or if you need a shovel to clear small walkways and areas where you can’t use your snowblower, make sure to pick the best snow shovel for you. Consumer Reports evaluates the different types of shovels and tells you the uses for each type ranging from the standard plastic ones to lumber jack style options.
Second make sure to protect yourself while shoveling. According to a nationwide study, from 1990 to 2006 there were 11,500 emergency room visit caused by snow shoveling injuries. If you have any medical problems check with your doctor before shoveling or snow blowing. Also, dress appropriately when heading outside. Use layers of waterproof clothing to allow for good ventilation while outside and wear shoes or boots that will keep you from slipping on the ice. If you have not been engaging in any physical activity before going outside do some light exercises to get yourself warmed up just like you would for any other workout.
One of the most common injuries when shoveling is related to a person’s back. Use proper lifting to ensure you do not injure yourself. Also, space out the shoveling by starting early when the snow is not too deep and periodically shovel throughout the storm to avoid having to move piles of large snow all at once.
Finally, whether snowplowing or shoveling do not pile up the snow around the foundation of your home. When the snow begins to melt it can cause cracks to form on your foundation leading to leaks in your basement. Avoid piling snow over drains or near fire hydrants and always keep your mailbox clear.
Remember these tips the next time a snow storm hits. Also, don’t forget when the temperature is below 12 degrees Fahrenheit salt does not work. And if you have pets use pet friendly products because traditional rock salt is harmful to dogs paws. Even in the winter, remember when it comes to real estate, Dave is the man! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.
Four Tips to Start Organize Your Home in 2017
In my blog last week, I outlined resolutions you can make for your home. For this post I want to give you some tips on how to get your house organized in 2017. These simple how-tos will get you on the road to having an organized home in no time.
First, start with small changes. Setting one simple goal a week can help things not seem so overwhelming. Pick a closet, a single room, your desk or even a cabinet to tackle then work on it during that week. There are lots of great lists available online that will help you pick weekly goals. Home Storage Solutions offers a 52 week organized home challenge checklist which can help get you on track.
The second thing you can do to organize your home is to better utilize your existing storage space in your home. Too often we jam things into a closet or the garage without taking time to analyze the best use of the space. For instance, in your closets consider using space saving bags that will allow you to vacuum pack seasonal items or other linens do not need all of the time.
In addition, use the ceiling space in your garage for overhead storage. Add in shelves or other built-in racks to use the overheard storage space. From storing seasonal items to hanging your bikes, overhead storage can remove a lot of clutter off the ground in your garage.
Another good tip is to organize spaces that only you may see. You may be the only person who gets in your sock drawer or under the kitchen sink, however keeping the space organized can save you headaches when searching for something. Use things like bins from the dollar store to sort cleaning products under the sink or cut up boxes to create organizational dividers in a sock or underwear drawer.
A great rule to live by is whenever anything new comes into the house, such as a toy for the kids or a new tool or kitchen gadget, something leaves in its place. The key to organizing is keeping things simple and the best way to do this is through de-cluttering things. Rotate out old items with your new additions and have a space in your home to collect items to donate to a local charitable organization such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Volunteers of America or Freedom Treasures.
I hope these four tips will help you get on the road to organizing your home in 2017. Relieve some of the stress caused by unwanted chaos in your home and make 2017 a great year for your family. And remember if a move is in your future, a neatly organized home can make packing and sorting a lot easier. When it comes to real estate, remember Dave is the man! -Dave Taljonickof RE/MAX Right Choice.
New Year's Resolutions for Homeowners
Consider making new year’s resolutions for your home in 2017. From home improvements to financial planning, all of these goals will enhance your experience as a homeowner.
First, make plans to get ahead on your mortgage. Schedule extra payments on your mortgage or sign up for a biweekly payments. According to bankrate.com, simply making one extra payment a year on a 30 year mortgage can reduce the term of your loan by five years.
Another financial goal can be to find a more affordable homeowners insurance policy or a discount on your existing policy. Contact your insurance agent to see if any home improvements you made over the last year qualify you for a discount. Replacement of your roof, updated electrical or plumbing work could make you eligible for a reduction in the current rate you pay for insurance.
In addition, to examining financial resolutions the new year is a great time to make plans for improvements and repairs you would like to complete in 2017. From simple repairs you have been putting off around your house to dream renovations, the new year is a great time to make plans for these home improvements.
Along with overall improvements to your home, the new year gives you a chance to get organized and to make plans for deep cleaning you may have put off. From organizing closets to cleaning your basement or garage to having your carpets shampooed, the new year is a great chance to tackle these chores. January is often a great time to get discounts on organizational supplies including plastic tubs and closet organizers.
Finally, 2017 offers an opportunity to reduce your energy costs. Consumers Energy offers an array of rebates for home energy solutions from lighting to heating and cooling, there are lots of cost saving options available. You can even analyze your home energy use through their online tool. It will give a specific analysis for your home to help you save costs on your bill.
Allow the new year to give you a chance to make these plans a reality for your home. 2017 can be a new beginning for your home. And remember when it comes to real estate, Dave is the man! -Dave Taljonickof RE/MAX Right Choice.
Local New Yearís Eve Events to Ring in 2017
With the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation you may not have been able to make plans for New Year’s Eve which is right around the corner. Instead of waiting until after Christmas, take time to make plans now. Some of these events require you to make reservations in advance, so don’t miss out.
Frankenmuth will once again host an array of New Year’s Eve festivities There are many events happening in the city including a family-friendly celebration.
The Bavarian Inn Lodge will host a family-friendly event from 5 to 8 p.m. The cost is $67 per adult and $40 per child including a buffet dinner on New Year’s Eve and a breakfast buffet on New Year’s Day; children under the age of 2 are free. Reservations are required. It is designed for families spending the night at the Lodge.
Admission includes party favors, interactive dances and a global countdown into the New Year. Everyone will be treated to a dinner buffet which includes a build your own sundae bar. Willy the Dragon will be available to take photos.
The lodge will also host a formal gala with dinner being served from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. There will also be a dessert and soup buffet later in the evening. The live music will run from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. featuring the band Remix. The cost is $87 per person. It also includes a breakfast buffet the next morning at 9:30 a.m.
The cost for the celebration includes party favors, dinner, wine and a champagne toast at midnight along with the breakfast on New Year’s Day. Make your reservations now; the gala tickets can be combined with your lodging package.
The Frankenmuth Brewery will be held from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. There is a special dinner menu with set appetizers, soups/salad, entrees and desserts. In addition, for a $20 cover charge you can enjoy midnight extras including a pizza buffet, live entertainment and a champagne toast.
The Knights of Columbus in Davison will host a New Year's Eve Party. Doors for the party open at 8 p.m., with dancing 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Beer, wine and snacks are included in the $30 ticket cost. Knights of Columbus 4th Degree is located at 8428 Davison Road, Davison. Contact Gary Lehr at 810-653-5068 or Mark Campbell at 810-919-2319 for more information.
The Whiting will be hosting its second annual New Year’s Eve Gala. The night’s theme will be new year’s around the world. The evening includes a three course dinner, dancing, music and an auction held on the stage of the theater. The featured live band will be by the Cliff Monear Group. The event will take place from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. and cost $125 per person with a cash bar or $150 per person with an open bar. The Whiting is located at 1241 E. Kearsley St. in downtown Flint. For more information call 810-237-7378.
Flinttown Countdown to 2017
The Flint Farmer’s Market will host the New Year’s Eve Flinttown Countdown from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. The general admission cost is $35 with VIP admission priced at $50. There will be two stages with live entertainment and the night ends with a fireworks viewing at midnight. Food offerings vary depending on admission option.
Consider attending one of these New Year’s Eve events to ring in 2017. Make sure to set your plans now before reservations fill up. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas this weekend. – Dave Taljonick