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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.

 

5/15/2015 Memorial Day Weekend Activities

Memorial Day is just around the corner, so I wanted to give you an overview activities that will be taking place in the region next weekend. All of these events are free and will provide great entertainment for your family.

 

Dog Bowl and Balloons Over Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth

Head out to Frankenmuth for the Dog Bowl and Balloons Over Bavarian Inn; both events take place over the weekend. Dog Lovers will enjoy checking out the dockdogs competitions, doggie races, disc dog competitions, police K-9 demonstrations, pet parade, agility demonstrations and much more. Dog Bowl events will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Balloons Over Bavarian Inn starts with the arrival of the balloons on Friday and runs through Monday morning. Every morning from 6 to 8:00 a.m. a morning flight takes place and each evening guests are invited to stay for the Balloon Glow Event from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. where 15 balloons are inflated and tethered allowing everyone to interact with the pilots and crew.

 

The weekend is full of events for everyone to enjoy. Learn more about the Dog Bowl and Balloons Over Bavarian Inn on their websites.

 

Veteran's Parade and Fireworks in Burton

There will be a parade starting at 2 p.m. ending at City Hall on Monday, May 25. 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. The night ends with fireworks at 10:00 p.m.

 

Other Area Parades

Genesee: The annual Lions Club parade begins at 11 a.m. on Monday in the parking lot of Genesee High School located at 7347 N. Genesee Road. Children under the age of 12 are encouraged to decorate their bikes for contest.

 

Fenton: The parade sponsored by the VFW will begin at 10 a.m. at the Fenton Community Center. Because of the downtown Streetscape construction project, the parade's regular route has been changed.

 

Make plans to enjoy some of these great events with your family next weekend. A special thank you to all of the area veterans who have served or are currently serving our country. Happy Memorial Day! - Dave Taljonick of RE/MAX Right Choice.

5/8/2015 Yard Cleanup Tips

The warm weather has finally made its arrival in Michigan and now it's time to start cleaning up your lawn for summer. Here are a some tips to help you with your spring cleanup.

 

One of the most important things to do is to prune your trees and shrubs. Take time to remove any branches that have been damaged or have died over the winter. Any branches with a diameter of more than 1/2 inch should be cut with a handsaw. Experts also say that when shaping hedges it is best to use hand pruners. Any flowering bushes that bloom in the spring should be pruned after they flower. Ones with summer flowers should be pruned before blooming.

 

Another important area to focus on is your lawn. Rake your lawn and flowerbeds to remove any leaves and dead plants. If you have any bare areas on your grass make sure to evenly sprinkle grass seed over the spots.

 

Besides your lawn, take time to examine your fences, walkways and patios for any damage. Often times over the winter cracks may appear in concrete or sidewalks. In additions, patio blocks may shift or sidewalks may become uneven. Some of these repairs can be done on your own while others may require professional attention.

 

Finally, make sure to check for any debris and other rubbish that may have accumulated over the winter months. Drainage ditches, areas along fences and under bushes may have collected pieces of trash, broken branches and more that should be removed.

 

Don't waste time, start cleaning up your yard for summer now. Once the clean-up is done bring out your patio furniture to enjoy the beautiful weather. And if you are considering selling your home this summer, remember when it comes to real estate, "Dave is the Man"! - Dave Taljonick of RE/MAX Right Choice.

5/1/2015 Clean Air in Your Home

Today is the start of Clean Air Month, so in this week's post I want to share ways you can improve the air quality in your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends 90 percent of their time indoors. Inside pollutants are often concentrated at rates of 2 to 5 times higher than what are found outside.

 

When working to improve air quality you first need to determine what sort of risk factors exist inside your home. The easiest place to start is to examine the types of appliances, cleaners or chemicals used inside. Fuel-burning appliances such as gas stoves, water heaters and fireplaces should be fully vented to the outdoors. Make sure to examine these for any potential problems.

 

It's also important to examine the types of cleaners you use in your house. When using cleaners and other chemicals with strong odors make sure to vent the area properly. Proper ventilation is also important when painting or doing other remodeling projects such as laying new carpet.

 

Next take time to go around your home to look for any potential leaks or standing water. Areas with water problems include inside attics, under sinks or in basements which may go unnoticed for long periods of time. If not cleaned properly, standing water can lead to mold or mildew problems which is very hazardous to the health of you and your family.

 

Finally, one of the most important things to check for in your home is possible contamination by radon, carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide. Appliances such as water heaters, furnaces, ovens and generators may emit carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide if not working properly. Consider installing detectors in your home. These are affordable to purchase at local hardware stores.

 

Unlike carbon monoxide which comes from man-made products, radon is a gas emitted through soil and rocks. It often seeps into a home through cracks inside cement walls and sump pumps. At-home test kits are available through the Genesee County Health Department. In January of each year these kits are usually offered at no cost in honor of Radon Awareness month. Otherwise the cost of the kits is typically $10 or less.

 

Keep your family healthy by improving the air quality inside with these tips. Remember if you are thinking about selling your home remember when it comes to real estate, "Dave is the Man"! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900

 

4/24/2015 Getting Ready to Sell

Preparing your home to sell is an important part of the entire sale process. It starts from the time you begin to considering listing your home through the day the first potential buyer enters your home.

 

Remove Yourself Emotionally

One of the hardest things to do when starting to prepare your home is removing yourself emotionally from the situation. Start to look at the house like a product instead of as a place where your family has created memories. Disassociating with the home is difficult, but is an important step to help you start to getting the house “show ready”.

 

Take Personal Items Out of Home

The next step is to walk through your home and to remove any personal items. Photographs, mementos and family heirlooms should be taken out of every room. Think about turning your house into a model home instead of one that includes personal touches in each room. Removing personal items allows potential buyers to visualize themselves living in the space.

 

Organize, Organize, Organize

Finally, remember anyone considering the purchase of your home will take time to look in cabinets, closets and other storage areas. Make sure kitchen cupboards are organized and closets do not have things jammed inside. There is nothing worse than having a potential buyer open a closet and then have an item fall on their head.

 

It is also important to work on organizing your basement, garage or attic. If a space is too crowded with boxes and other clutter it can be difficult for individuals to judge the true size of the area. Boxes, storage containers and other items thrown into a space can make it appear crowded and may be overwhelming to a buyer. If you have lot of stuff consider renting a storage unit or having a friend or family member keep some boxes for you until your home is sold.

 

These are just a few tips to help prepare your house to be put up for sale. Remember if you are thinking about selling your home remember when it comes to real estate, "Dave is the Man"! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900

4/17/2015 Local Farmers Markets Provide Great Options for Families

Now that spring is here it is a great time to talk about the area farmers' markets. Some markets are open all year while others are only open during the summer months.

 

Flint Farmers' Market

The Flint market is open all year on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The market relocated in 2014 to its new location at 300 E. First Street in Flint. An array of vendors are housed at the facility. In addition, cooking demonstrations are held several times a week in open-air kitchens. A complete schedule is available on their website. The market hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Saturday, it is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Davison Farmers' Market

The Davison market features over 70 vendors from across the region. It is located at 8110 E. Court St. in Davison at the corners of Irish Rd. and Court St. The market is opened on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Each month the market features special events including a spring craft show on Saturday, April 18, a flower show on May 9th and a gardening seminar on May 23.

 

Frankenmuth Farmers Market

The Frankenmuth market is held from May to October. They are currently fundraising to build a permanent location. The market is open on Saturdays starting on May 16 until October 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is also open on Wednesdays from June 10 to September 16 during the peak harvest season.

 

Other area markets include Grand Blanc , Fenton and Linden which are open during the summer. Take time to bring your family to one of these great markets. From fresh produce to tasty treats, the markets each offer a wide array  of options to satisfy everyone's appetite. 

 

These markets add appeal to potential buyers looking for a new community to call home. So, if you are thinking about selling your home remember when it comes to real estate, "Dave is the Man"! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900

4/11/2015 Tornado Safety Tips for Your Family

April is Tornado Awareness Month, so this week I want to provide some useful information to protect your family. I will be sharing some facts on Michigan tornadoes, how to know when a storm is coming and how to protect yourself if a tornado strikes near your home.

 

Here are some Michigan facts. On average, our state has 15 tornadoes each year. In the last 60 years, there have been almost 1,000 tornadoes here. Most of these storms occur in May, June, July and August although they can take place at other times of the year. Genesee County has had more tornadoes than any other Michigan counties. There have been 45 tornadoes recorded in our area since 1950.

 

The National Weather Service (NWS) will issue tornado warnings and tornado watches depending on the weather conditions. A watch is issued when conditions are favorable to develop a thunderstorm which could lead to a tornado. The NWS issues a warning when a severe thunderstorm is capable of producing a tornado or if an actual funnel cloud has been observed in the area.

 

When a warning is issued by the NWS local media outlets will alert the public of the warnings/watches. In Genesee County, there are 80 warning sirens throughout the region. These sirens are activated when a tornado warning is issued for a storm with winds 70 miles per hour or higher. So, remember not all storms will trigger the sirens.

 

Now that you know facts about tornadoes, here are some tips to protect your family in case of a storm. It's important to have a disaster supply kit put together for your family. A kit should include first aid materials including any prescription drugs taken by members of your family. Other items that you need to keep at hand are blankets, flashlights and a battery-powered radio along with batteries. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests having a three day supply of water and non-perishable food for your family too. When taking shelter you should also grab your wallet and keys.

 

Finally, when a warning has been issued make sure to take shelter in your home. Find a safe place like a basement, storm cellar or interior room on the lowest level of your home that has no windows. Conduct practice family tornado drills to make sure everyone knows where to go in your home. Put someone in charge of making sure your animals are brought to the shelter area with you. In emergency situations make sure that pets are only brought when time allows to ensure the safety of all the people in your home first.

 

Michigan will celebrate Severe Weather Awareness Week starting on Sunday. Download their Severe Weather Toolkit here. When it comes to tornadoes, make sure your family is prepared for the next storm in our area with these simple tips.

 

As for a market update, I am pleased to report that the cold winter months were unusually busy!  Buyers got out in the cold and moved quickly on the well priced homes that fit their needs. We are very low on inventory as a whole in the Genesee County market area. If you know of someone that tried to sell without success in the past few years, now might be the time!  Please send them my name and I will provide a FREE market analysis to let them know where they stand in today's market.  When it comes to Real Estate, "Dave is the Man"! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900

4/3/2015 Best Spring Cleaning Projects For Your House

Spring cleaning is important to do every year to ensure your house is in good shape whenever you might decide to sell your home. In this post, I will review some essential spring cleaning for both inside and outside projects.

 

First, start on the outside washing all windows on the ground level. You will also wash all your windows on the inside once working through each room in your home. It is also important to wash window screens. Use a mild mix of warm water and dishwashing liquid to create solution that you apply to screens using a brush. Make sure to completely rinse out the screens to remove any residue.

 

While outside also remove any debris that has gathered in your flower beds or along walkways. In particular, take time to rake out any remaining leaves that you missed during the fall. It's good to start bringing out lawn ornaments, flags or other decorative items for your porch or yard at this time too.

 

Moving on to the inside of your home, take time to wipe down walls and ceilings. If you have a vacuum with an extended wand this can help aid you in this task. In the kitchen make sure to remove any grease or grime that may have accumulated from cooking. Many sites recommend using a solvent-free degreaser, but make sure to test any new cleaner in a small area before applying to a large surface area.

 

In addition, while cleaning inside your home shampoo and clean any carpets, furniture and rugs for a deep cleaning. If you do not own a shampooer they are typically available to rent at home improvement and hardware stores. You should also wash or dry-clean any curtains.

 

Spring cleaning is also a perfect time to clean out your pantry and your medicine cabinet. Go through your kitchen and check the expiration dates on all your products. If you have extra food products (that are not expired) your family may not be eating soon consider donating these items to a local food pantry.

 

When cleaning out your medicine cabinet remember not to just throw these items in your trash or to not flush medication down the toilet. In particular, it is important to dispose of prescription medications at designated drop-off locations. Here is a list of Genesee County area facilities where you can drop them off for disposal.

 

Finally, remember every home is different, so make sure to consider any special maintenance you may need to do on your property in the spring. Also, try to spread out spring cleaning over a several days or even several weeks. Trying to complete all the tasks at once can be overwhelming.

 

Once your spring cleaning is complete, you may decide your home is ready to put up for sale. If you want to sell your home this year, contact me Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900.

3/26/2015 Easter Activities for Your Family

Easter is just around the corner, so I have gathered together some fun events happening in the area for you to enjoy with your family.

Davison - Wojo's Greenhouse

Plan to visit Wojo's Greenhouse in Davison on Saturday, April 4 for their annual Easter Egg Hunt. The event will take place from 10-11 a.m. and is for children up through age 12. There is no cost for the event, but you need to bring a container to hold any eggs found by kids.

Frankenmuth - Bronner's Christmas Wonderland

The Easter Bunny is available for visits up through Saturday, April 4. The hours he is available for visits are as follow:

  • Monday-Saturday: 10-10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-noon, 1-1:30 p.m., 2:30-3 p.m., & 4-4:30 p.m.
  • Friday evening: 6-6:30 p.m., 7:30-8 p.m. Bronner’s is closed noon to 3 p.m. on Good Friday Special Easter Bunny appearance Good Friday 3 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12-12:30 p.m., 1-1:30 p.m., 2:30-3 p.m. & 4-4:30 p.m.

Make sure to bring your camera for a great photo opportunity with the kids.

Linden - EggCiting Easter Fun

The Fenton Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting a day of Easter fun on Saturday, March 28. The event will take place at Hyatt Elementary located at 325 Stan Eaton Drive in Linden from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Breakfast will be served starting at 8:30 a.m. and is just $5 per child. After breakfast, the Bunny Hop Fun Run will begin at 10:45 a.m. The cost is $2 per child to participate and prices will be awarded for the different age categories (ages 1-4, ages 5-8 and ages 9-12).

The event ends will an Easter egg hunt for everyone to enjoy. There is no additional charge for the Easter egg hunt for anyone who participates in the run or who purchases breakfast.

Flint Children's Museum - Easter Egg Treasure Hunt

Join in the Easter fun at the Flint Children's Museum on Friday, April 3. The outdoor treasure hunt allows children to search for jewels and candy with a treasure map.

The event will take place from 11-11:30 a.m., 1-1:30 p.m. and again from 3-3:30 p.m. The cost is $8 which includes regular admission to the museum. The museum is located at 1602 W. University Avenue in Flint.

Now that spring is here take time to enjoy one of these great events with your family. - Dave Taljonick of RE/MAX Right Choice, , 810-686-3900.

3/20/2015 Home Improvements With the Least Return
Many homeowners make investments on their home with the hope of adding value to their property. However, there are several home improvement projects that do not recoup their value when you sell your home. As a follow-up to my posting on the best return on investment, I wanted to share some renovations that do not always add value to a property.
 
One of the worst return on investment is the addition of a home office to your home. The cost of such a renovation can be upwards of $20,000, but do not add much value to your home. According to Remodeling Magazine most home office remodels only return around 50 percent of their original cost. While these rooms have practical use, they are not very exciting and are not a good selling point when you put your house up for sale.
 
Another home improvement which does not add much value is a sunroom or a Michigan Room (four season sunroom). While these are beautiful additions to homes, living in Michigan they do not have as much practical use. Even the four season additions do not return the same value here as compared to warmer climates. Consider instead the addition of a nice deck on to your home. Decks add value and are attractive to buyers.
 
Some homeowners also invest a lot of money in upgrading a master suite in their home. On average, experts estimate these bring in less than 40 percent of your initial investment for their cost. Instead of expanding a master suite, work within your home's existing blueprint and upgrade amenities like the closet or existing bathroom.
 
Finally, the last improvement which provides minimum values is the adding on to your existing garage. Depending on your hobbies and interest a bigger garage may be a necessity to store tools, snowmobiles or other items. However, do not expect to add a lot of value to your home from this addition. Some buyers are turned off by large garages if other storage exists in your home. Since most Michigan homes have a basement a large garage addition often does not provide as much value to your home.
 
Remember it is important to make your home a place you love living. If you have your heart set on a sunroom or a huge master suite do not be deterred from completing these projects. The amount of time your family will be living in the same home is the biggest factor in determining whether or not these projects are worth spending the money on at your home. - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.
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