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Six Orchards to Explore with Your Family

9/23/2016

The nights are starting to turn cooler, Maple Trees are starting to display their brilliant hues and that can mean only one thing…orchard season is upon us. This week I will list a few area orchards that will get you into the spirit of fall.

 

Montrose Orchards is open from April to December, but this time of year is especially exciting. Located at 12473 Seymour Road in Montrose, the orchard offers something for the whole family. In addition to seasonal produce, the orchard sells honey, baked goods, hayride tours, Pumpkin Fantasyland, and much more. Be sure to mark your calendar for the Fall Family Fun Fest on October 15th and 16th. This event will feature a craft/flea market, face painting, inflatables, pumpkin bowling, and more. The orchard is open Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Almar Orchards, located at 1431 Duffield Road in Flushing, is Michigan’s Premier Organic Orchard. With over 500 acres, the orchard offers something for everyone. Come in and ask to sample in season apples. Find a new favorite variety of apple or enjoy the tried and true. The little ones can play on the playground and watch the farm animals. Cider and doughnuts can be enjoyed by all. Almar also offers its own variety of organic hard cider for the adults. Fall hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.  

 

McCarron's Orchard and Bakery has two locations you can enjoy. The main orchard is located in Flushing at G-7456 W. Carpenter Road. You can enjoy the typical orchard trappings there as well as homemade baked goods. The orchard in Flushing is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are also a vendor at the Flint Farmers' Market in downtown Flint where they feature their scratch made baked goods. The Flint Farmers’ Market is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Mueller's Orchard and Cider Mill in Linden offers a whole family experience. Enjoy fresh, hot donuts and crisp apple cider, let the kiddos play on the playground or experience the hay bale maze. Take a wagon ride through the pumpkin patch to pick your perfect Jack-o-Lantern. The orchard is located at 6036 Lobdell Lake Road in Linden. During apple season, their hours of operation are daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and in November daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Porter's Orchard in Goodrich is worth the drive; pack up the family and make a day of it. Located at 12060 Hegel Road in Goodrich, the orchard is now open 7 days a week through December 24th, 2016. Besides fresh fruits, cider, and donuts, you can visit with the farm animals, get lost in the corn maze, take a wagon ride to pick your own pumpkins, and much more. If you are looking for a new family member, September 24th and 25th is “Love Your Pet Weekend” where you can adopt a dog or cat through PAWS animal rescue or 10th Life Cat Shelter. Porter’s Orchard also has vendor locations at the Flint Farmers' Market and the Davison Farmers' Market open year round on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. 

 

Spicer Orchards located at 10411 Clyde Road in Fenton has a variety of activities besides your typical pumpkins, apples, and cider. You can watch cider being made, experience the zip line, get lost in the corn maze, and even sample some wine at their winery. Hours vary for the Farm Market, Pick Your Own and Winery, so call ahead, (810) 632-7692, to plan your day. 

 

Sharing this list of orchards with you makes me want to go out and sample some cider and donuts from each location! Whether you choose to do the same or you stick with just one location, remember to have fun, make memories, and be safe.  Remember when it comes to real estate, Dave is the man! Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900

 

5 Fun Things to Do this Weekend

9/15/2016

You may not be in the swing of things, yet, with school schedules, sports practices, and rushing from one place to the next, but you still need to take time to enjoy your weekend. Here are 5 events this weekend, that should bring some fun into your life without having to go too far from home.

New Life Community Lutheran Church invites you to Sunday Fun Day, this Sunday, September 18th. From noon to 3:00 p.m., you can enjoy food and fellowship. The kiddos can participate in a fishing contest, play in bounce houses, take a hay ride and much more. There will be a Cornhole Tournament for the adults. Bring a friend and learn what this faith community is all about while having a great time.

Montrose Orchards is celebrating with their Fall Kick Off on Saturday, September 17th and Sunday, September 18th. There will be a craft/flea market to shop for one of a kind gifts, games and facepainting for the kids, a dunk tank that will benefit Whaley Children’s Home, and lots more fun. A visit to the orchard wouldn’t be complete without picking up some fresh in season apples.

This Saturday is the last day of Flint Handmade’s 2nd Annual Art & Craft Street Fair at the Flint Farmers’ Market. Admission is FREE and features local artisans, crafts and live music. Stop by to get a jump start on holiday gift buying.

If the kiddos still need a few school clothes, or baby has quickly outgrown her entire wardrobe, you won’t want to miss the Semi Annual Mom2Mom Sale located at the Davison American Legion. The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 17. Admission is FREE! This is a great opportunity to check out the toy selection as a lot of items at these types of sales are nearly new. They can make perfect gifts on the cheap. The American Legion is located at 10309 Davison Rd.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month Saturday, September 17th, at the Flint Public Library! El Ballet Folklorico Estudiantil will share Hispanic Heritage through folkloric dance and music. This program is FREE and runs from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Hispanic themed children’s books will be read.   The Flint Public Library is located at 1026 East Kearsley Street in the heart of the Cultural Center in downtown Flint.

I hope you get to enjoy at least one of these events and take time to enjoy the changing of the seasons. Bite into some crisp apples from the orchard, dance along to authentic mariachi music or shop til you drop at the Mom2Mom sale. Whatever you decide to do, take care of yourself and be safe. And remember when it comes to all your real estate needs, Dave is the man! - Dave Taljonick of RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900

Library Fun for Everyone

9/9/2016

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month and to encourage new members to sign up, the local libraries, in conjunction with area businesses are offering some outstanding deals. This  flyer will give you the scoop on where you can show your library card and save. You can save on a variety of services and merchandise throughout the month of September just by showing your card. If you don’t already have a library card, what are you waiting for?

 

Flint Public Library

The Flint Public Library is located in the heart of the Flint Cultural Center. It offers private meeting rooms, computers with high speed internet access, access to databases specializing in genealogy and grants, and community events for all ages. The library is also home to The Greater Flint African-American Sports Hall of Fame.

 

Genesee District Library

The Genesee District Library has a range of amenities and resources in addition to books including resources for businesses, events for families and access to technology.

 

Business Center

The Robert T. Bolo Jr. Business Center is housed at the Grand Blanc-McFarlen branch. Utilizing the Business Center’s resources, entrepreneurs have access to periodicals on topics like taxes, budgeting, investment, and human resources. One on one help is also available to develop a sound business strategy. This is the only business center in Genesee County that is certified by the Michigan Small Business Development Center. You can contact the Business Center Librarian to make an appointment for more in depth help.

 

Events

All branches of the GDL offer an amazing selection of community events; the majority of which are free. The interactive calendar is easy to use and you can search events by location, category, or age group. From used book sales to concerts, the library is the place to enjoy many different events.

 

Technology

Even if you and your family don’t read books in hard copy form, you can still take advantage of what the library has to offer. Many digital books are available for download and are searchable through the library website. The library also offers Freegal , a program that allows you to download, for free, a certain number of songs a week. Many of the digital services are available for you to access from your home computer if you have a library card.

 

Other services offered by the 19 branches of the GDL include free book delivery for those patrons who are homebound, and talking books for those that cannot read standard print books.

 

Head to your library to sign up for a card if you don’t already have one. Stay to take in a community event or take a tour to see how much libraries have changed. After you have your card, be sure to stop by any one of the participating businesses to show your library card and save.- Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900.

Labor Day Fun in Genesee County

8/31/2016

Labor Day weekend signifies the unofficial end to summer. We try to cram all the things we didn’t get to do into a short span before the kids go back to school. Once school starts, our lives are full of homework, practice, projects and gearing up for the holidays. In this blog, I am highlighting a few area activities that I think you will enjoy.

 

If you haven’t yet had a chance to visit the Sloan Museum this summer, make sure you stop by to see A Bug's World before the exhibit ends on September 4th. Kids and adults, alike, will be amazed by giant robotic insects, the same sort of species you may find in your own back yard. The Sloan Museum, Longway Planetarium, and Buick Gallery have a lot to offer the whole family this coming holiday weekend.

 

NCG theaters kicks off its Free Family Film Festival on September 2nd with Minions. The free shows start at 9:30 a.m. and run Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October 30th. Tickets are available the day of the show on a first come, first served basis.

 

Take part in Sharks After Dark on Saturday, September 3rd. Watch the 1975 classic, Jaws, while floating on a tube in Lake Callis. Free admission and parking after 7p.m.  Show up early to enjoy music, food, a photo booth, and an aquatic petting zoo! Please bring your own inner tube, as a limited amount will be available for purchase.  To get more details, click here.

 

As always, the Genesee County Parks has a lot to offer. Don’t forget to take advantage of the beaches before they close for the season. All Genesee County Park beaches close on Labor Day so pack a lunch and the sand toys and spend the last weekend before school having fun in the sun.

 

If you are heading out of town, consider utilizing MDOT’s free MiDrive App. Users can download this useful app to any smartphone and see real time traffic info. You can check on upcoming or current construction projects, report an accident, locate rest areas and welcome centers and MUCH more.

 

Whether you stick around your hometown or travel, there is sure to be something that you and your family can enjoy. Remember to be safe at home and during your travels. Have a great holiday and remember when it comes to real estate, Dave is the man! Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810- 686-3900. 

5 Costs When Selling Your Home

8/26/2016

Everyone realizes if they are buying a new home they will incur certain costs.  However, home sellers often do not take into consideration the expenses they will be responsible for during the transaction.  Costs related to selling property vary, but they can easily be determined to help you budget for a sale.

 

  1. The first cost almost everyone will need to pay is a commission to the real estate company respresenting you during the sale.  Most fees are negotiable, but usually run from 6 to 7% of your property's sale price.
  2. Additional costs you will need to pay for include an array of fees related to the closing and the property transfer.  These include the title insurance, state transfer tax, revenue stamps, recording fees and other administrative fees which could be add another 2 to 2.5% of the sale price.
  3. After an inspection of the home, the buyer may request certain repairs or updates be completed before the sale is completed.  These costs can vary from simple repairs to replacing major appliances in the home.  Consider the pros and cons of these requests to determine if the cost you are paying is worth accepting the offer you have received.
  4. Sometimes a buyer will negotiate to have you pay some of their closings costs.  Work with your real estate agent to determine what is the best offer for you and the how to negotiate any requests of the potential buyer.   
  5. Finally, if you still have a mortgage on the home you will have to use the proceeds of the sale to pay off the existing note.  At your closing, the title company will get the exact payoff amount from your lender.   The company will then prepare a pay-off check from the sale’s proceeds and will overnight the payment to your mortgage company.

 

If you are in the process of selling your home don’t forget to consider these five common costs for sellers.  The remaining proceeds of the sale will be yours to keep.  Unless your property is subject to capital gains tax, the proceeds are usually tax-free.  Check with your tax professional to see if your sale falls under any of these exceptions.

 

Contact me if you are in the market to sell your home.  I will help you estimate any expenses you may incur during the sale process.  Remember when it comes to real estate, Dave is the man!  - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

How to Pick the Right School for your Child

8/19/2016

If you have moved or are getting ready to move, you may be switching school districts. Finding the right fit for your family is an important task. I will offer some tools that you can utilize to research schools and districts to help decision making easier.

 

The Genesee Intermediate School District website has a list of all Genesee County Schools with direct links to each school’s website. This site also outlines programs available for special needs students. If you are not sure which school district your home is in, you can click here for a detailed map for Genesee County.  The Saginaw County district map can be found through this link.

 

The Michigan Department of Education has available, through its website, a ranking of all Michigan schools. The most current info is for the 2013-14 school year and can be found here.  You can also find information, for a particular district, regarding test scores, graduation rates, and college readiness.

 

If you prefer your child to attend a school in a district other than your home’s district, you may be able to participate in  Schools of Choice. This allows a student to enroll in a particular school outside of his or her district. A district is not required to participate in Schools of Choice and even if it does participate, there are limited slots available. It is always a good idea to double check that your preferred district does participate and that it has room for your child to attend.  This Schools of Choice document may answer any questions you may have.

 

In addition to public schools, there are a number of private and charter schools. One of these options may be better suited to your family’s needs. This online tool will help you search a database of Michigan charter schools.

 

It pays to do research on the school your children will attend. Find the school that will best fit your family’s needs and then search for your perfect home within that district. Remember to call me, - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900 for all of your realty needs.  When it comes to real estate, Dave is the man!
 

Back to the Bricks

8/12/2016

The biggest festival to hit Flint and Genesee County is once again upon us. In a previous blog, I gave you the details on the Back to the Bricks Tune Up week events. I hope that you were able to take advantage of some of those events and that you are excited about the main event. This year’s Back to the Bricks festival runs from August 16 to August 20.

 

Tuesday, August 16

What better way to kick off the festival than a free movie at the drive-in? Head to the US23 Drive-In to take in a car show and music before the movie starts. The events start at 5 p.m. and the show begins at dusk. This year’s movie is Bullitt.

 

Wednesday, August 17

The opening ceremony for the rolling cruise begins at 4 p.m. and from 5 to 9, you can enjoy the beautiful cars cruising up and down Saginaw Street as well as family fun at Thomas Appliance that includes making and racing Pinewood Derby Cars.

 

Thursday, August 18

Kirkridge Presbyterian is hosting a swap meet and antique/craft sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The rolling cruise and Pinewood Derby at Thomas Appliance continues from 5 p.m. to 9.

 

Friday, August 19

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., cruisers can stop by Duke’s Car Stereo on Dort Hwy for a free hot dog lunch. The swap meet and craft show continues at Kirkridge Presbyterian Church from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The rolling cruise once again will delight spectators from 5 p.m. to 9. This year’s Cruise N Concert takes place in the parking lot at the corner of Grand Traverse and Hemphill. The festivities start at 5 p.m. and include a DJ as well as live music. There will be food vendors, give-a-ways, a children’s tent, and much more.

 

U of M-Flint alumni are encouraged to join “Go Blue on the Bricks” downtown. A variety of FREE activities and food will be available. Check out the details here.

 

Saturday, August 20

You won’t want to miss the main event on Saturday. Classic cars start lining up on the bricks in the wee hours of the morning, but public spectating goes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Enjoy the corvette reunion, breakfast and dinner specials at the Masonic Temple, church tours, and so much more.

 

Plan to spend some time with friends or family downtown to take in this amazing event. Whether you choose to attend one event or all of them, you are bound to enjoy yourself.  For more details, maps, contact info, etc., visit this link.  Remember when it comes to real estate, Dave is the man! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

 

Family Fun Month

8/5/2016

With August nearly here and the feel that summer is winding down, there is still much to celebrate with Family Fun Month.

 

The Genesee County Parks system boasts activities that are sure to please. Pack a picnic lunch and take the family fishing at one of several fishing sites. The kids can even participate in the kids fishing club that takes place throughout the summer and teaches kids the basics of the sport.

 

Have fun in the water at one of the county beaches. Soak up the sun and bury your toes in the sand. Challenge members of your group to a sandcastle building contest.

 

For-Mar is perfect for a family hike; you can even check out adventure backpacks to help you discover nature along the way. There are many more ways to have family fun in the parks. Most activities are free or low-cost. Some require pre-registration. Check out the Genesee County Parks website for more info and an interactive event calendar.

 

Another great way to celebrate family time is bike riding together. Genesee County has an amazing bike path system with many new updates. Take a short trip or make a day of it. Check out the website for more information on the Flint River Trail.

 

The Longway Planetarium and Sloan Museum both have family programs that you should check out before the kids head back to school. Information on star shows, giant bugs, and much more can be found at their website.

 

The Greater Flint Arts Council (GFAC) runs the Genesee Fun website. It lists events that are free as well as low cost. The calendar is searchable by date and by type of event.

 

Other resources for area events include the websites Flint Family Fun and Flint Town and the Facebook page, Genesee Free.

 

Whether you utilize one of these resources or just spend time together at home telling ghost stories around a bonfire, remember to be safe and have fun. For all of your real estate needs, remember Dave is the man! -  Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900. 

Back to the Bricks Tune Up Week

7/29/2016

It’s hard to believe that Back to the Bricks is nearly upon us already. With that in mind, get in the spirit with Tune Up Week. This week of events take place prior to the main cruise downtown and happen throughout the county. These parties are fun for car enthusiasts of all generations and for participants and spectators alike. They include dancing, vendors, giveaways, and much more.

This year’s lineup is as follows:

  • Flint Township on Monday, August 8th

The fun starts at noon at ITT-Tech on Miller Rd. The party moves to the Genesee Valley Center from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and ends up at Dukes Car Stereo from 5 to 8:00 p.m.

  • Clio on Tuesday, August 9th

The party goes from 4 to 8:00 p.m. at Clio Square Plaza.  Head to the Clio Amphitheater for more fun at 7:00 p.m.

  • Linden on Wednesday, August 10th

Head to the Farmer’s Market from 4 to 8:00 p.m. to see the cars. Don’t forget to take in the free concert in the park at 6:30 p.m. Concert info can be found here.

  • Fenton on Thursday, August 11th

The fun takes place downtown from 4 to 8:00 p.m.

  • Davison on Friday, August 12th

The parking lots of VGs and John’s Pizzeria will be hosting the cars from 4 to 8:00 p.m.

  • Mount Morris/Beecher on Saturday, August 13th

The car show shares the stage with the Beecher Music Festival on Saginaw Street in the parking lot of the old Kmart. The car show runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and you can hear music all day, whether it be from a DJ, band or live musicians. There is a lot of fun to be had with various contests, games, vendors and food.

Head to one, or all, of the Tune Up parties with friends and family. Have fun and get ready to gear up for the main event. I will be sharing details about Back to the Bricks soon.

If checking out these great events gets you thinking about a move to a nearby community, check out my recent listings.  Remember when it comes to real estate, Dave is the man! Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

Helping Sellers Understand Home Inspections

7/22/2016

You no doubt worked hard to get your home ready to put on the market, but the true test comes when the inspection takes place.  An inspection of your property will formally be done after you have received and accepted an offer on your home.  A professional home inspector will need to go through your property before the purchase can be finalized.  The purpose of the inspection is to find any repairs that may be needed to be completed before the purchase can take place.

 

Some repairs will be required by the mortgage company financing the buyer while others will be requests by the person making the purchase.  Sometimes a piece of property does not need any repairs completed before the sale goes through.  Serious problems such as issues with plumbing, roofing and wiring may need to be repaired right away.  While other more minor repairs can be removed from the list as part of negotiations with the potential buyer. 

 

The types of repairs you will need to make typical revolve around bringing a property up to current code.  If you have owned a home for a long period of time, the laws related may have changed.  Some mortgages such as FHA mortgages require homes to be up to code before a sale is completed. 

 

The typical repairs required after an inspection include the following:

  1. Updates to wiring
  2. Repairs to the home's roof.
  3. Replacement or repairs to windows.
  4. Maintenance of the house's foundation.
  5. Repairs in the bathroom or kitchen.
  6. Updates to the furnace or air conditioning.
  7. Maintenance on appliances being sold with the property.
  8. Other requests from the buyer.

 

Not all of the repairs you will be asked to complete after the inspection will be major.  Often times, buyers will request simple repairs that they want fixed before taking possession of the home.  It is up to you as the seller to determine if it is worth completing the requested repairs.  You have to decide if you would rather pass on this particular offer to wait for another seller.

 

Remember when it comes to real estate, Dave is the man.  I will connect you with contractors in the area to help you make any required repairs.  I can also provide advice on whether or not completing a repair is worth the cost or if you should renegotiate with the buyer.  If you're considering a move, check out my recent listings. Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

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