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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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:
Updates to wiring
Repairs to the home's roof.
Replacement or repairs to windows.
Maintenance of the house's foundation.
Repairs in the bathroom or kitchen.
Updates to the furnace or air conditioning.
Maintenance on appliances being sold with the property.
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.
Festivals Bring Variety to Local Communities
In my previous posts, I’ve outlined family fun from movies to concerts and parks to museums. This week, I’m going to tell you about upcoming festivals and special events throughout the area.
The 17th Flint Folk Music Festival takes place at Kearsley Park on July 23rd from noon to 8:30 p.m. A complete listing of the artist lineup can be found here.
On August 6th, the 5th annual Drop Fest is once again taking over Buckham Alley and the Rutherford Parking Ramp in downtown Flint. This Electronic music festival brings the community together in the all-ages venue. This year’s lineup can be found on the event’s Facebook page.
Chevy in the Hole will once again play host to the Free City Festival. On August 19th and 20th you can browse art installations, shop vendors and enjoy live music. Check the event’s website for more details.
August brings the Blueberry Festival to Montrose and this year’s events are sure to please the entire family. August 17th through the 21st are the dates for this year and include such favorites as pancake breakfast, flea market, karaoke, pig roast and so much more. The schedule of events can be found here.
The Antique Fire Muster returns to Frankenmuth on July 30th. Enjoy a parade of antique fire trucks as well as pumping displays and demonstrations. More info can be found here.
Frankenmuth presents its 29th annual Summer Music Fest August 11th through the 13th and the 18th through the 20th. You will have many opportunities to enjoy different types of music. Sing and dance along to the ones you know and perhaps learn some new moves. Check out this website for details on tickets, venue, and musical lineup.
These are just a few festivals you may enjoy. As always, stay safe while having fun. Summer will be over before we know it so take time to enjoy friends, family, and community. Remember when it comes to real estate needs, Dave is the man! Contact me at Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900.
Local Summer Fun
Summer is in full swing and you most likely have a few events or trips planned. In between those big events, though, do you have a hard time finding things to do, not just with the kiddos, but for yourself? In previous blogs, I’ve posted about area movies and concerts in local communities, but if you’re looking for additional ideas, this may help.
The Genesee County Parks is Michigan’s largest county parks system. With over 21 parks, you won’t have to go far to find something that interests you. The diversity of the parks is truly amazing. Their online interactive event calendar is user friendly. To name just a few programs, you can enjoy yoga in the parks, swimming, educational stops by the Truck Farm, belly dancing, fishing, photography, theater, and SO much more. Most events are FREE or very low cost.
You may not think about the library when you think of summertime fun, but our local library system is pretty amazing. The Genesee District Library has 20 branches and most offer weekly activities that are usually free or low cost. During the summer, children and adults alike can participate in summer reading programs. This year’s program theme is Get in the Game and encourages literacy not just through reading, but also playing games, dancing, cooking, crafting, and more. Its easy to use online calendar lets you sort using various filters.
Although the Flint Public Library has only one branch, it is pretty much a one stop shop. Their summer reading program also offers opportunities to attend events at the library and throughout the community. The library’s online event calendar is user friendly.
Don’t forget about Applewood as you look for close-to-home fun. The Mott Estate is celebrating its Centennial with expanded hours. Previously only open a handful of days throughout the summer and fall months, it boasts weekly hours: Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (through October 30th). If you’ve never visited this hidden gem in the heart of the Flint Cultural Center, you need to go at least once. Stroll through the gardens by yourself for a meditative afternoon and a guided tour through the home or pick one of the many events to share with family and friends. The best part is that all events, including tours, are free.
The Flint Institute of Arts is an amazing place to visit and has frequently changing exhibits. It offers free admission on Saturdays.
The Sloan Museum and Longway Planetarium offer a break from the norm. The current exhibit at the Sloan Museum is “A Bug’s World” and is filled with common backyard bugs that are 40 t0 120 times their normal size. The newly remodeled planetarium has daily showings of various programs. Info on exhibits, hours, prices, etc. for both locations can be found here.
If you are looking for a more intense learning opportunity, try the Clio Center for the Arts. They have classes for adult and children. Topics include sewing, watercolor, pottery, glass etching, and much more.
These are just a few local things that can help break up the summer. They are local and low cost and allow you to spend more time doing what you want and not driving to get there. Have a fun and safe summer. Explore places close to home and if you find an area you want to move to, make sure you call me. Remember when it comes to real estate, Dave is the man! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900.
Independence Day Celebrations 2016
Independence Day is right around the corner and with it comes many opportunities for celebrating. These are just a few options for free or low cost fun for the whole family.
Downtown Flint is once again bringing a carnival to the flat lot for this year’s festivities. New this year, is the Flint Water Festival. Activities include arts and crafts, food, lip syncing, and of course fireworks. The fireworks will be set off on July 1st at dusk. The complete lineup can be found here.
Clio is hosting its 34th Annual Family Fun Day on July 4th. The festivities start at 2 p.m. with a flag raising ceremony at the park. Other festivities include Tug of War, military displays, bounce houses, free concerts at the amphitheater, and much more. Fireworks start at approximately 10:20 p.m. The full lineup can be found here.
Fenton is hosting its 26th annual Freedom Festival. The celebration kicks off on July 1 and includes many events including a parade, rubber ducky regatta, ski show, and of course, fireworks. The lineup of events can be found here.
Frankenmuth hosts a spectacular fireworks display every year. This year the display will take place on July 3rd around 10 p.m. In addition to the fireworks, there will be music, races, inflatables, food and more. The schedule of events can be found here.
Spend time with your family and friends during this holiday weekend. Take in some fireworks, watch a few parades, have fun, and be safe.
Since the weather conditions are so dry and most communities have a burn ban on effect, there is a possibility that some communities will cancel their fireworks display.
Are you considering a move this summer? If so, it is important to get your home ready to put up for sale. One of the most important things to do when preparing to put your home on the market is staging it for potential buyers. For this post, I want to go over simple staging tips for you.
Pack Up Personal Items: You want a potential buyer to be able to imagine his or her family living in your home. In order for people to create this picture, it is important for you to pack up any personal items such as trophies, personal photos, souvenirs, plaques, awards and more. Removing your personal items will allow the buyer to imagine his or her family living there.
Remove Clutter: Excessive clutter can make a room seem crowded and can draw away from a space. Take time to pack up any excess items throughout your house. Also, remove large pieces of furniture that can crowd up a room.
Repurpose Rooms: Give any unused space a functional purpose in your home. Instead of using an extra room for storage, turn it into an office or guest room. By creating a space that has a purpose your buyers are more likely to see the potential of the space.
Position Furniture Correctly: Be mindful with how furniture is placed around your rooms. For instance, in an open floor plan space move furniture away from walls to allow traffic to move through the space with ease. Place furniture in groupings throughout a room instead of along outside walls.
Update a Space: Simple updates can make a huge difference when attempting to sell a home. Fresh paint can make a space look clean and new. Any colors that are really bright should be painted in neutral tones. These tones including tan, soft blues and greens should be used. These hues have a calming effect and are more welcoming compared to bright colors, which tend to turn off interest from people.In addition, rooms with lots of scuffs and scratches should have a fresh coat applied. Work on making an outdated space look more modern with simple fixes. Paint old kitchen cabinet doors, put slipcovers on old furniture, use area rugs to cover outdated flooring.
All of these staging tips will help you on the path to selling your home. Remember if you are in the market to buy or sell a home this summer, when it comes to real estate, Dave is the Man! – Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice