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7/18/2014 Free Movies Provide Great Family Entertainment

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

6/27/2014 Preparing to Buy Your First Home

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

First, create an outdoor patio area for grilling and entertaining.  Most dads love to grill outside during the summer.  Creating a nice space to keep the grill, making it more accessible, is a great way to maximize its use throughout the year.  If your dad doesn't have a grill of his own consider purchasing one for a Father’s Day gift.

 

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

 

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

 

These are just a few simple home improvements that are great surprises for dad this Father’s Day.  Making simple changes to your home will also transform the space for the entire family.  Perhaps you might want to consider a move to give dad even more space to enjoy his favorite hobbies, if so contact me at RE/Max Right Choice at 810-686-3900 – Dave Taljonick.
6/6/2014 Festivals Provide Great Family Entertainment

Now that June has arrived, I wanted to provide information on some festivals coming to the region this summer.  There are lots of other great family activities that I will be sharing with you during the coming months.

Bridgeport

  • Bridge Fest, June 5-8 (going on now) at the Bridgeport High School - the event includes carnival rides, live music and fireworks.

Grand Blanc

  • Greek Festival, June 21-23 at the Flint Assumption Greek Orthodox Church - enjoy a assortment of Greek foods and entertainment.
  • Grand Blanc Family Fun Fest, June 19-22 in downtown - includes an array of fun contest for the entire family, a beer and entertainment tent along with carnival rides and a fireworks display.

Flint

  • Buckham Alley Fest, July 12 in Buckham Alley in downtown - hear ten bands perform throughout the day along with a variety of other talented street performers.
  • Michigan Storytellers Festival, July 20 at the Flint Public Library main branch - enjoy this lost art with stories shared by master storytellers of all ages.

Frankenmuth

  • Bavarian Festival, June 12-15 at Heritage Park - hear a variety of Bavarian music and sample German specialties all weekend.
  • Michigan Honey Festival, July 12 at Heritage Park - the festival focuses on everything revolving around bees and beekeeping including an array of children's activities.

Montrose

  • Blueberry Festival, August 10-17 in downtown Montrose - take part in a week's worth of activities surrounding the annual blueberry harvest. Highlights include blueberry pie-eating contests and a blueberry pancake breakfast.  Nightly entertainment and athletic competitions take place all week.

Enjoy these fun festivals with your family this summer.  Explore new areas and you might discover the place where you might want to buy your next home.  - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900

5/30/2014 Local Summer Concerts Heat Up the Night

Summer is officially here and we can finally enjoy time outside with our families. I want to share with you some of the local concert series that are being presented throughout the area. All of the shows are free or low cost and offer a great evening of entertainment for your family.

 

Clio

The Clio concerts are on Tuesday evenings starting on July 8 running through August 19. The shows are in the amphitheater located inside Clio City Park. The cost is $6 per concert or $25 to attend the entire series. Performers include classic rock groups, Motown bands and a country tribute. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the concerts start at 7 p.m. Additional information can be found through the City of Clio.

 

Flushing

Flushing hosts its concerts in Riverview Park in the heart of downtown. Their concert series kicks off on Friday, June 20; however the rest of the concerts will be held on Wednesdays through August 13. Each show starts at 7:00 pm and there is no cost to attend. Groups include a Beatles tribute, oldies groups, Irish, Hawaiian and Big Band music. Learn more about the concerts through their Facebook group.

 

Swartz Creek

The Swartz Creek Fine Arts Association hosts concerts at Pajtas Theater off Miller and Morrish Roads. Their concerts are held on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. starting on June 17 and run through August 5. There is no cost for the concerts which include Motown, blues, country, gospel and classic rock groups. The last concert is the Bob Smeets annual coney night hosted by the Lions Club to help raise funds for the concert series. Additional information is available on their website.

 

Frankenmuth

The Frankenmuth Women's Club hosts Sunday evening concerts in Memorial Park at the Palmer Schau Platz. The concerts begin on Sunday, June 22 and run through Sunday, August 10. There is no charge to attend these concerts which begin at 7 p.m. Tributes to Elvis, the Rat Pack, Abba, Johnny Cash, John Denver, the Bee Gees and Neil Diamond are some of the groups guests will enjoy throughout the summer. Learn more about the Frankenmuth concerts here.

 

Grand Blanc

Finally, Grand Blanc Parks and Recreation will host three concerts on Tuesday, July 22; Tuesday, July 29 and Tuesday, August 5 at 7 p.m. The shows are held at Physician's Park in downtown Grand Blanc, you can learn more about their concerts here.

 

So, plan to pack up the family and head out to one of these great concerts this summer. You can enjoy the shows in your community or a nearby town where you might consider moving in the near future.  Stay tuned to my blog for even more summer fun in the coming weeks.  - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900

5/22/2014 Safety Tips for Your Home Over Memorial Day
Many families will be hitting the road this weekend to enjoy the official kickoff for summer. Here are some tips to keep your home safe while you are traveling over Memorial Day.
  1. Make it appear as though someone is home. Set a few lights in your house on a timer. Avoid just leaving on lights because having the same light on at all hours of the day might tip off people that you are not home. Also, keep your curtains how you normally have them when you are home. In the case of an emergency it can be difficult for friends, family or law enforcement to look inside your home. Additionally, a completely closed off house can look suspicious to anyone passing by the property.
  2. Ask for someone to stop by periodically. Have a friend or family member stop by a few times while you are gone. A car in the driveway and some movement in your home can give the appearance that someone is still home.
  3. Avoid announcing your trip online. People love sharing their travel plans on social media, but make sure to protect your privacy. Most people have a wide range of friends/followers on social media which opens yourself up to potential harm. If you want to share your plans online put a higher privacy setting on these posts limiting who can view these updates.
  4. Contact the local police. If you are planning to be away for an extended period of time contact your local police department to see if they will drive by your property periodically.
  5. Keep an inventory of your belongings. Take photos or have an actual inventory sheet of the items in your home. Many insurance companies will provide these on their websites. Here is a link to inventory apps that you can also use for your home. Why is it important to have this done before going on a trip? This provides you with an overview or your home’s contents in the case of a disaster such as a fire or flooding.
These are just a few tips to keep your home safe while traveling over the holiday and throughout the summer. As you travel, remember I can help you find a second home to serve as a weekend getaway for your family. – Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900
5/16/2014 Save on Energy Bills this Summer

During the intense winter we experienced many families paid higher than average energy bills often putting a strain on their budget.  Now that spring has arrived individuals are relieved to see lower energy bills arrive in their mailboxes, however summer is just around the corner and this is another time where the average families’ energy bills spike.  Here are tips to help your family save on your bills including some free and low cost resources to evaluate your current energy consumption.

 

As the daytime temperatures begin to rise, utilize the naturally cooler air during the evening hours to help keep your house more comfortable during the day. Open up windows at night allowing cool air to circulate throughout your home. Early in the morning, close all the windows and any window treatments such as blinds or drapes to keep the cool air inside your home.

 

Dial up the temperature on your thermostat during the hours when no one will be home. Reduce the temperature once you arrive home, keeping it as high as tolerable for your family to help reduce your energy costs. If you do not already have a programmable thermostat consider the investment. This type of thermostat will automatically make these adjustments based on the schedule you program into it.

 

In addition, utilize fans to help maintain cool temperatures. Turn on ceiling fans when your air conditioning is running to keep a better flow of air in a room. Also, make sure to turn on your bathroom fans to remove humidity and moisture from the air after bathing.

 

Besides using these tips, consider spending a few minutes using Consumers Energy’s free online Home Energy Analyzer. After answering a few questions about your families’ habits and lifestyle, this tool provides you with ideas on how to save costs and how to improve on the amount of energy you currently consume.

 

Along with the online tool you may be eligible to receive a Home Energy Analysis at your house for $25. The assessment includes $50 of energy improvements and custom solutions for your family to utilize. Funds for this program are limited and distributed in certain geographic areas. Follow the link above to see if your family can take advantage of this service.

 

I hope these tips will help your family save money this summer on your energy bills. Remember when moving into a new home or renovating your existing property look for improvements that will reduce your long-term energy costs. – Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

5/9/2014 Buying a Bank Repo Property

Many potential buyers are seeking great home values by considering properties that are bank repos. Bank repos are homes that have gone through the foreclosure process and are now "Real Estate Owned" or REO. Here are some tips for anyone considering the purchase of a REO property.

 

First, when looking at these homes make sure to be pre-approved for your financing. If you decide to submit an offer, you must have a pre-approval letter along with a deposit to submit to the bank.

 

Be patient when submitting an offer because the process can take time in order to receive a response from the bank. If another buyer has submitted an offer on the property the bank will consider various factors from both potential buyers and will often ask for a second bid. The bid you submit at this stage should be your "highest and best" offer.

 

After the bidding process is over you will sometimes need to work with the bank to get utilities turned on at the property for an inspection. It is not unusual for the potential buyer to accept the burden of these costs.

 

Even though you will have submitted a deposit at this point (which will be applied to your purchase costs) you can withdraw your offer based on the results of the inspection. If an offer is withdrawn because of the inspection you will receive a refund of your deposit.

 

There is a 30 day timeline to move the housing to closing once an offer has been accepted. If you want to extend the closing date for any reason beyond 30 days be aware that you may be charged "per diem" daily fee that ranges from $50-$100. So, make sure your lending and any other variables are set before making offers on a bank repo property.

 

As your realtor I can help you with the process of purchasing a bank repo home. These often offer a great value to clients and provide them with the ability to purchase a higher valued home at a lower cost.   Contact me for help on finding the home of your dreams - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900.

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