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11/21/2014 Thanksgiving Travel Made Easy

Lots of national website provide tips for anyone traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday. From ways to score cheap flights to the best times to hit the road, all of the tips are designed to help make your trip go off without a hitch. In this week's post, I hope to provide you with some local resources for travel throughout Michigan.

 

First, AAA offers a great online resource that allows you to get live traffic and construction updates.  You can look up the information based on region and even map your route to see any problems along your journey. The Live Traffic Reports and Construction Updates site is a great resource to check before leaving your home and while you are on the road for live updates. 

 

In addition, the Michigan Department of Transportation just launched a free app for motorists. The Mi Drive app is available for download through iTunes and Google Play. Some of the features are similar to those offered by AAA, however it includes several other things on your designated route. Rest areas, traffic updates and real-time traffic camera views are available. Besides downloading the Mi Drive app, users can still get updates online through their website.

 

While traffic and construction updates are important, it is also imperative to check updates for any potential weather hazards that might impede your trip. In addition to searching a forecast through various weather web sites, there is also a lot of great information available through the National Weather Service office. Snowfall analysis, snow cover, radar and precipitation analysis is available through their website. A free National Weather Service app is also available for download through iTunes and Google Play. It provides live updates including weather warnings and radar of current conditions while you are on the road.

 

Remember to be safe and to plan in advance while making your Thanksgiving travel next week. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Consider checking out this great property in Flint Township - http://tour.circlepix.com/home/R34PMW - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

 

11/14/2014 Local Holiday Entertainment Starts Next Week

The weather is turning cold and Thanksgiving is only two weeks away, so that means Christmas is just around the corner. Holiday events for the entire family are already starting next week. Here are a few of the free or low cost festivities for you to check out. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for other great family events.

 

Ladies Night Out

One of the first holiday events happening in the area is Ladies Night Out at Crossroads Village in Genesee Township. The fun is planned for Monday, November 17 from 4 to 9 p.m. Ladies are invited to visit the Village's historic homes to preview their holiday decorations. Other fun activities include make and take craft tables, wagon rides and carousel rides. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased through the link above. The $5 ticket serves as a coupon when spending $25 or more in a retail store in the Village.

 

Holiday Walk

The Cultural Center's Holiday Walk will be celebrating its 31st year. The event takes places on Tuesday, December 2 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The fun kicks off with a tree lighting in front of Whiting Auditorium at 5:15 p.m. While the festivities are free, participants are asked to bring non-perishable food, clothing or personal care items to donate to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.

 

Applewood, the Buick Gallery, Sloan Museum, Whaley Historical House and the Flint Institute of Arts are all open for guests to enjoy at no charge. Performances will be taking place at the Flint Institute of Music, the Flint Public Library, the Flint Youth Theatre and Longway Planetarium throughout the evening. Free tickets are required for the laser shows at the planetarium and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

 

Candlewalk

Each year Flushing hosts the Candlewalk in early December. The two day event includes a parade, live music, horse drawn wagon rides and a tree lighting. Special treats include roasted chestnuts and s'mores. The fun begins on Thursday, December 4 at 5:30 p.m. with a Parade of Lights. Santa will be arriving after the parade and will receive a key to the city before leading the tree lighting ceremony. The fun continues on Friday night with music and other festivities downtown.

 

The holidays are a time to enjoy spending time with your family and friends. Consider attending one of these affordable events with your loved ones. If you know anyone looking for a great deal in Flushing for less than $110,000, send them this link:  http://tour.circlepix.com/home/NCGLQG - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

11/7/2014 Veterans Memorials in Genesee County

In honor of Veteran's Day on November 11, I want to highlight a few of Genesee County's memorials dedicated to honoring area veterans.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Thank you to all the men and women who have served in our armed services. - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

10/31/2014 Moving to Genesee County
Whether you are moving to the area for the first time or just moving to a new home in Genesee County, here is a list of important contacts you will need during the move.
 
Most residents will need to contact Consumer’s Energy to start, transfer or stop service at a property. Remember when requesting new service federal law information to validate your identity. The requests can be made online or over the phone.
 
Cable Service
Cable companies are regulated by the federal government, so service is divided into specific areas. The main cable service provider in Genesee County is Xfinity (Comcast). Charter Communications services the areas around Davison. Many area communities also have U-verse (AT&T) digital television coverage now. In addition, remember at most properties you can have DirecTV or Dish Network installed.
 
Water/Sewer Service
Unless you live outside the city limits where you have a well and a septic system, you will need to contact your local municipality to set up your water and sewer service. As long as you are moving into an existing property and not a new build, service should already exist at the address, so you will just need to have it transferred into your name. Here is a link through Genesee County which links out to all the cities and townships.
 
United States Postal Service
Another important service to contact is the postal service to change your address. Mail forwarding can be done to your new home for up to 12 months. Do not be scammed by online companies who will charge a fee to handle your address change. The service is offered for free through the United States Postal Service.
 
These are just a few of the vital services that you must take care of when moving into a home. Remember to be organized and to plan accordingly to ensure you have prompt service at your new address.  Check out this beautiful condo in Clio! Only $134,900!  http://www.circlepix.com/home/NP2NGS - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.
10/24/2014 Cultural Offerings in Genesee County

You do not have to drive to Detroit to enjoy a great theatrical performance. There are a number of Genesee County theaters that showcase local talent up through Broadway performers.

 

Clio Cast and Crew

Each year, the Clio Cast and Crew, a volunteer organization, puts on five theatrical presentations. Located at 2220 W. Vienna Rd. in Clio. The theater just wrapped up its recent production of Over the River and Through the Woods last week. Their next production is Ho, Ho, Ho – The Santa Claus Chronicles in mid-December.

 

Flint Youth Theatre

The FYT was formed in 1957and has been recognized nationally for their performances. Each year, a theme is picked for the season. The 2014-2015 theme revolves around stories that showcase empowerment and power through hope in our daily lives. The current production of 9X Nourished runs through November 2. General admission tickets are $16 for adults. Single show performances offer lower-priced tickets. The theatre is located in the Cultural Center in downtown Flint.

 

McCree Theatre

Celebrating ten years of offering live theatre production. Shows were previously shown at the McCree Theatre from 1970 to 1989. Its mission is to tell the African American story in the African American voice. The next production, Tambourines to Glory, begins on December 4. Ticket packages for multiple shows are available along with single show tickets. Advance admission is $15 per adult. The theatre is located off Pierson Rd. in Flint.

 

Whiting Auditorium

The Whiting showcases local talent all the way up to international stars. Shows include Broadway performances, concerts, dance performances and the concerts by the Flint Symphony Orchestra. Upcoming shows include Black Violin, Dancing Pros Live and Wanda Sykes. Ticket prices vary depending on the performance. Whiting is also located in the Flint Cultural Center.

 

No matter what type of performance you enjoy one of these venues are sure to offer something to meet the tastes of everyone in your family. So, consider enjoy a night out on the town with your family as the cold weather approaches at one of these great cultural institutions.

 

10/17/2014 Selling Your Home in the Fall and Winter

With the cold weather and winter snow just around the corner, many buyers ask me if it is possible to sell their home outside the warm summer months? The answer is yes, I can still help you find a buyer in the winter. Selling a home can take longer in the cooler months, so I want to provide you some tips to give you the best chance of making a sale.

 

Be conservative with holiday decorations

As the each holiday approaches from Halloween to Thanksgiving and on to Christmas, make sure to use discretion when decorating your home. Keep things tasteful while still showing a homey feel that showcases holiday cheer.

 

Pay attention to lighting in your home

Since the days are shorter and there are less daylight hours for showings of your home, make sure to have good lighting throughout the interior. If your house is scheduled for a viewing, turn on all the lights to allow the best viewing of the property. Also ensure that there is good lighting on the outside of the home to make it easy for people to see when approaching the house.

 

Keep outdoor areas clean

From fallen leaves to piled snow and ice, take time to clear your walkways and your driveway of debris. It is important for potential buyers to be able to easily approach your property without any unnecessary hazards blocking their way.

 

Pay attention to staging

I have talked about staging your home in several blog postings, but this is imperative during the cooler months. Potential buyers will spend more time inside the property, so they need to feel welcomed throughout the home.

 

Some tips to remember are to keep the temperature at a comfortable setting. You do not want buyers to be freezing when entering your property. Also, it can be helpful to place outdoor pictures of your home during the summer months for individuals to see your plants and trees in full bloom.

 

Despite the cooled down markets in the fall and winter selling your home is not impossible. Call me for help finding the perfect buyer for your home.

 

By the way, if you  know of someone looking for a 3 bedroom home in Clio with a basement, extra large 2-car garage, nicely landscaped yard and attached Greenhouse at an affordable price, send them this link: http://www.circlepix.com/home/MSFKXQ - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

10/10/2014 Halloween Fun for the Family

Join in the fun at several local Halloween events for the entire family to enjoy. There are lots of low cost, family friendly events that provide great entertainment for children of all ages.

 

The fun starts this weekend with the Davison Pumpkin Festival. The festival started on Friday with a parade through town and runs through Sunday, October 12. Fun includes pumpkin painting and carving contests along with a variety of food eating contests. A pumpkin drop is also scheduled for Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on Main Street. Other activities include hayrides, trackless train rides, pumpkin bowling and a petting farm. More details of the scheduled events are available here.

 

The annual Halloween Ghosts and Goodies fun continues at Crossroads Village this year. The entire village is decked out for Halloween complete with trick-or-treat stations, a straw maze and enchanted forest. The highlight of the event is the 40 minute ride on the Huckleberry Ghost Train. The village is open every weekend until Halloween with a few weeknights including October 29-31. The cost varies from $10-$16 depending on the admissions purchased. Additional information is available online through the park's website.

 

The Burton Parks and Recreation Commission is hosting a Trick or Treat Trail at Kelly Lake located off Lapeer Rd. between Genesee and Center Roads on Saturday, October 25. The event will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. and will feature a hayride, bounce houses, pumpkins, donuts, cider and more. The event is free.

 

Nearby For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum will host their Haunted Trail in two weeks. The event will also take place on Saturday, October 25 from 8-10 p.m. The cost is $5 per person and early registration is suggested. Information is available online.

 

Consider spending time with your family in the coming weeks at one of these great Halloween events.

 

By the way, if you  know of someone looking for a 3 bedroom home in Clio with a basement, extra large 2-car garage, nicely landscaped yard and attached Greenhouse at an affordable price, send them this link: http://www.circlepix.com/home/MSFKXQ - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

10/3/2014 Fire Prevention Week Tips

October is officially here, so it is time to talk about fire safety. Next week is Fire Prevention Week from the dates of October 5-11.

 

It is important to do everything possible to prevent fire in your home. In particular homeowners should be careful when cooking. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, cooking is the primary cause of fire injuries and fires in the home. When cooking wear sleeves that are short or tight-fitting. In addition, make sure to keep paper products, curtains, towels and pot holders away from the stove.

 

In the bedroom, it is important to watch out for certain fire hazards during the upcoming winter months. Make sure to use electric blankets that are approved for use in bed and do not use any with frayed cords. Also, make sure to use care when using portable heaters. Keep any items that might catch fire at least three feet away from these types of heaters. Finally, consider replacing an old mattresses. Ones made prior to 2007 do not meet the Federal Mattress Flammability Standard.

 

Another important thing to consider is holiday fire prevention. As Halloween approaches, avoid using candles for decorations. Use battery-operated tea lights in pumpkins as a nice alternative. It is also important to make sure that costumes you select for your family are flame resistant.

 

Later in the year as the Christmas season begins, continue to be mindful of the risk of fire to your home. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that December is the month where the most home candle fire occurs. It's also important to avoid having any heat sources near a Christmas tree. If you have a real tree make sure the plant is well-watered and does not become too dry.

 

Finally, while examining fire prevention it is vital to set up a fire escape plan for your family. It is recommended that families sit down at least twice per year to go over plans. In particular, parents should teach their children evacuation routes in case they have to escape on their own during a fire. Also, purchase a collapsible escape ladder and make sure to only use it during an actual emergency.

 

Just as Smokey the Bear says, "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires," when it comes to home fire safety only you can protect your home.  

 

If you know anyone looking for a great property to call home in Birch Run check out this property http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNgBAHWDvEEDave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

 

9/26/2014 Genesee County’s Apple Orchards

Now that fall has arrived consider taking your family to one of Genesee County’s orchards. Here are a few of the locations you can enjoy during apple season this year.

 

Nearby Montrose Orchards is located at 12473 Seymour Rd.  Customers can enjoy Pumpkin Fantasyland wagon rides in the fall. The orchard offers an array of fruits all year including u-pick blueberries earlier in the summer. They are open from April through the end of December.  Its hours are from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

 

Almar Orchards is located in Flushing at 12183 Beecher Rd. It is an organic orchard and is located on 500 acres. The orchard will be hosting its annual Applefest on Sunday, October 6. Its hours Monday through Saturday are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

 

Also located in Flushing is McCarron’s Orchard and Bakery. In addition to their regular location, McCarron’s has a booth in the Flint’s Farmers Market. Their bakery features made from scratch items. The orchard is located at G7456 W. Carpenter Rd. in Flushing.

 

Just to the south is Diehl's Orchard & Cider Mill which features a corn maze and an array of other family activities. This weekend is their annual CiderFest which is held on Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, September 28 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. They are located at 1478 Ranch Rd. in Holly.

 

Nearby Mueller's Orchard is located in Linden at 6036 Lobdell Rd. They feature a variety of kid friendly activities including a free farm playground and Owen's Barnyard petting zoo. On weekends in October, guests can also enjoy Pumpkin Patch Wagon Rides.

 

Other area orchards include Apple Lane Orchard located at 4460 N. Center Rd. in Flint, Porter's Orchard at 12060 Hegel Rd. in Goodrich, Uptegraff's Orchard at 5350 N. Gale Dr. in Davison and Spicer's Orchards at 10411 Clyde Rd. in Fenton.

 

Make plans now to check out one of these great orchards this weekend. There is nothing better than enjoying a glass of apple cider and a hot donut at an orchard.

 

While visiting the orchards in the Fenton area consider checking out this great property right on the water be on the water on  Lake Ponemah http://www.circlepix.com/home/AZYNMTDave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

 

9/19/2014 Outdoor Fall Maintenance for Your Home
Two weeks ago I talked about tips for fall clean-up inside your house, so this week I want to share some outdoor tips.  As winter quickly approaches it is important to prepare the outside of your home.
 
First, lawn experts suggest mowing your grass through the first frost.  It is important to rake leaves as regularly as possible to ensure they do not kill the grass over the winter.  Fall is also the best time of year to remove dead branches from your shrubs and trees.
 
In addition to work on your lawn and shrubbery, this is also the time of year to plant spring bulbs tubers. Varieties may include daffodils, tulips or daylilies. 
 
Another important thing to do is to cleanup your patio or deck.  If possible make sure to store all furniture away to protect it from the winter elements. Before storing anything wipe down covers and all pieces of furniture to remove any dirt. Also, swipe off your deck and patio removing any remnants of fallen leaves or other dirt that has accumulated over the summer months
 
In addition, it is vital to clean out your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause serious damage to your home especially when snow melts. While cleaning gutters, this gives you a chance to look for any necessary repairs.
 
Finally, other outdoor chores to remember are to shut off water to any outdoor faucets and to perform routine maintenance on your lawn mower. Remember to clean off the mower’s blades and to empty its gas tank.

Remember it is important to take care of outdoor maintenance at your home before the bad weather hits us. If you are dreaming of a new home, check out this 3 bedroom property in Clio with a basement, extra large 2-car garage, nicely landscaped yard and attached Greenhouse at an affordable price: http://www.circlepix.com/home/MSFKXQ Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

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