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11/24/2015 Four Holiday Happenings this Week

If your family is not hitting the road this weekend to visit family and friends there is still plenty of fun to be had around Genesee County. There are four great events taking place starting on Friday night through Tuesday, December 1.


Crossroads Holiday Magic

The fun kicks off with opening night for Christmas at Crossroads Holiday Magic on Friday, November 27 from 4 to 9 p.m. Village admission is FREE for Genesee County residents with identification. Admission to the village is included, but train tickets are extra. Everyone is encouraged to book their ride times in advance as some are already sold out. Train tickets can be purchased in advance through the Genesee County Parks website. Crossroads Village is located at 6140 Bray Road in Flint.


Turkey Trot at For-Mar

Run off your Thanksgiving calories on Saturday, November 28 at For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum. For-Mar is located at 2142 Genesee Rd. in Burton. Activities include a Kids Turkey Trot from 10:30-11 a.m. and is only $5 per person. Walk-ins for the race must sign up by 10:30 a.m.

The adults get to join the fun in the 5K Wild Turkey Run/Walk from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and the cost is $20. Besides having awards for the top three runners, there are also prizes for the best costume. Walk-ins for the race must sign up by 10:30 a.m. Pre-registration has passed, so anyone planning to participate must arrive by 10:30 a.m.


Holly Dickens Festival

In addition, on Friday the 42nd annual Holly Dickens Festival kicks off its three weekend festival. It is the longest running Dickens themed celebration in the United States. This weekend’s events include a parade, horse-drawn carriage rides, crafts and much more. The lighted parade takes place on Friday night, November 27, at 7:30 p.m. The festival runs this weekend: November, 27-29 continuing on December 5 and 6 and finishing up on December 12 and 13.


Flint Cultural Center Holiday Walk

Finally, on Tuesday, December 1 marks the annual Flint Cultural Center Holiday Walk. Make sure to take advantage of this wonderful FREE family friendly night. The whole family can partake in crafts, planetarium laser shows, theatric and musical performances, visits with Santa, and much more. The night starts off with the tree lighting at 5:15 p.m. and runs through 8:00 p.m. During the evening, you can also visit the Whiting, Buick Gallery, Sloan Museum, Applewood, and more.


Even if you are not heading out on a trip remember there is still plenty of things to do around Genesee County. Spend time with your loved ones at one of these family friendly events. - Dave Taljonick of RE/MAX Right Choice.

11/20/2015 Technology Products to Modernize Your Home

Lots of everyday household projects are getting "smart" upgrades to include new features. These products offer great technological advances to help homeowners save money and time.


First, when it comes to safety technology is making it easier to protect your family. The latest smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can alert you on your smartphone whenever they are set off. Several battery products can even be installed into your existing detectors which then connect to your home's Wi-Fi signal to provide alerts.


In the bathroom new smart toilets help the environment while allowing you to save money on your water bills. The famed Japanese toilets made their debut in the United States late last year. These units automatically adjust water levels and have features to help keep toilets cleaner.


On the outside of your home sprinkler systems also help with water usage. Many of the products allow you to control water levels through your smart phone. In addition, through wireless connections you can make adjustments in different parts of your yard for how much water is used based on the plants in that particular area. Each plant species gets exactly the right amount of water needed.


Finally, complete home control systems can be installed to adjust lighting, temperature and even send messages. Smart home control systems can be installed and through the use of cameras will adjust lighting and temperatures when people are in a room. You can also connect with the devices remotely making adjustments when you are not home. Finally, you can use the system as a home message center to leave messages for family.


Consider adding one of these technology gadgets to your Christmas list or kick off the new year with one of these upgrades to your home. Remember if you are looking to upgrade your home contact me for all your real estate needs. - Dave Taljonick of RE/MAX Right Choice.

11/13/2015 Four Energy Saving Tips for Cool Temperatures

The appearance of snow and drizzle today are a reminder that winter is near. As a homeowner, it is important to winterize your house to save money on energy costs throughout the season.


The good news is Consumers Energy has told homeowners heating bills are expected to go down this winter because of lower gas costs. However, it is still important to save as much money as possible on these potentially high bills.


First, if you have any ceiling fans in your home you can reverse their direction. This tip may sound silly, but fans spinning clockwise circulate warm air which can reduce heating costs by 10%. Instead of leaving your fans off during the winter consider running them in reverse to help you save on your costs.


Another great way to save on energy costs is to dial down your thermostat to 68 degrees or below. Consumers Energy estimates for every degree you lower your heat between 60 to 70 degrees you save up to 5 percent of your heating costs. However, it is important to remember to never put your thermostat below 55 degrees when leaving your home for an extended period of time.


In addition, make sure to check the filter in your furnace. Dirty filters can make your furnace run longer running up your energy costs. You may even consider having a furnace tune-up by a heating and cooling professional from the area.


Finally, cover older windows with insulating window film to keep out drafts and to avoid loss of heat. You can also purchase insulated curtains to place over windows. Besides covering the windows take time to caulk around any cracks that might exist around window and door frames. These can allow a lot of cool air to enter your home.


Save money on your energy costs this winter with these four easy tips. Stay tuned to my blog for even more winterizing ideas for your home in the coming weeks. - Dave Taljonick of RE/MAX Right Choice.

11/6/2015 Two Teams Up the Game for Area Sports Fans

Sports fans no longer have to drive outside of Genesee County to satisfy their need to watch professional sports. The Dort Federal Event Center (formerly Perani Arena) is now home to Michigan's only professional soccer team and a hockey team from the Ontario Hockey League. Both the Flint Firebirds hockey team and the Waza Flo soccer team have taken up residency in the arena.

Hockey fans have already been able to enjoy professional level games for several weeks. The Flint Firebirds season is underway now. Players from their team are able to drafted directly into the NHL, so the team consists of high caliber players. Their regular season runs until mid-March 2016. Single game tickets start at only $12.

Starting today, soccer fans can also take in a Waza Flo game. The team competes in the Major Arena Soccer League and has members from around the globe. The league has twenty teams from across the United States and Waza Flo is part of the Eastern Division. The season opens with their first game tonight and the season runs through the end of February 2016. Tickets start at only $12.

The Dort Federal Event Center is located at 3501 Lapeer Rd. in Flint. It can be accessed off I-69's Center Rd. exit.

Next time, instead of heading down to Detroit to catch a professional game head over to the Dort Federal Event Center. Both the hockey and soccer teams offer great family entertainment for area residents at an affordable price. - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900.

10/30/2015 Purchasing a Bank Repo Home

While the market does not have as many banked owned properties available, there are still some buyers seeking great home values through the purchase of bank repos. Bank repos are homes that have gone through the foreclosure process and are now "Real Estate Owned" or REO. The process of buying a bank repo can be confusing for some buyers, so I want to offer some tips for anyone considering the purchase of a REO property.

The most important thing to do when looking at these types of properties is to make sure you are 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.

Patience is important when submitting an offer for this type of home. The process can take a long time 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.

Once the bidding process is completed 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. This is especially true if a property has been closed up for a long time.

Even though you will have submitted a deposit (which will be applied to your purchase costs) you can withdraw your offer based on the results of the inspection. You are not forced to complete the purchase if you are not satisfied with 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 you may be charged a "per diem" daily fee ranging from $50-$100. So, make sure your lending and any other variables are set before making offers on a bank repo property.

When you work with me as your realtor, I can help you with the process of purchasing a bank repo home. These homes offer a great value to clients and often 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.


10/23/2015 Halloween Trick-or-Treating and Other Events

Halloween is fast approaching, so in this blog post I will share information about trick-or-treating along with information about some events for adults to enjoy too.



Before sending the kids out to trick-or-treat on Halloween remember to check the designated times for the municipality. Each city sets their own times for kids to be out on Halloween. For instance, the City of Clio has designated trick-or-treating for 2015 to take place from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. In addition, in Davison trick-or-treating is designated from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.


Crossroads Village

The fun continues at the annual Halloween Ghosts and Goodies at Crossroads Village. 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 this weekend and October 28-31. The cost varies from $10-$16 depending on the admissions purchased.


Halloween Bash

The Chasse Ballroom and Latin Dance Studio is hosting their 8th annual Halloween Bash on Friday, October 30 from 8 to 11 p.m. The cost to attend is $10 per person and includes group dance lessons and performances, costume contest, food and much more. The studio is located at 3180 W. Silver lake Rd. in Fenton. The theme this year is Hollywood Through the Decades.


Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Masonic Temple

There will be two showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday, October 24 and again on Saturday, October 31 at the Masonic Temple in downtown Flint at 7 and 11 p.m.. The cost of admission is $15 per adult which includes a gift bag with Rocky Horror Picture Show props. The evening also includes live music, side-shows and a chance to win prizes. The 7 p.m. show is open to anyone 16 and older or accompanied by an adult; the 11 p.m. shows are 18 and over. The event is being sponsored by Peace Mob Media Productions and Sacred Ink Tattoos. The Masonic Temple is located at 755 Saginaw St. in Flint.


Have fun at one of these great Halloween events and then take the kids out on Halloween to enjoy trick-or-treating. Happy Halloween to you and your family! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

10/16/2015 Fire Prevention Month

October is Fire Prevention Month, so it is the perfect time to talk about fire safety tips in your home. These tips will help keep your family safe.


One of the most important things to do for your family is to design a fire escape plan in your home. Families should sit down at least twice per year to go over plans to help remind everyone how to get out in case of a fire. In addition, parents should teach children evacuation routes from their rooms in case they have to escape on their own during an emergency. Remember to purchase a collapsible escape ladder if you have a second floor on your home.


In addition, it is important to practice fire safety when cooking. The U.S. Fire Administration reports home cooking is the primary cause of fire injuries and fires in the home. In fact 2/3 of home cooking fires are caused by leaving food unattended while cooking. When cooking wear sleeves that are short or tight-fitting or roll up longer sleeves. Also, watch your hair and other clothing pieces making sure to keep them away from the burner. Finally, make sure to keep paper products, curtains, towels and pot holders away from the stove.


Bedroom fire safety was at the top of the list for Fire Prevention Week this month. The National Fire Protection Association recommends every bedroom in your home to have a working smoke alarm. You should also consider replacing old mattresses. Ones made prior to 2007 do not meet the Federal Mattress Flammability Standard.


In addition, it is important to watch out for fire hazards in the winter months in your bedroom. Make sure to use electric blankets that are approved for use in bed and do not use any with frayed cords. A Also, be careful when using portable heaters. Keep any items that might catch fire at least three feet away from these types of heat sources.


To learn even more fire prevention tips visit the National Fire Protection Association's website. Remember to keep your family safe and to always practice fire safety in your home.  - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.


10/9/2015 Fall Clean-up Ideas for Around the House

Despite the recent warmer temperatures the fall season is officially here. The leaves are starting to change and Halloween is just around the corner. Now is a great time of year for general maintenance around your home, so this week's post will give you some fall clean-up tips.


Before the leaves start accumulating on the ground, take some time to prepare your yard for the winter months. First, give your lawn some TLC by fertilizing your grass. Grass roots continue to grow until the temperatures consistently stay at 40 degrees, so now is the time to help keep your grass healthy. Keep cutting your grass until we reach these temperatures trying to leave it at around 1¼ inches for the winter months.


In preparation for the leaves falling, create a compost bin to collect leaves. Scrap materials including chicken wire or small pieces of lumber can easily be used to build a bin. Additionally, remember to clean out your gutters as the leaves begin to fall. It's important to keep them clear of debris before the snow starts to accumulate.


It's also important to prepare the inside of your home to help prepare for the winter months. First, replace your furnace filters before the cool temperatures hit. A dirty filter can lead to expensive repairs down the road and can reduce its efficiency. Remember it's a good idea to have an annual check of your furnace to ensure that it is running optimally before cold weather strikes.


In the laundry room, check the dryer vent and exhaust tube to clean out lint and other debris that has accumulated over the year. Accumulated lint in the vent can be a fire hazard, so it is imperative to clean it out on a regular basis.


Fall maintenance at your home is just as important as spring cleaning, so remember to take some time to follow these simple clean-up tips at your home. - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

10/2/2015 Local Fun for the Family

Check out all the great Halloween events for you to enjoy your family. There are lots of low cost, family friendly events that provide great entertainment for children of all ages.


Crossroads Village

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 28-31. The cost varies from $10-$16 depending on the admissions purchased.


Davison Pumpkin Festival

Next weekend check out the Davison Pumpkin Festival on . The festival starts on Friday with a a Trunk or Treat event for the kids on Main St. and runs through Sunday, October 11. 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, cornhole tournament, pumpkin decorating and a petting farm.


Burton Trick or Treat Trail

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 17. 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.


Grand Blanc Dog Park Howl-oween

Pack up the kids and your dog and head over to the Grand Blanc Dog Park's annual Howl-oween event on Sunday, October 11 at Creasy Bicentennial Park in Grand Blanc. Bring your pooch for lots of fun like doggie costume contests, doggie trick or treating and more. The walk costs $5.00 per dog and all proceeds go to the dog park water pump fund. Registration starts at 1:30 p.m. and the walk starts at 2:00 p.m.


More Fun for the Kids

Check out the Flint Farmer's Market Healthy Halloween Event. Trick-or-treating will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Lots of other festivities will be taking place for the entire family including cooking demonstrations on Saturday, October 24.


Take the little ones over to Genesee Valley for their Lil Monsters Halloween Bash the same day, October 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Genesee District Library and the Flint Public Library are sponsoring mall-wide trick-or-treating. Then take the kids to center court to enjoy storytelling, a comedy show and book giveaway.


Mark your calendars and head out to one of these great Halloween events in the next few weeks. Happy Halloween to you and your family! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

9/25/2015 Weekend Fun in Genesee County

Looking for affordable activities to do in the area on the weekends? Look no further than this week's blog post.

Flint Institute of Arts

Consider checking out one of the weekly Friends of the Modern Art (FOMA) film screenings. Movies are on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 2:00 p.m. General admission is $6 and the films include an array of genres ranging from foreign films to documentaries and other unique titles.

FOMA offers date night specials for the film viewings too. Enjoy two drinks of your choice, an appetizer and two film tickets for $20. The food is served at the Palette Cafe in the museum's lobby..

In addition, every Saturday there is free admission to the Flint Institute of Arts. Access to the museum is sponsored by FirstMerit bank. Visitors are able to walk through the rotating exhibits along with viewing the museum's permanent exhibits. The museum is located at 1120 E. Kearsley St. in Flint.

Robert T. Longway Planeterium

First Fridays at Longway are special events held every month at the planetarium. Subjects covered are on an array of space-related topics. The cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children; the talk begins at 6:00 p.m. Next week's topic on Friday, October 2 is on the following subject:

“A Really Strange and Mysterious Star” The universe is full of mysterious wonders, but astronomers have found one particular star that has baffled them for almost 200 years. Join Garry Beckstrom for an entertaining talk about this most mysterious of stars and how we are finally beginning to unravel its strange behavior.

If it is not the first week of the month, the planetarium is open for shows every weekend on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Check out their complete schedule online. The Longway Planetarium is located at 1310 E. Kearsley St. in Flint.

Dinner & a Movie

The NCG Movie Theaters in Burton and Grand Blanc offer dinner and a movie packages for only $39. The packages include two movie tickets and a $25 gift certificate to a variety of local restaurants. A full list of the locations can be found on their website.

Remember even if there are not any special events happening in the area, there is still plenty of fun throughout the community. Enjoy some time with a friend or a loved one and check out one of these great entertainment options. Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.

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