This time of year brings a lot of events to attend. It can get overwhelming trying to sort through all of them. This week, I am highlighting 4 events that you can enjoy this weekend. Some are free/low cost and others have admission. Whether you want to take the kids somewhere or enjoy yourself with other adults, I hope you will find this list helpful.
The University of Michigan-Flint invites the community to enjoy Fall Fun Fest on Saturday, October 22. From 1:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., enjoy food, music, pumpkin carving, lawn games, video games, and watch the U-M Homecoming Football Game on the big screen.
Don’t miss Nightmare at the Market; a spooky good time for those 21 and up. On October 22, from 7 p.m. to midnight, the Flint Farmers’ Market will be hosting a costume contest (with a $1000 prize), music and dancing, games, and much more. Tickets are $30 per person and proceeds benefit Whaley Children's Center
You still have some time to take part in Halloween Ghosts and Goodies at Crossroads Village. The Village, dressed up in its seasonal décor, offers 20 treat stations for your little ones. The magic show and straw maze is also sure to entertain. Crossroads Village is located at 6140 Bray Road in Flint, 48505. Check out Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad for more info on activities, dates, times, and ticket prices.
Have fun and stay safe. Next week I list trick-or-treating times for the various cities and municipalities as well as a few other events. Remember when it comes to real estate, Dave is the man! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900.
Fire Prevention Month
October is Fire Prevention Month so now is a good time to go over some fire safety basics. Follow these tips and read more at the recommended sites in order to keep yourself and your family safe while having fun this fall.
During Fire Prevention Month, the National Fire Prevention Agency (NFPA) urges you to take fire safety and fire prevention seriously. This year’s focus is to educate citizens on changing or replacing smoke detectors. The “Don’t Wait…Check the Date” slogan reminds you that smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. You can find a printed date on each alarm. Even if you think your alarm is working, if it is older than 10 years, replace it. Test your alarms once a month.
This is also a good time to review your family’s fire preparedness plan. If you don’t have a plan, it is crucial to draft one and ensure that every family member knows how to execute it. If your home has an upper level, be sure that a collapsible escape ladder is near the escape route and that everyone knows how to use it. You should also make sure that everyone knows where to meet after evacuating. Practice the fire drill until everyone knows how to safely escape and get to the designated meeting spot.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has a host of tips and materials for parents, caregivers and teachers to make sure that children know the importance of fire safety. It may sound obvious, but keep lighters, matches and other smoking materials locked away in a high place. Also, never play with fire when children are watching. Children are naturally curious and will try to imitate what you do. This is especially important to remember when having bonfires where you may be roasting hot dogs or marshmallows.
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Always be sure to practice cooking safety, keeping towels, hair, clothing, etc. away from the stove top and oven. Turn pot and pan handles inward to prevent them from being pulled or bumped off the stove. Never use water to put out a grease or oil fire. Cover the smoking pan with a lid or a cookie sheet. It is a good idea to keep a kitchen fire extinguisher handy.
According to the USFA, home heating is the second biggest cause of home fires, with the majority of those being from chimney, flue or fuel burner fires. Practice heating safety by keeping portable heaters 3 feet from any furniture, clothing, curtains, etc. The USFA website has videos that can help you inspect your fireplace and learn how to start a safe fire. They also have reminders on other heating safety issues.
Flint residents are encouraged to visit the fire station nearest them on Saturday, October 15. From noon to 3 p.m., there will be a "Community Open House" where firefighters will be available to answer fire safety questions and residents can sign up to get smoke alarms installed. There will be fun events for children as well.
This time of year is full of chilly nights that seem to be much cozier with a fire, whether it be an indoor or outdoor fire. Follow the guidelines for fire safety and you will have fun and stay safe. If you are seeking more information, be sure to visit the National Fire Prevention Agency website. Remember when it comes to real estate, Dave is the man! - Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900.
Get your home ready for fall with these 4 tips
Fall is here and while there is much fun to be had this time of year, it is also a time to prepare your home for cooler weather. I will give you a few tips to get you on the right track. These 4 areas are sometimes overlooked, but are very important for staying healthy and cozy this season.
Clean the furnace and replace any worn belts. You can do this yourself or call a professional
Change the air filter; be sure to mark the date on the new one so you know when it needs to be replaced again
Air ducts should be professionally cleaned every 3 to 7 years
Pull out the fridge, unplug, and vacuum the coils on the back to remove dust and debris
After you push the fridge back, carefully pull off the grille on the bottom front and thoroughly wash with soap and water to remove grimy buildup
Remove drip pan, clean and replace
Clean door gaskets/seals with warm water to remove food buildup and improve seal and energy efficiency
Clothes dryers cause thousands of house fires a year; you can prevent this by thoroughly cleaning the lint from your dryer
Disconnect the duct from the dryer and with a shop-vac and brush, clean inside the duct
If you have a plastic or flexible duct, replace with a rigid metal duct
Wood burning fireplaces should have the flue, damper, interior and exterior brick inspected before lighting a fire
Gas fireplaces should be inspected and cleaned once a year by a certified professional
These are just a few things to get you started with fall cleaning. Look for future blogs that feature outdoor fall cleanup. Remember to stay safe, have fun, and call me, Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice, 810-686-3900 for all your realty needs.
Preparing for a Move
The entire process of buying a new home is stressful for everyone. Besides the consideration with the actual purchase of your home you also have to figure out how to get your utilities set up along with changing your address. In this post I will give you a few helpful links to make these tasks a little easier.
One of the most important things is getting your address changed. The United States Postal Service (USPS) allows you to make a change online, but you will need to pay a $1.00 verification fee to do it over the Internet. When you make the change the USPS will provide you with a packet of coupons that can be used at home improvement stores and other places you may need to visit during your move.
Next you will need to start energy service at your new address or stop service at your old home through Consumers Energy. They offer an easy to use online tool to complete any of these tasks including transferring service to another person.
Depending on where you will be living there will be different telecommunication services available. Certain areas of Genesee County are under jurisdiction of Xfinity while others are under Charter/Spectrum. In addition, some areas offer U-Verse or DIRECTV through AT&T. Other options include Dish Network depending on what you prefer for your family.
Finally, you should contact the municipality where you are moving to determine what needs to be done for other services including trash, sewer and water. Here is a link to all the municipalities located in Genesee County.
Moving is not easy, but these contacts outlined above should help make your transition to your new home a little easier. Remember when it comes to real estate, Dave is the man! .- Dave Taljonick, RE/MAX Right Choice at 810-686-3900.
Six Orchards to Explore with Your Family
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 Bakeryhas 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Choiceat 810- 686-3900.
5 Costs When Selling Your Home
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!