What is Halloween Without a Pumpkin?

Paulina is having a great time choosing the perfect pumpkin!!!

Halloween is just around the corner and there are still a lot of pumpkins in Anacortes and surrounding areas waiting to be transformed into art! Here are some tips on how to carve the perfect pumpkin:

  • First and foremost…Please avoid accidents when working with children; you can never be too careful! They should be supervised at all times and more so when handling sharp objects.
  • Choose a big pumpkin! The bigger the pumpkin, the easier it is to carve, especially when carving with little ones.  Stay away from pumpkins with bruises or mold as they will spoil quickly. Bonus Tip: Lighter colored pumpkins tend to be easier to carve.
  • Draw or print the pattern of choice on a piece of paper. This will help you visualize the final product and make changes before its too late. Use small scissors or a razor knife to cut out the areas you will be carving. This site has great templates! Click here
  • Start carving! A serrated knife works best for carving pumpkins. Store bought pumpkin carving knifes are the best, but any serrated knife will work. It’s easier to carve the hole at the bottom of the pumpkin rather than the top, plus it’s safer to place the pumpkin over a light source rather than lowering the light (like a candle) into the pumpkin. Cut off any bumps so the pumpkin will sit evenly.
  • Remove the seeds. An ice cream scoop is great for removing the pumpkin seeds. Don’t throw them away! Toss the seeds in a bowl with melted butter and salt. Spread them on a baking sheet and bake for 45 min at 300 degrees. Voilà! Roasted pumpkin seeds.
  • Prevent mold and dehydration. Cover the carved areas and interior of pumpkin with petroleum jelly. Another thing you can do is add a table spoon of bleach to a regular size (24oz-32oz) spray bottle filled with water. Spray the pumpkin daily with the bleach mixture.

A carved pumpkin will only last for a week at the most, so it’s best to cut your pumpkin a few days before Halloween. Have fun decorating your home and have a safe and happy Halloween!

Looking for a bright, spacious home in Anacortes? – Skyline

We are kicking off this week with one of our featured listings in the lovely Skyline neighborhood in Anacortes.

This one level home in Anacortes is in impeccable condition and ready to move in! This home is positioned strategically to take full advantage of the fresh bay breeze. The low maintenance front and back yards perfectly compliment the natural surroundings. Oversized windows across the living room and dining room allow the natural light to brighten the home. Relax next to the fireplace or have a delicious meal while enjoying the Skyline Marina views. The gourmet kitchen is open to the dining and living rooms and is also positioned to take advantage of the views. Top of the line appliances, polished granite counter tops, Maple cabinets and designer lighting give this kitchen the perfect elegant look. The large master suite features a lovely master bathroom with dual vanity sinks, spacious step in shower plus a jetted tub! The walk-in closet includes custom built-in shelves for additional storage space. The guest bedroom can double as a second master suite with its own full bathroom. Outside, the large 2 car garage is fully insulated and has built-in floor to ceiling cabinets and a work bench. The detached outbuilding is also insulated and perfect for an art studio, hobby room, workshop….possibilities are endless.

If you are thinking of buying and your wish list goes something like this: “I want a QUALITY ONE LEVEL home with open floor plan, lots of windows, a kitchen with room for 2 cooks, large master suite, guest suite w/private bath, & den. The home needs to be like new, spotless, and move-in ready. Neighbor’s homes need to be well-cared for but I want low maintenance landscaping, and be close to the water, beaches, and Washington Park. A detached outbuilding would be nice as I want an art studio. Oh and can we get a water view in this price range?” this is your home!

Call Jean Groesbeck at (360) 941-3734 for more details or for a private showing today!!

Click here for the Visual Tour.

Open House!!! 4017 W 4th St. Anacortes, WA – Friday October 17th, 4PM-6PM




We will be hosting an open house  Friday, October 17th for one of our featured home listings in Anacortes. Come and see this beautiful, ready to move in home in Anacortes. This charming home in Anacortes is in impeccable condition with new paint throughout! Got stuff? This home features an amazing 1088+/- sq ft  3 car  detached garage with roll up industrial doors and built in shelves! Love gardening? store everything neatly in the garden shed on the back patio. Enjoy this one level living home with spacious and bright interior. Cozy up by the wood burning stove next to the living room or relax and read a book in the light flooded family room. The newly remodeled ample kitchen has an eat-in bar and includes refrigerator, dishwasher, glass cook top and a brand new (never used) double oven. The cheery dining room is just across from the kitchen for effortless guest entertaining. Three bedrooms, 1 and 3/4 baths and a huge utility room that doubles as a mud room make this the perfect home for you! Don’t miss the opportunity to see this lovely Anacortes home! Join us tomorrow Friday, October 17th from 4pm to 6pm at 4017 W 4th St. Anacortes, WA.

Call or email Jean Groesbeck for more information.          Click here to see the full listing!

Directions: From Commercial, west on 12th St onto Oakes Ave. Turn left on Anacopper Rd, left on W 4th St. The house is the first on the right at the corner of Anacopper and W 4th St.

IF YOU CAN’T MAKE THE OPEN HOUSE:   Please call, text or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com a private showing at your convenience.

Waterfront Oasis in Burrows Bay

Anacortes , WA – Enjoy the best of Northwest living in your beautiful architectural waterfront home. Situated on a private ¾ acre setting, this amazing property features cathedral living room windows that frame beautiful sunsets over Burrows Bay and breathtaking views of the San Juan Islands. The extensive use of natural materials provides casual luxury; 2 master suites plus 3rd bedroom and flex space makes entertaining easy. Private stairs to the beach, a community dock down the street, and only 70 miles from Seattle make this home the perfect island getaway yet no ferry lines to contend with! I invite you to watch this fabulous property video by clicking the link below, you won’t be disappointed.

Click here for the property video!

10th Annual Bark in the Park – Anacortes

Hope everyone had fun at the Waterfront Festival last weekend! The summer events in Anacortes continue this weekend with the 10th Annual Bark in the Park.

As the name suggests, this event is all about our four legged, furry little friends! The gathering location will be  at the Storvik Park starting at 10am.  There will be a lot of activities through out the day including a dog parade, games, contests and demos that are sure to entertain everyone attending.

As in previous years, the event is to benefit the Anacortes Dog Park and there is an event/contest entry donation of $5 per dog.

So don’t forget this Saturday June 14 @ 10am – Storvik Park on 32nd St in Anacortes. See you there!

Anacortes Waterfront Festival 2014

25th Anniversary

The Anacortes Waterfront Festival is celebrating its 25th year anniversary! Unlike the 2013 Anacortes Waterfront Festival, this year they added even more music and entertainment.

This fun filled weekend event will have activities for everyone including: car shows, art shows, community dance, boat shows, milk carton derby, boat building demonstration, remote controlled sail boats, guided walking tours, music, lots of food and FREE boat rides!

A Formation Flyover by the BlackJack Squadron will be included this year in honor of D-Day and the 25th Anniversary.

It is going to be a beautiful weekend in Anacortes so gather your friends and family and plan your day at the Anacortes Waterfront Festival, one of the most popular festivals in Skagit County.

See you there!

June 7 & 8, 2014
Saturday, 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, 10:00am – 5:00pm

A Slice of Paradise!

A Special Beach Cottage in Anacortes, WA

This slice of Paradise is the perfect waterfront beach cottage in the San Juan Islands but is located in Anacortes with NO ferry commute! Launch a kayak or sit on driftwood and watch the Blue Heron fish while the Bay washes your cares away. An open floor plan allows for view enjoyment of the serene sunrises and tranquil sunsets and a large wrap around deck makes it perfect for entertaining friends. Just a couple of blocks from Golf Course. This magical well maintained bungalow by the bay is move-in ready.

For more details on the Anacortes home please click here

If you would like to search for Anacortes real estate for sale click here

You can also search for real estate in Skagit County, Whidbey Island, Samish Island, or anywhere in Western Washington!

If you are thinking of selling your home you can request a FREE market analysis by clicking here.

Shoreview lots

Come build your dream home in Shore View Estates: beautiful lots with amazing views of Skagit Bay, Whidbey Island, and the Olympics. Lot 1 Shorewood Heights Lane .84 acres – $159,000 Lot 2 Shorewood Heights Lane You will love the peace and quiet in this remarkable setting and easy to build on lot. This is fee simple with water, power, and sewer in the street.  The sunsets are breathtaking! Close to the historic town of La Conner, WA known for art galleries, great restaurants, and old town historic charm.

Off-Putting Property Traits can Stop a Sale!

Don’t Surprised by Home Buyers’ Feedback

Buying a new house is an exciting experience. Often, the anticipation of moving into a new home, decorating it and making it your own, can result in disappointment when the realization hits that a problem with the building was overlooked prior to the home purchase. This is why great care has to be taken when viewing real estate with the intention of buying a home. Don’t rely on friends or a family member in the construction business.  A property should never be purchased without a professional structural inspection having been carried out.

The above is advice to a potential buyer, however, what if you are selling? What will put off a viewer and  might make a house difficult to sell?

Common factors that put-off prospective buyers have to do with dirt or neglect noted during an open house walk-through. For buyers, the image of a home with little pride taken in its appearance in one area can lead them to think that there are more serious problems that are not visible in the structure of the home. Other common buyer “turn-offs” include; dirty windows, poorly-lit rooms, missing or cracked tiles,  wooden floors that are uncared for, hand print on walls, stained grouting in the bathroom, scratched appliances, and signs of dirt or dust.

It is good to pay attention to curb appeal, keep the lawn mowed, flowerbeds weed free and the walkways pressure washed.

One of the most common homeowner situations needing immediate attention is plumbing problems.

Plumbing issues are some of the most serious that a homeowner can face. They are also very difficult to spot during a walk-through. Plumbing issues can be relatively minor, such as leaking interior or exterior faucets, or caulking and waterproof sealants that need to be replaced. Other problems, such as a hot water heater breaking down, sewer lines backing-up, or a septic tank needing pumping, are more expensive to take care of and will lead to a great deal of inconvenience as they will take time to fix.

Plumbing status should be a topic during an open house walk-through, with information about any regular plumbing service, ( Jim Dandy Plumbing in Seattle ) that has been used in the past and information about any major fixes should be made available to the buyer.

It may seem unconnected to plumbing issues, but finding out if any major construction has taken place on the nearby roads, as well as if any large trees have fallen within the last six months or so, can hint at hidden problems within the water supply and drainage system. The impact vibrations from heavy objects or construction equipment can have a detrimental effect on septic tanks and water and sewage pipes.

If you are wondering what your home is worth in today’s real estate market, please contact Jean Groesbeck at (360) 941-3734 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Anacortes/Skyline Real Estate Market Update

Looking Ahead to 2014…

I am often asked about the real estate market outlook for 2014.  Overall, I expect an even better real estate market than 2013 in Skagit County but whether or not you benefit, will depend on your circumstances. Here are my predictions for Skyline and Anacortes based upon numerous articles I have read from national and state economists, real estate specialists, national builders, mortgage lenders, and the other agents across the country.

1. Interest rates will stay low but will be slightly higher than they are now.  This will impact first time home buyers the most and anyone who is looking to leverage.

2. If the economy continues to improve in Western Washington, more homeowners in the greater Seattle area will be able move into our area and either telecommute or retire.

3. The second home market is in the infancy phase of a recovery as it is always the last phase of the market to recover.  We have just started to see second home activity, but those buyers will be more cautious than in years past.

4. 2014, like 2013, will be a year of short inventory in many market segments.  We experienced an inventory shortage especially in Skyline.  In 2014, I expect many Skyline homeowners will feel they have recouped enough of their equity and will decide to sell. Competition for these homes will be new construction so condition and staging the home will be more critical than ever (I provide free staging services for my listings).

5. Most Skagit County foreclosures are behind us so there will be fewer appraisal issues on homes in escrow than in 2013.

6. Our population will increase but the number of new homes in Anacortes will be less than the population increase.  We continue to see an increase in multi-generation living as kids can’t find jobs and senior citizens live with their children to help both parties benefit economically.

What does this mean for you if you are considering selling?   Please call Jean Groesbeck for a free no obligation market analysis and to discuss strategies for achieving top dollar for your home.

If you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter, which gives a detailed breakdown of market stats by price, please call (360) 941-3734 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.  Your Anacortes Skyline specialist!