New Year’s Resolutions for Buyers

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A new year means new possibilities!  Thinking of buying a new home this year?  Here are some things you may consider to assist with making it happen:

Get your finances in order – You’ll need good credit to get a mortgage, so knowing your credit score will ensure you getting a good rate.  If you know your credit score needs improvement in advance, you can make the necessary steps to improve it ahead of time.

Gather your paperwork – Keep documents handy that you’ll need for your home loans, such as W2s, tax returns, credit report, pay stubs, bank account statements, etc.

Research mortgage options – Shop around for the best loans with the best terms.  Talk to multiple lenders because all have different terms.  Find out if you are eligible for any state or local home buyer programs, etc.

Get pre-approved – Not only does having a pre-approval letter from your lender indicate how much mortgage money you qualify for, it makes it easier to shop for homes within your price range and strengthens your position as a buyer for your offer being accepted.

Work with professionals – Rely on a qualified, experienced broker to help you find the home you desire. The team at Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC in Old Town Anacortes is full-time, professional real estate brokers who are available daily to work for you.  Contact us for all of your real estate needs throughout Anacortes, Skagit County and beyond today!

Check back tomorrow for our blog about New Year’s resolutions for sellers!

How to Avoid the Top 5 Home Seller Mistakes

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When you are selling your home, it can be easy to be in a vacuum. You have a certain idea of what the market should pay for your home and what may or may not be an issue. However, when buyers and agents are coming through your home, it can be where distorted perception meets reality. Here are the top mistakes sellers make and how to avoid them.

Overpricing Your Home

If your home is overpriced, two things won’t happen: showings or offers. The price is what sets the tone for showings. If it is too high, buyers that can afford it may be interested in something else, as they can go higher in price range, and the audience for whom it was intended price-wise are usually shut out. Team Groesbeck can guide you to list your home for the best sale price and inform you of the current market.

Making Showings Difficult

Restricted showing times, no lockbox or having to be present for all showings can impact the ability of showing traffic through your home. If there are many instructions or restrictions, agents and their buyers will simply move on to those properties with less rules. Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC will also guide you to make showings most convenient for you as the seller, as well as potential buyers.

Not Countering an Offer

While everyone would love to get the most for their home, it is too easy to get hung up on the starting number in an offer when the focus should be on what the end result is. The opening offer is simply that –a starting point. It gets a conversation going and results in hopefully a happy medium that is amenable to the buyer and seller. Failure to counter sends a discouraging signal to the buyer that can create an uncomfortable situation, perceived or real. Buyers want to do business with sellers who are eager to do business with them and responding with a number is a step in the right direction.

Property Condition Denial

Would you as a buyer pay top dollar for a home with original systems approaching the end of their life? In today’s real estate climate, buyers, lenders, appraisers and inspectors are more scrutinous than ever. It is not only the buyer, but the lender, appraiser and the buyer’s insurance company that could be making the call on a home’s condition. Before you sell, be realistic about the condition of your home. Unless the home is deeply discounted below market value, which realistically means it would be far too low pricewise that you would agree to accept, the buyer will care about it and if they don’t, their home inspector certainly will.

Selective Memory

Sellers often fear that if they disclose too much or provide too many details, it could affect their ability to sell for top dollar; however, failure to disclose could open you up to liability after the sale. Leaving questions blank, or not being clear on the age of certain things only creates more red flags and concern for a potential buyer. If you answer the questions honestly and fully disclose any known issues or repairs that were made (with receipts to document and provide a history) it will eliminate buyer fear and doubt.

For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, in Old Town Anacortes: (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Fun things to do this weekend in Anacortes!

If you think Anacortes only has fun things to do in the Summer you are wrong! The Holiday season is upon is and Anacortes is ready for it. If you are looking for things to do with family and friends in Anacortes this Holiday season, here are some suggestions for the weekend of December 8th through December 11th 2017 right here in town.

 

Rudolph at the Fidalgo Care Center's display.

Rudolph at the Fidalgo Care Center’s display

December 8th & 9th: Winter Wonderland Walk at Washington Park – Free!

Come out to Washington Park and enjoy a magical walk through the Winter Wonderland event this weekend. Local service groups, clubs, businesses and families sign up to decorate campsites with festive lights and holiday cheer. This is a FREE community event and we encourage you to come on out to this popular event in of the most beautiful parks in Anacortes. We recommend that you bring your own flashlight or headlamp to help guide your way and don’t forget warm clothes!

Location: Washington Park – Sunset Avenue, Anacortes
Time: 5pm-8pm

 

Photo credit postcardstoseattle.com

Photo credit postcardstoseattle.com

December 9th: Trolley Ride – Free!

Horse drawn trolley rides are available for FREE – enjoy the sights of Downtown Anacortes during this wonderful time of the year. The trolley can hold 18-24 people!

Location: ACME Creative at 705 Commercial Ave Anacortes and Scott Milo Gallery at 420 Commercial Ave Anacortes
Time: 12pm-4pm

 

Phot courtesy of fidalgodanceworks.org

Phot courtesy of fidalgodanceworks.org

 

December 9th & 10th: The Nutcracker

Fidalgo DanceWorks presents the classic holiday ballet “The Nutcracker” with a cast of more than 100 dancers, Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score, dazzling ballerinas, gorgeous costumes, an incredible growing tree, and a special guest star from the community as Mother Ginger!  The annual tradition of our breathtaking Nutcracker will perform December 9 and 10 at Brodniak Hall in Anacortes High School.

Location: Anacortes High School; Brodniak Hall – 1600 20th Street Anacortes
Time: Saturday December 9th at 7 p.m and Sunday December 10th at 2 p.m.  For tickets call: 360-299-8447

 

There are several options to enjoy the magic of Anacortes this weekend. For more fun things to do in Anacortes this Holiday season keep visiting our blog!

For more tips on Anacortes, please give us a call at (360) 899-5027 or send us an email at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com, we will happy to help!

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home to Be Listed for Sale

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Will your home soon be listed for sale?  Here are some tips to consider to make your home look its best!

Repaint the Trim
Fresh baseboards, crown molding and trim around doorways and windows make a big impact. Focus on the interior of the home first and if you are able, do the same for the exterior. Adding a new layer of paint to the trim can bring instant life back into your home, making the space feel fresher and cleaner.

Hire a Professional House Cleaner
A professional can undertake a thorough top-to-bottom scrub down, which includes cleaning the grout, polishing the faucets, wiping down the ceiling fan blades, and dislodging every crumb out of that irritating gap between your stove and counter top and beyond. A clean house makes a difference in the eyes of a buyer and can lead to the “wow” factor that may help put your home sale over the top.

Steam Clean the Carpets
When was the last time you had the carpets in your home professionally steamed-cleaned? This type of cleaning can lift the smallest stains and imperfections out of your carpets. Your carpets will look as new as possible, at a substantially cheaper price than the cost of a replacement.

Clear the Clutter
Clutter overwhelms a space, distracting from your home’s more beautiful elements. Many people won’t notice the high ceilings or large windows if their attention is refocused on a pile of old magazines, heaps of unopened mail, and random wires, cables, tools, board games and DVDs scattered about everywhere. Clutter also makes a space feel smaller. Your walk-in closet might be amply sized, but if it’s overstuffed with old clothes, jackets, boxes, suitcases and bags, your prospective buyers will think the closet space is insufficient. It doesn’t matter that the closet is actually bigger than the buyer’s first apartment; all they’ll see is the mess. You don’t want to showcase an empty closet – this looks uninviting – but you don’t want one that’s bursting at the seams, either.

Stage the Home
Professional investors often hire ‘staging companies’ to fill a home with furniture in order to showcase its potential.  If you’re still living in your current home, you’re already one step ahead of the game: your space is already furnished. Now you just need to up the ante by a notch, so that your home looks magazine-worthy.
Do you know that Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC offers its clients staging services? We know the impact a staged home has on a potential buyer and we believe in staging your home to sell!

Based in Anacortes, Team Groesbeck can be reached daily for all of your real estate needs at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGreoesbeck.com.

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6 Home Projects That Cost Less Than a TV

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Looking to revamp your home without breaking the bank?  Here are 6 home projects that will dramatically improve the looks of your home for less than the cost of a new TV:

  • Update your entryway: A new welcome mat, house numbers, plants, doorknobs, lighting or painting the front door are all quick fixes that will spruce up your home for an affordable cost!
  • Modernize your bathroom: You do not need to do a total remodel to make a large impact.  Use reclaimed materials, paint and update linens to achieve a new look.
  • Repaint your interior walls: For $200-$300, repainting an entire room or adding an accent wall will revive a dull space, or paint the trim or built-ins with subtly contrasting colors to give the room a pop of color.
  • Upgrade cabinet hardware: Install stylish hardware to jump start your kitchen’s new look.  If your kitchen has a contemporary design, go with sleek, understated hardware. Ornate, classically inspired aesthetics work best for traditional cabinets.
  • Light fixtures: Before you install new fixtures, it’s important to consider your décor. If you have a flair for the modern, go for the subtle-but-stunning aesthetics of pendant lighting. If your home has more of a traditional design, consider the lavish ornamentation of baroque-inspired chandeliers or candle wall sconces.
  • Clean the carpets: Unblemished carpets make a huge difference in the appearance of your home — especially if you experience a lot of foot traffic. Spot cleaning small stains is a simple do-it-yourself job, but it’s best to leave larger jobs to the pros.

For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, DAILY at (360) 941-3734 or at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com, or visit our Old Town Anacortes office at 809 7th St.

VIDEO: How to Avoid Wire Fraud

For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, in Old Town Anacortes: (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

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Lovely Views & One-Level Living at 2015 Creekside Cr.

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Enjoy stunning views of majestic Mt. Baker and the Anacortes Harbor from your living room at 2015 Creekside Circle in Anacortes (MLS #1150683).

This spacious one-level living home features 3 bedrooms total, including a large master suite, and 2 total baths with an attached 2 car garage.

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Tall ceilings and an open floor plan let light flood throughout this home, strategically located to maximize privacy and view, or enjoy the outdoors from your private deck!

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For more information about this property, contact Anacortes-based Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain.  Team Groesbeck is available daily for your real estate needs at (360) 941-3734, (360) 899-5027 or at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

 

Watercraft Registration Expires June 30

Skyline Aerial View

Content from Skagit County

If you own a boat or other watercraft, now’s the time to renew your registration in time for the Anacortes boating season!

All watercraft registration expires June 30, 2017. The Skagit County Auditor’s Office urges you not to wait to renew your registration as the lines may be long.

The vast majority of vessels registered in Washington have HIN numbers that comply with the new Coast Guard standards, but some vessels are required to have new HIN numbers assigned to meet the US Coast Guard standards.
The involved vessel owners have already been sent letters by DOL notifying them that they are required to get new HIN Numbers.

Standard watercraft renewal can be done in person and local licensing offices or online, at http://www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/renewboat.html. You can choose to have decals mailed to you or you can pick them up locally – even if you register online.

For a list of local licensing offices, or to sign up for an annual online renewal reminder, visit the Skagit County Auditor’s Office licensing page: www.skagitcounty.net/AuditorLicensing.

If you are seeking an Anacortes boat slip, a waterfront, water view or another property, contact us today! Team Groesbeck is available daily at (360) 941-3734 or at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Is a Home Owner’s Association Right for You?

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Seventy percent of residents living in a community with a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) are satisfied living with its rules and regulations (source IBOPE Zogby International). The same survey showed 81 percent of association residents consider their association assessment as good or great, and 76 percent say the dues enhance property value.

Many buyers may think it is just another monthly payment and seek to avoid these neighborhoods. Some buyers may view HOAs as restricting because they may control the color that your paint your house or the types of landscape you can have, but in actuality, these regulations often protect the value of your home. Many buyers miss the big picture of how HOA fees can be a benefit.

One of the most attractive benefits to HOA fees are the amenities. Some communities offer clubhouses, libraries, gyms, tennis courts, basketball courts, parks or other attractive amenities that are paid for through HOA fees. Residents have access to amenities without the hassle of maintenance since the HOA handles that for you. Homeowner dues can vary greatly by neighborhood and the specifics of what they cover.

The largest HOA in Anacortes is Skyline which is located on the west end of Fidalgo Island. Tug Boat Park, Skyline Beach Club, waterside cabana, tennis courts and play areas are just some of the amenities Skyline provides.

Skyline Marina is not part of the HOA, but is a great benefit as it allows you to launch your boat close by or have it in the water in your backyard.

These are only basic benefits of an HOA and each neighborhood has unique coverage included in their fees and their own fee rates. Some communities may offer all of these benefits, while others may offer only a few. It is important when looking to purchase a home with HOA to consider what all is included in the fees. Ask your agent about the community and the fees to ensure the neighborhood is the right fit for you and your family.

If you would like more information about Anacortes Real EstateAnacortes Homes for Sale or if you are wondering what your Anacortes home is worth, please contact Jean Groesbeck at (360) 941-3734 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

 

Things to Clean Just Once a Year

THINGS TO CLEAN

Cleaning: some hate it, some love it. For those who are not huge fans, there is good news! Not everything in our homes needs to be cleaned daily, weekly, or even monthly. Here are a few things that (typically) only need to be cleaned once a year:

Upholstered Furniture
If you have pets, vacuuming your furniture at least weekly is a must. If your furniture sees a lot of wear and tear, call in a professional! Don’t be the home where guests are afraid to sit on the couch- give a furniture cleaner a call once during the spring and vacuum and spot clean the rest of the year!

Drapes and Curtains
We often underestimate the amount of dust in our home, and this can be evident if curtains or drapes are moved. Minimize this by taking them all down each spring and throwing them in the wash. It really is as easy as that. If you have curtains that can’t go in your regular washer and dryer, send them out to be dry cleaned! Your allergies will be happy you did.

Vents and Air ducts
Have you ever looked closely at the air ducts in your home? Try it. You are likely to find a buildup of dirt and dust on one side of the vent or the other. Just take a duster, slightly damp cloth, or vacuum wand and clean it off! It’s simple, and you won’t need to worry as much about dirt and dust being blown about your home.

Carpets
Just like furniture, carpets should be vacuumed regularly- especially if you have pets. But when was the last time your carpets were shampooed? If you have more than one furry friend, this should likely be done every six months. If not, once a year is sufficient to remove that layer of dirt that your vacuum just doesn’t reach. Don’t want to pay a pro? Rent a carpet cleaner and do it yourself!

Clean Around Large Appliances
When we think about truly deep cleaning the kitchen, we often think of pulling out the refrigerator and cleaning behind it. This should also be done with the stove, as who knows what has made its way back there throughout the year.

When you think of large appliances, however, do your washer and dryer come to mind? If it has been a while since you’ve cleaned around these essential parts of your home, add it to your yearly list! The buildup of lint and dust around a dryer can be a huge fire hazard, and it builds up more than we know. Vacuum your lint tray, underneath the washer and dryer, and have your dryer vent cleaned every 12-18 months.

Last But Not Least: Purge
Purging can be therapeutic for many, and terrifying for many more. The fact remains however, that we all have things we don’t use. Once a year, go through your garage, closets, and other storage spaces and get rid of those things you haven’t used since you went through it the year before. You will find so much more room for the things you really love!