What is Mold?

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Molds are a form of fungus. There are many different molds and they can be found both indoors and outdoors. Molds spread through the production of spores, which are present in all indoor environments and cannot be removed from them – spores are capable of surviving in harsh conditions that otherwise prevent the normal mold growth.

Molds grow best in moist, warm and humid environments – easily created in the home. Molds are capable of growing on a variety of different surfaces, including fabric, paper and wood.

Common indoor molds include:

  • Alternaria – found in damp places indoors, such as showers or under leaky sinks
  • Aspergillus – often found indoors growing on dust, powdery food items and building materials, such as drywall
  • Cladosporium – capable of growing in cool areas as well as warm ones. It is typically found on fabrics and wood surfaces
  • Penicillium – typically found on materials that have been damaged by water and often has a blue or green appearance.

Molds take a variety of forms and textures, appearing as white, black, yellow, blue or green and often looking like a discoloration or stain to a surface. They can also have a velvety, fuzzy or rough appearance, depending on the type of mold and where it is growing.

Spores make their way into the home either through the air or after attaching to objects or people. Open windows, doorways and ventilation systems are all gateways through which spores can enter. Clothing, shoes and pets can all facilitate the arrival of mold within the home.

Mold can often be found in areas where leakages and flooding have occurred and near windows where condensation builds up. Wet cellulose materials are most supportive of mold growth, including paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles and wood products. Wallpaper, insulation materials and upholstery are other typical launchpads for mold growth.

Mold allergies produce similar symptoms to other allergies to airborne substances affecting the upper respiratory tract, such as pollinosis. These include:

  • Blocked/runny nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Itchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes

When dealing with mold, it is best to consult with a professional to ensure the mold is properly removed.  For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC.  Located in Anacortes at 809 7th St., Team Groesbeck is available daily at (360) 941-3734 or via email at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

What is Title Insurance?

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Home Maintenance Tasks for March

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To keep your home running smoothly all year, here are some things you can do before each Spring. For any suggestions of professionals to assist you throughout the Anacortes area, please contact us!

Clean the gutters – Remove leaves, pine needles and other debris that have accumulated over the winter so your gutter system is ready for spring showers. Overflowing gutters and blocked downspouts can damage siding and foundations.

Clean the air conditioning condenser – Remove dust and debris that have accumulated on the air conditioning condenser so that the AC works efficiently.

Prepare your yard – Remove branches and stones, and use your lawn mower with a catch bag to make short work of dead leaves and twigs. If any flower buds are diseased, bag and toss them in the trash to avoid spreading fungus and infestations.

Clean the siding – Remove dirt and grime that can cause mildew and shorten the life of your siding. Soap and water, a long-handled brush and a garden hose typically works great.

Clean and repair outdoor decks – Removing leaves and debris from between deck boards prevents staining the wood and reduces the chance of the wood rotting. Also check for any loose boards or protruding nails.

Caulk around windows and doors – Check the caulking around windows, doors and corners to prevent water infiltration and repair as necessary.

Inspect walkways and driveways – Freezing weather can break apart stone and concrete. Using a sealant on existing cracks will prevent the stone from breaking apart further.

Inspect the roofing – Check your roof for loose or missing shingles – starting from the ground with a pair of binoculars will help your to safely assess your roof.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in 2017, call Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. today at (360) 941-3734 or contact Jean via email at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com. We are available daily for all of your real estate needs!

Ten Commandments of Buying a Home

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There are some obvious checklist items that need to be taken care of when buying a home (i.e. getting loan pre-qualification and approval), however there are a few possibly less-obvious things that many new home buyers may not consider.

  • Don’t change or quit your current job while you are in the process of getting a loan or finalizing paper work.
  • Put off other large purchases (i.e. a new car) until after all is said, done, and signed with your new home.
  • Keep credit lines current and don’t miss payments on already existing credit cards or loans.
  • Maintain your savings account.
  • Identify all debt or lines of credit on your loan application.
  • Avoid having other inquiries on your credit before your loan has been approved and you have keys to your new home.
  • Don’t make any large, seemingly random cash deposits into your bank account.
  • Avoid co-signing loans for anyone else, as this will definitely affect your credit “worthiness” in the eyes of loan officers.

Ready to buy your first home?

Like any other life changing experience, buying a home for the first time can seem overwhelming. However, once you are able to organize your priorities, conduct research and interact with a real estate broker, your confusion will quickly turn into excitement!

As you begin to think about buying a new home, keep in mind some of the basic steps outlined below that can help pave the way to a successful home buying experience.

Prior to researching the real estate market in Skagit County and hunting for mortgages, setting your goals and priorities is crucial. Take some time to reflect and determine if it is the right time to purchase your first home. You may also want to ask yourself where you want to be in the next few years and consider how purchasing a home for the first time fits into your long-term goals.

The next important step in the home buying process may seem obvious but is often overlooked during the excitement of purchasing a first home. Very simply, you need to determine what you can afford. Too often, buyers underestimate or simply miscalculate the costs of owning a home.

Before searching for your first home, ask yourself if your income is both adequate and reliable enough to afford mortgage payments. There are also upfront costs to consider when buying a home. Though the amount required to cover a down payment and possible closing costs will vary, there are usually some out of pocket expenses to incur when closing on your first home.

Though following the previous steps can help a home buyer find the right home, buyers never need to go it alone. After conducting your own research, it is a good idea to find a real estate broker you can trust. Besides being able to assist you when searching for the right home, a reliable real estate broker can help guide you through the home buying process.

Feel free to call, text or email us at any time! We can help you search for YOUR dream home.

(360) 941-3734

809 7th St. Anacortes, WA 98221

809 7th St.
Anacortes, WA 98221

Are You Ready To Own Your First Home? (Part 2)

 

 

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Last week we shared with you Part 1 of : “What to consider when buying a home”. We went over the first steps to take before looking for your dream home in Anacortes or Skagit County.  So now you found your dream home for sale and are ready to make an offer. Now what? Here is Part 2…

Making and Submitting an Offer

Once you’ve found your dream home for sale, your Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC  real estate broker will  complete a purchase and sale agreement to make an offer to buy your perfect home.  We will walk you through financing, insurance, title and escrow companies, and all that goes into making an offer. Your real estate broker will then present the offer to the listing agent or directly with the seller in person if possible.  Once your offer is accepted, the purchase and loan process begins.

Escrow

A lot is involved in this step, but don’t worry. We’re here to help you!  This is when financing, home appraisal, inspections, and possible further negotiations occur.  You usually will sign closing documents prior to the day of closing at the escrow company of your choice. As closing day gets near, you will have begin to plan your move with ample time.

Moving

Moving is a process that often takes much longer than people expect.  Will you move yourself, or hire movers?  Will you be bringing every piece of furniture you own?  Make sure it will fit in the new spaces.  Consider having a yard sale!  Your real estate broker will give you moving tips and if available a checklist for moving. This will make moving so much easier and stress free!

Closing

On the day of closing you usually get the keys by 9 PM  unless something different is specified in purchase and sale agreement. This day you are officially a home owner and now it’s time to move into your new dream home!

We will do everything we can to make the home buying process as easy as possible. We want to make your home buying experience enjoyable and the transaction flawless!  We believe that purchasing a new home should be fun and you deserve to have the best local real estate broker that can make this happen.

Call, text or email us anytime with any questions you have on buying a new home in Anacortes, Whidbey Island or Skagit County. We are here to help!

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

809 7th St. Anacortes, WA 98221

809 7th St.
Anacortes, WA 98221

Are you ready to own your first home?

 

 

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Here are a few things you will want to consider when looking to buy a new home in Anacortes or Skagit County:

First Things First

Contact your Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. full time real estate broker so that we can guide you in buying a home every step of the way.  We’ll help you with decisions like whether a condo or a house with a yard is the best choice for you.  We’ll talk you through what’s involved in owning a home, like property taxes, maintenance, and home owner dues.  If you are ready, you will find a lot of joy in owning your own home.

Next, Get Pre-Qualified

When we find the right house and you want to make an offer, you will need to disclose if you are going to finance your purchase and if so, provide a pre-approval letter so we suggest getting this step out of the way. Our team can help you find find a good lender to find out how much you can afford for your new home or property in Anacortes, Skagit County or Oak Harbor.

Searching For Your Dream Home

The search for your dream home is one of the funnest parts of buying a new home.  However there are some things to remember during this process. For example, it can be tempting to see homes that are listed way above your pre-approval amount. Stay within the price range you have been qualified for, this will save you a lot of time. Also, think about your neighborhood preference.  Do you want to live in Skyline, Spinnaker Cove, Parkside, Seaview, Marine Heights, Old Town…. Do you want the ease of living within the city limits, or will your home be out in gorgeous Skagit County?

If you are buying a home, there are several of us available to you at any time so that you don’t have to adjust your schedule. We will make sure you get in the new listings right away! We will listen to your needs and show you homes that you might not otherwise see. We will help you select the perfect home for you.

Stay tuned next week for further steps in buying your first home in beautiful Anacortes, Skagit County, or Oak Harbor.

We can’t wait to help you get started! Call, text or email us today!

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

809 7th St Anacortes, WA - (360) 941-3734

809 7th St Anacortes, WA – (360) 941-3734

 

 

Choosing The Right Mortgage Lender

Are you ready to buy a new home in 2016? If you are like most people in the United States, it is very likely that you will need a mortgage loan to purchase your new home. Shopping around for a good loan is as important as finding your dream home. Finding the right mortgage lender takes time and research but in the end it could potentially save you thousands of dollars.

Asking friends, family and co-workers for mortgage lender referrals can be helpful but their experience may be limited to just one transaction.  Your local Realtor® should be able to provide you with names of lenders who have proven their ability to offer good rates, low fees and close loans on time.  This is crucial especially in today’s mortgage lending environment with the new disclosure requirements which can prove challenging.

Selecting a mortgage lender should be based on more than just the lowest rate. Gather a few rate quotes, and then follow up with some research and interviews before you choose the lender who is right for you.

Here are some questions to ask a potential mortgage lender:

How long have you been in the mortgage business?  How long have you worked for this particular lender? How many loans have you originated and closed in the last year?

Do you have any special expertise?  Whatever type of loan you are seeking, look for a loan officer with experience in that type of loan. Not all lenders excel in all loan types.

What is the interest rate and APR at “par”?  Asking a lender to quote you an interest rate at “par” means without any loan fee or discount points included to buy the rate down.  This allows you to compare the APR (annual percentage rate) of more than one lender and better judge the true cost of the loan.

What is your lock-in policy? Find out when and how you can lock-in your interest rate.  Does your lender require deposit to lock, is it refundable?  Do they provide you with a written lock-in agreement?  Can you lock your rate by telephone, email or text? How long will your rate be locked for?  What happens if the closing is delayed with regard to your lock-in term.

 Do you work with a lot self-employed borrowers?  If you happen to be self-employed this is extremely important.  The more complicated your tax return is the more vital this is.  How good are they at evaluating tax returns? Believe it or not, there are many loan officers who are not skilled at this.

A good loan officer will get you to the closing table in a timely manner. They will communicate with you throughout the process and make sure your rate lock is protected or extended if need be. When you find a good loan officer you will also be finding a lender that has competitive mortgage rates and closing costs.

Don’t know where to begin looking for a home loan? Let us help you! We have a preferred lender right here in Anacortes who can help you get started. They provide competitive mortgage rates while giving excellent service to our clients.

Finding your dream home in Anacortes or Skagit County is easy with the help of our professional team of full time real estate agents. Let our team guide you in the right direction and show you the difference our 5 Star Real Estate Service can make in buying home in Anacortes and Skagit County. 

Call, text or email us today!

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

Why Should You Wait? Winter can be the Best Season to Buy.

Did you know that in many cases it is actually less expensive to own a house rather than rent one?

In Skagit County, the average price of a home is around $247,250 while the average cost to rent a house is $1,463. Initially, the upfront costs of buying a house can seem like a lot more. Plus, thinking about a mortgage can be intimidating but with rent prices increasing and mortgages at an all-time low, now is the perfect time to consider buying that home you’ve dreamed of.

If you qualify for a mortgage, have the funds for a down payment, and intend to live in a home long enough to cover the transaction costs—you will be better off financially if you buy as soon as you can. After all, if you’re already tired of the house you’ve been in, that feeling is just going to grow!

Typically, summer is thought to be the best time to buy a house; the weather and school calendar make this a convenient season. Because most people consider that time as the right time, hidden gems that go up for sale in the winter are often overlooked.

So, if you are ready, consider looking for a home now instead of early spring. You will have more choices and less competition, and you can lock in today’s rates rather than risk rates increasing. Click here for wonderful winter options!

Skagit County Washington and Anacortes, Washington are great places to buy a home and with the market growing, now is a wonderful time to buy or sell! If you’re interested in finding out whether you can afford a home, contact Jean Groesbeck , Anacortes Living. If you would like more information on buying versus renting,read more about it here.

Choosing The Right Neighborhood

Location, location, location! This is what we hear most often when it comes to finding the right home. Location is a substantial part in finding your dream home. Choosing the right neighborhood is important…living in an area that best suits your life style will make living easier and more enjoyable.

Driving around and reviewing what surrounds neighborhoods is a must! Considering the properties next to or around a home is important too. Look to see if there are empty buildings or land that could potentially become new developments or businesses. Understanding zoning in a neighborhood will give you an idea of what types of possibilities for new construction.

Keeping in mind the neighborhood when searching for a new home is important. You can find the home of your dreams, but if you are not satisfied with the neighborhood…it can make for a less enjoyable stay. Research is KEY!

Are you having trouble finding the right neighborhood for you? We can help! Here in Anacortes and Skagit County there are many different neighborhoods that can fit your lifestyle. Contact Jean Groesbeck at 360-941-3734 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck for more information on finding a neighborhood that fits your desires.

809 7th Street-Anacortes, WA 360-941-3734