The Importance of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled and can kill an individual within minutes of contact. Carbon monoxide can quickly build to unsafe levels in enclosed or poorly ventilated areas.

What Are Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, confusion and nausea. Low-level carbon monoxide poisoning can include symptoms similar to illnesses such as the flu.

As these may be difficult symptoms to diagnose, they could be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning if:

  • Symptoms go away when you leave your home, and come back when you return.
  • Everyone in the home experiences similar symptoms at the same time.

 

What Should You Do if You Suspect a Carbon Monoxide Leak in Your Home?

If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak in your home, gather your family outside in the fresh air and immediately call 911.

  • During power outages, never use charcoal or gas grills indoors or in enclosed spaces. Do not burn charcoal in a fireplace, as charcoal does not produce a draft strong enough to push the carbon monoxide outside.
  • Never use a generator inside your home, garage, carport, basement, or near an opening into your home while outside. Generators should be kept at least 20 feet from buildings in the hope that airflow will direct carbon monoxide flows away from the home.
  • Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home and do not sleep in a room using an unvented gas or kerosene heater.

 

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!

Should I Paint Before I Sell?

For some, even thinking of painting their home can become overwhelming. Many question the idea of painting before selling their home, is it worth the effort and money? The answer is YES! Adding a fresh coat of paint to the exterior and interior will add value to your home, and will help you receive the best price for your home.

The first thing a potential buyer will see when walking up to your home is the exterior, it is vital to make sure your home is ready for those buyers and first impressions matter! Taking the time to paint the exterior of your home will make buyers feel that there is less work for them to take on before the purchase.

It is important to give your home the best look before you take the step in selling your home. Painting the interior of your home brings new life to your home and makes the potential buyers feel the home is move-in ready. If you have rooms that are painted to a specific style that might not catch the eye of potential buyers it is best to choose a paint color that is neutral or appealing to a wide range of buyers. The goal of selling a home is to attract as many buyers as possible and a fresh coat of paint will help impress those potential buyers.

Painting your home before selling is great for cleaning up the marks and dings that occur throughout the time of living in your home. New buyers will want to see fresh clean lines and want to envision themselves living in the home before putting in an offer.

For more tips on how to add value to your home before selling CLICK HERE! There are many different ideas that will help make sure your home is sold for the best price possible!

Are you ready to sell your home in Anacortes or Skagit County? Even if you are thinking about selling soon, we can help!

Call Jean Groesbeck at 360-941-3437 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com for more information on selling your home for the best return on your investment.

 

Selling Your Home?

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Sometimes showings to sell your home can feel like a hassle, specially if you have an active lifestyle and/or children. Every showing counts and the better your home looks the higher are the chances to receive an offer. We understand it is a huge commitment to have your home show ready every day and we are here to help you the best way we can.

Here are 5 quick tips to have your house show ready everyday during the house selling process:

1. Make a checklist. It’s easy to forget things in the rush to get out the door.

2. Make your bed every morning. So you don’t have to worry about it on those last minute showing calls.

3. Hide laundry. Conceal dirty clothes in a “neat way” in a lidded hamper and have rooms show ready all the time.

4. Simplify kid’s rooms. Pack as many toys as possible and store them in a box/container. The less they have, the faster it will be to pickup before a showing.

5. Check bathrooms. Replace used/wet towels with clean fluffy ones and give your bathroom an instant clean and fresh appearance.

Showings don’t have to be a hassle! With the right tools, you will be a pro in no time.

If you would like more tips, email us at: info@jeangroesbeck.com, we will gladly send you more information. Everything we do is geared toward making the process as easy for you as we possibly can!

Selling a home with pets? <– click here for information

Selling a Home with Pets

selling a home with pets

We love our pets and can’t imagine a world without them, but not everyone shares our sentiments. This can make things tricky when it comes to selling a home that has housed our furry friends. The main reason for the nervousness is because your pets are not their pets; potential home buyers only witness what the pet may or may not have done to the home, and no one wants to take on the task of removing pet smells and fur from their newly purchased home.

Fortunately, there is one way to ease the minds of those who view your home: remove pet evidence.

Yes, this includes your pet. When showings are scheduled, before anything else, make arrangements for your pet to be elsewhere while a potential buyer views your home. Home showings rarely take very long, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to send Fluffy on a walk with your spouse or children. If weather doesn’t permit this, perhaps ask a neighbor if they would be willing to dog or cat sit for an hour or so- even if it means keeping your furry loved one in a kennel in their yard for a while. You can also be held liable if Fluffy decides to get defensive and either bites or scratches someone entering your home.

Remove negatives associated with pets. If you have a cat litter box or doggy potty pad, clean it and remove it from sight completely. Clean and sanitize the area in which it is generally housed, as pet urine really is a huge turn off in every way.
Same goes for feeding areas; remove water and food bowls, as well as any signs of saliva around the bowls.

Floor stains. Get rid of them. Cover them with an area rug, rent a rug cleaner, or replace it altogether. You can even hire a professional who is well- experienced in removing stubborn pet stains. It will keep buyers from forming unfavorable opinions about the rest of the home and will absolutely pay out in the end.

Repair other damage. Unfortunately, bigger pets can cause other damage such as holes in the wall or scratches on the furniture. This is the time to repair those drywall issues and put away that wooden end table with the obvious teeth or claw marks.

Clean your yard. This isn’t just limited to picking up pet waste. Make sure any damage to the fence or sod is repaired and not noticeable to the buyer.

Last but not least; remove pet clutter. You may be in love with the cute basket you picked out to house Fluffy’s toys, however this is just one more sign to potential buyers that pets live there. Put them in a box or in your car so they are out of sight and out of mind.

The most important thing to remember is to not take any pet advice personal; your goal is to sell your home, not to make buyers fall in love with your pets!

Moving or travelling with pets? We can help with that too! Just check our out post on Moving With Pets to put your mind at ease.

Use Less Energy in Your Home

Happy Memorial Day!

Whether or not you believe your home to be energy efficient, you can take steps on your own to conserve your energy footprint and shrink your bills!

Use our Home Energy checklist to see what you can do, and what you already might be doing to use less energy in your home in Anacortes.

Heating & Cooling:
• Install a ceiling fan, rather than running air conditioning.
• Replace air filters in air conditioners and heaters to prevent them from working harder than they need to.
• Take advantage of wood burning stoves if your home has one.
• In winter months, hang heavier curtains or put blankets or thick plastic around windows; this creates an extra barrier between your home and the cold temperatures.
• Be sure air is not escaping (or intruding) through cracks in windows or doors.

Lighting:
• Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs; these use up to 75% less energy that traditional incandescent bulbs.
• Take advantage of natural lighting; no need to turn lights on when we can use the good ol’ sun!

Electronics and Appliances
• Items such as computers or anything with a “power light” should be unplugged when not in use, as they are still using power even when turned off!
• Use a toaster oven or microwave for small baking items rather than using the large stove.
• Maximize your appliances’ potential; do full loads of dishes and laundry, and use appropriate temperature settings while doing so.
• Use power strips that can be turned off when not in use; a lot of energy is wasted through electronics plugged in.

use less energy

Let us know if you would like more energy saving tips! Text, call or email our real estate office in Anacortes today!

info@jeangroesbeck.com

809 7th St.
Anacortes, WA 98221

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

(360) 899-5027

Taking Care of Large Appliances

Appliances

The large appliances in your home can be some of the most expensive items you own. Fortunately with a little light maintenance, you can prolong both the life of and quality of your appliances. This is specially important if you are thinking of selling your home in Anacortes.

The number one rule with any appliance, whether it be your washer and dryer or stove top, is to wipe up any spills as soon as they happen. However, since some appliances are used differently and more regularly than others, some require a little more attention on a more frequent basis.

Oven and Stovetop
After time, your oven will start exuding odors such as slight burning smells when turned on to preheat. When this happens, you can either utilize the self-cleaning feature that many ovens have, or wipe down the interior with a store-bought oven cleaner. When using a cleaner like this, you should absolutely wear rubber gloves and possibly a face mask as they possess very strong chemicals. To minimize oven residue, you can also purchase an oven liner that sits underneath the oven grates and catches any crumbs or spills that can easily be wiped off with soap and water.

Stovetops are some of the most-used areas in the kitchen, and have the potential to collect the most bacteria. Whether your stovetop has electric coils, gas burners, or a glass surface, crumbs and bacteria always have places to hide. If you have either coils or gas burners, be sure to remove them and wipe them, and the areas underneath them with soap and water. With glass stoves, check the seam that runs around the edge of the stove; it is a great area to collect crumbs and dust.

Microwave
Microwaves are one of the easiest things to clean, however are commonly one of the most ignored. To easily remove spills and crumbs, microwave a cup of water for 2-3 minutes, then allow it to sit for about 30 seconds once finished. The steam from the water will be absorbed into the food stains and will then only need to be wiped down with a damp cloth or sponge. To remove any odors, spray your cloth or sponge with vinegar or lemon juice to remove smells completely.

Refrigerator
Does anyone actually enjoy cleaning the refrigerator? This is one large appliance that can trap smells, hide bad food, and help us to ignore our food hoarding tendencies all at once- and this is just the inside of the beast.
Condenser coils, outside vents, and gaskets collect dust, pet hair, and anything else floating around. One can easily use a vacuum wand to remove loose debris, them simply wipe down with a damp cloth or paper towel. You might be surprised at how different your fridge looks!

Washer and Dryer
Lint and dust can build up in cracks and crevices of your washer and dryer and if left unattended, can eventually become a fire hazard. Wipe a dryer sheet (it picks up tons of dirt!) or cloth along the back of your washer and dryer to pick up any lint remains, hair or dust. Also wipe along the ledge inside the washer lid, as soap and dirt can build there as well. Once or twice each year, pull both appliances away from the wall to check that large dust bunnies haven’t begun inhabiting that area. You should also have your dryer vent cleaned yearly to prevent fire hazards and the overheating of dryer coils.

So remember, just a few minutes of your day will not only help your appliances stay clean but also extend their life. If you are thinking about selling your home in Anacortes, clean appliances will help add value to your home!

For more tips on adding value to your home, text, call or email us today! We will be happy to help you.

Allergy-Proofing Your Home

Allergy-Proofing

 

Spring is the prime time for dust and all of the typical allergens to make themselves known in our homes. Whether you are renting your home, already own it, or are looking to sell your home in Anacortes, take the time now to set up a defense against sniffling noses and sore throats, before the full heat of summer hits.

To give you an idea of the best ways to begin allergy-proofing your home, here are the most common allergens, where they are found, and how to combat them!

Mold
If you live in an area with high humidity mold is absolutely something you need to be cognizant of. Kitchens and bathrooms are known for growing mold of all kinds, and basements can hide the majority of mold growth in places you wouldn’t expect. Mold goes crazy in cracks where water can seep in, high ledges (such as the tops of showers), faucet bases, and under carpets that may have been subject to a leak. Also, keep an eye on shower curtains to make sure pink mold hasn’t begun growing on the bottom. Anacortes is definitely high humidity, so if you are buying or living in the area, make sure you keep an eye out!

To combat: spray and wipe these surfaces twice weekly with either bleach, or a water/vinegar mixture. This will both clean it up, and keep it from growing as frequently.

Dust Mites
Dust mites are one of the hardest allergens to protect against, as they live where humans and pets most shed skin (gross).

To combat: The most problematic areas for dust mites are mattresses and pillows however you can protect yourself by using anti-allergen coverings and washing your bedding and curtains regularly. Certain essential oils, such as Melaleuca, can also help deter dust mites when sprayed on mattresses.

Pets
We love our furry friends, and Anacortes is definitely a pet friendly town. However, the dander from their skin is what causes allergic reactions in many people. Dander builds up unknowingly in corners of walls, carpets, and furniture upholstery.

To combat:
• Bathe your pets regularly! Just like humans can shed dandruff, pets shed the same way.
• Try to keep your pets off furniture, and clean pet beds a few times each week.
• Vacuum, then dust three or more times each week.
• Use quality filters in furnaces and air conditioners.
• Sanitize any overly-dusty areas regularly to prevent dirt and grime build up.

Moving to Anacortes soon? Let us know if you would like a personalized tour of Anacortes neighborhoods. Let us show you the true beauty of Anacortes. Also, read about our favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks to make your move an easy one!

Planning Your Garden for Spring

PLANNING YOUR GARDEN

 

Enhancing curb appeal includes enhancing your garden! Time for fresh flower scents, new plants, and working outside. Many bulbs have already begun to bloom, however the good news is that you can buy flowers and plants that have already bloomed and your yard will instantly look great! This is also the time to consider any fall bulbs or crops you want to have around once the summer is over.

Our Favorite Ways to Begin Planning Your Garden

Make a Sketch of Your Yard
You don’t necessarily need accurate measurements to do this (although if you want a to-scale sketch of your yard, feel free!), but it is necessary to visualize where you want everything to go. Drawing it out will help you determine how your yard will look once everything is in place and allow you to better allocate your money.

Plant Trees First
As trees typically take up more space in yards and require a little more work, it is best to get them done first and plant smaller items around them.

Year-Round Plants and Upgrades
Some plants such as shrubs and bushes that don’t “bloom” can provide aesthetic appeal to your yard year-round. If you plan to implement any of these, plant them when you do your trees to again get bigger items out of the way. This is also the time to work on any yard enhancements such as new pathways or retaining walls that will add dimension to the yard as a whole.

Perennials, Bulbs, and Annuals
This is the time to have fun and add color to your yard! Many spring bulbs are available for purchase and already in full-bloom by May first. Determine what feel you want your yard to have and browse a couple of nurseries and garden centers. If you are unsure of how to care for the plants you are looking for, the individuals that work there will likely be happy to share their knowledge.

Having a well-planned garden always attracts the eyes of passersby, especially those eyes that are interested in purchasing your home.

Contact us for more tips on how to enhance your home and garden for the market! If you are looking to buy in Anacortes, WA or anywhere in Skagit County, we can be your guide in finding a great home in a beautiful part of the Pacific Northwest.

The Best Moving Checklist

Moving Checklist

You’re almost ready to move into your new home!

Moving day can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Our moving checklist will help you effectively pack up your belongings to make your move as easy as possible. We recommend printing it and keeping it on hand in a central location in the house so you can easily cross things off as you go.

Just click HERE to print out our full moving checklist!

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Moving with pets? Check out the rest of our blog for other great moving tips!