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!

Hosting the Perfect Open House

Open House

Not only is an open house designed to market your home in a way that differs from a simple listing, but it also opens the door for competitive offers as more than one buyer could potentially fall in love with your home on the same day. Our Top 5 Steps to Hosting the Perfect Open House will help you make your guests fall in love with your home.
1. Make Your Home Shine
A successful open house begins with cleanliness, so make sure your home is ready to be shown. This means all clutter should be removed and the home should be staged to allow guests to envision themselves living in a beautifully decorated home.

2. Cross Your T’s and Dot Your I’s
Your next step is making sure the price is right and you have all of the answers to potential questions. If the day is successful, you may be fielding offers within hours, so be knowledgeable about your property and ready to make a deal.

3. Spruce Up Your Curb Appeal
Buyers want to see attractive and inviting landscaping. This first impression will make them eager to see what’s inside the home. The street (with the necessary permission, of course) and front yard should feature an Open House sign so potential buyers can easily find you.

4. Feed Your Guests
It is customary for every open house to have complimentary coffee or other refreshments such as cookies. Make them available in the front entry way or on the kitchen table or counter to set a comforting tone for guests.

5. Reading Material is Golden
Business cards and information sheets should be available for each potential buyer that tours your home. Take a few minutes to design your own flyer and/or business card and print them in color to catch the eye of interested parties as they arrive. Your real estate broker will provide this to you.

Cleaning Tips and Tricks for Your Big Move

cleaning tips and tricks

To clean your home is to free it from dirt, pollutants, and other elements. Not only that, but cleaning can also translate into organization and proper storage of your possessions and eliminate clutter! Either way, cleaning is an important task and although not always fun, can be simplified with a few easy tips and tricks that will make things easier when you decide to move.

Roll With It
When storing clothes, roll them rather than folding them. This not only prevents fold lines, but also results in your clothing taking up less space. You can maximize your storage space and still keep your clothes free of creases.

Stain Removal
If you want to remove stains from counter tops, appliances, flooring or other surfaces, consider using baking soda or a vinegar/water combination. Either of these is less harsh than typical cleaning products and still provides a quick fix for most of your stain removal needs. You may also consider anti-bacterial liquid soap and water.

Categorize and Organize
Before starting to clean, create categories for your clutter. By separating your items by intent such as keep, donate, and discard, you will be able to move through your cleanup quickly and efficiently.

Getting Rid of Dust
When you clean, you are likely to stir up a little dust here and there. Regardless of how much or how often you clean, dust is a part of life and it is bound to find its way into a few corners. If you want to reduce the presence of dust in your home, try using a portable air cleaner in the room where you are cleaning.

Cut it Out
Instead of simply tossing out your old bills or credit card offers, shred them with a cross-cut or confetti-cut paper shredder. This will prevent any unscrupulous crook from sifting through your garbage and discovering personal financial information. If you don’t own a paper shredder and don’t have the extra money for it in your budget, simply use a pair of scissors to cut anything with your name, address, social security number, or banking information.

This is the perfect time to sell your home in Skagit County call us today for a free estimate of your home’s worth!

Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Washington

carbon monoxide detectors

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:
o Symptoms go away when you leave your home, and come back when you return.
o 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.

Washington State Law
Washington State law requires carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in new residences. As of January 1, 2013, carbon monoxide alarms are required in existing apartments, condominiums, hotels, motels, and single-family residences (with few exceptions). Owner-occupied single-family residences, legally occupied before July 26th, 2009, are not required to have carbon monoxide alarms until they are sold.

Spring Cleaning: Natural Cleaning Products

Spring Cleaning

The first day of spring has come and gone, and it is time to get that layer of dust off the furniture and clean out those closets!

The purpose behind spring cleaning is to create a clean home that feels welcoming and happy. Why not add “healthy” to that list? Around this time we are often still working on those New Year’s resolutions to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so this might be the perfect time to consider incorporating health into your cleaning regime as well.

Certified Organic cleaning products have become increasingly popular with the rise in use of essential oils and home remedies. Home owners are taking into consideration the ingredients that are in most household cleaners and the effects they might be having on themselves and their families.

When it comes to household cleaners, GreenHome.com advises us to choose cleaning products that “are made from naturally occurring, non-toxic substances. Be sure to avoid cleaners containing phosphates, chlorine, and VOC’s, all of which are toxic to humans or damaging to the environment.” And let’s face it, for those of us that have bleached anything and experienced its lingering lung-stinging aroma, it probably isn’t the safest substance to use in abundance around the home.

Now that we know a few of the ingredients we should be looking for, which products are genuinely the best options? We’ve compiled a list of our top five natural cleaning brands, using factors such as affordability and availability.

1. Mrs. Meyers Clean Day
2. Method
3. Seventh Generation
4. J.R. Watkins
5. Honest Company

Looking for more of the DIY approach?

Try some of these common household items to take care of some of your cleaning needs:
• Baking Soda- Use as a water softener or add to your dishwasher to help remove stuck-on food.
• Vinegar- Easily dissolve calcium build-ups in coffee pots, and sinks. Vinegar also gets rid of foul odors in drains by taking odors with It as is evaporates.
• Lemon Juice- Not only does it smell great, but it removes stains, deodorizes toilets, and inhibits mold build-up. Try slicing off an end and rubbing it around the edge of your sink, then simply wiping away the dirt and leftover juice.

Want more Spring cleaning tips?  Email us at Info@JeanGroesbeck.com and let us know! We are always happy to provide helpful home tips.

Stand out from the competition!

Be the one to stand out in the crowd

Be the one to stand out in the crowd

If you’re thinking of selling your home during the high home-shopping season this Spring, you’d better get started now. If you want to stand out from the competition, it could take weeks to do it right. Start by getting your home into shape by fixing any obvious or apparent “problems”. Like every other home, wear and tear from the years is inevitable. By being proactive, and assessing the condition of your home now, you can potentially avoid a huge headache during negotiations later in the process.

1. How old?

No matter how great your home looks at first glance, any savvy buyer will ask: How old? Before listing your home for sale, gather all the paperwork that you have for your home. Check your paperwork for the age or last repair of big items like your roof, HVAC system, water heater, and gutters. If you have copies of your own maintenance records or receipts, keep them handy.

How long items last depends on a lot of factors such as the brand and how well it’s been maintained, but you can get a general idea of average life span. For example:

  • Wood shingle and shake roof: 15 to 30 years
  • Water heater: 10 to 12 years
  • Gutters: 15 to 30 years

 

2. Inspect

Do a walk-through of your home, outside and room by room. Look for signs of damage that might affect your home’s value. Take a special look on common problem areas like:

  • Wood rot around outside door frames, window ledges, and garage doors.
  • Water stains on the ceiling or near doors and windows.
  • Leaks under sinks or around toilets.
  • Bulges under carpet or discoloration on hardwood floors.

These can be an indicator of a “bigger” problem and it will be best to address now.

3. Talk to a Pro

Once you’ve done your own walk-through, you may want to have a professional take a second look. They can spot flaws you overlooked, because either you’re used to them or you didn’t realize they could cause trouble. You can hire a home inspector to do an inspection (or pre-inspection) to pinpoint problems from bad wiring to outdated plumbing.

Inspections may cost a bit, but it will buy you the peace of mind of knowing you’re not in for any surprises down the road.

Once you know what in your house could stand for repairs or upgrades, it’s time to decide where to spend your money. You’re probably not crazy about the idea of repairing a home you’re going to sell, but certain fixes will give you an advantage over the competition, which usually means better offers. Remember, real estate is an investment!

 

We recommend you talk to your real estate broker and ask for advice before starting any repairs or renovation projects. Your broker will help you decide what will be the best investment before selling your home.

We are always here to help! Our main goal is to get you the best return on your investment. Spring season is just around the corner, and Anacortes is short on inventory. If you are thinking of selling your home, please give us a call for a complimentary market analysis of your home.

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

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

Spice up your home this Valentine’s Day

candles

Photo Courtesy of AmeliaCandles

Do you ever wish you were one of those people who have elegant home decor for every holiday and season?   Would you like to make your own home look beautiful and festive?  Here are 4 easy yet tasteful ways to decorate your Skagit County home for Valentine’s Day this year… and beyond!

Fresh Flowers

Roses are the first flowers that come to mind when we think of this holiday for sweethearts, but any flowers will add to the beauty of your home on Valentine’s Day, or any day.  Fresh flowers add a lovely natural scent to your home, as well as livening up the indoors during the winter season.

Original Art

Made by you!  Many people are intimidated when they think of making art, but you don’t have to be a master painter to make something attractive to hang on your walls or adorn your mantelpiece.  There are a plethora of tutorials out there for making your own quick and easy, yet beautiful artwork for your home.  Making your own art is creative and affordable, and if you’re feeling the art bug, you can even create a rotating or seasonal gallery!  Try searching Pinterest for ideas.

Create Coziness

Lighting tastefully placed candles is one of the easiest ways to create a cozy ambiance for a room. There are all kinds of colors, sizes, and scents to choose from, but simple white candles or unscented candles can also be lovely.  Whatever you choose will be a testament to your own style and charm.

Add a Splash of Color

Try adding an accent pillow or throw to your couch or plush chair.  Use the holiday as an excuse to change things up and make things feel like new in your home.  You don’t have to go wild with reds and pinks.  A few items here and there will be all you need to set the mood for Valentine’s Day.

A combination of all of these easy things will go a long way toward giving your home a fresh look, even beyond Valentine’s Day.  We could all use some new art, fresh flowers, a splash of new color, and some cozy candles to help us get through the rainy season.

For more tips, please call, text or email us today and let us know how we can help!

 

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

Jean Groesbeck logo black 2 small

Does Landscaping Add Value to Your Home?

Photo courtesy of BigSkyLandscaping.com

Photo courtesy of BigSkyLandscaping.com

Whether you live in a condominium or a single-family house, landscaping can certainly make your home easier to sell. But will attractive landscaping add value to your home?

Potted plants, freshly edged green lawn, and weed-free garden areas will make your home more attractive and appealing. The more appealing the home or condo, the more marketable it is and the faster it will sell.

Well-manicured landscaping helps frame other elements of curb appeal. It is considered a value-added feature because it helps create a positive first impression. While landscaping can add some value, you can almost always get a return on your investment in decks and patios. As decks have become more desirable, their resale value has continued to increase.

In the yard and garden of your single-family home or in pots on your condo deck or patio, use plants, trees, and other landscaping elements freely to make your home more appealing and help you sell it more quickly when the time is right.

So the answer is YES, landscaping adds value to your home or condo. It will definitely be the “wow” factor that buyers look for when buying a home. Remember, the more appealing the outside of a home is, the more desirable it will be for buyers.

If you are thinking of selling this spring or have any questions on how to get your home ready before selling, please call, text or email us. We are always happy to help.

809 7th St. Anacortes, WA 98221

809 7th St.
Anacortes, WA 98221